Tag Archives: Cooking with Sirica

COOKING WITH SIRICA – Barbecued Portobello Sandwiches

Another great recipe post from Sirica…

Even before my husband and I went vegan we avoided certain animal products, pork being at the top of that list.   So one of the dishes that I truly have missed is a pulled pork sandwich with lots of creamy coleslaw and pickles. A couple of months ago I was craving BBQ so I started working on this recipe and after a few attempts, it is perfectly delish and vegan!

2 portobello mushrooms cleaned, stemmed and thinly sliced
½ white or yellow onion thinly sliced
1 Tbs. olive oil
½ – Âľ cup of your favorite BBQ sauce (I use Amy’s BBQ sauce, some chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and a little maple syrup)
2-3 sandwich buns Earth Balance butter spread

***Note: Since writing up this recipe, I have experimented with this dish and have added a handful of diced baby bela mushrooms (or crimini) to the mushroom onion mixture. Made a huge difference, much more meaty texture!

3 cups green cabbage shredded
1 cup red cabbage shredded
½ cup carrot shredded
1 Tbs. red onion diced
1 Tbs. red bell pepper diced (optional)
½ cup veganaise
½ tsp. of Dijon mustard
1 tsp. lemon juice
1-2 Tbs. vinaigrette dressing (I like Girard’s light champagne dressing)
½ tsp. agave nectar or sweetener of choice (maple syrup would work also)
Salt & pepper to taste

Depending on your preference you can either remove the gills from the mushrooms or leave them. Stem and thinly slice mushrooms.

Thinly slice onion.

Sauté onion and mushrooms in olive oil on medium for 10 minutes till tender. Pour out any excess moisture/water from pan before adding BBQ sauce.

Add sauce and simmer for another 10-15 minutes until thick. Be careful to add the sauce slowly, you can always add more later.

While mushroom onion mixture is simmering, prepare coleslaw. Combine Vegenaise, mustard, lemon juice, vinaigrette and sweetener of choice, adjust according to your liking. Toss dressing with cabbage, carrot, onion and bell pepper.

Toast buns under broiler for a minute or two then top with Earth Balance butter spread.

Assemble sandwich on plate with a good serving of mushroom mixture on bun topped with coleslaw. Serve with more coleslaw on the side with a few pickle slices.


For a printable version of this recipe click here.


Filed under Cooking With Sirica, Guest Blog, Kid Friendly, Main Dish, Recipes, Salad, Sides, Vegan, Vegetarian


Thanks to Facebook, my high school friend Sirica and I reconnected over our mutual passion for plant-based living.  For three years Sirica was my buddy in High School German.  She is THE reason I survived that class…so much so that when she graduated (she was one year ahead of me) I didn’t take German my Senior year.  Our teacher had his quirks for sure; using a book from 1960 (a German exchange student in the class informed us that, “No one speaks like this in Germany anymore”) and leaving the doors open EVERY day of the year (It actually gets pretty darn cold in Northern California), not to mention the fact that he was excruciatingly strict (despite my nerdy tendencies and every effort I could NEVER get above a B+ in that class!!!…apparently that still bothers me).  I actually look back at those memories and laugh.  Funny enough I know Herr Stride liked me…I think a large reason was the fact that we shared the same heritage in that we were both Norwegian and German.

I love having Sirica back in my life!

Sirica is a stay at home mom with two sweet boys, is a lover of food and wine, and has dreams of having a gourmet kitchen someday on an organic farm with a really cute farmer by her side…her hubby John.  She loves listening to music, reading her Bible, playing with their chocolate lab and being outside with her family.  She is passionately committed to sharing her joy of cooking with others and hopes to inspire them to enjoy the benefits of a plant based whole food lifestyle.  On the rare occasion that she gets time alone, you can find her curled up on the couch with a couple of cookbooks.

I am hopeful that this is the first of many Guest Blogs from Sirica on Veggie Grettie…I have already dreamed-up her regular Guest Blog title…get ready for “Cooking With Sirica.”


The first time I saw this recipe in Vegetarian Times magazine, I passed on making it because we normally don’t eat soy-based fake meat, but after a second look I decided to give it a try and boy am I glad I did! It is one of the tastiest dishes we have ever made and a real treat to enjoy on special occasions. With all soy products, I recommend using organic and non-GMO. Don’t miss the garlic aioli, it is a fantastic compliment to the crispy texture of the baked topping.

FideuĂ  is a Spanish dish typically made with thin noodles instead of rice which is found in another popular Spanish dish, Paella. And since I love paella, I knew this would be a hit with my family. Below you will find the original recipe from Vegetarian Times along with my changes.

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil, divided
  • 8 oz. angel hair pasta, broken into 2-inch lengths (2 cups)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 cups sliced wild mushroom mix (such as cremini, button or oyster mushrooms)
  • 1/2 8-oz. pkg. soy chorizo chopped (1/2 sausage)
  • 1 small red bell pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs.)
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika (optional)
  • 1 8-oz. can sodium-free tomato sauce (I used TJ’s Tomato Basil Marinara)
  • 2 cups mushroom broth or low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 8 oz. fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces


Heat 1 Tbs. oil in wok, paella pan, or large skillet over medium heat. Add pasta, and cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned and opaque, stirring constantly. Transfer pasta to paper-towel-lined plate to drain.

Add remaining 1 Tbs. oil to pan, and heat over medium heat. Add onion, and cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until soft.

Stir in mushrooms, soy chorizo, bell pepper, 2 Tbs. parsley, garlic, and smoked paprika (if using), and cook 5 to 7 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Stir in tomato sauce.

Add pasta, broth, and 1/2 cup water (I used rice milk instead to add a little creaminess), and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add asparagus, and cover; simmer 3 minutes (I added the asparagus after simmering for 20 minutes to really thicken up the sauce and because I used gluten free pasta which takes a little longer to cook).

Preheat oven to broil. If using wok or skillet, transfer pasta mixture to 10-inch or larger round cake pan. Place paella pan or cake pan under broiler, and broil 3 to 4 minutes, or just until pasta is crisp on top. Watch carefully—it burns quickly.

To serve, top with garlic aioli (recipe below) and sprinkle with remaining 2 Tbs. parsley.

Garlic Aioli

  • 1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise (I like veganaise)
  • 3 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp.)
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon juice

Enjoy with a nice glass of wine!

For a printable version of this recipe click here.

First Fideua picture courtesy of Vegetarian Times Magazine

Remaining pictures courtesy of Sirica


Filed under Cooking With Sirica, Guest Blog, Main Dish, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian