Mushroom Loaf

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Mushrooms – people either love them or hate them. I absolutely love them. Hence, the mushroom loaf. Tasting Table came out with a wonderful recipe for a Mushroom Loaf.

I served this to my parents and they said it tastes like Thanksgiving, aka stuffing. The downfall to my first attempt was over dicing my mushrooms – the consistency was pretty….soft. Next time, I will follow the recipe more closely and do a fine chop/dice – but don’t bring out the food processor to do this. Oops.

I love the flavor and texture of this – the oats, breadcrumbs and walnuts; along with the topping of ketchup, remind me of everything I want a “meat”loaf to be.

Have you tried any meatless loafs before? Whether you have, this one is definitely worth a try (unless you fall into the anti-mushroom category…then stick with a lentil loaf!)

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Ready Made Dinners

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I’m sure most of you can relate, there are some nights where food is the last thing on your mind. While I try and steer clear of frozen meals, sometimes, it’s a must. This meal exceeded my expectations. I found a sweet and spicy ‘chicken’ at Target and paired it with fresh green beans (with a brown butter sauce, topped with toasted almonds) and Trader Joe’s Quinoa Pilaf which had a subtle curry undertone.

We all need meals like this from time to time and I feel these products were great at getting the job done!!

Roasted Broccoli and Portabella Piccata

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The Veg Way is back up and running! The past few weeks were incredibly transitional for me. There has been a great deal of people coming and going; which has involved traveling and lots of celebrations! Additionally, I started a new job which has, in some ways, negatively impacted my kitchen time. I am happy to say that I still work one day a week at the Green Scene, so I am assured to get my weekly kitchen fix.

Another shift in my culinary journey has been incorporating more vegetarian meals. While my values are still in line with a plant-based diet, I am in a new relationship with someone who has had a more omnivorous diet. Previously, I had no qualms subsiding on a diet of broccoli, avocado and curtido. However, life evolves and changes. I am very happy to be cooking for two now and am excited to share many new recipes in the days ahead.

For the piccata, oh, how I love piccata. I had a piccata dish in November and, I kid you not, my mouth has been salivating ever since. It took some time, but eventually I got around to recreating the dish. Generally I am not a huge fan of pasta, but I must say the egg noodles compliment the dish nicely. If you care to veganize this, simply use a vegan pasta and olive oil instead of butter.

The measurements are ballparked, but it’s pretty close. Here is what I did:

1. Boil water and cook approximately 5oz of egg noodles
2. Heat oven to 400F, cut 1 head of broccoli into florets, coat with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 10 minutes or until tender
3. Sauté 8oz portabella in olive oil or butter
4. Add the veggies to the pasta
5. In the portabella skillet, melt a stick of butter, add 1-2 cloves minced garlic, 1 Tbls capers and lemon juice. Cook until butter is melted and garlic is fragrant (2-3 minutes). Drizzle over pasta and top with fresh parmesan cheese and cracked black pepper

Porter Portabella Stew

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In preparation for my Northwoods Lumberjack themed birthday party, I did a test run on this scrumptious stew. I reviewed a few beef & porter stew recipes and created a vegan version. The stew would pair nicely with some hearty bread or a wild rice pilaf. I will likely serve mine with chunks of crusty white bread. Yum! Also, feel free to add in more mushrooms. I only had 2 portabella caps on hand, but extra mushrooms, such as crimini’s would be really nice here. And in regards to the herbs I used, again you can use whatever you have on hand. This recipe is extremely versatile so have fun with it!

Ingredients

– Butter (use Earth Balance to make it vegan)

– Olive oil

– 1 large onion, diced

– 4 carrots, diced

– 4 yellow potatoes, peeled, diced

– 2 celery stalks, chopped

– 1/2 tsp rosemary

– 1 tsp Dynamite Herbs (by http://www.goldenfig.com)

– 2 cloves roasted garlic

– 1 can whole tomatoes (28 oz) + 1 1/2 cans of water

– 1 bottle of porter beer (I used Third Street’s Sugar Shack)

– 1-2 Tbls veg base

– 2 portabella caps, diced in large pieces

– 3-4 Tbls flour

– Salt and Pepper

1. Melt butter in a large pot (about 1-2 Tbls). Once melted, add the diced onion. Cook until fragrant and soft

2. Next, add the carrots, celery, garlic, herbs and potatoes. As the butter is absorbed by the veggies, add the beer, tomatoes and water. Bring to a slow simmer and add the veg base

3. In a seperate pan, saute the mushrooms in olive oil. Salt and pepper to season. Once tender, transfer to the large pot

4. In the mushroom pan, melt 2 Tbls of butter and add 3-4 Tbls flour to create a roux. Cook until flour begins to brown. With a whisk, transfer the roux into the stew mixture. Whisk until everything is incorporated and simmer until veggies are tender

Simple Thai Curry with Winter Squash and Broccoli

If you are looking for a fast meal that is full of flavor, this recipe is your winning ticket. I found this fantastic curry paste at a nearby co-op. The Kanokwan paste is vegan, gluten free and MSG free. I’ve had Thai Kitchen’s curry paste before, and that is okay, but this is an authentic paste from Thailand!

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If you aren’t keen on squash or broccoli, feel free to mix in any veggies of your liking. I prefer pairing the squash with this yellow curry because it reminds me of one of my favorite dishes from Chang Mai Thai in Minneapolis.

As you will see, the biggest challenge of this meal was peeling the squash.

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Progress….

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Normally I chop off both ends of the squash and guide my knife, cutting end to end. However, this was a superman squash with a skin of steel. After 10 minutes of labor, I successfully removed the outer layer. If your knife skills aren’t up to par, or if you are working with a dull knife, I highly recommend you invest in frozen squash cubes. There are a few great organic brands in the freezer section!

I can’t say enough good things about this recipe. Enjoy!!

Ingredients
– 1 onion, diced
– 1 clove garlic, minced
– 1 tsp ginger, grated
– coconut oil
– 1 small squash, diced
– 1/2 head broccoli, cut into florets
– 1 packet of curry paste
– 1 can coconut milk

1. Melt coconut oil in a skillet. Add onion. Once the onion is fragrant, add garlic and ginger. Cook for 1-2 minutes
2. Add the curry paste and let the spices cook together for a few minutes. Next, add the coconut milk, squash and broccoli
3. Simmer over low heat until the squash is tender (about 7 minutes, depending on the squash and size of your diced pieces)
4. Serve over basmati rice

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Palak Tofu

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Ok…So, I have voiced my frustrations with being unable to create an awesome Indian dish. Well, I think I am finally on the right track! I absolutely love this recipe from Vegan Richa.

The only thing that was somewhat amiss with the recipe was the serving size. After making the meal, I’d say it serves 1-2…but if you can squeeze two more servings out of this, more power to you. Perhaps I was just so smitten with it, I was eager to eat it all!!!

Ingredients
For the tofu:
– oil
– 1/2 of Trader Joe’s super firm tofu (I used 8 oz of the 16 oz package) cut into little cubes
– 1/2 tsp cumin powder
– 1/2 tsp garam masala
– 1/2 tsp garlic powder
– 1/2 tsp cayenne

For the curry sauce:
– 2 c spinach
– 1/4 c water
– 1/4 c almond milk
– 2 Tbls raw cashews, soaked for 30 min
– 2 cloves garlic
– 1 tsp ginger powder (or fresh ginger)
– 1 medium tomato
– 1/4 teaspoon garam masala

1. Mix the spices for the tofu, set aside. Add oil to a skillet, turn heat to medium and once hot, add the tofu
2. Cook the tofu until it begins to brown. Then, add the spices. Cook for about 5 minutes
3. Mix all sauce ingredients in a blender or food processor. Add to the spiced tofu and simmer until the sauce thickens. Use cayenne/salt/pepper to taste

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Raw Kale Salad with Avocado Dressing

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Kale is one of my favorite foods to work with. I’ve made several kale salads before and this is definitely a keeper. Unfortunately I did not measure out the dressing, but I will do my best to give an estimate. Feel free to play around with it as needed.

I truly believe kale salads are an essential staple to have on hand. I usually make one batch a week and play around with different dressings for each one. Avocado based dressings are quite excellent since they provide a creamy texture and a healthy fat. When you finish this nutrient-packed meal, you feel fully satisfied!

Ingredients
– 1 bunch of kale
– oil
– 1 avocado
– 1 clove garlic
– 2-3 Tbls nutritional yeast
– 1-2 Tbls lemon juice
– 1/4 tsp cayenne
– salt/pepper to taste
– water to thin to desired consistency

1. Destem kale, tear into bite sized pieces. Massage with oil for 5 minutes or until tender and wilted. Rinse and set aside
2. In a blender/food processor, add avocado, garlic, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, cayenne, salt and pepper. Thin with water as needed. Pour over salad. I used about 2/3
3. Add in toppings such as raw sunflower seeds and shredded carrots

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Vegan Lasagna

Of all the recipes I’ve explored, I’ll be completely honest in admitting that I’ve never once made a lasagna dish. A few months ago I did a spin on a mexi-lasagna, but that was with tortilla shells, not lasagna noodles. There is something about the long wavy noodles that has kept me at bay. Well, it was time to work through this silly fear and dive into a recipe by Isa (modified by Vegan Iowan). I spruced it up by adding some Daiya cheese slices, because what’s lasagna if it’s not filled with ooey, gooey cheesy goodness??

I can’t say how much I love this recipe. It is incredibly simple, quick, and so delicious. My boyfriend loved it, my parents loved it, and I am sure you will love it too!

Ingredients

  • 8 oz lasagna noodles
  • 1 jar pasta sauce (I used Newman’s garden mix)
  • 1 block tofu
  • 1/4 c nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbls dried basil
  1. Cook the lasagna according to the package
  2. Next, make the tofu mixture. Press liquid out of tofu then crumble into a bowl. Add nutritional yeast through basil and mix well (I used my hands)

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      3.  After the lasagna has cooked, I preheat my oven to 375. Then, in a 9 x 13 pan, layer sauce, noodles, tofu, cheese; repeat

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4.  Cook for 20 minutes covered and 15 minutes uncovered

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Mostly Raw Taco Salad

Nothing makes me happier than seeing my parents, die hard meat eaters, enjoy a mostly raw dinner. Seriously. Tonight I made a raw taco “meat” along with some lightly sauteed veggies and black beans. Salad toppings included salsas, cucumber, avocado, and an avocado dressing. Rule of thumb, if my parents go back for seconds, the dish is a hit!!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1/2 c raw walnuts
  • 2 Tbls lemon or lime juice
  • 1/3 jalapeno, with seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin

Pulse everything in a bullet/blender. Serve with favorite toppings!

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Italian Tempeh with Garlic Broccoli and Rotini Pasta

I made a pasta dish last week for my boyfriend which I felt was a huge flop. I’ve been wanting to redeem myself and was finally able to with this meal. I am pretty happy with it. Next time I would steam the tempeh before simmering in the sauce. Depending on my audience, I’d also spice it up a bit with some red pepper flakes. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 3/4 box whole wheat rotini noodles
  • 1 pkg tempeh, cubed
  • 2 Tbls tomato paste
  • 2 Tbls tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 c vegetable broth
  • 5 cloves of garlic, divided
  • 2 small heads of broccoli, cut into florets
  1. Start on the tempeh by steaming it for 10-15 minutes. Transfer tempeh to a dry skillet
  2. Whisk paste, tamari, seasoning, red wine vinegar, broth and 2 cloves of garlic. Add to tempeh. Bring to a simmer, cover and reduce heat to low. Let cook for about 8-10 minutes
  3. While tempeh is simmering, start on your broccoli. Saute 3 cloves of minced garlic. Once fragrant add the broccoli and 1/2 c water or vegetable broth. Cover and steam until bright green and tender
  4. Next you can start working on the pasta. Get some water boiling and cook until noodles are soft
  5. After the tempeh has simmered, transfer to a bowl and mash half of the cubes. Wipe the skillet clean and add a little oil. Return mashed/cubed tempeh mixture to pan. Cook for about 5 minutes
  6. Drain the pasta and add to the tempeh. Serve with broccoli and extra sauce

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