When you’ve been making the same few dishes day after day and need some inspiration, there’s a great place to look.
I’m talking about restaurant menus.
Now, I definitely don’t mean the menus of world-renown, Michelin three-star eating establishments. There’s a reason we pay award-winning chefs top dollars to make us complicated, exotic meals: So we won’t have to do all that work ourselves!
But there are incredibly good restaurants out there that put simple ingredients together in delightful ways that you can emulate. And you won’t need special chef skills or lots of time to do it.
Recently, I’ve gotten tons of inspiration from the amazing restaurants of Portland, Oregon.
I’m telling you, this city is food mecca—especially if you’re vegan. The level of pride the restaurants of Portland take in preparing dishes perfectly using local, organic ingredients is something to behold.
If I could, I’d snap my fingers and meet you in Portland for dinner.
But even though that’s not possible, you can still benefit from Portland’s amazing chefs by browsing menus online.
And right now, I want to direct you to two of them that made a huge impression on me.
The first is a mind-bogglingly wonderful little vegan café called Canteen. The next time you find yourself in Portland, do not miss this gem! But until then, check out their menu.
It inspired me to create my own Portland and Bangkok Bowls at home. Think of dishes like these as being melodies that you can create riffs on forever. The nuts, grains, veggies, sauces, and so on can all be altered and varied however your imagination sees fit.
Another terrific Portland restaurant—a place where breakfast is about as perfect as it gets for vegans and non-vegans alike—is a place called Harlow. There, I discovered I could make a “Farmer’s Vegetable Scramble” with tempeh instead of eggs. And truthfully, it’s way more delicious than eggs would be. Take a look.
When it comes to getting instant creative kitchen inspiration, online menus are the way to go.
So give it a try—and then let me know how it works for you.
I’d love to hear if you come up with some exciting new recipe ideas or discover an online menu you think is particularly inspiring.