Showing posts from July, 2020

Vegan Beef Stew Recipe

The tricky thing about vegan cooking is how to get that depth of flavor that comes from animal products without actually using them. .  I mostly just stick with the cleaner and simpler flavors of fresh vegetables, acids and oils. They are quite delicious and satisfying.  But if you find yourself with a craving for something with a little more body and depth, dried mushrooms + pressure cooker = mind blowing, vegan beef broth.  No! It doesn't taste like beef. I wouldn't want it to. But it is rich, dark and unctuous with umani like a classic beef broth.  4 ounces dried wild mushroom mix, chopped pretty small 2 shallots, diced 3 cloves garlic, minced 2 inches ginger, peeled and minced 1/4 cup dry lentils 1/4 cup dry white wine 1/4 cup olive oil 1 can black beans, rinsed 7 cups water 1 tbl dijon mustard 1 tbl salt 1 tsp  black pepper 2 tsps thyme A pressure cooker or instant pot makes the magic happen. Put everything except the black beans in there. Set to beans or rice or grains de

Simplified Arugula Pesto and Creamy Hummus Sauce with Celery and Bean Salad

I'm a big fan of using silken tofu and the food processor to create rich sauces and purees. It's a pretty easy way to really take plant based food to the next level and make it restaurant quality.  Arugula is great for pestos and purees. It's much less expensive than a big bunch of fresh basil. It also has a mild bite that works beautifully in sauces and condiments.  I've done more complicated versions before, but this time I've really simplified it to accentuate the central flavors.  I also hit upon a super simple and really delicious way to thicken vegan sauces. Hummus.  Best of all, during the heat of summer, none of these recipes require the stovetop or the oven.  Simplified Arugula Pesto One 5 ounce container fresh arugula 5 cloves garlic 1 jalapeno 1/2 package silken firm tofu 2 tbls olive oil 2 tbls nutritional yeast 1 tbl salt 2 tsps black pepper Puree in food processor and enjoy.  It's paired with an easy to assemble celery salad.  1/2 bunch diced celer

Burnt Mushroom and Artichoke Succotash

10 ounces button mushrooms. minced 1 small jar marinated artichoke hearts, chopped 2 tbls capers and brine 1/4 cup dry white wine 2 tbls hot sauce 5 cloves garlic, minced 1 jalapeno, minced 1 serrano, minced 1 habanero, minced 1 poblano, diced 1 large shallot, diced 1 yellow pepper, diced 1 can kidney beans, rinsed 1 can red beans, rinsed 2 tsps basil 1 tbl salt 2 tsps black pepper 2 tsps garlic powder This dish uses the char of the mushrooms to add umami. When you char mushrooms, it's almost as if they are transformed into an entirely different product. Those bland, little sponges are miraculously turned into a rich, meaty, flavor bomb. They become like vegan bacon lardons. They elevate all the other ingredients with which you combine them and make everything come alive.  The key is to take the mushrooms all the way to the edge of being burnt.  Cook the mushrooms heavily salted in a dry fry pan over medium high heat. They will release their liquid. Let that evaporate. Deglaze with

Mexindian Summer Salad

While I love to cook, the summer heat causes me to avoid using the the stove and oven as much as possible. Instead, I opt for fresh produce that I can chop and mix without applying heat. This isn't too difficult when you cook with mostly beans and vegetables. This one has a really nice sauce that has two of my favorite spices: paprika and turmeric. I love this combination. It's a really accessible way to quickly introduce heaps of flavor and depth. Especially if you're not that comfortable with combining a lot of spices. This simplifies it, but still keeps it interesting.  It's easy to put together too. Just combine all ingredients and let rest in the fridge overnight. This allows time for the tomatoes to release their juices, the acid to wake up the spices and the starches from the beans to thicken the sauce.  Vegan cooking is a unique situation. Traditional techniques don't necessarily work. We have to approach the ingredients from a different perspective in order

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.  Ingredients 1/2 box pasta, cooked to al dente 2 ounces dried fancy mushroom mix, big pieces broken or diced