Nov 6, 2010

cafe flora (MoFo 4)

Cafe Flora is a Seattle  based vegetarian restaurant that opened in 1991. They built their restaurant environmentally minded, to reduce the their impact on the world community as well as their neighbors. They claim that part of their job is to help shift the consumption of animals to a more plant-based diet. They do not want, or expect, everyone to switch to vegetarianism, they do want more people to make it a viable and a more frequent choice to include plant-based meals into their meals. This is logical and very doable. Think about it: if everyone ate meatless meals on, say, ...Monday, how many animals would not have to be in the great animal husbandry industry?  How many less animals would have to be killed weekly? How many people would be so much better off with just one day a week of meatless meals? How would the earth be impacted by this one simple action?

If you haven't included Meatless Mondays into your week, I encourage you to do so this very coming Monday. Breakfast is a no-brainer. Lunch is very easy - soup, salad, sandwich - and for dinner come back here and pick something to make. Recipes are posted, pictures can help you decide and the food is good. Walking to work, changing your light bulbs and recycling are not the only things you can do to help the environment. And a Meatless Monday helps you as well as the animals. A triple whammy!

To help you get started, I am giving away a new copy of a Vegan Cookbook - Joanne Stepaniak's Vegan Vittles. This was one of the first cookbook I picked up ten years ago and it is one of the simplest, easiest to follow, containing very tasty recipes and a great way to introduce yourself to vegetarianism. Leave a comment and let me know what your thoughts are on Meatless Mondays. Contest is open to North American and UK residence and no, you do not have to be an omnivore to enter. Please enter by the end of Monday, Nov. 8. Winner will be announced Tuesday, Nov. 9.

On to today's recipes.

A signature appetizer of Cafe Flora's is the Coconut Tofu with Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce. This was nice and coconuty, but not quite as flavorful as I was hoping. The tofu was a little bland, but the crust was great. I think making this with seitan would add more to the flavor. The breading is flour, coconut milk and ground coconut flakes.

Another more successful one was the Lentil Pecan Pate Platter. I know that as a vegan it is not likely that a Liver Pate would be on your Top 100 list of foods to recreate, but I am Hungarian and my dad was a great one for mixing together a chicken liver pate or beef get the gist. We had pig feet in aspic as the New Year meal... yeah.

So forgive me that I have been looking to make liver pate vegan. If you are one of the other dozen or so people in the known universe who is vying for this very thing, look no further than this recipe. You will need red lentils, mirin (rice wine), umeboshi paste (sour plum paste) light miso (Japanese fermented bean paste) and pecans. This is the real thing without liver.

As their signature dish, Cafe Flora presents Oaxaca Tacos with Black Bean Stew. They only make this veg so I adapted it to vegan. It is incredible how some mashed potatoes and black beans can be transformed to this delectable dish. They use real cheese, but I used a recipe adapted from Stepaniak's Uncheese Cookbook to make this soy-free and processed-free. This meal has many components, but they can all be done separately: Black Bean Stew, Smoky Muenster Cheeze, Mashed Potatoes, Salsa, optional feta adapted from Bryanna Clark Grogan's Feta recipe.

Cost Breakdown:

Coconut Tofu
ginger, seaweed, tamari, rice vinegar, miso: $1.50
flour, coconut: $1
coconut milk: $.50
oil: $2
chili, sugar:$1
Total to make apps for 5:

lentil: $1
onion, garlic, spice: $1
mirin, umeboshi, miso: $2
pecan: $1.50
onion, garlic, balsamic, sugar: $2
crackers: $2
Total to make apps for 8:

tortillas: $2
potato: $2
cheeze (cashew, agar): $3
black beans, corn, garlic, spices: $3.50
tomato, pepper, lime: $2
Total to make 5 servings:

Coconut Tofu with Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce

Lentil Pecan Pate Platter with Onion Confit

Oaxaca Tacos with Black Bean Stew


  1. Meatless Mondays sound like a great idea! In my experience, however, most people don't eat meat every day in the first place. Then again, it could be just college students. :) Thanks for the giveaway! (If I win, my email is on my profile)

  2. I think Meatless Mondays are an excellent idea! From an environmental perspective, limiting meat consumption, particularly in certain regions of the world where it is conducive to growing crops all year long, it just makes sense! Also, Cafe Flora was the first veggie restaurant I had ever been to (7 or 8 years ago now), and I love it!!!

  3. Meatless Mondays are a great place to start. "Vegan until 6", an approach popularized by cook book author Mark Bittman, would make a logical next step towards ultimately (hopefully) a full-on, full time vegan (or as close to vegan as you can possibly get) diet.

  4. I say, that Meatless Mondays are a great idea. Going "cold turkey" (pun intended) is another option... :)

    BTW, every single recipe that I've made from your blog has been a success. Both for myself (vegan) and the family (not so vegan...)
    Thank you!

  5. Vegan chopped liver is very high on my list. When I was a vegetarian I made vegetarian chopped liver with hardboiled eggs but have never been able to duplicate vegan chopped liver. Yay. Wonderful pics, once again, adn I love Stepaniak.

  6. Meatless Mondays are great! I see non-vegans particate which is one step towards healthier eating. I think it is a great way to get one foot towards veganism.My opinion.

  7. Great thoughts everyone! Nice to know it is something that is out there and people are doing it, even if they don't call it that. I think it still puts the bug in someone's head to eat less meat, even if they still eat some.

    I am heading to Random to see who gets the book. I just have to figure out how it works!

  8. in2insight, thanks so much for letting me know! I always wonder if someone makes something from here and whether it works the same for them. Thanks again!

    GiGi - now we only have to find the other eleven Chopped Liver seekers! I hope you get to try it and let me know if my liver tastes the same as yours. ooh, that's a little creepy...

    Mo! So glad to see you here. Your work with the MoFo is really appreciated and I love all your posts!!

  9. I agree with mirbrewer that Meatless Mondays are a great place to start. Especially if that's followed by, say, a Dairyless Thursday!

  10. I love the menu you picked. That pate has long been my favourite, and I tried the starter actually in the restaurant and found exactly the same as you!! And my friend had the tacos and I've intended veganising it.


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