Creamy Spinach and Portabella Pasta

 

Creamy Mushroom and Spinach pasta

I haven’t been doing much cooking lately, I am now 39 weeks pregnant and standing up for too long in the kitchen isn’t exactly the highlight of my day.  But I will say that this dish doesn’t take long at all to cook, you just need to prepare the cashews a couple hours in advance by soaking them.  Altogether, this dish took about 15 minutes to cook.  Of course, I used my food processor to chop my garlic and my parsley, so I kind of cheated.  And the cashew cream was made in my Vitamix (which I highly suggest all kitchens have! lol)  But cooking in stock speeds up the process tremendously, while making it 100x more healthy.

I had made this once before and had wanted to put it up my blog but we ate it so fast that I didn’t get to take a picture!  This time around, I made sure to get a picture in before hand, with the help of my mom who is here from NJ waiting for her new grandson to be born.  =)

  • Pasta of your choice (or rice, as my husband had it)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 portabella mushroom caps, diced (keep them diced fairly big, this is the “meat” of the dish)
  • 4 tbsp vegetable broth
  • 3 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter (For flavor only, feel free to omit)
  • 1 can diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup cashew cream (Recipe here)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Parsley

 

In a saute pan, heat up the vegetable stock until steaming and then add the onions and mushrooms.  Cover and cook  over medium heat for 4 minutes.  After the 4 minutes are over, remove the cover and continue to cook, letting some of the liquid cook off, which should take another 2 minutes or so.  Be careful not to burn off too much liquid or the food will begin sticking to the pan.

Add the garlic, the vegan butter (if using) and the can of tomatoes.  Cook over medium heat another 2 minutes, stirring to mix it all together.  Stir in the lemon juice, the nutritional yeast, and the cashew cream.  Your sauce should turn from a brown liquid to a nice thick white-ish brown color.  When it starts to bubble, lower the heat to low and let simmer 5 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with a side of parsley, and possibly extra cashew cream.

 

 

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Vegan Gluten-free Stuffed Mushrooms

Vegan Stuffed Mushrooms

These are SO good, I’m sitting here eating them as I type even though I just had a giant salad.  Serve these to your non-vegan friends and they won’t even know the difference, I promise.  Just a warning, they can get messy!  =)

I used day old fresh baked gluten-free vegan bread.  I used a gluten-free bread mix, and energ egg replacer to make the bread.  No salt added or sugar.  We ate half of it, and the rest of it I let sit out on my counter over night to get hard. I only used one slice of the bread to make bread crumbs, but its very dense.  Some good pre-made vegan, gluten free breads are made by ener-g as well.  They have tapioca bread, and brown rice bread.

Vegan Stuffed Mushrooms:

  • 8 Large White mushrooms with the middle stem removed (you can use crimini for more nutrition, but the white ones are bigger)

Stuffing:

  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 handful fresh chives
  • 1/4 cup tofutti vegan cream cheese (I used herbs and chive flavor)
  • 1 ounce stale gluten free bread slice (I had baked some bread last night so used a slice of it this morning)
  • 2 tbsp flax milk
  • 1/4 cup firm tofu
  • 2 slices vegan swiss cheese
  • 1/3 cup organic stone ground mustard
  • 1 egg replacer (I used Ener-g – its 1 1/2 tsp powder to two tbs warm water for 1 egg)
  • pinch of salt

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Mix up all ingredients in a food processor until smooth.  Line a cooking pan with parchment paper, and fill each mushroom with the stuffing mixture.  Bake in the oven for 25 minutes.  When its done, sprinkle the top with chopped fresh chives.

 

Portabella Burgers

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Nothing says BBQ like a good old fashioned burger!  I opt for the healthier version of the more saturated fat laden kind with a wonderfully marinated portabella mushroom cap, some vegan cheddar cheese (I highly recommend daiya brand) and a vegan mayo.

I had plans to make my won gluten free bun, but I was really pressed for time so instead I bought an organic all natural whole wheat bun.  I did buy gluten free bread flour and will be making a bun from scratch when I’m not bbq’ing in less then an hour.  I literally had enough time to get to the store to buy the mushrooms and put the marinade together, when I came home to find all my neighbors out already beginning to  grill.  When buying bread, make sure there are no ingredients you can’t pronounce.  Ezekiel brand sprouted burger bun is a really good choice.  I do try to avoid gluten as much as possible, but since I’m not intolerant and its more for digestive purposes, its really not a problem for me to indulge every once in while.    However, it does slow down digestion, since gluten acts like a glue (its what gives pasta its chew, and bread its bounce), it does the same thing to our color and gut.  It can be enjoyed but always in moderation.  Listen to your body, if you have a rough time the next day, or you have a lack of energy following a big gluten filled meal, then you might be gluten-intolerant.

Portabella mushroom Marinade:

  • 2 Portabella mushroom caps, washed well
  • 4 Tbsp Organic Stone Ground Mustard
  • 4 Tbsp balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp organic Hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 1 tsp salt and pepper

Combine all marinade ingredients by whisking them with a fork.  Put the marinade and the mushrooms in a ziplock bag and marinade up for two hours.  (I only had time to marinade them for a half hour and they still turned out awesome)

For the burger:

  • Vegan mayo
  • 1 mashed avocado, juice 1/2 a lemon on it so it doesn’t turn brown
  • 1 slice of tomato per burger
  • romaine lettuce, shredded
  • 1 slice vegan cheese per burger (I used daiya brand cheddar)
  • 1 marinaded mushroom

Spread the mayo on both sides of the bun, put the mashed avocado down on one side, then layer the tomato, lettuce and cheese.  Cook the mushroom on direct heat about 5 minutes or until it gets browned.  Move it to the top rack of the grill and close it up for another 5 minutes to let it wilt a bit.  Put it on your burger and enjoy the juicy goodness.  Bring extra napkins, this one is messy!

I served this up with my Creamy Dill and Sweet Potato recipe, which I served cold much like a potato salad =)  Another healthy side dish would be some mashed cauliflower with roasted garlic, which I’ll post a recipe up for soon!

BBQ’s are a great way to get to know your neighbors.  Get out there and have a block party, you never know who you’ll meet in your own backyard.  Happy Cinco De Mayo everyone!

My son playing with the other neighborhood kids, he was pretending to be iron man.

My son playing with the other neighborhood kids, he was pretending to be iron man.