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 …

Sweet Potato and Broccoli Salad with Apple Vinaigrette

I don't often choose sweet potatoes as a main ingredient, but as someone who isn't that into their sweetness, a roast in a hot oven really transforms them into something interesting. They retain a bit of the sweetness, but they become mostly savory. Their texture is soft in the middle with a slightly chewy bite on the outside. If you're not that into sweet potatoes I think this method will turn you into a fan.

Pairing the bitter notes of broccoli with the sweet from the potatoes and apple juice and the heat from the jalapenos and hot sauce is pretty much a party in your mouth.

2 large sweet potatoes
3 cups broccoli
1 cup red onion
1 jalapeno pepper, minced

1/3 cup apple juice
2 lemons, zest and juice
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsps spicy mustard
2 tbls hot sauce
1 clove garlic
1 tbl thyme
2 tsps crushed pepper flakes
2 tsps salt
1 tsp black pepper

Peel sweet potatoes and dice into 1/2 inch cubes. Sprinkle with salt. Roast on a greased sheet pan at 450 F a quarter way up from the bottom of the oven for 35 minutes. Turn and stir half way through.

Roast broccoli in whole crowns in the middle of the same oven for 10 minutes. Chop into bite size pieces once it's cooked and cooled.

Slice onions into thin, quarter rings.

In a bowl large enough to accommodate all the salad components whisk together all the dressing ingredients. Add in the cooled salad ingredients and toss to coat.

Allow to chill in the fridge for at least one hour.