‘Winter is a season of recovery and preparation’.
Stroganoff is an old classic Russian recipe from the 18th century, that has become popular around the world. You can imagine people eating this dish on a cold snowy day, which is why it has become so popular as a warming winter dish in other places and the USA is no exception.
I took this particular recipe from Healthy Living James as featured in Vegan Food and Living. It is rich from the coconut milk, substituting for the cream and has deep flavors from the smoked paprika, dijon mustard and garlic. You can use it for canapés, eat it on toast for breakfast or with rice for dinner and it only takes 30 minutes to make.
- 1kg mushrooms, sliced
- 2 red onions, sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 tins of unsweetened coconut milk
- 2 tsp. smoked paprika
- 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Large handful of parsley
- 3 tbsp. coconut oil
- Salt and pepper
- Heat a large pot with oil, adding the garlic, onions and mushrooms with a large pinch of salt and pepper
- Cook for 5 minutes, stirring as you go along
- Once the mushrooms are soft, add the coconut milk, paprika, mustard and lemon juice and stir well
- Cook on a high heat to allow the sauce to thicken, cook for 20-25 minutes of until thick and reduced, keeping stirring to make sure it doesn’t stick
- Finally add freshly chopped parsley
‘Nature alone is an antique, and the oldest art a mushroom’ – Thomas Carlyle
I love this dish so much that whilst I am writing this, I am making another batch
It made my life so much easier this week as I started to commute and needed a nourishing, light meal that took 10 minutes to make when I got home
The first day I ate the broth on its own, the second I added some soba noodles as I heated it up, the third I added some tofu, the fourth some pea shoots and the fifth some pre-cooked barley and some coconut milk. The base itself has about 10 calories, a portion of soba noodles has 70 calories, so this is a low-calorie meal, whatever you do to it
Dried mushrooms can be much cheaper than real mushrooms but they retain the taste and nutrients including protein, enzymes, B vitamins (niacin) and vitamin D2
- ½ cup dried mushrooms
- 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp. freshly ground pepper
- 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 8 cups water
- Place all ingredients in a deep pot, bring to the boil and then down to a simmer for 30 minutes
- You are looking for a deeply concentrated flavour, so if at 30 minutes you don’t have that keep going or adjust the seasoning
- If you have an instant pop, you can do the same thing and it will take 10 minutes
- Eat as a nourishing broth
- Add soba noodles and make a ramen
- Add tofu and vegetables and make a protein dense soup
- Use it as your broth and make a risotto
This dish is from the north of India and is normally served with lentils, rice and yogurt.
My grandma had a special dish for everyone, cheese rolls for my brother, rice porridge for me and green beans for my cousin Sabrina. I actually think Sabrina is the only person I know, as well as my grandmother who loved these green beans. They would eat them together, laugh and talk. It was something special to see.
This is my first attempt at a green bean recipe and there will be a few more to come until I get the right one. This recipe is from Madhur Jaffrey’s Vegetarian India, it is vibrant, spicy, tasty and takes no time at all.
- 1 LB green beans, topped and tailed and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 tbsp. oil
- ½ tsp. asafoetida (optional)
- ½ tsp. whole cumin seeds
- 1 green chillies, chopped
- 2 tsp. ginger, chopped
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. coriander, powder
- Plunge the beans into boiling water 3-5 minutes and then drain, leaving them al dente
- Put the oil in a medium frying pan, set on a low heat, add the asafoetida, add the cumin
- Take the pan off the heat and add the ginger and chillies
- Put back on the heat, add beans, salt, coriander powder and 2 tbsp. water
- Cook for another 5 minutes
- Eat with rice and roti
Let’s break the myth that you need meat to build muscle. The gorilla can lift up to 10 times its body weight!
I made this dish on the request of my meat and potatoes concierge. As I would leave the building early in the morning I would go by the front desk and drop off a plant based treat, vegan cheesecake, vegan meatballs, vegan samosa, vegan chocolate truffles and after a few months I finally got a request for a cauliflower steak. This was a man who said that he had to eat meat with every meal.
You must learn a new way to think, before you can master a new way to live.
I love the humble cauliflower, the texture is meaty enough to satisfy and it takes well to assertive flavours. This is a basic version, but you could add a pesto, salsa or chimichurri. I served this with some Baba Ganoush underneath for a texture and flavour contrast.
Mr B was a little upset that I was cooking for another man, so I made him some vegan truffles and he forgot all about it…
- 1 cauliflower
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. pepper
- ½ tsp. garlic powder
- ½ tsp. smoked paprika
- ¼ cup oil
- Preheat the oven
- Remove the outer green leaves from the head of cauliflower
- Use a large knife and cut the cauliflower half lengthwise and into half again
- In a bowl mix the oil and spices
- Brush the cauliflower with the mixture on both sides
- Bake covered with foil until steamed and starting to soften
- Uncover and let brown for the remaining time
- If you have a BBQ, sear for grill marks and a little char
A little advice from a mushroom;
- Be down to earth
- Sprout new ideas
- Keep a low profile
- Know when to show up
- Stay well-rounded
- Start from the ground up
- Be a fun-guy
This is a beautiful recipe for a BBQ. It is meaty and sticky and sweet and sumptuous.
Mushrooms are always said to be a great meat substitute but I don’t see it as a substitute but a star in it’s own right. I use a variety of mushrooms in my recipes due to the medicinal benefits; Trumpet versus the others is good for something you want to give more structure to, which is why it works so well on this recipe.
Be careful with the reduction, as it can get hot due to the melted sugar. If it toughens up just reheat.
- 1 spring onion, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup mirin
- 1/3 cup sake
- 1/3 cup tamari
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar
- trumpet mushrooms
- 1 tsp. coconut oil
- Soak 6-10 bamboo skewers for at least 15 minutes
- Prepare grill/BBQ for medium heat
- Thread the mushrooms onto the prepared skewers and brush with oil and salt
- Grill until golden brown
- Heat the mirin, sake, tamari and sugar until slightly reduced
- Brush on the mushrooms and grill again, flip and brush again
- Serve with spring onions on top
Cardamom Ice-cream (Vegan, DF, GF)
I love the simplicity and pureness of this recipe, filled with amazing ingredients straight from Mother Nature’s door!
I adapted this recipe from my plant lab raw desserts classic, bringing a little Indian Flair with the cardamom. If you don’t like cardamom, cinnamon works well or vanilla if you’d prefer a less dominant flavour profile
Did you know Cardamom has impressive medicinal properties and has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. It has antioxidant and diuretic properties, which are said to stop the growth of tumours, lower blood pressure, prevent inflammation and act as an antibacterial. Cinnamon has similar such properties, so you are good either way. Mr B doesn’t like Cardamom, so I tend to use cinnamon for him or during the holidays a little pumpkin spice (a US classic. I can not account for the medicinal properties I am afraid, just the smile invoked by the scent of the holidays)
- ½ cup soaked cashews
- ½ cup. Young coconut meat or coconut cream
- ¼ cup coconut water
- 1 tbsp. crushed cardamom seeds or cardamom powder
- ¼ cup agave
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil, melted
- Pinch of salt
- Blend all the ingredients together until smooth, except the coconut oil
- Stream coconut oil in last
- Process in an ice cream maker, or if you don’t have one (like me), place in a tub and freeze
This is a great recipe from the kitchen at Vedge in LA. It is a take on the classic spanakopita, (which means cheese filled) and uses tofu as the substitute.
As I talked to a few people about this recipe, it became clear that there is a version of this pie across the world including knishes, Bourikas, calzones, samosas and dim sum to name a few. This means I had some pretty tough tasters. The best comment I got back was from my Albanian taster who said this tasted like his mums back home. Score!! It was only then that I told him that there was no cheese only tofu. (I am not sure if he will mention that to his mum).
The key to a successful pie or layered pie isn’t whether you use tofu or cheese; it is about how you spice the filling. The onion, garlic, dill, salt and pepper all add to a delicious filling that you could stuff into anything, or quite frankly eat on its own. So make sure you are happy with the flavour and everything else will fall into place!
Mr B was a definite fan of this dish, given his love of all things Greek (apart from me, of course, he loves me despite of my non-Greekness)
- 2 tbsp. olive oil, plus more for brushing the Phyllo
- 2 large bunches of Tuscan kale, stems removed, leaves chopped
- 1 cup onions, finely chopped
- 1 pound extra firm tofu, drained and crumbled
- 2 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. pepper
- 5 cups of tofu cream cheese
- 2 tbsp. chopped dill
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- Half a pack of organic vegan Phyllo, thawed
- Preheat the oven
- Brush a casserole dish with olive oil
- Bring a pot of water to the boil, add salt
- Blanch the kale for 5 minutes, drain
- Heat the olive oil in a deep pot, add the onions, garlic and cook for a few minutes until brown
- Add the crumbled tofu, salt and pepper. Stir until browned and the moisture is gone, c. 10 minutes
- Combine the kale and tofu mixture in a large bowl. Add the tofu cream cheese, dill and lemon juice
- Layer 3 sheets of Phyllo on the bottom of the dish. Add one third of the mixture, layer another 3 layers on top, add the next third, add Phyllo, the next third and finally top with the remaining Phyllo. Brush the top layer with olive oil and bake until golden brown, c. 15 minutes.
- Cut the dish into portions before baking, this will make it easier to serve
- Serve warm