Last week I announced my pledge to keep Mondays Meatless (this also includes eliminating fish). This week I’m deciding to test out Vegan Tuesdays. I myself am neither vegan nor vegetarian, nor do I claim to be, but I don’t eat meat or poultry but occasionally eat fish.

Homegrown Smoker

A few days ago for lunch, a friend, who is vegan, and I decided to venture out of our regular soup and salad routine and try out one of Portland’s famous food carts. We were browsing through Stumptown Vegans restaurant reviews and came upon their review of a vegan food cart called Homegrown Smoker. She had also heard of this place and its raving reviews. I was intrigued. We looked at the pictures and our mouths began to water. We were sold!

I realized since not eating meat I have not had barbeque in a really long time. I mean I know fall and winter are not quite the BBQ weather but it’s been well missed. The menu was overwhelming with everything sounding savory and delectable. Their delicious selection of sides was hard to choose from – Totally Baked Beans, MacNoCheese, Chipotle Slaw, Stewed Greens, Sweet Potato Fries and Molasses Corn Bread. We both decided to get the Homegrown Smoker Combo – you get a choice of 2 proteins and 2 sides, which is served with molasses corn bread. Yum… (Click here to see their menu.)

My combo order: Chronic Tempeh Ribs, Smoked Chipotle Sausage, MacNoCheese & Totally Baked Beans

I couldn’t decide between the sweet potato fries or the baked beans, but I was definitely going to get the MacNoCheese. I’ve never had vegan macaroni and cheese before, but I was definitely excited to try it out. Usually it is made with nutritional yeast which gives it that nutty, creamy or cheesy flavor similar to real cheese. I decided the MacNoCheese wasn’t too bad, but I just couldn’t have too much of it. It had the same creamy texture as real cheese but after eating a decent amount of the stuff there was a lingering taste that I could care less for. I’d give it a 7/10 for a replacement grade. But don’t let my opinion sway you from not trying it out. We all have different taste buds and there are plenty of people who love the stuff.

As far as my final decision – I went with Chronic Tempeh Ribs, Smoked Chipotle Sausage (i Muy caliente pero muy delicioso!), MacNoCheese and Totally Baked Beans (plus I stole a couple of sweet potato fries from my friend). All for $8. Final score: 8/10.

Combo with Tempeh and Soy Curls (Photo from Stumptown Vegan)

The pictures online did not accurately show the portion sizes of this combo meal. We each ordered a combo and could only finish half! And that was still a huge amount! Borderline food coma. I was not practicing my portion control on this one. We could have each saved $4 and split a combo. I won’t forget that for my next visit! (I think I will have to order the Loafaroni. While we were waiting on our food a few people had ordered this. I want to know what all the fuss is about.)

This brings me back around to my whole Vegan Tuesday. I decided why not try out more of these vegan joints? If I’m not ready to make the leap to becoming fully vegan I might as well take a baby step and claim one day out of the week as a vegan food day. Not sure how long this will last but I’m hoping it will help me to remind myself to make the best food choices. And it all starts tomorrow!

Have you ever gone vegan or are vegan? If so, what is your favorite vegan dish? (Recipe suggestions welcome!)

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