Tag Archives: Mushrooms

Breakfast Rissoto & Vegetable Soup

This weekend it was nice to start cooking non-Thanksgiving food! My house was practically wiped out of vegetables and staples but we managed to come up with enough to keep us happy and well fed.On Sunday I made Fennel Breakfast Risotto, a recipe from Vegan Brunch. I made a lot of little changes to pump up the flavors because it was a little lacking but with more seasoning, nooch, and vegeta it turned out wonderful, especially since I made the smokey mushrooms on top. I think the mushrooms were very important and should always be a part of the recipe not optional!

We also made crepes over the weekend, again from Vegan Brunch. I just adore this crepe recipe, they are the best one I have found since going vegan. We stuffed them for lunch with Kittie’s recipe for Atar Allecha

I was a little disappointed because the recipe said it would serve 6 to 8 but I should have realized that would only be true if you were making a traditional Ethiopian feast of many different dishes because it wouldn’t have served the two of us without the last minute addition of steamed broccoli. I am excited to try the other recipes she has for Ethiopian food now that we have the niter kebbeh made. Later that night I stuffed the crepes with bananas and white chocolate and the were amazing.

And speaking of Ethiopia, I won a cookbook called The New American Table by Marcus Samuelsson. The author was born in Ethiopia but grew up in Sweden and then moved to the US as a young man. He fell in love with all the different styles of food coming together here and became a chef. I love this book, it is really big, with tons of really interesting recipes and has the most beautiful pictures. Even though there is lots of meat and dairy he also has plenty of completely vegan recipes since he focuses on new twists of immigrant food. He even cooked a vegetarian feast for President Obama and the Prime Minister of India at the white house! I wonder what I would cook for Obama. Probably I would have a total panic attack trying to decide and then end up making something really stupid that was inspired by the White Sox. Like crepes that are shaped like socks stuffed with polish sauasges and sauerkraut.

Anyway, I have found the book very inspiring and am excited to try some of the ideas like tea-poached bok choi. Mr. Smurf made the vegetable soup last night and it was amazing, the flavors were kind of Asian but Italian too. I didn’t make it so I don’t remember everything that went in it though! It had amazing depth of flavor. We will make it again I am sure.

One of the reasons that I picked this recipe was because we had almost everything we needed on hand except for the avocado. On the way home from the gym I stopped by the store to pick one up and they gave it to me for free! So I didn’t spend one cent over the four day weekend. I am proud because I have to save up for Miami for New Years, Chicago for Serbian Christmas, and maybe London for a wedding in February! So expect a lot of cabbage, rice and potatoes in the weeks ahead.

Sanguine Moon Curry

So many things about cooking seem so obvious once you learn them. I think my grandparents knew that food that ripens together usually has complimentary flavors but I didn’t know that tidbit of knowledge until recently and it has made cooking so easy. I went to the store and I found persimmons which I have never cooked with before but they were on sale and they were ripe so I picked a couple up. I also had some local oyster mushrooms and the sweet potatoes and arugula that I picked at the farm. By the time I got home it was pretty late and I didn’t really feel look cooking so I did what I often do when I don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, I made Thai food.

Actually, I don’t even know if you can really call it Thai food since it is so inauthentic hence the name Sanguine Moon Curry. The Sanguine Moon is also known as the Hunter’s Moon which is what follows the autumnal equinox. With the fall colors and the autumn vegetables I thought it made perfect sense.  This was a very lazy dish where the sum of the whole was definitely more than the parts. The persimmon added tannins and a certain astringent quality that worked so well with the sweetness of the lemongrass and the sweet potatoes. The quinoa also added an interesting nutty note to the dish that made it seem perfect for this time of year.

For the Quinoa

Toast
1 Cup of Quinoa in
1 teaspoon of coconut oil
Add
2 Cups of broth or water,
Cover and steam for about 25 minutes

For the Curry

Saute until aromatic
1 Tablespoon of Massaman Curry Paste
Combine with
1/2 can of coconut milk
After a couple minutes Add
1/2 can of coconut milk
1 cup of broth
1 peeled & chopped persimmon
2 cups of chopped sweet potatoes
2 cups of chopped arugula
Cook until potatoes are soft about 20 minutes & Add
1 bunch of Oyster mushrooms
1/2 lime juice
1 tsp of sugar
Once the mushrooms are softened. Serve with a mound of Quinoa in the center and the curry around it topped with scallions. Enjoy!

Mushroom & Dried Cherry Tomato Fettuccini with Cuban Oregano

My favorite raw cookbook is without a doubt Raw Food Real World. I am very lucky that my friend Carrie bought it for me when she was staying here a few years ago because it is pretty pricey and I wouldn’t have gotten it myself and I am so glad I have it. The only problem I have with the book is the title. It only works if by “real world” they mean “well-off New Yorker”.  They use ingredients that I have never heard of which adds a whole challenge to the book but also makes it somewhat inaccessible especially when that is coupled with the huge amount of planning involved in making some of the dishes. Usually it starts with soaking something over night and then dehydrating for 8 to 24 hours. If you lived in a smaller city that doesn’t have a major Asian grocery store or a raw food community I think it would be pretty hard to come by some of the staples in the book like cases of young coconuts and date powder. But the weird thing is the recipes are almost always totally worth all the planning and searching. It should have been called “Raw Food Will Blow Your Mind” because that is how I feel about a lot of the things I have tried. None of my other raw books come close to the great taste, style, and photography of this book. And the authors do a very nice job of telling you what you could substitute for what. I like to seek out strange ingredients so the book is perfect for me and when I saw this recipe that called for Cuban Oregano I kind of kept my eye out for it. Years later, I saw some growing at the Natural Gardner and scooped it up and brought it home. Over the summer is has grown into an enormous and beautiful plant so I highly recommend picking some seeds up or take a cutting if you ever see it. It has great flavor. So with my Cuban oregano plant mature and the last of the summer tomatoes still to be eaten I decided finally the time was right.

So really this recipe is years in the making. It called for King Oyster mushrooms which I haven’t found but I saw a really similar looking kind at a Korean store so I picked some up.  It also called for goldbar squash but I don’t know what that is either  so I used an heirloom summer squash and I think it might be the same thing. Here is the recipe pretty much as it is in the book.

King Oyster Mushroom & Dried Cherry Tomato Fettuccine with Cuban Oregano

2 or 3 goldbar squash ends trimmed
Sea Salt
2 Cups heirloom cherry tomatoes, stemmed & sliced in half
2 to 4 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
2 Cups king oyster mushrooms, stems removed and cut into bite-sized pieces
2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons braggs liquid aminos
2 to 3 stalks rosemary, plus two teaspoons minced
1 shallot, minced
other herbs for garnish

toss the cherry tomatoes with half the olive oil & season with salt & pepper. Dehydrate cut-side down at 115 for 6 to 8 hours

separately toss the mushrooms with half the olive oil, balsamic, & Bragg’s. Add salt & pepper, rosemary stalks, oregano, and shallot. Toss well and place them on the dehydrator sheet at 115 for 3 to 4 hours until the mushrooms are soft. Get rid of the bigger oregano leaves & the rosemary stalks.

cut the squash into long ribbons using a vegetable peeler. Salt & put in a colander for 30 minutes to drain.

Toss everything together & season and serve with fresh herbs.

Overall for Raw Food Real World this was a really easy recipe, I only had to grow one ingredient and it was only 8 hours of prep time. And it was pretty good. Next time I would omit most if not all of the rosemary, it kind of overpowered the dish.  And I think I would add some olives because I love them. And twice as much squash, too. The recipe didn’t yield very much food but overall it is a great recipe and the whole house smelled like tomatoes and oregano. Now that I have the cuban oregano and tomatoes growing I will undoubtedly make it again.

Grilled Vegan Pizza

Memorial Day starts the official summer season for me even though it has been unofficially summer since I saw my the first firefly on the same day as I got my first red tomato. Memorial Day makes it official because when I was growing up that was the weekend that the water park opened up and I loved the water park. Wait, I still love the water park I just never get to go here in Texas because it is an hour away. This summer it is going to happen! In my summer enthusiasm I decided to grill some pizzas. Unfortunately I ran headlong into the project without doing any research and though my pizzas were good, I have a lot to learn! I made the dough recipe from Vegan Lunch Box and maybe I overworked the dough because it came out really hard. I decided to make mini pizzas so that I could experiment with the technique. The first one I tried was peaches and olives with some sage and some chives on top.It was a great combination but I should have grilled the crust on both sides before putting on the toppings because the bottom got over-grilled (I think another word for that is burned).

The next one I grilled on both sides first before topping but I should have done it for a shorter time or maybe the grill was too hot because this one got a little crispy as well. Plus, tomatoes, basil, pine nuts, and mushrooms was a great combo but would have been so much better with a tofu riccota base.The last one was maybe the best (I liked the peach a lot, but it was burned). The grill wasn’t as hot when I put it on so it didn’t get as hard. The topping were Zucchini, Tomato, Olives, Mushrooms, and Garlic. So here is what I have learned, oil the crust and grill it on both sides before you put the toppings on. Have all the toppings ready to go before you start otherwise you can’t keep on eye on the grill, use lots of toppings in general, and most importantly; add lots of olives and everything will be yummy regardless of what happens.

Oh, and have beagles around to eat any excess crust.

Pignoli & Portobello Pasta

This pasta is a beautiful combination of recipes that Mr. Smurf made for us. The spinach pasta had a simple dressing of toasted pignoli nuts, parsely, lemon, and garlic and is a recipe from Dreena Burton‘s Eat Drink and Be Vegan. The balsamic marinated mushrooms from the Veganomicon added a special note of sweetness to the dish. It was fabulous, I love big spinach noodles.

Southern Taco


This taco was a winner!

First I sauteed an onion and then added chopped garlic and chipotle powder. After everything was glistening I added some sliced mushrooms and cooked until they gave off their water and then added a can of black-eyed peas. In the meantime I baked some tater tots, toasted some pumpkin seeds, warmed up some tortillas, and chopped a tomato, cilantro, and some green onions. A nice quick taco that had everything I needed to be a happy smurf.

Kombucha – Mushroom Tea

When you think of mushrooms maybe you think of this

or this

but probably not I don’t know what you think about really, I sometimes think of my friend Sandra. She had two neighbors in Olympia named Bryan and Ryan. They were best friends and they had names that rhymed and those boys loved their mushrooms.

Like a lot of people that went to the Evergreen State College these young men studied the many endless variety of mushrooms that can be found in the rainy state of Washington. In retrospect, I wish that I too had gotten into mushroom hunting, but I was too busy doing important stuff like making movies and watching Twin Peaks to be bothered with survivalist life skills. These classes, also, always seemed to involve drum circles so I passed and am trying to get caught up now.

A long tangent to get to the matter at hand: Kombucha tea which is probably not even a mushroom as Sleepy Smurf and I have been debating this morning as we drank our Buddhas Brew here in Austin Texas. I recently went to a talk  with a mushroom expert and I was sure that he said Kombucha was a mushroom. Sleepy is sure that it is not since it is a yeast but I think that the mushroom expert said yeasts and mushrooms are the same. Bryan and Ryan would know for sure but it really doesn’t matter (Evergreen says it is not a mushroom). People in both Russia and China call it Mushroom tea and have been drinking it since ancient times for its healing properties.

It is a relatively new phenomenon in the US. I first tried it a few years ago when I was trying to do an all raw diet but I really didn’t like the flavor. It had a strong vinegary taste. Since then I have tried it off and on. I learned that Kombucha can be really good for your digestive tract, this is something that I have always struggled with and when I learned that Kombucha could grow good bacteria in my system I became intrigued. I later learned that people think it has all sorts of healing properties, from fighting cancer to warding off infections people think it is great for everything but I couldn’t get over my taste issues. Lucky for me, I gave it another shot the other day at the Live Oak Market and discovered what I friend I have in Blueberry Buddha’s Brew. It made my stomach feel immediately better and I am pretty sure that I grew a couple of inches. Really, I felt like my whole system was fortified with goodness. The effects were immediate and totally unexpected. Buddha’s Brew touts the tea as a “Daily Elixir of Health” so I have been trying to drink one every day. I recently discovered that I can buy a whole case of the blueberry and the grape (my favorite flavors) at the Farmer’s Market at a great price so hooray! And it is brewed right here in South Austin. I read on Addie’s blog that she had recently learned to brew her own and following these instructions I think I might try it soon. Until then I am stoked that I can get Buddha’s Brew at the Live Oak Market, the People’s Pharmacy, the Whip In, and Thom’s Market. I love when convenience stores are actually convenient!