February 2009


We educate and empower people to make vegetarian choices for a healthy, sustainable, and compassionate world.

(503) 224-7380



  1. VEG 101 Starts March 1
  2. Vegan Valentines Bake-off Contest to Highlight Feb. 15 Potluck
  3. Have Fun Volunteering for Northwest VEG!
  4. Erin Willimans of HSUS to Speak on 'Why Farm Animals Matter'
  5. Portobellow Vegan Trattoria Opens in SE Portland
  6. Humane Educator to Speak at Powell’s and Lead a Workshop
  7. Master Vegetarian Program Registration Opens
  8. The Better Living Show Welcomes the Veggie World!
  9. Northwest VEG Garden Group Survives Winter Chill
  10. The Curious Case of Growing My First Fava Beans
  11. Vegan Waffle Challenge Nets One Portland Option
  12. Vegan-Friendly Shoe Boutique Opens on Alberta Street
  13. Plan Ahead to Attend West Coast Events
  14. Mega Magazine Touts Veg Celebrities

E-Bits, edited by Charley Korns, may be viewed on the web at www.nwveg.org/E-bits_0209.htm. If you are interested in writing for future E-Bits editions, please email charko@hevanet.com. The next deadline is March 22, 2009.

1. VEG 101 Starts March 1

The spring VEG 101 series will start on Sunday afternoons in March at the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Beaverton, 14645 SW Davis Rd. The fee is $50 for the entire series (or $25 for low income). The new schedule will be posted on the Northwest VEG website soon, and everyone on the waiting list is being notified.

The VEG 101 series consists of six weekly sessions, each of which includes both a lecture on relevant topics and a cooking class/demo, with samples served. Additional information can be viewed at www.nwveg.org on the VEG 101 link (to be posted soon). Until the spring schedule is posted, the schedule from last fall’s series will remain on the website.

You may register now by contacting our registrar Susan at (503) 521-1941 or susan@nwveg.org.

2. Vegan Valentines Bake-off Contest to Highlight Feb. 15 Potluck

cookiesThe 1st annual Vegan Valentines Bake-off Contest is just a couple of weeks away, so put on your oven mitts and enter to win this Northwest VEG bake-off challenge! Or, if baking isn’t your forte, come join in the fun, sample amazing vegan desserts, and vote on your favorite treat. The contest is open to everyone and will be held on Sunday, Feb. 15, at 6:30 pm, immediately following the 5 pm potluck.

The potluck and bake-off challenge will be held at the Beaverton Seventh Day Adventist Church, 14645 SW Davis Rd.—the same spot as our Compassionate Thanksgiving event this past November. Chef judges and participant samplers (that’s you!) will vote for four winners in the following categories: most original, best tasting, healthy treat, and the grand prize winning finger lickin’ fan favorite. There are no entry fees, contestants will compete for prizes, and the grand prizewinner will be featured in our March newsletter! For more information, contest rules, or to enter the bake-off challenge, please contact Wendy Gabbe Day at volunteer@nwveg.org or (503) 224-7380.

If you can also attend the potluck, please bring a vegan or vegetarian main dish, salad, or dessert; a card listing its ingredients; and plates and utensils for your use.  If you come alone, figure the amount to serve 4–6 generously; increase the amount 4 servings for each additional person in your party/family. Northwest VEG potlucks are alcohol-free events, and we start eating at about 5:15. For more information, contact (503) 224-7380 or info@nwveg.org. If you can volunteer to help at the potluck, please contact volunteer@nwveg.org or (503) 224-7380. A donation of $2–5 per person is suggested to help cover the cost of the room rental.

3.Have Fun Volunteering for Northwest VEG!

Are you looking to escape the winter cold and chat with excitable people? Or maybe you're interested in some essential behind-the-scenes work? Either way, come volunteer with us! Here are some opportunities you don't want to miss:

  • Layout designer for the NW VEG Thymes newsletter (six times a year)
  • Potluck co-organizers (day-of volunteers needed at the east and/or west side Portland potlucks)

Tabling Opportunities:

  • Fix It Fair: February 7, George Middle School, 10000 N. Burr Ave.; 8-11am; 11am-2pm
  • Better Living Show: March 27-29 at the Portland Expo Center: www.betterlivingshow.org; Friday: 12-3 pm, 3-6 pm, 6-9 pm; Saturday: 11 am-2:15 pm, 2:15-5:30 pm, 5:30-9 pm; Sunday: 11 am-2 pm, 2-5 pm

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Wendy Gabbe at volunteer@nwveg.org.

4. Erin Williams of HSUS to Speak on 'Why Farm Animals Matter

On Tuesday, Feb. 3, at 7 pm, Erin Williams, co-author of Why Animals Matter: The Case for Animal Protection, and communications director for The Humane Society of the United States' factory farming campaign, will be signing copies of her book and giving a presentation called "Why Farm Animals Matter." Her free talk will address the importance of making humane, sustainable food choices, as well as provide information on some of the exciting recent advancements for farm animals in the United States.

The talk will take place at PSU's Smith Memorial Student Union at the corner of SW Broadway and SW Harrison, Room 101. Co-sponsored by Northwest VEG, Vegans for Animal Advocacy, and the Let Live Foundation.

5.Portobello Vegan Trattoria Opens in SE Portland

By Steven R. Storla, Contributing Writer

I always rejoice when a new vegetarian or vegan restaurant opens and mourn when one closes. On a recent evening, it was an occasion to rejoice as my dining companion and I entered Portobello Vegan Trattoria in Southeast Portland on its first night in business. The restaurant’s goal is to veganize an Italian menu.

For antipasti we enjoyed Pickopolis Pickle Plate with pickled vegetables in a hot and vinegary sauce and Mushroom and Caper Crostini with a spread that was a warm and savory crimini pâté, rich with a smooth texture. From the tempting vegetable menu, we chose Garlicky Broccolini, which was cooked to crisp perfection with a light savory broth, and Braised Fennel with Oranges, subtly nuanced for the discerning palate.

The restaurant features nine principal plates, and most are available in two sizes. We shared three. The Pumpkin Raviolis were generously stuffed and served with a creamy sauce made of cashews. The Saltimbocca alla Vegana Romana was a hearty piece of seitan wonderfully seasoned. The Lasagna alla Bolognese tasted so fresh with a power punch of herbs and a tangy tomato sauce covering tasty noodles, tempeh, and kale.

We split two desserts, a Chocolate Tart in a shell filled with a dense, exquisitely flavored chocolate filling and a Torta Rustica con Caramelo whose delicate pastry crust perfectly complemented the warm apple slices cooked with precision and enhanced by the velvety caramel sauce.

Portobello Vegan Trattoria, at 2001 SE 11th Ave., has opened an exciting new chapter in vegetarian fine dining in Portland. Visit the restaurant Wednesday - Saturday, 5:30 pm to 11:30 pm, (503) 754-5993. Reservations are accepted only for parties larger than four. Portobello is housed in the same space as the vegan-friendly Cellar Door Coffee, which is open at other times.

6. Humane Educator to Speak at Powell’s and Lead a Workshop

zoe weilWith a world steeped in materialism, environmental destruction, and injustice, what can one individual possibly do to change it? While the present obstacles we face may seem overwhelming, Zoe Weil (pictured) shows us that change doesn’t have to start with an army. It starts with you. Through her straightforward approaches to living a MOGO, or “most good,” life, the Maine-based educator reveals that the true path to inner peace doesn’t require a retreat from the world. Rather, she offers powerful and practicable tools to face these global issues and improve our planet and our personal lives. On Wednesday, Feb. 4, Zoe will present her new book, Most Good, Least Harm at Powell's Books, at 7:30 pm, 3723 SE Hawthorne, Portland.

On Saturday, Feb. 7, Zoe will facilitate a MOGO Workshop. Attendees will learn about the ways in which your everyday choices, your work, your activism, and your volunteerism can do the most good and the least harm. Part retreat, part educational workshop, the workshop is recommended for anyone wishing to learn how to manifest their greatest vision for the world. The workshop will take place from 8:30 am – 5 pm at a Southwest Portland location. Learn more at http://humaneeducation.org/events/view/12.

7. Master Vegetarian Program Registration Opens

Registration for the fourth session of the highly rated Master Vegetarian Program is now open. The program covers all aspects of a plant-based diet, including health and nutrition, environmental consequences of food choices, organic food, treatment of farmed animals, effective communication, animal rights/welfare philosophies, and social aspects of making vegetarian/vegan choices. Classes meet on Tuesday evenings from 6:45 to 8:45 starting March 24 and ending May 19. In addition to the 9 classes, there are two optional field trips held on Saturdays. Participants will also put what they learn into practice through 16 hours of information sharing or other volunteer service in order to earn their Master Vegetarian Program certificate. The cost for the whole series is just $50, or $25 for low-income. To register or for more information, contact Susan Hanson at susan@nwveg.org or phone (503) 521-1941. The program is co-sponsored by People's Food Co-op and the National College of Natural Medicine, which is also where classes meet. For more information including a complete class schedule, visit www.nwveg.org/mvp/mvp4.htm.


8. The Better Living Show Welcomes the Veggie World!

By Donna Benjamin, Contributing Writer

Better LivingI invite you to attend the 2009 Better Living Show, March 27-29. The event was attended by close to 20,000 people last year, its first ever in Portland! The floor plan was spectacular and featured many interactive exhibits and the best Cooking Demo stage I have ever seen.

A new feature this year is the Veggie Village, which will feature veg-friendly booths. Vegan chefs are also included in the chef demo lineup. Do you have a veg-friendly business or service you want to promote? For more information on how you can participate as a sponsor or exhibitor, contact Donna at (503) 752-2588 or pdxvegan@gmail.com by Feb. 5 for the best placement. Learn about the latest earth-friendly products for you, your home and garden. From cool cars, to green eco chic fashion, furniture and more. Bring your friends and have fun at this informational and green event. And best yet, admission is FREE! Location: Portland Expo Center (convenient to the MAX Yellow Line). Northwest VEG is participating again this year so come on out and stop by the booth. To learn more about the show, visit www.betterlivingshow.org.

9. Northwest VEG Garden Group Survives Winter Chill

Dormant since mid-fall, the Garden Group is meeting again, reflecting on how our winter veggie gardens survived or froze, researching seed options for the coming planting year, and reaping the benefits of our combined wisdom and resources. Whether you're new to gardening or an old hand, we'd love to have you join us. Our focus is on veganic (organic with a vegan twist) food-growing practices, and we'll be meeting about once a month – or more often if wanted. Join our (sporadic) Forum discussions at http://nwveg.org/PunBB/index.php and contact Jill@nwveg.org to be added to our get-togethers email list - use "Garden Group" in the subject line.

10. The Curious Case of Growing My First Fava Beans

By Trista Cornelius, Contributing Writer

fava beansSnow, ice, more snow, then relentless rain seem to have thoroughly extinguished the fava beans I planted at the end of October. Nevertheless, they prevail as an example of the magic just beneath the surface of everyday veg life. 

Before veg life, I’d not heard of fava beans, maybe unknowingly eating them mashed in falafel, and had I known, I would most likely have dismissed them as weird or gross. Now, the welcome absence of meat and dairy enables my heart, mind, and palate to revere what had previously been overlooked. The first fava beans I ate were the ones I grew, planting them out of curiosity, without any idea of what they looked like growing or harvested. Sometimes the best adventures begin in openhearted ignorance. 

Many weeks after I planted the beans, thick and determined sprouts pushed their way out of the soil and grew into stalks standing tall without a trellis. White blossoms with purple-black centers opened and stirred ants and bees to such a frenzy the stalks vibrated. When the green pods grew almost as long and thick as bananas, I decided they must be ready to pick. Inside the pod’s foamy material, green beans practically glowed. I peeled off their tough outer skin, and the insides gleamed an even brighter green—definitely food for Oz and the Emerald City. 

My entire harvest yielded only two small servings of dip, bright green, soft, rich, and nourishing.  Pre-veg life, I would have thought this too much toil for too little gain, would have preferred Kraft Ranch Dressing to something green. Now, however, I know that we really are what we eat, and eating homegrown beans vibrant and strong from sprout to mature bean feels like consuming super powers, bolstering the resolve and resilience of body, mind, and soul. 

11. Vegan Waffle Challenge Nets One Portland Option

By Charley Korns, E-Bits Editor

In the December issue I challenged the Portland restaurant community to start offering vegan waffles, having been impressed by some that I found at Macy’s European Coffee House in Flagstaff, AZ. Thanks to notes from several readers I learned that Jace Gace on SE Belmont and Flavour-Spot in N. Portland serve vegan waffles. I went to Jace Gace for waffles one day and had a nice dimpled breakfast, but the restaurant’s days were numbered; they closed at the end of December.

Flavour-spot, still in business, has shacks on N. Lombard (between Greeley & Denver) and also at the corner of Mississippi and NE Fremont, with no indoor seating but a table or two outside. Their delicious waffle sandwiches come in vegan varieties that include sausage, chocolate, maple pecan and s’more. Visit http://flavourspot.com for hours.
So far, no restaurant contacted me about plans to start serving vegan waffles. We can only hope.
Have you experienced a vegan treat, sweet or savory, in another city and wish it were offered in Portland? Send me your story and we will help you to issue the challenge! Email Charley at charko@hevanet.com.

12. Vegan-Friendly Shoe Boutique Opens on Alberta Street

Pie shoesPie Footwear, an environmentally and socially conscious shoe store, recently opened on NE Alberta Street, offering footwear and accessories (socks, hats, bags & jewelry) for women and men, along with an in-store shoe recycling program and a variety of vegan-friendly shoes.

Owners Stacey Matney and her husband JC strive to offer customers a responsible choice in footwear. Products meet one or more of Pie’s Sustainable Ingredients Standards, which evaluates an item on its environmental and social benefits at the product level as well as the corporate level. A few of the brands carried at Pie include, Keen, Terra Plana, El Naturalista, Simple, Patagonia, Teva and Chaco.

Pie Footwear is located at 2916 NE Albert St., Portland. Hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 11 am to 6:30 pm, Sunday 12 pm to 5 pm. Contact the store at www.piefootwear.net or (503) 288-1999.

13. Plan Ahead to Attend West Coast Events

Veg-specific or veg-friendly festivals start up in March, so it’s a good time to mark your calendar and plan a trip or two. These events are a great way to check out products and gain ideas and in-spiration from speakers and chefs. View a longer list at www.nwveg.org/Calendar_Global.html

March 21-22: Seattle VegFest is a gathering of foods, chefs, and nutrition experts. Many people recognize the health and other benefits of vegetarian food choices, but they are not sure what to eat, what to buy and how to cook it. This festival provides all the support that people need. Free samples galore! www.vegofwa.org/vegfest

March 28-29: Seattle Green Festival™, a joint project of Global Exchange and Co-op America, celebrates all that is good (and green) for people, business and the environment. The event fea-tures extensive exhibits of veg foods as well as myriad earth-friendly products, services, and speakers. www.greenfestivals.org

May 16: The WorldFest 2009 Earth Day Festival in Encino, CA, offers entertainment, education and enlightenment. The festival combines music; speakers; environmental, humanitarian and animal welfare nonprofits; kids' activities, and a delicious food court. www.worldfestevents.com

14. Mega Magazine Touts Veg Celebrities

Did you read Parade last month? The Sunday newspaper insert, with a circulation of 33 million, recently announced its Top 10 vegetarian celebrities (view a slideshow of the 10 celebs at www.parade.com/celebrity/slideshows/famous-vegetarians.html) and in a separate issue profiled actress Emily Deschanel, 32, who stars in the TV series Bones (www.parade.com/celebrity/2009/01/emily-deschanel.html). In the “What You Don’t Know” box for Deschanel, reporter James Brady wrote, “She is a vegan, which means that she does not wear leather or fur, or eat any animal products. In keeping with those principles, Emily also is a supporter of PETA.”

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