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 …

A Culture of Chicken Breasts

Here's what I find most curious about food culture today. People eat a lot of chicken. A lot. Most people eat chicken 5 or 6 times a week. However, if you ask those same people, they'll tell you that chicken is bland. Especially for the vast majority who favor chicken breasts. Which are even more flavorless and dry than the other parts of a chicken. Still people continue to consume chicken by the bucketload.

They try all kinds of tricks and techniques to get their bland, dry chicken breasts to taste better. Goodness only knows why. I guess because they just think that's what they're supposed to do.

The reality is they could be eating beans instead and enjoying them much more.

When you're rasied to believe one thing, it's hard to transition to another way of thinking. Try telling Americans they should eat ants and see how far you get. But in other countries it is perfectly normal.

The chicken/bean paradox works in much the same way. We're conditioned to think we must eat meat. That it's better for us. That it will taste better. Perhaps, sometimes that's actually true. But often it's the other flavors we add that make the meal. The meat is merely a vehicle for the other flavors. And a nice helping of beans can get the job done just as well, if not better.

Beans can replace chicken in any situation. They can replace beef or pork as well. That's not to say they will taste like the meat. But treat them as you would the meat in any recipe and they'll take on the flavors of the other ingredients.

No, you can't have a bean t-bone steak. But bolognese, lasagna, chili, soup, sandwiches, burger patties, alfredo, ala king, curry, pesto. Any recipe, keep everything the same except the meat. Replace with beans.

It won't taste the same. Absolutely not. It'll taste better. All those other flavors with shine so much brighter.