Wild Mushroom Pasta

I'm a big fan of Good Eats and Alton Brown. I've learned a lot from him. So when he suggested that dried exotic mushrooms were an umani flavor bomb I took to amazon to procure some. 

When you only cook with and eat plants, sources of deep and real flavor are important. 

His advice was spot on. I got a dried exotic mushroom mix and used it in my pressure cooker to create a sauce/broth for pasta and even though I forgot to add olive oil, it still had tons of flavor. 
After the pressure cook was finished I added the oil I forgot and cooked it off for a  few minutes. I then stirred it into my precooked pasta. Let it rest 5 minutes to tighten up. It was a perfect sauce to enrobe my pasta. . 

Dried exotic mushrooms are not cheap. But if you don't eat/cook with animal products, they feel like a bargain. There's so much flavor to be had. It's worth it and then some. 

Ingredients
1/2 box pasta, cooked to al dente

2 ounces dried fancy mushroom mix, big pieces broken or diced
1 pint …

Easy Curry

Here's an easy way to make a simple vegetarian curry. I buy those cans of Hormel vegetarian chili when they're one sale. Unfortunately they're not very tasty. They're kinda bland. But they do feature tomatoes, beans, soy protein and a little bit of chile pepper. So They can easily be turned into a curry without much effort.

Ingredients
1 can Hormel vegetarian chili
3/4 cup dry rice
curry powder
1 cup frozen cauliflower or broccoli
5 cloves garlic
almond milk
leftover asparagus ends
hot sauce
1/4 cup monteray jack or cheddar cheese diced or shredded
bottled balsmaic vinaigrette
black beans
cumin, coriander, cilantro, paprika and fresh ground black pepper

First prepare some rice. 3/4 cup dry should do. Bring it to a boil with 2/3 water for dry rice. When it has come to a boil, lower the heat, add 1 tbl of your favorite curry powder and the aspargus ends.

When I buy asparagus I snap off the hard ends and quickly saute the spears. I reserve the ends for later. I slice them down, discarding anything to fibrous and add the rest to simmering rice.

Let the pot simmer until most of the water if absorbed. Taste the rice and if not tender add additional water in 1/4 cup increments. Cook the rice until it is nearly done. not all the way.

Then add your can of chili, almond milk, cheese and your garlic. Lightly smash the garlic before sliceing it thin. Let the gralic sit at least 5 mintues to enhance the flavor. Also add your hot sauce. Depending on how hot your hot sauce is add just a dab or to your taste. Keeping in mind you can add more later, but you can't take out what's already in there.

Continue cooking uncovered, stirring often until the cheese has melted an the sauce has thickened. to a syrupy consistency.

Taste. Add spices as desired. Plenty of paprika. Let cook 1 minute more. Taste and add additional spices if desired.

Garnish with rinsed black beans and a drizzle of balsamtic vinaigrette.

Enjoy a creamy, spicy vegetarian curry you never knew could come from a can.

This stuff is also insanely awesome with a dallop of spicy or garlic hummus.

I enjoy mine ontop of a a romaine lettuce salad with steamed broccoli and some roasted potatoes.