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Posts tagged ‘portobello’

Black Eyed Pea Cutlets with Smoky Mushrooms & Dandelion Greens, and Roasted Corn

Who says vegetarians can’t have good cutlets?

Black Eyed Pea Cutlets with Smoky Dandelion Greens/Mushrooms and Roasted Corn

Many times when vegetarians think of a cutlet, they think of a mock frozen cutlet made from textured vegetable protein or another combo of highly processed ingredients. However, thanks to Isa Chandra Moscowitz and Terry Hope Romero’s Veganomicon, you can quickly make delicious cutlets highly from whole ingredients that are satisfying, hearty, and tasty!

In the book, the recipe is actually for Chickpea Cutlets. I did not have any chickpeas prepared, but I did have some black eyed peas on hand. So, I tried the recipe with these beans, and I thought they tasted great. I’ve also made these cutlets with black beans and gotten similarly tasty results. Eventually though I will make them with chickpeas!

You start by mashing the beans in a large bowl with olive oil until no whole beans are left. As you can see in the photo, I missed a bean or two. This won’t hurt the cutlets in terms of flavor but you’ll want the beans to be at least 99% mashed or else you’ll have problems shaping. You then add the rest of the main foundation: vital wheat gluten (used to make seitan) and bread crumbs. I never buy pre-made bread crumbs, but rather lightly toast one or two slices of bread, and then run them through the blender or mini food processor. Instant crumbs! You then finish up by adding minced garlic, water, soy sauce (I used Bragg’s liquid aminos), dried thyme, paprika, and dried rubbed sage. The book also calls for lemon zest, but I didn’t have a lemon and so left this out; the result was still tasty. You then combine the ingredients by folding a bit, then kneading for a few minutes until gluten threads form and the dough becomes kind of stretchy and pliable – basically, it shouldn’t be falling apart when you fold it over to knead.

Cutlet dough with gluten threads

Once you’re done kneading, you divide the dough into four equal parts, then pat each part into a flat, rectangular cutlet. It’s stretchy so don’t be afraid to really flatten and pull it out! You can always reshape the cutlet if it tears. You then lay the cutlets on a lightly oiled baking sheet, spray the tops with a little more oil, then bake at 375 F for twenty minutes. After 20 minutes, you flip the cutlets and bake for 8-10 minutes more. Wammy! Four tasty bean cutlets made in under an hour, and which freeze really well for future dinners!

With so much baking time, it is really easy to prepare sides while these cook, meaning your whole meal can be ready in under an hour. To start, I placed an ear of corn in the oven with the cutlets after about five minutes of the first round of cutlet cooking, so that the corn could roast for about twenty-five minutes. However, no cutlet dinner is complete without a side of greens! I decided to cook up some more dandelion greens, along with some baby portobellos for added heartiness. Lots of vegetables in this dinner – never a bad thing!

To prepare this side, I filled a skillet with about an inch of water and heated it on high, bringing the water to a rolling boil. I then added the greens and mushrooms, along with a teaspoon of liquid smoke to give it a nice smoky flavor (you may want to add more if you want it to taste really smoky). The veggies all quickly reduced in about five minutes, so you can cook this during the second round of cutlet baking.

Reduced smoky greens and mushrooms

When drained and ready to serve, you can add some seasonings to the greens and mushrooms. Salt and pepper works well, and I used seasoning salt, which added a nice multitude of flavors. I only gave it a few shakes though, so the spices wouldn’t overpower the veggies.

This is a nice Southern-style meal that’s hearty without gorging one’s stomach. It’s perfect for an outdoor summer dinner, or even in your livingroom! In the past I’ve also served these cutlets with mashed cauliflower, which makes for a great combo; and they also go well in a big sandwich with ketchup, mustard, tomato, and greens. Definitely give them a try!

Steamy greens fresh off the skillet!

Tofu Scramble with Baby Portobellos and Swiss Chard

Whether for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, a tofu scramble hits the spot!

Tofu Scramble with Baby Portobellos and Swiss Chard

Tofu scrambles are one of my favorite meals to prepare. It can all be done in one skillet (magic!), and there’s a lot of room for playing around with seasonings and fixin’s! It’s also a lot healthier than scrambled eggs, and IMO, much tastier. Everyone wins!

Normally my go-to tofu scramble is a blend of tofu, lotsa seasonings, beans (usually black beans), and some greens. I decided to reduce the seasonings and up the vegetables by making this scramble with baby portobello mushrooms. One of my favorite omelets (as my boyfriend can attest) is spinach and mushroom, and this dish mimics that omelet to a tee (the omelet also usually has cheese, and this scramble can definitely be made with vegan cheese shreds if you like!). Mushrooms are great with eggs/vegan eggs because they have a nice hearty texture and an earthy taste that can’t be beat, especially when cooked in the skillet!

Tip: wash delicate portobellos (and other mushrooms) by rubbing a damp paper towel over the caps. No mushroom brush needed! Take that, marketing!

I of course kept my greens within the scramble though, and this time added swiss chard (the regular kind as opposed to rainbow swiss). Any greens will do though – some of my favorites to add include spinach (naturally), kale, and mustard greens.

I started my scramble by heating a bit of oil (including toasted sesame oil) in a skillet, then adding one clove of garlic and sauteing for a bit. I then crumbled some extra firm tofu directly over the skillet, mashing the big hunks up with a spatula. You can also crumble beforehand in a bowl if you like. I then stirred the tofu a bit, then added dashes of paprika, cumin, and turmeric (which gives the tofu an egg-y yellow color). I added these seasonings before adding the vegetables because they are really there to flavor up the tofu as opposed to the whole dish, and I didn’t want the portobellos and chard stealing the tofu’s seasoning thunder.

Once the tofu is (mostly) yellow, the spices are well-incorporated and you don't have to keep stirring

After cooking for a bit, I added the mushrooms and chopped swiss chard to the skillet, stirring to get everything mixed, and cooked until both vegetables had reduced in size and been heated through. And then, you’re done! In total this took about 20-30 minutes including prep, but I tend to be slow when it comes to chopping veggies, so you may see faster results. It’s definitely a quick and easy meal loaded with protein, healthy fats, and lots of vitamins and minerals, perfect for any time of day!

Tofu Scramble with Baby Portobellos and Swiss Chard (Serves 1)

Quick spray of cooking oil + a bit of toasted sesame oil or 1 tsp olive oil + 1 tsp toasted sesame oil (the sesame oil is optional but recommended. If not using, just sub more olive oil)

1-2 cloves garlic, diced

1/4 to 1/3 of a 14 oz block of extra firm tofu

Dashes of cumin, paprika, and turmeric, to taste

3-5 baby portobellos, thinly sliced

Two stalks of swiss chard, stems removed, leaves chopped or torn

Salt and pepper, to taste

Heat the oils on medium in a skillet, then add the garlic and saute for about a minute. Crumble the tofu directly into the pan, breaking up any large chunks with a spatula. Stir the tofu to mix with the oils and garlic, then add your spices. Stir until the tofu turns yellow from the turmeric, and allow to cook for a couple minutes before adding the vegetables. If it seems a little dry, don’t worry – you’re about to add a lot of moisture!

After cooking the tofu for a bit, add the mushrooms and swiss chard, stirring to mix all ingredients well. Allow to cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms and especially the swiss chard have reduced in size. Add the salt and pepper, then cook for another minute or two more. Serve hot.

Bowl o’ Happiness (Veggie and Grain Bowl)

How about some happiness for dinner?

Bowl o' Happiness

Having spent four years cooking in the dorm and several years cooking in a small kitchen, you learn to embrace the skillet meal. I love stir-fry’s because you can cook everything together, you use relatively-little space, and it cooks vegetables to a nice bite which neither steaming nor boiling can hold a candle too. Plus, you can eat everything in one bowl!

While this recipe/incarnation uses quinoa and specific veggies, it’s really a versatile recipe and can be made with whatever grains and vegetables you prefer. Go crazy! This could almost be called Kitchen Sink Stir-Fry but I like Bowl o’ Happiness better because a) it’s more fun to say, and b) it’s true! All those veggies and whole grains cooked in healthy oils and lightly-seasoned? How can you not be smiling with every bite?

Veggies, glorious veggies!

First off, I cooked up some quinoa, which took about ten minutes since I only prepared a single serving. The recipe is even faster and uses less kitchenware if you use pre-baked quinoa. Tip: I usually keep a tupperware of pre-made brown rice or wheat berries in the fridge since these take longer to cook, and don’t go bad super-quickly (but they can go bad after awhile! Originally this meal was gonna have brown rice but the small amount I had left was in the fridge just a little too long). But quinoa is fast-cooking and doesn’t necessarily need to be pre-made; you can chop veggies and prep your other ingredients while it cooks!

To start the stir-fry, I heated a blend of olive and toasted sesame oils in a skillet on medium, then sauteed some onion and garlic for about a minute or two, until the onions started to become translucent. I then added some frozen spinach (which I thawed under running water) and sliced baby portobello mushrooms.

I added the mushrooms and spinach first because both have a pretty high water content and I wanted to let the water steam out some and allow the mushrooms to reduce in size before adding the other veggies. This helps the rest of the veggies stay more crisp and prevents any seasonings from washing off in the water which is coming from the spinach and especially the mushrooms. However, you don’t have to have the water completely gone before adding the rest of the ingredients, just mostly gone. You don’t have to do much stirring here, so this is a good time to do some dishes or prep more veggies if need be.

This is how the mushrooms looked right when I added the other ingredients, just as a guide/suggestion.

Finally, I added everything else – the quinoa, black-eyed peas (like the quinoa, the choice of bean is not limited to one type), carrots, asparagus, frozen peas, and frozen corn. Mm mm, what a colorful skillet! I sauteed the veggies for awhile, then added a generous drizzle of Bragg’s liquid aminos, a lower-sodium sub for soy sauce (but you can use soy sauce if you like, or even just salt). After stirring in the Bragg’s, I allowed the mixture to cook without stirring for a bit, to give them a chance to heat up before tossing them around. And then it was done! This is a nice, simple stir-fry that doesn’t use a lot of spices or sauces, so it gives the veggies a chance to stand out on their own. Besides, sesame oil has such a great flavor on its own, you really don’t need much else.

Bowl o’ Happiness (Veggie + Grain Bowl) (Serves 2, or 1 if you’re famished)

1/4 cup dry quinoa + 1/2 cup water (or 1/2 cup prepared quinoa or other grain)

2 tsp olive oil

1 tsp toasted sesame oil

1 large clove of garlic, diced

2-3 TB diced yellow onion

1/2 cup frozen spinach, slightly thawed

3-4 baby portobellos, sliced

1 medium carrot, chopped

3 spears asparagus, chopped

1/3 cup frozen peas, slightly thawed under running water

1/4 cup frozen corn kernels, slightly thawed

Bragg’s liquid aminos, to taste

In a small sauce pan, bring the quinoa and water to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the quinoa has sprouted (when the swirly white part is visible on the grain).

In a medium or large skillet, heat oils on medium, then add the garlic and onion, sauteeing for a minute or two until the onions start to become translucent. Add the spinach and mushrooms and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the water from the spinach and mushrooms has reduced greatly and the mushrooms have started to shrink (entirely is not necessary). Add the quinoa, beans, carrot, asparagus, peas, and corn, stirring to incorporate. Cook for about a minute, then add the Bragg’s, stirring it into the veggies and quinoa. Cook for about five minutes more, stirring occasionally. Serve hot in your favorite bowl.