After I did my last post on Seabirds Truck, I started thinking about all the other vegan food trucks out there. There are so many talented people out there creating delicious vegan food everyday and I routinely torture myself by looking at pictures and menus. I dream of what I would order and what it would taste like and when Ottawa will finally have a vegan food truck. One truck I would love to visit is Native Bowl in Portland, OR. Jay and Julie Hasson are the owners and chefs there and I think I would honestly be a little starstruck. I am absolutely smitten with Julie's book Vegan Diner and the pizzas I have been testing recently are her genius creations! I know that any bowl this vegan power couple makes would be extraordinary and the cart itself is just so charming, I would never want to leave. I looked over the menu and then I emailed Julie to ask her for some inside info on these bowls since I have never had the pleasure of actually eating one. I wanted to know the structure of them, the what goes where. And you know the best part...she quickly answered me with all the info I needed to make one. She even shared a little tip, most of what you need to make a Mississippi Bowl is in Vegan Diner!!! I can't share the recipes with you here but I can tell you which ones I used and if you don't already own a copy this would be the perfect reason to go and get it!
You have to start with a base of jasmine rice. It had been awhile since I had made jasmine rice and once I did, I was a little mad at myself for having denied myself of it for so long. It creates the most amazing aroma while it cooks and has such an amazing, slightly nutty taste. Next is a little ranch dressing* followed by some soy curls slathered in Rough Rider BBQ Sauce* with a few squirts of North Caroline Style BBQ Sauce* (which is my new favourite thing! I put it on everything!). For the soy curls, I rehydrated them in hot water, squeezed out all the water once they were, tossed them with some garlic and onion powder, dried thyme, paprika, oregano, a few cap fulls of tamari then pan fried them with a bit of olive oil until they were browned. Once they were browned, I added in 1/3 cup of the Rough Rider BBQ sauce and let it get warm and caramelized a bit before adding it to my bowl. Now top all that off with some crisp coleslaw* and some sliced green onions and your got yourself a Mississippi Bowl! It is so easy and worth every second! Make sure you stir it up a bit before you eat so you get a bite of everything just like they suggest on the Native Bowl website.
I am seriously in love with the combination of flavours in this dish and will be making it again and again. The crunch of the cabbage, the sweet tang of the BBQ sauces on those curls all mingled with the creamy ranch dressing, it's heaven! It even gave me a reason to break out my silicone take out containers and finally give them their first use. They worked perfectly but I am totally on the lookout for the bowls Julie and Jay use at Native Bowl! I will definitely give the other bowls a go in the future too. I know they would be even better if Julie and Jay were making them but this will definitely do until I make my way to the vegan heartland of Portland!
*denotes recipes that are in Vegan Diner