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 …

Lentils and Barley in Vegan Beef Broth

I was going for a hearty, cold weather soup here. Something with spice and personality. The spice base is mostly mexican. While the broth base has its roots in France. It's an unusual pairing, but it turned out pretty great.

Even though it's vegan, the broth has a beefy, meaty punch. It's very satisfying.

The neutral combo of lentils and barley easily bridges all cultural divides. I especially find the red wine works famously with the typical mexican spices.

1 can black beans, plus can brine
1/3 cup red wine
1/4 cup dry lentils
1/4 cup dry pearl barley
1/2 medium red onion, sliced
1/2 pint cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 poblano, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
1 serrano, diced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 bag steam in bag broccoli/cauliflower mix
1 cup fresh parsley
2 tbls olive oil
1 tbl spicy mustard
1 tbl soy sauce
1 tbl sriracha
3-4 cups water

2 tbls nutritional yeast
1 tsp cumin seed
1 tsp coriander seed
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tsps each salt and black pepper

Sweat off the onion and mushrooms in the oil with satl and black pepper. When nicely browned deglaze with the red wine. Cook off wine for 5 minutes. Add beans, brine, mustard, soy sauce, srirach, garlic, jalapeno, serrano, poblano, yeast, remaining spices, 3 cups water, lentils and barley. .

Simmer until lentils and barley are tender. Adding more water in 1/2 increments are needed to cook the lentils and barley. When they are done stir in the broccoli/cauliflower mix and the parsley. Turn off flame. Rest for 5 minutes.