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. 

1/2 box pasta, cooked to al dente

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

Hummus Mac and Cheese

As I was eating my salad with hummus dressing this afternoon I accidentally discovered yet another awesome way to use hummus. My hummus and salad and some macaroni got all mixed up together with some nutri yeast and vinegar. It was an amazing accident. Hummus is a culinary chameleon! It is a vegan dream. It does so much. Fills so many voids. Mayonnaise, butter, salad dressing, and now mac and cheese.

I know it sounds crazy, but it works. I wasn't trying to make this happen. It was just serendipity.

There are numerous ideas already out there about making 'vegan mac and cheese', many of which are quite good. But I've yet to find any that incorporate hummus into the mix. And let me tell you, it's the perfect addition. It adds that rich, creamy texture that is expected of the classic comfort food. I'd even venture to say, that while it wouldn't fool people into thinking it is actual mac and cheese, it would please anyone enough that they'd be quite content to eat it instead.

To make the hummus mac and cheese sauce is easy. Combine 1/2 cup hummus, 1 tsp spicy mustard, 1 tsp white vinegar and about 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (adding more as needed to get your preferred flavor). Add almond or soy milk slowly to achieve a medium thickness sauce consistency.

I prefer mine augmented with some sliced, sauteed garlic and jalapeno in the mix as well.

You can also start with home made hummus instead of store bought. I really like the faux hummus I created that uses great northern beans instead of chick peas. They have a smoother texture which really works well in this application.

Fold cooked elbow macaroni or your favorite pasta shape into the sauce. Eat as is. Or top with crushed garlic croutons and bake for 15 minutes at 350 F.

I also prefer to mix some lightly cooked, chopped broccoli into my mac and cheese. It's pretty and it tastes good too.