Tag Archives: mushrooms

SECRET RECIPE CLUB – Stuffed Bell Peppers (Vegan and GFree)

I was excited when I was assigned Allie’s Clean Plate Club for September’s Secret Recipe Club.  Allison describes herself as an Illinois farm girl stuck in the craziness of the West Coast…I am a wannabe farm girl also in the craziness of the West Coast, so we are a good match.

Allie’s Clean Plate Club has a nice variety of recipes, but her Stuffed Green Peppers called to me.  I have been wanting to make a vegan version of stuffed peppers for a while now and this month’s assignment gave me the last push that I needed.  Allie mentioned in the post that this was the first recipe she made for her husband when she met him at the ripe old age of 23.  I love the nostalgia!  It brought me right back to the same time in my life when I was trying new recipes on my husband and all of the nervous energy that went into planning and preparing those first home cooked meals together.

Since I veganized the recipe I did change more than a few of the ingredients, but for the most part, the recipe is very true to it’s roots.  Click here for Allie’s original recipe.

I want to quickly highlight the changes I made… I replaced the beef with Portobellos and tempeh, upped the amount of onion, used vegan Worchestershire (and doubled the amount), used veggie broth in lieu of water (for added flavor), used vegan cheese, and I used pasta sauce instead of tomato soup since that is all I had in the house at the time.

Overall I was happy with the result.  The next time I make these (I plan on adding them to the dinner rotation), I think I will double the rice since my vegan meat wasn’t as dense as beef would have been.  I may also add in some oatmeal or almond flour to bind the filling together more.  As it was, the flavor of the filling was great…I really enjoyed spooning it onto my gluten-free bread.  I even had enough filling left over that I froze some to use as vegan “meat” sauce the next time I make pasta.

INGREDIENTSserves 4
4-6 Bell Peppers (I used red, yellow, and orange)
FOR THE “MEAT,”  2 Portobello mushrooms & 8oz. tempeh
½ onion, diced
14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp. Wizards Worchestershire sauce (vegan & GF) 
2/3 c. uncooked rice (I used 1/3 cup & plan to double it next time)
1/2 c. vegetable broth
2/3 c. shredded Daiya cheese
Pasta Sauce
salt and pepper to taste

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Cut the tops off of the peppers and remove the seeds. Cook the peppers in boiling water for 5 minutes.  Note: Once you add the peppers to the boiling water, the water will cool down and stop boiling.  You will need to wait for the water to boil again and then set the timer for 5 minutes.

Remove peppers and drain in a colander over the sink.  Drain the peppers upside down in the colander; otherwise the water will just sit in the bottom of the pepper and not drain out.

Place the drained peppers in your baking dish and sprinkle salt inside of each pepper and set aside.

Loosely chop the Portobello mushrooms and place them in the food processor.  Process until they resemble the texture of ground beef.  Do the same with the tempeh (I crumbled the tempeh as I put it into the processor and then processed it further).

In a large skillet, sauté the Portobellos, tempeh, and onions for 5 minutes until the liquid cooks off.

Stir in the tomatoes, rice, water and Worcestershire sauce.  Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in the cheese.  Season with salt and pepper.

Fill the prepared bell peppers with the mixture and top each off with the pasta sauce.

Bake covered for 25 to 35 minutes.
Allie likes to serve these Stuffed Peppers over mashed potatoes…I served mine with a nice slice of Millet and Flax Italian bread from Sami’s Bakery.

For a printable version of this recipe click here.  

 

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Filed under Gluten Free, Main Dish, Recipes, Secret Recipe Club, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

MUSHROOM ROSEMARY DINNER PANCAKES

I was inspired to make these dinner pancakes while reading through Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian.  Using chickpea / garbanzo bean flour as a base for the pancake is a great way to incorporate more protein into a meal.  These pancakes were light, yet satisfying.  I served my pancakes with lightly dressed steamed kale (click here to see my latest kale post)

INGREDIENTS

PANCAKE
1 cup garbanzo bean flour
½ tsp Himalayan salt
1 cup water (or liquid from the reconstituted mushrooms)
3 Tbs. olive oil
.
TOPPING
2 heads roasted garlic
½ cup dried mushroom mix, chopped once reconstituted
½ large onion, sliced into moons and caramelized
1-2 tsp oil
½ tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
½ tsp. Himalayan salt
pepper to taste

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Set the oven to broil.

Pour hot water over the mushrooms to reconstitute.  I bought my mix at Costco (by a company called Shiitake-Ya).

Place the garbanzo bean flour and salt ina a mixing bowl.  Use a whisk and incorporate well.  Combine well with the water (or 1 cup of cooled liquid from the reconstituted mushrooms) and olive oil.  Once mixed well, set aside for 30 minutes.

Place the onion and 2 tsp. of oil in a sauté pan and caramelize.

Mix together the roasted garlic, chopped mushrooms, salt, pepper, and ½ tsp chopped fresh rosemary.

Pour 1/3 cup of pancake batter into a lightly greased pan (spread out the batter).  While the pancake begins to cook, top it with some of the topping mixture.  Once the pancake has browned, set it aside until all of the pancakes are browned and ready to go into the oven.

Once all of the pancakes have been browned, place them directly on the oven rack (not on a cookie sheet) under the broiler for 8-10 minutes (you may need to rotate them after 4-5 minutes).  Broiling the pancakes will make sure that the batter on the top cooks through.

Serve with a nice salad or some steamed veggies on the side.

For a printable version of this recipe click here.

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Filed under Breads / Crackers / Muffins, Gluten Free, Main Dish, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

HEARTY VEGGIE LASAGNA

Hearty Veggie Lasagna

Hearty Veggie Lasagna

Whenever I cook lasagna I make a HUGE one and I tend to do it on a weekend or an afternoon when I know I will be home for the rest of the night.  If you are going to go to the trouble to make lasagna, why not have it be big enough to last for a few meals?  When I make this lasagna it lasts my family of 4 (2 of which are children) 3 whole dinners!  We eat it fresh out of the oven one night and then I usually freeze the other 2 sections for 2 other nights.  You pop it in the oven for an hour from the freezer, make a salad, and you have a fantastic dinner!

***NOTE***

I just cooked one of my frozen lasagna sections and IT DOES NOT REHEAT WELL when using gluten free lasagna noodles (they turned to mush).  The lasagna tastes AWESOME the first night and when reheated as left-overs, but unfortunately I can NOT recommend reheating it from the freezer.  Bummer. 

The next time I make this lasagna I am going to cut the recipe in 1/2.

There are a few keys to making great tasting vegan lasagna:

  1. All of the components need to taste good enough to eat on their own
  2. The sauce needs to be very fresh and flavorful
  3. The cheese filling needs to have the taste and texture everyone has come to expect

As for the cheese, it has taken a lot of experimenting, but I have finally come-up with what I call my Vegan Herbed Ricotta.  I am not a big fan of using very much soy in general (A LOT of the recipes you will see for vegan lasagna rely on tofu tremendously), so through trial and error I have come up with a recipe that only uses ½ a brick of extra firm sprouted tofu and the rest of the cheese is comprised of beans, vegan goat cheese, and herbs and spices.  When you think about it, ½ a brick of tofu spread out over three dinners for four people is very nominal.

While it is a time investment to make lasagna, the end result is so very worth it and will pay off when you realize you have made 3 meals!

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INGREDIENTS

2 packages brown rice lasagna noodles

2 25.5 oz. jars of tomato basil pasta sauce

4 10 oz. bags baby bella mushrooms

2 medium onions

4 small or 2 large zucchini

1 tsp. olive oil

Simply Organic garlic salt to taste

1 package Daiya mozzarella cheese

VEGAN HERBED RICOTTA

1 cup vegan goat cheese*

½ package extra firm sprouted tofu by Wildwood, drained and crumbled

15 oz. can great northern beans, drained and rinsed

2 10 oz. packages Cascadian Farms frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

1 packed cup fresh basil

4 garlic cloves

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp salt

pepper to taste

* click here for recipe 

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Preheat the oven to 400°

Place a strainer over a bowl and pour one of the jars of pasta sauce into the strainer.  You want most of the liquid to strain into the bowl.  You may need to stir the sauce a few times to help release most of the liquid.

Strain 1 Jar of Sauce

Strain 1 Jar of Sauce

While the pasta sauce is straining, cook the lasagna noodles according to the instructions on the box.  I am always leery about noodles that claim they do not need to be precooked, so I always precook them.  It really doesn’t add much time to the process since they will cook while you are preparing the other ingredients.

While the noodles are cooking, make the Vegan Herbed Ricotta.  Place the vegan goat cheese and sprouted tofu in a bowl.  In a food processor fitted with the S blade, pulse together the basil, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper.  You will need to stop and scrape down the bowl of the processor a few times during the process. 

Basil and Garlic

Basil and Garlic

Oregano, Salt, and Pepper is Added

Oregano, Salt, and Pepper is Added

Once the mixture resembles pesto, add the great northern beans and pulse only a few times since you want the beans to maintain some texture.  Gently fold the mixture from the food processor into the vegan goat cheese and crumbled tofu. 

Add Beans and Pulse

Add Beans and Pulse

Combine with Tofu and Vegan Goat Cheese

Combine with Tofu and Vegan Goat Cheese

Once well combined, gently fold in the spinach (which you have squeezed ALL of the liquid out of so it forms a nice dry ball).

Defrosted Spinach

Defrosted Spinach

Liquid Squeezed Out

Liquid Squeezed Out

Gently Fold In Spinach

Gently Fold In Spinach

Completed Vegan Herbed Ricotta

Completed Vegan Herbed Ricotta

Now that the noodles are done cooking, rinse them under cool water.  Once rinsed, lay them out in a single layer to prevent sticking (I use sheet pans).

Without washing the food processor bowl (save yourself some time, there is no real need) place the mushrooms one bag at a time into the food processor and pulse until they are fairly well chopped, but maintain some texture.  Pour the mushrooms into a large pot.  Repeat with the other three bags until all of the mushrooms are chopped. 

Pre-Sliced Mushrooms into the Processor

Pre-Sliced Mushrooms into the Processor

Roughly chop the onions and place them into the unwashed food processor bowl.  Pulse until finely chopped and add the onions to the pot with the chopped mushrooms.

Onions and Mushrooms

Onions and Mushrooms

Turn the burner onto medium and cook the mushrooms and onions down.  Place the lid on the pot to speed-up the process.  Once the mushrooms and onions are cooked (approx. 10 minutes), pour them into a strainer to strain out all of the liquid.  Once strained, salt and pepper to taste.

Cooked Down Onions and Mushrooms

Cooked Down Onions and Mushrooms

Strain the Liquid Out and Season to Taste

Strain the Liquid Out and Season to Taste

Chop the zucchini into 1/8” wheels and sauté on medium heat with 1 tsp oil.  You want the zucchini to brown very slightly.  This should only take 3-4 minutes.  Flavor the zucchini with garlic salt to taste.

Saute the Zucchini

Saute the Zucchini

It is now time to assemble the lasagna.  Pour one third of the unopened pasta sauce (NOT the pasta sauce you are straining) into the bottom of a 10” x 12” deep casserole dish.  Follow with a layer of lasagna noodles, 1/3 of the Vegan Herbed Ricotta, 1/3 of the Daiya, and 1/3 of the mushrooms, and another 1/3 of the sauce.

1/3 Jar of Pasta Sauce

1/3 Jar of Pasta Sauce

Layer of Noodles

Layer of Noodles

1/3 of the Herbed Riccota

1/3 of the Herbed Riccota

1/3 Daiya, 1/3 Mushrooms, and Another 1/3 Sauce

1/3 Daiya, 1/3 Mushrooms, and Another 1/3 Sauce

Follow with another layer of noodles, 1/3 of the Vegan Herbed Ricotta, all of the zucchini wheels, most of the remaining mushrooms (reserve some for the top of the lasagna), most of the remaining Daiya (reserve some for the top of the lasagna), and the last 1/3 of the jar of pasta sauce.

Noodle Layer, Herbed Riccota, Zucchini

Noodle Layer, Herbed Riccota, Zucchini

Mushrooms and Daiya

Mushrooms and Daiya

Top with the last layer of lasagna noodles, the ENTIRE jar of the strained pasta sauce (reserve the liquid for an alternate use…you will not need it for this recipe…if you put it into the lasagna it will become soggy), any remaining mushrooms, and the remaining Daiya.

Last Layer of Noodles, Strained Pasta Sauce, and Remaining Mushrooms and Daiya

Last Layer of Noodles, Strained Pasta Sauce, and Remaining Mushrooms and Daiya

Cover the lasagna with a piece of foil that you have oiled on the inside so it won’t stick to it.

Cook the lasagna for 1 hour at 400°.

 
 
 

Hearty Veggie Lasagna

Hearty Veggie Lasagna

For a printable version of this recipe click here.

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Filed under Cheese, Gluten Free, Main Dish, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian