This post is in collaboration with Veganizer PDX.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with summer. I can’t stand that melting in the heat feeling, but I love all the delicious flavors that summertime brings. To celebrate the season’s abundance of fresh produce, I reached out to vegan chef Salimatu Amabebe to craft a summer inspired plant-based menu for July’s Veganizer PDX popup at Feastly’s new Portland venue. The result was an exquisite 5-course meal for both the eyes and palate in Feastly’s chic and dreamy space.
Of course, our Summer Flavor menu wouldn’t be complete without a drink pairing. We lucked out when I serendipitously met the owner of Happy Mountain Kombucha at a coffee shop almost immediately after Salimatu and I had discussed the idea of kombucha pairings. And then, to top it all off, Gilded Greens donated micro greens and edible flowers as the finishing touches for each dish. That’s one of the many great things about working on Veganizer: the camaraderie and support from the local food community.
The experience started with roasted okra stuffed with vegan cashew garlic cheese. Next up were two salads: a zucchini and tomato salad with an addictive kick of pepper, then a red cabbage corn salad with mango and cilantro. The pan-seared watermelon entree was, without a doubt, the bravest dish on the menu. Bet you’ve never come across anything like it before. Juicy, refreshing watermelon with a delicate sear accented by a balsamic vinaigrette reduction. Last, but not least, smooth and creamy avocado key lime pie for the grand finale.
I’m still not a fan of the sweltering summer heat, but this beautiful meal at the last Veganizer PDX popup is what summertime vegan dreams are made of. Don’t you agree?
Note: This post is in collaboration with Veganizer PDX. I’m the director of the local chapter of Veganizer, and Feastly was our venue for this popup.