Friday, November 16, 2007

Autumn Mushroom Stew with Rosemary Mashed Potatoes

First of all, Yum.

Secondly, if you were to host a vegan Thanksgiving dinner, this would be an excellent replacement for the turkey.

The portobellos, shitake, porcini, and button mushrooms along with the fresh rosemary and thyme give this dish an earthy flavor that screams "PERFECT FALL MEAL!" Unless of course you don't like mushrooms...then you will hate this dish.

I found this recipe in Natural Home magazine and had to doctor it up a bit to make it vegan, by simply substituting soy milk for cream in the potatoes and Earth Balance for butter, which didn't compromise anything at all regarding flavor or texture.

*As a note, I noticed that when I made the "Mushroom Stock" which was supposed to give 2 cups stock, I only got about 1/2 a cup. I just made up the remaining amount with the vegetable broth and mixed that in with the stew...but if you do this, make sure to puree the cooked mushrooms and add it to the stew for thickness.

Autumn Mushroom Stew

1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, chopped fine
1 tsp fresh rosemary
1 tsp fresh thyme
1/2 lb portobellos (about 2 large portobellos, gills removed)
1/2 lb shitake mushrooms, or other wild mushrooms roughly chopped into 1-inch pieces
14 ounces white mushrooms
3 cloves pressed garlic
2 Tbs. tomato paste
2 cups Mushroom Stock (see following recipe)
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp Earth Balance
2 Tbsp fresh parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, rosemary and thyme and cook, covered, about 10-15 minutes over medium-low heat until soft and golden brown.

2. Add portobellos, shitake, and white mushrooms; cover and cook 10 minutes until soft.

3. Push mushrooms and onions to the side and add the garlic and cook about 1 minute or until it just releases its fragrance.

4. Add tomato paste, mushroom stock, vinegar, pureed mushrooms from stock and Earth Balance. Simmer 5-10 minutes.

5. Add parsley, salt and pepper and additional vinegar or herbs to taste. Serve over Rosemary Mashed Potatoes.

Mushroom Stock

2 3/4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 (about 1/2 oz) cup dried porcini or chanterelle mushrooms
2 Tbsp olive oil
8 oz white mushrooms, chopped
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp dried thyme
1 cup dry white wine
2 Tbsp garbanzo fava flour (or rice flour), for thickener
1 tsp balsamic vinegar

1. Heat vegetable broth in saucepan until hot. Add dried porcini mushrooms and remove from heat. Set aside at least 30 minutes, until plump.

2. Heat olive oil in skillet, add white mushrooms and cook 5 minutes. Add tomato paste, thyme, wine and plumped porcinis. Bring to a simmer.

3. Sprinkle in flour, increase heat to high and cook uncovered about 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring often.

4. Add balsamic vinegar and simmer 10 minutes. Pour into a colander and press mushrooms to extract juice. *You should have about 2 cups of mushroom stock.

5. Puree the cooked mushrooms to add to the stew for thickness.

Rosemary Mashed Potatoes

2 1/2 lbs Yukon gold potatoes (about 6 large potatoes)
2 Tbsp Earth Balance, or more to taste
2 Tbsp olive oil, or more to taste
1/2 cup soy milk
2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

1. Peel potatoes and place them in large pot with cold water to cover. Bring to a boil, 20 to 40 minutes, or until tender. Drain, cover and keep warm.

2. Add Earth Balance, olive oil, soy milk, rosemary, salt and pepper and mash with a potato masher or fork until smashed, but not perfectly smooth. Add more butter, olive oil, or soy milk to taste.

3. To serve, place potatoes on plates, top with mushroom stew and garnish with rosemary or thyme.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Stinky Pants Chili and Gluten Free Vegan Jalapeno Corn Bread

There is a reason I call this chili "Stinky Pants." And I'm sure it needs no further explanation. Therefore, due to the excess of beans, if you have some Beno on hand, you may want to add a few drops...Or half the bottle...Depending on your reaction to gaseous foods.

I also must apologize in advance, when I make Chili I rarely measure anything, therefore the following ingredients are an estimate, you can always add more or less to your taste, and omit or add any vegetable to your liking.

The corn bread is an absolute must here. I've done a lot of experimenting with gluten-free vegan baking and I think I finally have it down to a science. This bread is great, soft and fluffy with a nice crumb that will surely fool any of your gluten eating friends and family.

Stinky Pants Chili
2 small or one large can pinto beans, drained
1 can black beans, drained
1 jalapeno chile, diced
1 quart vegetable stock
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 can sweet corn, drained
1 yellow squash, halved and cut into chunks
1 zucchini squash, halved and cut into chunks
1 Tablespoon chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 teaspoons sweet Hungarian paprika
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
Pinch of cayenne pepper, or to taste
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 can (16 oz) chopped tomatoes in juice
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons tamari or soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
3 Tablespoons Agave Nectar or Honey
6 Squares dark vegan chocolate from choc late bar.

Heat the olive oil in the stock pot, add the onions and saute until they start to soften, 3-4 minutes. Stir in the bell peppers, squash, zucchini and jalapeno and saute for another 2 minutes, the add the chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, and cayenne and cook stirring constantly for a few minutes until well blended. Add the garlic and saute for another 30 seconds. Add the beans and mix thoroughly.

Pour the vegetable stock into the mixture, stir, and bring to a boil.

Add the tomatoes, corn, tomato paste, tamari, salt, pepper, chocolate, and Agave nectar and simmer, partially covered until the seasonings are well blended, about 30 minutes.

(If you can make this chili the night before and let it sit overnight, even better!)

Gluten Free Vegan Jalapeno Corn Bread

6 Tablespoons apple sauce
1 cup garbanzo/fava bean flour
1 1/2 Tablespoons arrowroot
1/4 tsp. xanthan gum
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup soymilk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 jalapeno pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Oil 8 inch square baking dish with canola oil and a paper towel

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, arrowroot, xanthan gum, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt until well combined.

Add the applesauce, soymilk, and canola oil to the flour mixture.

Beat just until smooth and stir in the jalapeno.

Turn into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool for at least 25 minutes and serve!

A few tips for Gluten Free Vegan Baking:

*You can substitute 3 Tbsp of Apple Sauce to replace 1 egg.

*Garbanzo/Fava Bean Flour from Bob's Red Mill along with the appropriate mixtures of Arrowroot and Xanthan Gum is the best substitute for flour in gluten-free baking.

*You can substitute Soy or Rice Milk part for part in replace of cows milk in any recipe.

These are just a few tips I have found that work in gluten free vegan baking, more to come when I post my fabulous Cupcakes!