Wilted Kale/Spinach and asparagus

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One of the hardest parts of eating vegan is not forgoing ice-cream (there are great substitutes!), missing out on fast-food (it isn’t good for you anyway, and there are veg friendly options!), or even eating at a friend’s house (my friends are awesome!), the hardest part of eating vegan is turning down the nice people at publix when they offer you a sample of the latest concoction.

Thursday was no different. The dish looked amazing, wilted kale (which I love), tomatoes (favorite!), something that looked like onions, chopped asparagus, it was easy to tell that vinegar was involved and it smelled lovely. I saw chicken, which could be picked out easily, but my heart sunk when I noticed that it was sprinkled with parmesan. Living vicariously in dairy adventures through Josh, I watched with jealousy as he devoured the sample dish. My spirits, however, were lifted when he not only proclaimed that the dish was phenomenal, but would have to be cooked by us, really soon.

Soon ended up being dinner that night.

Ingredients:

Olive oil (2 tbs)
Shallots (2, or one package, chopped coarsely)
Tomatoes (one pint!)
“Garlic spice mix” (2 tsps, I mixed together garlic salt, basil, parsley, onion powder)
Kale (chopped 5 oz, kale and spinach mixture)
Asparagus (chopped 1 inch pieces 4 oz)
Mushrooms (as many as you want, not part of the original recipe, but added in place of chicken!)
Sugar (3 tbs)
Red Wine Vinegar (1/4 cup)
Fresh Basil (1/2 cup chopped)

Heat oil in a large frying pan and add shallots, tomatoes, and half of the spice mix. Cook until tomatoes are soft. A mushrooms and sauté for a minute or so as you mix the sugar and vinegar.

Let sit for 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add asparagus, wait a minute, add the kale, basil, and the rest of the spice mix. Cook until the green leafy vegetable of choice is wilted.

Remove from heat and serve. Josh added cheese to his…feel free to also indulge in dairy!

While this dish was simple, it was really good! The vinegar and sugar gives an unexpected glaze to the usually savory vegetables. The shallots were surprisingly awesome…given my hatred for onions, I am excited to announce that I ate all of them!

For those of you interested…here is the original recipe

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Cooking in the New Year!

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Hello all you out there! The past year has been busy, intense, and full of good food that unfortunately went unclogged! Along with a long list of resolutions for the new year, I am going to pick up blogging again…and maybe Kristina will join me 🙂

Last night, Josh and I decided that we wanted a dish with mushrooms and kale…we just weren’t sure what form the dish would take. Since publix was closed early for the new year, we roamed the aisles of Walmart searching for ingredients to meet our very vague culinary desires. Grabbing portobello mushrooms, a box of baby bella mushrooms, and the only fresh kale to be found (a spinach and kale duo bag) we decided to make a kale/spinach pesto to go on top of simple sautéed mushrooms.

Ingredients

Kale/spinach (about half of a 13 oz bag)
Garlic (Josh shares my love of excessive garlic so we put in seven cloves of garlic…between 3 to 5 would have been sufficient!)
Walnuts (a handful)
Juice of a lemon
Dried basil (1-2tbs)
Olive oil (add slowly until mixture is creamy)
Mushrooms

To make the pesto, chop garlic and first round or olive oil in the blender until the garlic is fairly demolished. Then add half of the kale, lemon, and walnuts. Blend until creamy, adding olive oil as needed. Once the first round is done, add the remaining lemon, kale, basil, and walnuts and blend. Josh removed part of the top of the blender to push around the ingredients, which worked for a little while. Unfortunately, the utensil he was using caught one of the blades in the blender and pesto was slung all around his kitchen. The biggest tragedy was that the cabinet above the blender was open and the herbs, spices, and collection of oils was painted a dark green! The ceiling was fortunately spared. I therefore advise extreme caution when experimenting with the top of the blender! (Side note…mom, I remember you telling me this would happen one day!)

While the pesto is combining, chop the mushrooms into large chunks, and sauté in olive oil. Remember, mushrooms provide their own juice when heated, so minimal olive oil is required.

Once the mushrooms are done and the pesto is to satisfaction, divide the mushrooms, top with pesto, serve and enjoy!

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Late night mushroom omelette with Keely!

Hello long lost land of WordPress and all my lovely food blog lovers out there. 🙂 It has been quite sometime since I have graced the WordPress stratosphere with my sarcastic food loving presence. It has been a whirlwind of activity since I last spoke to you all. I went home for thanksgiving, shortly after I had finals and then Christmas break, as soon as that was over I went to Pennsylvania with my boyfriend Chas for New Years. Where I had every intention of blogging some of the fantastic things we made with his brother Patrick and sister in law Beth, but time just got away with us.

So I am here to tell you about the mushroom omelette we made on Thursday night. I had gone to the farmers market with Jenni on Sunday and gotten some lovely fresh fruit and veggies but, I didn’t know what I was going to do with them. I’ve been staying at my boyfriend families house quite frequently and his sister keely (who is an insomniac like me) has quickly become my night time hang out awesome friend and sous chef. She shares my love of mushrooms so we decided to make an omelette.

So for this you will need 4 eggs, minced garlic, a hand full of mushrooms, half an onion.

Set the heat for medium, mixed up eggs with a fork and put in a small/medium pan depending on the size of the omelette you want and the amount of insides you are putting. Let it whiten a bit and then add the ingredients to one side. Push the side of the eggs that doesn’t have the veggies and drain the excess liquid off to the side, no one likes soggy eggs. Once all the liquid is drained flip the one side over the other and serve.

I’ll have another late night creation for you guys tomorrow. Stay tuned.

I’m back!! 🙂

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Stuffed Mushrooms

as all of you may know, Jenni and I have a love for mushrooms that is endless. Almost as endless as Jenni’s love of Chickpeas, Hummus, and Broccoli. Except, Jenni can actually get me to eat mushrooms without an earth shattering battle, me screeching about devil vegetables, and threatening to damn her to the deepest pits of the world while trying to feed me the foul tree like object.

Meeting on the grounds of our mutual love, we decided to make Stuffed Mushrooms. Normally I’d make them with marscapone cheese, but with Jenni being vegan and me respecting her food choices when we eat together I went a different root.

For this recipe you will need:

10-15 medium to large sized mushrooms, we used white mushrooms.
1 cup breadcrumbs (vegan breadcrumbs, if you cook like us)
1 small onion
3-4 cloves garlic
Fresh Parsley
Fresh Basil
olive oil

First step is to carefully remove the stems of the mushrooms, but do not discard them you will be using these for the stuffing. After you’ve removed all of the stems, chop the stems up nice and small along with the garlic, onions, basil, parsley and put it in a pan with a little bit of olive oil. Cook it all down until soft and then mix it in with the bread crumbs. Make sure it is mixed good, when it is you will need to carefully stuff the mushrooms with the mixture. Like I said make sure you do it carefully, because when stuffing the mushrooms can break. Bake in the oven at 350 for 35-45 minutes.

These came out fantastic, I love mushrooms and frankly it tastes like thanksgiving stuff made home inside one of my favorite veggies.

Enjoy!

Amazing Curry!



One of the many benefits of living downtown is easy access to the library. On Sunday, I decided to stroll the few blocks down to the public library and check out their cooking section. I was overwhelmed with the selection, several aisles dedicated to different types of cooking. I picked three, with every intention on going back for more. The three chosen books were The Kind Diet (Alica Silverstone on being vegan), 660 Curries, and The Sopranos Family Cookbook (Kristina wanted more Italian recipes!) The following meal comes from the 660 Curries book.

I love curry, but I rarely eat it. In fact, every time I eat it, I am reminded how much I love it! While it has occurred to me that I could make this amazing dish, it wasn’t until I saw the book that I decided to actually try it. Imagine that! Cooking from a BOOK and not pinterest! The final product yielded an amazing dish, this may actually be the best curry I have ever had. I had to stop myself from having thirds so that I can eat some for lunch tomorrow!

The recipe calls for a pressure cooker for the beans…I used my rice cooker, which is basically the same idea, and then transferred the beans to another pot.

Ingredients

1 cup of dried black eyed peas

2 tbs oil (they recommend canola or mustard oil…i used vegetable)

8 oz of crimini mushrooms (I used a box of baby bella mushrooms)

1 tsp coarse sea salt

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp ground ginger

1 cup of fresh cilantro

Rice (not part of the original recipe, but i used it!)

First wash the beans. Make sure you get all the gunk off of them. Place them in a bowl, play around with them, rinse and repeat. You will be using the water they cook in for this meal, so it is essential that you clean them! Next, cook the beans in the manner that you are most comfortable with. I used my rice cooker with three cups of water. Adjust as needed. This process took about 45 minutes for the beans to be completely ready.

When the beans are starting to get soft, heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the sliced mushrooms and saute until they are browned and start to shrink. Add the cayenne, ginger, salt, and cilantro. Cook all together for a few minutes, until cilantro is cooked down.

The recipe says to add the mushroom mix to the beans and continue to cook. I did not want to do that with my rice cooker! (in retrospect, I could have easily switched the machine to ‘warm’ and would have been fine). I transferred the beans and their remaining water (a lot had boiled down) to a new pot on the stove. I then added the mushroom mixture. Place on medium heat and wait until the juice blends together making a nice thick sauce. This part took 7-10 minutes.

Once all the flavors have nicely melded together, the water has turned into a thick sauce, and your kitchen smells amazing, remove from heat and serve. I placed mine on a bed of brown rice.

This meal is healthy, vegan, and amazing!

Stuffed Peppers!



Growing up, I remember my Dad loving stuffed peppers. Unfortunately, my tastebuds were not sophisticated enough for this amazing dish. Stuffed peppers are versatile, healthy, and can pack an amazing amount of different ingredients into their lovely green vessels. Stuffed peppers also have left me wondering…what other amazing things did I snub as a child?

As it is Sunday, Kristina came over to cook. Unlike the past Sundays though, I made this dish on my own, while she was busy baking cookies. Stay tuned for her post on those!

Ingredients:

4 stuffed peppers
1/2 cup of prepared rice
4 mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup of chick peas
a few cloves of garlic
1/2 cup of “meat” (i used tofu crumbles…you could use real meat if you choose)
a handful of sundried tomatoes
a few tbs of tomato sauce (depends on your taste)
olive oil

**I cooked my rice and beans (separately!) in my rice cooker prior to starting this dish. I used brown rice, but white minute rice works as well. I cooked dried chick peas, but canned also work!**

Cut off the lids/hats of the peppers, take out the seeds, and wash out the insides. Place the peppers, sans lids, into water to boil.

While the peppers are boiling, saute garlic and mushrooms in oil oil until the mushrooms are tender. Add rice, chickpeas, meat, sundried tomatoes and tomato sauce. Cook until all the different tastes combine into a lovely concoction. Leave on the stove on low until the peppers are ready to be used.

The peppers are ready when they begin to get soft. Remember, you are still cooking them, boiling them is just quickening the process! Take the peppers out of the water, and fill with the rest of the ingredients. Stuff them generously, but make sure they have enough room to place their respective hats back on. Place the stuffed peppers in a baking dish that has been oiled. Place in oven and cook at 410 for about 20 minutes. Enjoy!

This dish is healthy, vegan, and great for leftovers!

Wild Mushroom and Artichoke Pasta

One of the benefits of living downtown is being able to walk to the farmers market. Last Sunday, Kristina and I ventured down to the market and bought a good amount vegetables. One of my more exciting finds was a beautiful portebello mushroom next to a basket of crimini mushrooms! I had been craving a strong mushroom dish for quite some time, and decided that this was my opportunity!

Searching online (yes, pinterest again!) I found an awesome recipe for mushrooms and artichokes over pasta. the accompanying picture sold me on the dish. I went to publix and gathered my ingredients.

Between the time I went food shopping and the time I decided to create this meal, I craved hummus…so all of my chickpeas were sacrificed for a noble cause. I also realized that I completely forgot to purchase white wine, so I decided to use red wine vinegar instead. I am also not entirely sure where I would find Braggs so it was left out.

Ingredients

1 large portebello mushroom, diced into pieces
7 criminis chopped
7 baby bellas chopped
3 garlic cloves chopped
1 jar of artichoke hearts (drained)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 tbs olive oil
2 tbs vegan butter
1 tsp Herbes de Provence
1/2 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp black pepper
pasta

A word about the mushrooms. The criminis and baby bellas looks REALLY similar. I decided to count them separately, because they are technically two different things, although they are often used interchangeably. The two are aged differently, causing a slightly different taste. Back to the recipe!

First add the butter and the olive oil to a large frying pan, and wait for the butter to melt. Then, add your garlic and chopped mushrooms. After about five minutes add the drained jar of artichoke hearts. Stir and add the vinegar and spices. Simmer on low until the mushrooms are tender. The longer it is on the stove, the stronger the flavor!

While this is cooking, boil, cook, and drain the pasta of your choice. She calls for linguini, I had farfella (bow-tie pasta!)

When all is cooked and ready (and your kitchen smells amazing) add the mixture to the top of the pasta and enjoy. This meal is not only my new favorite, but may be the highlight of my cooking experience. Yes, it is that good!

If you use vegan margarine, it is vegan. It is also extremely healthy…and just all around amazing!!

Just like Jenni…

Just like Jenni yesterday I had some pantry cleaning to do. I found myself with an excess of half used jars of previous recipes ingredients, so in an act of culinary genius I threw together a meal for myself and my friend Natalie, with some leftover for her boyfriend/my roommate Dale. 

The gist of the dish was this: 

1 can of diced tomatoes

1/2 jar of sundried tomatoes

1/2 jar of sweet pepper

1 tablespoon of Capers

Garlic

Balsamic Vinegar

Red pepper flakes

1 container of mushrooms, chopped

and a box of Penne Pasta

 

so, I started with just mushrooms and the idea that I was going to make mushroom pasta.  It sort of evolved into this conglomeration of ingredients.  I cooked the mushrooms until they were soft, tossed in everything except for the can of diced tomatoes, I had that in a separate little pot heating up and eventually moved it over so the mixture could simmer together.   Boiled the pasta until al dente and tossed it with my “sauce” mixture. 

Like I said simple and easy, but quite tasty.  

 

I hope you stick around and enjoy our 30 days of posting. 😀

Hummus Pasta? YES!

So the picture isn’t as pretty as it tastes…

I made hummus last night, and realized I had nothing to spread it on…it has also been raining lately, which has curbed my desire to venture into publix. I decided it was time to get creative!

I found this recipe on pinterest a while ago, and was interested and scared…hummus on pasta? I gathered the following ingredients:

Pasta
Hummus
Olive oil
Mushrooms
Grape Tomatoes
Spinach

Ok, so maybe not too creative. This is basically everything I eat anyway, but this time all together! Spinach, mushrooms, and tomatoes are my go-to veggies, I love pasta, and hummus is yummus (and feeds into my chickpea addiction)…so on with the recipe!

While boiling the pasta, I cut up mushrooms and placed them in a small sauce pan with a modest amount of olive oil. I cooked the mushrooms while I cut up the tomatoes (which I then added to the mixture). Once both were fairly cooked, and some juice had magically appeared at the bottom of the pan, I added a generous amount of spinach to the top of the mixture and place the lid on the pan. After cooking a few minutes, I peeked into the pan, stirred, and replaced the lid. Once the spinach had wilted down (about five minutes) I added about three table spoons of hummus, stirred, and added more. The goal is to get the mixture thick, but not as thick as hummus! Think alfredo!

I decided to forgo adding spices to the mixture, the mushrooms smelled particularly lovely, and the hummus already has coriander, garlic, pepper, and parsley in it!

While other recipes suggest adding water to the hummus, I found that the juice from the cooked vegetables was enough to create a sauce like mixture. By now, the pasta is done and ready to be drained. Add pasta and sauce to the bowl and enjoy this very minimalist, but very tasty (and vegan!), meal!

This is so easy, it is a new favorite!

Rolled and Baked Chicken with Feta and Sun-dried Tomatoes


Sunday rolled around this week with a simple question from Jenni, “What are we going to cook today?” she was feeling particularly un-vegan and had a craving for chicken, and so like the good friend that I am I suggested that we amend that urge and give into our more carnal needs for poultry. 

and now for Jenni to explain how we did the chicken, later I will explain how I made 2 different sauces to go with our meal.


 

Tonight, in the most non-vegan manner, I decided to branch out and create a pseudo stuffed chicken recipe (fake in that it is really rolled chicken….and yes, I used real chicken!). Now, you cannot just have chicken for dinner without a wonderful side dish! In addition to my stuffed chicken I sauteed mushrooms and spinach which made a plate overrun with healthy flavors (while simultaneously cleaning out the excess of spinach and mushrooms in my fridge).

Chicken Ingredients

Chicken cutlets
Sundried tomatoes
Feta cheese

This is insanely simple! Take a chicken cutlet, in the middle of it place some sundried tomatoes and feta cheese. Roll the cutlet into a..well…roll. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes (or until cooked thoroughly). Enjoy!

Spinach and Mushroom Happiness

Ingredients:

fresh spinach
crimini mushrooms
white mushrooms
olive oil
garlic (sliced)

There are not specified quantities because it really depends on how many people are eating, and how big you would like your portions to be! Please remember that spinach and mushrooms loose a lot of their mass when sauteed, so you may want to add more than usually deemed necessary.

Again, something incredibly easy (but makes the house smell amazing!). Coat the bottom of a frying pan with olive oil. Slice criminis, white mushrooms, and garlic and place in pan. Add a healthy portion of spinach to the top. Cover the frying pan and cook on medium, stirring a few times to ensure that everything cooks.


Kristina here again, now I said earlier in this post that I made to different sauces to go with our rolled chicken. One of which was an Kalamata Olive Aioli and another a roasted red pepper sauce. Now, I have a habit and love for making things off the cuff, and that is exactly what I did.  

The Aioli is simple. it’s base is mayo and I used ruffly half a cup. Traditionally you would use more mayo but I was trying to keep it reasonably healthy and mayo is really fatty. 

Kalamata Olive Aioli:

1/2 cup Mayo

1 cup Kalamata Olives

2 Tbsp Lemon Juice

Pepper

Salt

and 2 cloves of garlic.  I used 4 but that is because I have an unnatural love for all things garlicy. 

The second sauce, was made entirely on whim and I didn’t measure anything so I’ll just tell you what I put in it. 

1 roasted red pepper

Kalamata Olives

Sun-Dried tomatoes

olive oil

garlic 

both of these sauces were put in the food processor until creamy and used as wanted on any part of this dish.

 

Enjoy! and check out the rest of our posts~