Let me tell you why I’m not shy about calling these ‘Ultimate Vegan Stuffed Mushrooms’. Not one for making big claims about stumbled upon creations that are bourne out of what I simply have in the fridge, this recipe was the fluke to end all flukes when it’s comes to stuffed mushrooms. It’s not just that they’re tasty, work well at every meal time or are stupidly easy to make. It’s the fact they put every other stuffed mushroom I have tasted to shame….and I’ve eaten my fair share of stuffed mushrooms.
If you happen to be vegan you’ll be rejoicing at the all encompassing flavour – that certain ‘umami’ you often hear people bang on about (mainly in reference to its apparent absence in vegan dishes) will be silenced because it is totally present here. In bucketloads. If you’re not vegan, I’d be more than a little surprised if you enjoy them any less than their usually cheese laden counterparts – trust me, they do not need it!
There are several secret weapons when it’s comes to achieving such stuffed mushroom greatness and eliminating even one of them will sacrifice an essential layer of deliciousness and may even render them simply good instead Uh.ma.zing.
The nutmeg and cayenne pepper are musts – omit at your peril and against my advice….I can be quite bossy when I want to be. The coconut milk could be replaced with soya cream but it would be a less healthy choice. At a push the leek might be swapped with half a very finely chopped onion but in all honesty the earthy flavour the leek lends to the dish would be sorely missed. I also insist on the double dose of garlic – fresh and pureed…it’s an absolute must! Oh, and the nutritional yeast is crucial in achieving that perfect stuffed mushroom crust.
Ready for the recipe? Here ya go….
4 portobello mushrooms
several handfuls of fresh spinach
3 garlic cloves plus 1 tsp garlic puree
generous grating of nutmeg
1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees celsius/350 degrees fahrenheit.
Peel the mushrooms and remove stalks. Rub each with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper
Finely chop the leek. Heat a little oil in a pan and gently fry the leek until soft. Mince the garlic and add to pan along with the garlic puree (if using – recommended) and gently infuse for several minutes before adding the spinach.
Generously grate the nutmeg over the spinach and sprinkle over the cayenne. Season and wilt.
Add the coconut milk, gently heat through, season and set aside.
Fill each mushroom with the creamy spinach filling and top with nutritional yeast. Bake for 25-30 mins depending on your oven. Serve immediately with hot ‘buttered’ toast. For extra B12 goodness, spread marmite on one slice.
Weekends for me are all about my kitchen. I tend to spend the entire two days pottering around in there, making this and that – and eating way too much in the process! Whereas I used to make menu plans, now I allow the ingredients to do all the talking, which makes for more interesting dishes and more fun in La Cucina.
Still harboring an obsession for Mexican Cuisine, I rely heavily on tortilla for quick lunches and dinners. Tacos are so versatile, as far as I’m concerned it doesn’t matter what you fill them with, they’ll still taste amazing. With that said, sauces and dressing are what take most good meals to next level and this sweet n’ spicy jalapeno dressing does just that.
I suppose in essence this is what you might call a vinaigrette but we’ll stick with dressing for now. The jalapenos are crucial and so is their minced nature – just keep going over them with a sharp knife until you get the desired ‘squishy’ consistency.
And then…..just mix it through the cous cous AS WELL AS pouring it generously on top before consumption. This would also make a great zingy salad dressing or a yummy dip for bread.
for the dressing
5 pickled jalapeno pieces
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1 heaped tbsp agave syrup
juice of half lime
1/2 tsp cider vinegar
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
pinch of salt and pepper
put everything in an empty jar and shake vigorously until it emulsifies.
cous cous ingredients
1/2 cup cous cous
1 tbsp taco seasoning
1/2 cup defrosted frozen peas
1 tbsp chopped coriander
place the cous cous and taco seasoning in a bowl. mix to combine and cover with freshly boiled water. put a plate on top and leave to soak for ten minutes.
fluff with a fork and stir through the peas, coriander and half the dressing.
serve alone or in a crunchy taco – top with more dressing before eating!
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
Well, almost. Although by the time I publish this it will technically be Thanksgiving in the UK…even though we don’t celebrate it here….except we will be.
Having lived in Chi-Town for a couple of years we kinda consider ourselves honorary Americans and we even have one of our Chicagoan friends here in London joining us for a full on Thanksgiving dinner. Truthfully, we probably wouldn’t be marking the day if it weren’t for him, but hey, I’m thankful for friends so why the heck not eat some tasty grub whilst appreciating everything we have. Sounds like a plan to me.
Here’s my menu, which includes the pumpkin seen in above gif (I’m doing gif’s now, get me *cough* I didn’t even know what one was until about a fortnight ago). I pureed the sucker and made it into a pie with a ginger snap crust made with almost a full packet of ginger snap biscuits (cookies) mixed with about a third of a cup of melted vegan butter. Pat it into a pie tin and bake in a moderately high oven for 10-15 minutes and allow to cool a little before pouring on the filling, which goes a little something like this….
1 cup silken tofu
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup sweet freedom or agave
1 heaped tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 heaped tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
Blend until smooth, pour over the crust and bake (180 celsius/350 fahrenheit) for an hour until set but with a little bit of jiggle. Allow to cool completely before refrigerating overnight.
I’ll also be serving…
braised cabbage and apple (without the bacon and butter!)
sauteed brussel sprouts with pomegranate seeds and chestnuts
sage and onion stuffing balls
maple roasted parsnips
redwoods celebration roast
and for dessert…
*with an experimental coconut and pumpkin ice-cream, which I made up in a moment of panic when I realised I didn’t buy anything to go with the pie. I’ll be sure to let you know how it turns out.
Now that’s what I call ‘A Very Vegan Thanksgiving’ – Woot!
Mexican , Soup , Uncategorized , Vegan , Vegetable side dish
What if I told you the main ingredient in this No’Quesa’dilla is, gulp, Brussel Sprouts. Would you scarper to the nearest non vegan blog faster than your little fingers can click? Hopefully it wont come to that and if I have managed to retain your attention until now then let me take this chance to say….Brussel Sprouts can taste good. Don’t believe me? One bite of these smoky toasty morsels and you’ll be eating your words. And your sprouts.
What you’ll need…
1 flour tortilla
5 brussels sprouts
2 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp freshly chopped flat leaf parsley
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp hummus
1 tbsp olive oil
What you’ll do…
Heat the oil in a pan. Slice the shallot and add to pan. Salt and soften for a few minutes.
Finely slice the sprouts, add to pan and cook for several minutes before adding salt and the sliced garlic cloves.
Cook for a few minutes more before sprinkling over the smoked paprika. Mix thoroughly and allow the flavours to infuse before stirring through the parsley and transferring to a bowl.
Heat the tortilla in a pan for a few minutes before spreading the dijon all over, the hummus over half and then topping with the Brussel Sprout mix.
Fold and cook in the already heated pan until toasty on one side before turning over. Once the other side is toasted, cut into three triangles and serve – particularly nice with a warming bowl of soup!
It feels like an absolute age since I last posted a recipe. I’m here to reassure you that my passion for food lives on and contrary to evidence displayed here is thriving more than ever. Whilst I’m making a lot of Mexican food still and there is always a steady stream of Asian inspired dishes, I’m now getting into that Autumn vibe with distinctly more hearty fare.
A sucker for pasta in all its many and varied forms, these slivers of teeny tiny vermicelli are my new obsession. Found in my favourite supermarket section (the ‘World Food’ aisle) the itty bitty shards of angel hair spaghetti are perfect for soups and stews, and work a treat in this light autumn dish.
I do feel I owe you a sweet dish after this though, so next time we’ll be getting our sugar on – vegan stylee, yeow!
2 leeks, sliced
2 carrots, roughly chopped
1 courgette, roughly chopped
1 cup green beans, chopped small
2 cups baby leaf spinach
1 can (about 1 1/2 cups) drained and rinsed cannellini beans
1 cup vermicelli
3-4 garlic cloves
1 tbsp mixed italian herbs
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1 vegetable stock cube
splash of red wine vinegar
salt and pepper
heat a little oil in a deep pot. add the sliced leeks, some salt and allow to soften on a gentle heat for several minutes before adding the carrots. clamp on lid and cook for 5-10mins before adding the sliced garlic.
after allowing the garlic to infuse for a few minutes, add the courgette, sprinkle over the oregano, pour over the red wine vinegar and cook for a few minutes on a reasonably high heat with the lid on.
add the stock cube and cover with water from a kettle. bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes before adding the green beans. cook for a further 10 minutes until the beans are soft.
add the cannellini beans and pasta, season and cook for several minutes more until the pasta absorbs the remaining liquid and the sauce thickens.
finally, stir through the spinach until it wilts. taste for seasoning and serve with the chopped flat leaf parsley and nutritional yeast, aka. nooch (optional but nice!).
This is my final post for Sublime under the guise of online coordinator. In some ways I can’t believe how quickly these last few months have flown but I also know it’s time to move on. I thought it only to appropriate to end how I began – with a recipe – and like most of my recipes, this one is to the point, requires very few ingredients and tastes, well, good.
And, if you’re wondering why the recipes have been rather scarce on the blog lately, it’s not because I’ve been boycotting the kitchen. Quite the opposite in fact. Although, I can’t deny it’s been refreshing not to feel obliged to photograph every other meal. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t have a few ideas up my sleeve and most of them are definitely blog worthy. Some of them may have been inspired by a recent bout of foodnetwork mania but who’s telling;) I now have a little bit of time on my hands before my next internship begins and I’ll be making use of it by getting back to my recipe roots.
I even managed to update my etsy shop and listed a couple of very chic vintage dresses – why not have a peek for yourself…..VINTAGE DRESSES THIS WAY!
Miso has many uses. Not the fancy paste stuff – although that has a place in my kitchen too. No, I’m talking about plain old instant miso variety packed full of salty goodness, hmmmm hmmm. Freeze dried food never tasted so good!
I like the Clearspring brand but any will do the job……
….and believe me when I tell you it is the perfect antidote to flavourless (dare I say bland?) couscous.
Yeah, I know I can add spices, herbs and all sorts to give it a lift but when a packet can do all the hard work for you, sometimes you just gotta relent and succumb to the power of convenience.
easy miso couscous
1/2 cup couscous
1 x packet instant miso
1/2 cup organic chickpeas
juice 1/2 lemon
3 x tbsp olive oil
mint and lemon to serve
combine the couscous and miso in a bowl and stir to combine.
pour over 1/2 cup freshly boiled water, lightly mix and cover with a plate. set aside for 10minutes or until the couscous has absorbed all the liquid.
drain and rinse the chickpeas.
fluff the couscous with a fork, add the chickpeas, lemon juice and oil and thoroughly mix.
serve with a sprig of mint and a slice of lemon……or just serve;)
Blogging is hard. It’s something that takes dedication, perseverance and a willingness to fail. Not every post will hit the mark and the ones you believe to be your best invariably become your least read. It’s not a science and you mostly don’t know who you’re talking to but always hope that you reach one or two that maybe, possibly, might like to come back. On occasion you may not feel up to writing, photographing, processing but you do it anyway and these posts seem to always turn out the most popular ones, which both baffles and pleases you. Stats drive and deter you. A bad numbers day has the power to ruin your sunny disposition until you realise they’re not all that important. You might stress if no-one has felt the urge to leave a comment and worry you’ve not connected with your readers in the way you’d hoped to. It’s complicated. Emotional even. But ultimately you do it because you love it. It’s a personal scrapbook holding memories, ideas and…… you. Yep, blogging is hard. But undoubtedly, positively, most definitely worth it.
carrot, apple & courgette salad
1 large carrot, grated
1 courgette, grated
1 apple, grated
juice of 1/2 lime
juice of 1/2 lemon
flavoured or good quality olive oil
salt and pepper
flat leaf parsely and hemp seeds to serve
-thoroughly combine all ingredients in a large bowl and serve immediately-
Real girls eat real dinners. I know I do. They’re not pretty, beautifully presented and camera ready. They’re messy, chaotic and hurried. But (mostly) always tasty.
Spaghetti is most definitely one of my top five foods. It’s been there for a while. Others may come and go but spaghetti remains.
White cabbage on the other hand……not in my top five. Not in my bottom five either, mind you, but it’s definitely a vegetable that needs help. Hello smoked paprika….
…..a kitchen is not a kitchen without smoked paprika. Just sayin’.
Courgette. Zucchini. Whatever you like to call it, I love it. How you slice it is important. No rounds here my friends. Strips.
Then there’s sliced white onion. Organic white onion. The strong kind that makes your eyes hurt bad when you cut into them. A flavour necessity. Most definitely.
Garlic. Obviously. Lot’s of it. Obviously.
Fry it up, toss it together and serve with tofu sausage and a colossal couscous salad. This is called durum wheat overload. My kind of meal.
1/2 sliced large white onion
1/2 finely sliced pointed white cabbage
1 sliced courgette/zucchini
3 large garlic cloves finely sliced
1 heaped tsp smoked paprika
salt and pepper
heat the oil in a skillet/frying, add the onion, season with salt and pepper and sautee gently until beginning to soften.
add the garlic and fry for a few minutes before adding the cabbage and courgette. season generously and sautee gently until soft, stirring frequently. this will take around 20minutes.
meanwhile bring a large pan of water to the boil, salt and add the spaghetti.
when the cabbage mixture is sufficiently soft, sprinkle over the smoked paprika and stir to combine. season and allow the flavours to infuse for around five minutes or so.
when the pasta is cooked al dente, reserve a little liquid, drain the pasta and transfer to the frying pan. season with salt, pour over a small amount of the reserved liquid and toss to thoroughly combine.
for the tofu…
cut into thick slices and gently fry in sunflower oil until both sides are golden.
So. What you need to do is…..
…..get yourself some itty bitty pasta. The kind you put in soups. I found these teeny tube shapes in the ‘world food’ section of our local supermarket – funnily enough, not in the Italian bit.
Then, you want to make a paste from just about any herbs hanging around – flat leaf parsley, coriander, basil. Sorta like a pesto ‘cept not. No pine nuts necessary but fennel, celery and onion are good components for flavour.
Put it all in a pan, cook it up and bingo, you’ve got yourself one tasty little supper dish. That easy.
Y’know, I need more simplicity in my kitchen, which is why I’ve been loving this paste thing so much. I’ve used it with rice, giant couscous and I plan to use it with other grains. It’s a winner.
And I think it’s only appropriate that I give credit to the magnificent Ms. Miers. That lady knows food. Big love.
herbs – flat leaf parsely, coriander, basil etc.
fennel, celery or onion - some or all
garlic – big clove
lemon or lime juice – a bit
olive oil – glug
salt and pepper
mini pasta shapes – about a cup
1/2 vegetable stock cube
halved cherry tomatoes – a few
cubed basil tofu – optional
make a paste. lightly fry. add the pasta and stir to coat it. add the stock cube and cover with water.
simmer until all the water is absorbed, add a little more water and continue to simmer until the pasta is fully cooked.
stir through the tomatoes and basil tofu. heat through. season. serve.