Happy Herbivore Blog

On the fly Shiitake Stir-Fry

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Recipe

At the grocery store this week I passed by some rather cutesy shiitake mushrooms and realized they were an underutilized ingredient in my cooking. 

Sure, I love oyster mushrooms and the mighty portobello--heck, I even cook with white mushrooms from time to time, but shiitake? never. So, I picked a few up and headed home with my new fungi friends.

For a few days we engaged in starring contests; mostly I was just mystified about what to do them, but finally, last night, I pulled them out and decided I'd make it work---youknow, before my fungus grew fungus!

A quick Google search led to the following description: "rich & woodsy with a meaty texture."

Woodsy?? 

What does that mean? Is that like when people say something has as an earthy taste, they really mean it tastes like dirt? Does this mushroom taste like I'm licking tree bark?!

So that's when I solicited some help from HH's Facebook fan page ;-) 

Right away I noticed a lot of Asian-inspired recipe ideas so I settled on an easy stir-fry. (Funny--when we were first vegan I swear all we ate was pasta and stir-frys and now I hardly ever make either, which is a shame because stir-frys are delicious!).

Living in the Caribbean has made me quite fond of fresh garlic and ginger so I started with plenty of both (about 3 garlic cloves and 2.5 tbsp minced ginger) then added in leftover scallions, a fresh pepper and a good pinch of red pepper flakes. I sauteed them in a bit of water for a few minutes, then mixed it up with my cooked brown rice. 

Then the shiitakes (stems removed, and sliced) went into my skillet with 1 tbsp soy sauce and 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (I would have preferred brown rice vinegar, but acv was all I had to work with). I cooked the mushrooms for a few minutes, and then added my snow peas and red bell pepper slices. I continued to cook until everything was cooked, but still mostly crisp. I also added another 1 tbsp of soy sauce and acv, plus an extra splash of soy sauce (I'm using low sodium btw) and a few drops of hot sauce (Szechuan would have been my first choice, but I didn't have it). I spooned it all over a plate of the rice and voila! On the fly fan-inspired shiitake dinner!

(FYI shiitake mushrooms are delightful and definitely not tree-bark-tasting... at least not what I assume tree bark tastes like...I've never eaten tree bark...unless you count cinnamon...) 

Vegan Caribbean Peas & Rice (Fat-Free)

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Recipe

Caribbean Peas and Rice originates here in the West Indies. Although my new friend Tay, the talented author behind Caribbean Vegan, has been schooling me that Caribbean food is so much more than rice and beans, tropical fruit and coconuts, I still find myself attracted to the more simplistic, albeit stereotypical, dishes associated with Caribbean cuisine.

This dish, Caribbean Peas and Rice, is traditionally made with pigeon peas (a type of legume), though regional variations with black-eyed peas exist due to the heavy Creole influence in the Caribbean. 

Since I went for the black-eyed peas route, I also added more Creole elements to my interpretation--such as utilizing celery, a member of the "holy trinity" in Creole cuisine and adding a little tomato for complexity. I also added a bit of turmeric for color -- which I think gave the rice a stunning hue. 

If you can't find Jamaican dried jerk seasoning (it's a dry spice, but not a rub -- those are salty), you can blend your own--there are plenty of recipes online and chances are you already have all the component spices in your cupboard. Mine is a mix of ginger, crushed pepper, ground pepper, garlic, onion, thyme, onion flakes, sugar and salt. 

Check out this "Blooper" picture---I caught quite the reflection on my patio door!

Recipe:Caribbean Peas & Rice

Description

All the flavors of the Caribbean captured in this easy, well balanced meal. You can also add vegan sausage sliced on the diagonal for a more varied dish. 

Ingredients

Instructions

Combine rice with 2 cups of vegetable broth in a large pot and set aside. Line a skillet with a thin layer of broth and add scallions, celery, garlic, ginger, thyme, jalapeno sauce and 1 tsp jerk seasoning. Cook over high heat, adding additional broth as necessary, until the celery is soft, about 3 minutes. Add remaining jerk seasoning, stirring to coat. Transfer to rice, add 2 squirts of ketchup and turmeric (for color), stirring to combine. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce heat to low and simmer 40-50 minutes, until rice is cooked, but keep and eye on it, as you may need to add more broth or water (some brown rice is very thirsty). Meanwhile, lightly steam greens. Press out any excess water and chop into bite-sized pieces. Once rice is fully cooked, fluff with a spatula then stir in black-eyed peas and greens. Serve with jalapeno sauce on the table. 

Fat-Free Vegan Pumpkin Pie (Crustless)

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Recipe

As promised, here is my recipe for fat-free (healthy!) vegan pumpkin pie. I am in LOVE with this recipe. It's from my upcoming cookbook but I'm sharing it now so you can try one of these tasty delights this holiday season. It will seriously blow your mind!

Mmm...now I kind of want a slice. Pumpkin pie for breakfast? Well I guess I could settle for the more appropriate pumpkin pie smoothie...

Recipe:Pumpkin Pie (Crustless)

Description

This pie is incredible. It's totally crust-less but still firms up like the real deal so you can cut individual slices without it falling apart. It's like a little tofu miracle. You can use Mori-Nu (any firmness) or silken tofu. The tofu must be the soft kind -- like a pudding... not the firm block kind of tofu.

Ingredients

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 9” shallow glass pie dish, set aside. In a blender or food processor, blend tofu, non-dairy milk, cornstarch and vanilla until smooth, stopping to scrape sides periodically. Add remaining ingredients and blend for about a minute more, until the mixture is uniform and well combined. Pour the mixture into the pie dish and bake for 1 hour. Allow the pie to cool on the counter, away from the hot oven, until room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or for at least 4 hours.