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 …

Vegan Ramen with Carrot, Black Beans, Jalapeno and Kale

Ramen noodles are famous for being super cheap, but they can also deliver exceptional flavor if treated correctly. The soy sauce flavor of Nissen ramen is vegan. It's okay as is, but a few fresh additions take it from desperate lunch to amazing feast.

I always cook my ramen in a very small pot. I find that this concentrates the flavor. I never, ever cook it according the package directions. They are just wrong.

The proper way to cook a packet of ramen is to crack the block into sevveral pieces. Add to small sauce pot. Fill with water. Stir in flavor packet. Bring to a boil and then simmer until noodles are just tender. Remove noodles from liquid with a fork. Discard all, but 1 tbl of the liquid. Pour that on the bowl of noodles.

They're pretty good that way, but there's still much room for improvement.

I'll add all sorts of ingredients to the cooking ramen to amp up the flavor. Ginger, garlic, mushrooms, celery. All do wonders.

This version is especailly nice because the carrot adds a little sweetness and the jalapeno a little heat. They play off one another quite nicely.

These ramen are enhanced with carrot, jalapeno, garlic, kale and black beans. Because ramen cook so quickly you can just add all your additions right from the get go. After about 5 minutes, simply strain and enjoy.