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 …

Salad Solutions

It's that time of year again. Romaine and other lettuces are officially out of season. So it's time to switch to cabbage for your salads. Cabbage makes a great salad base as far as I'm concerned. I miss it all summer long and look forward to its return as the fresher, cheaper choice.

The best thing about cabbage though, is how well it keeps. Lettuce, you get a week tops. Cabbage on the other hand ages very slowly. It still looks as fresh as the day I bought it after 8 days in the fridge.

If you haven't yet tried using cabbage as your salad base, it's time to start. Forget slaw. Cabbage is more than that slimy picnic staple. It's just like lettuce, only better.

Chop up green, red or other cabbage in advance and store in a large metal bowl in your fridge. In separate containers store other salad ingredients. Celery, carrots, broccoli, potatoes, cucumber, onion. Whatever you like. I always store all the salad part separately.When you're hungry simply toss some of each into your bowl and dress.

Don't forget the beans. A salad just isn't right without some hearty protein packed legumes to give it power.

White vinegar and nutrional yeast make a nice salad dressing, especially for vegans and vegetarians. Canned soup is also a great salad topper. Progresso lentil and minestrone are realy good in that capacity. They are both vegetarian. There are actually two varieties of vegetarian lentil. One is more tomatoey and the other bigger on the celery. Personal preference which you choose.

Rice and pasta also make great salad toppers. I like this because you get to eat the pasta or rice, but if you fill the bowl with salad first, you wind up eating a lot less of the starchy stuff, but still get the great taste of it.

Hummus and guacamole are two more awesome salad dressings. Just thin them out slightly with vinegar and/or hot sauce to get good coverage on all your veg.