Archives for posts with tag: mushrooms

Creamy Mushroom Soup

When I was growing up, I had a love-hate relationship with mushrooms. At some point in my early childhood I really liked them until my older brother told me the dark lines inside of them were leftover from dead worms. Even though my mom assured me this was a lie, I wasn’t able to trust those little fungi for a while. In fact, I kept getting very mixed messages from my family for years about mushrooms. My mother loved them and ate them all the time, but my father hated them. The only time I can ever recall him using a curse word was the one day at the dinner table when I asked him why he didn’t like mushrooms and he said they were “from the pits of hell.”

Fortunately for me, I gave them a second chance and now I love mushrooms of all kinds. (Except shitake, because they make my tongue feel funny).

Here’s a lovely recipe for cold days like today. Inspired from another blogger. http://skinnyjns4me.blogspot.com/2011/05/vegan-mushroom-soup.html

My variation makes about 4 servings.

Creamy Mushroom Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound white mushrooms
  • 1 cup dried porcini mushrooms (or other dried mushrooms)
  • 15 oz garbanzo beans (softened)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2-4 cloves garlic
  • 1 white onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 vegetable bullion cubes
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 cup almond milk (or other unsweetened, unflavored milk substitute)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Garnish with goat cheese, chives and sauteed mushrooms, to taste

Directions:

  1. Chop onion and garlic and sautee in a large pot with olive oil.
  2. In a separate sauce pan, rehydrate the dried mushrooms with 2 cups boiling water for 10 minutes.
  3. Slice the white mushrooms, setting aside a handful to use as a garnish.
  4. Once onions are clear, add the white mushrooms and salt & pepper and cook for 3-5 minutes.
  5. Add the dried mushrooms and liquid to the soup.
  6. Add the almond milk, garbanzo beans, vegetable bullion and vegetable stock.
  7. Cook until fully heated.
  8. Remove from heat and let cool slightly, then blend soup in blender or food processor until creamy.
  9. Sautee extra mushrooms with olive oil and garlic salt over medium high heat. Use as a garnish with chopped chives and goat cheese. Serve soup hot.
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Pan Fried Fingerling Potatoes and Veggies

This recipe was inspired by a frozen veggie bag that I occasionally buy. I finally decided it was too ridiculous to spend a lot of money buying frozen potatoes when I could just make them better, healthier, and cheaper from scratch. Also, as a bonus, I was able to use a lot of the leftover ingredients from the quiche I made earlier this week!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound fingerling potatoes
  • 6 stalks of asparagus, chopped
  • 4oz can of mushroom pieces
  • 1/3 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • Salt, pepper, parsley and paprika, to taste

Directions:

  1. Wash potatoes and place in a pot of cold water (with a little lemon juice or cream of tartar).**
  2. Bring potatoes to a boil and cook for 15 minutes, or until mostly tender, then drain and cut potatoes into chunks.
  3. Wash and chop the asparagus, chop the onion, mince the garlic.
  4. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil, garlic and onions, for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add the remaining ingredients and cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Makes 2 servings

**Cooking Tip: Add lemon juice or cream of tartar to the pot of water when boiling potatoes. This will slightly acidify the water to help keep the vegetables from breaking down while they cook.

Dairy-Free Veggie Quiche

I get asked a lot if I’m a vegan. Nope. I’m not. However, I am lactose intolerant and a vegetarian. And I try to only eat eggs if I know they came from a farm where the chickens were humanely treated. Alright, I’m mostly relegated into the vegan realm. This is why I love cooking at home – here we have a delicious veggie quiche that comes from eggs that were treated with respect (or at least weren’t factory-farmed). Also, this dish is great for leftovers at any time of the day.

Ingredients:

  • Pie crust
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup almond milk (or other dairy alternative)
  • 6-8 stalks of asparagus, chopped into 1/2 inch sections
  • handful of sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • Paprika, salt, pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Pre-bake the pie crust by itself for about 10-12 minutes, until golden brown at 400 degrees. It helps to poke holes in it before baking, to avoid air bubbles.
  2. Chop all vegetables.
  3. Cook asparagus, onions and mushrooms in a skillet over medium-high heat until onions are clear. (drain off any excess liquid or the quiche will be run-y).
  4. Place half of the cooked vegetables and half of the tomatoes onto the baked pie crust.
  5. Beat eggs, spices and almond milk until evenly mixed.
  6. Pour eggs over the vegetables in the pie mix.
  7. Add the remaining vegetables.
  8. Bake quiche at 350 degrees for 50 minutes to an hour. (You want the quiche to be mostly firm, but not hard).
  9. Let sit for 5 minutes, then serve and enjoy.

** Cooking Tip: A lot of recipes will tell you that a quiche is done when it begins to rise. This isn’t entirely true. Quiches rise or puff up when water contained in the egg itself begins to vaporize. However, this puffing action happens when an egg is being heated from below (such as when you make a fried egg in a skillet). In a quiche in the oven without a top layer of puff pastry, there is a large surface area for the vaporization of water, so it probably won’t puff that much. A better signifier is whether the middle is mostly solidified.
Tip inspired by Herve This in “Molecular Gastronomy: Exploring the Science of Flavor.”

Cheating Guacamole and Veggie Fajitas

I don’t care for hot, humid weather. If the air is sticky, I don’t want to be in it. I think I’d even prefer snow to this humidity we’ve been dealing with. Newton (my Terrier-English Bulldog mix) and I have been having a particularly terrible time of this heat because I was too cheap to buy us an airconditioner. A problem that may soon be remedied… However, the one thing I love love love about summer is avocados!

During the summer, I’ve been known to eat avocados 2 meals a day for 7 days a week. Sometime soon, I’ll have to post my guacamole recipe.

What I don’t love about avocados is waiting for them to ripen. I usually have 3 or 4 small ones waiting around to be eaten, but this night, they were all giving me the stony treatment. So, for today, I cheated and used my favorite pre-made guacamole in my fajita.

Yes, pre-made food is generally sketchy, but Wholly Guacamole is tasty, fresh, vegan, and sketch-free. No strange hidden ingredients – just good ole avocados and seasoning. I stock up when they are on sale and use them when my avocados don’t want to cooperate and ripen for me.

Veggie Fajitas – Ingredients:

  • Wheat tortillas
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 large onion
  • 1/2 pound white mushrooms
  • cumin, to taste
  • mexican chili powder, to taste
  • paprika, to taste
  • onion salt, to taste
  • juice of 1 small lime
  • “Wholly Guacamole” (100 cal pack).

Directions:

  1. Wash, seed and slice the bell peppers and tomato.
  2. Chop the onion into long slices.
  3. Wash and slice the mushrooms.
  4. Cook all vegetables in a lightly greased frying pan over high heat for about 4-7 minutes.
  5. While the vegetables are cooking, season with spices and lime juice.
  6. Serve in a warm tortilla with guacamole.

**Cooking tip: Most vegetables are best when cooked at high temperatures for a short amount of time. Mushrooms do best at a lower heat (medium) and when they can spread out a bit. For this recipe, it would be best to cook the mushrooms in a separate frying pan, adding them to the rest only for the last minute. This will also prevent the mushrooms from leaking juices onto the other vegetables and making them soggy.

**Don’t cry! My eyes hate onions, but my stomach doesn’t! To reduce their pungency, chill onions in ice water for half an hour before chopping them, or for a couple hours in the refrigerator. It won’t completely neutralize them, but it will help!

Bella Pasta

This was a concoction I whipped up for lunch the other day. I had a quarter cup of heavy cream leftover from making chocolate mousse the day before, and mini bella mushrooms in the fridge. All in all, a very quick, easy dish. Normally I use wheat pasta, but for such a tasty dish, I went for local-made white bowties.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound Mini Bella mushrooms, chopped into small chunks
  • 2 cups raw, organic spinach
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Salt, Pepper, and Garlic Salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add chopped mushrooms and garlic; cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Once mushrooms are mostly cooked through, add spinach and cook through, stirring often.
  4. (optional: Add a tablespoon of olive oil to help cook the spinach).
  5. Add heavy cream and any desired spices and cook for an additional minute or two, stirring frequently.
  6. Serve over pasta, al dente.

**Mushrooms are one of the best fresh produce sources of Vitamin B12 and protein. B vitamins can be especially hard to come by for vegetarians.

**Interesting Tip for cooking pasta:
Most tap water or hard water is alkaline and tends to break apart the protein-starch of pastas. This can cause pasta to cook more quickly and become sticky. To balance the pH for better texture of noodles – add a little acid (lemon juice or cream of tartar) to the water. (From: On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee)