Archive | January, 2012

Hippie Granola

9 Jan

Every time I come back to school from Portland, I try to take a little bit of home with me.

Last time I brought back my mother’s split pea soup recipe.

Yesterday I packed myself a Billy Collins book from Powell’s and a blueberry muffin from Dovetail bakery.

I’m already almost halfway through the book and the blueberry muffin lasted ten minutes at best – after that I had a little more trouble deciding what piece of the rose city to bring back with me (one that would last longer than a muffin).

But here’s my problem:  Portland is so many things.  How do I know which part I want to keep alive up here in Parkland

Is Portland more Mongolian grill or vegan bakery?

Is it more zombie walks or more nude bike rides?

Is it more hipster or hippie?

Let’s hold onto the hippie thing and leave the hipsters to the side for a while – or forever.

Hippies.  Tie-dye.  Granola.

Yes, granola.

Maple syrup, walnuts, oatmeal, craisins.  It doesn’t get more Portland than this.  Just make sure you buy the right yogurt to pair with the granola – unsweetened just doesn’t cut it.

One more thing – if you’re going to be a granola-eating hippie, you need to know how to make the peace sign:  it’s like this ☮ – if you leave out the middle line then you’re just making the mercedes logo, and that’s not very Portland.


  • 2 c. old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 c. ground flax seed
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1/4 c. maple syrup
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 c. chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 c. craisins

Preheat your oven to 325°F.Combine the oats, flax, salt, and walnuts in a bowl.  In another bowl or measuring cup, mix the rest of the ingredients.  Add the wet to the dry and mix well.  Spread the mixture onto a 13×9 greased baking pan and bake for about 10 minutes.  Take it out and flip the granola.  Put it back in the oven for another ten minutes, or until the granola is the texture you want.

Add the craisins after it comes out of the oven, and serve it up over yogurt.

If you want, you can add different kinds of nuts, dried fruit, or if you want to get really hippie you could add in some chia seeds and hemp – not my thing, but to each his own.


A taste of home: split pea soup

2 Jan

I always feel a little conflicted coming back to school.

On the one hand, it’s great to get back into routine.

See people.  Take classes.  Be within 5 minutes walking distance of everyone.  Run into my boss everywhere I go.

On the other hand, I hate leaving Portland.  I miss my family, my house, my usual vegan haunts.

I miss seeing guys wearing kilts riding unicycles down the street and playing the bagpipes like it’s no big deal.  This happened.  Seriously.  Don’t believe me?

(the Birkenstocks really complete the ensemble – at least he’s not wearing socks, too.)

So whenever I come back up to school, I try to bring a little bit of Portland back with me.

This is one of those recipes you get from your mom that never tastes the same when you make it – but it still tastes pretty good, because, well, it’s your mom’s recipe.


And especially on your first night back at school when the heater is still trying to wake up from three weeks of sleep, this soup is the perfect thing to warm you up.


  • 1 c. dried split peas
  • 1 c. each diced carrot, onion, and celery
  • 2 small red potatoes, diced
  • 4 c. vegetable broth
  • 1/4 tsp. marjoram
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste

Throw the peas and the broth in a pot and let them simmer for about an hour (I put the bay leaf in about half-way through this time).  My pea to broth ratio was a little off, so I ended up adding a cup or two of water – you can do this if you like your soup a little more brothy anyway.  Add in the diced vegetables and spices and cook for another 20 – 30 minutes, just until the veggies are tender.

Serve it up with bread or without, either way it tastes like home.