Tag Archives: mushrooms

Mushroom and Walnut Roast

18 Jul

This roast loaf will not win any prizes for beautiful food.  But, it is tasty, easy and cruelty-free – which makes it good in my books!

Let’s begin with the actual roast loaf.

You’ll need:

  • 250g cooked chickpeas (or 2 cans)
  • 2 shallots – diced
  • 1 onion – diced
  • 1 leek – thinly sliced
  • 6-7 medium sized mushrooms – peeled and sliced
  • 1 big handful of walnuts
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 big tablespoon parsley (or finely chopped spinach would also be good!)
  • 3/4 cup pre-made vegetable stock (either home made, cube or powder)
  • 1/4 – 2/3 cup nutritional yeast (if desired)
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a much-too-big saucepan and a small amount of oil, saute the shallots, leek and onions until translucent.  Take off the heat and set aside.

In a food processor, very quickly wizz up the chickpeas – you still want to have a fair amount of whole and half chickpeas.  To this add the walnuts, parsley, and a small amount of the olive oil and wizz a bit more – keep adding oil until the mixture is very well combined.  It’s not very important for all the chickpeas to be mushed up – having some whole chickpeas can be advantageous!

Add the vegetable stock to the onion mix, then add the chickpea-walnut mix and the nutritional yeast.  Stir over a low heat until the two are well combined.  Spoon the mix into a lined loaf-pan and bake in a 180 degree oven for about 45 minutes.  If you like, you can take the roast loaf out at about 30 minutes and invert onto a flat baking tray to finish off the last 15 minutes.  Doing this will have two results: first, it will crisp up the outside of the loaf and, second, you’ll have to wash up a baking tray on top of everything else.

After you take the loaf out of the oven, invert (if you haven’t already) onto a serving plate and slice.  It’s designed to be very moist and a bit ‘sloppy.’  The slices won’t stay in very nice little rectangles unless you are very careful when plating up.

Now, the sauce!  Well, to be honest, this is not exactly a sauce and more of a ‘topping’ but, it’s still good!

You’ll need:

  • 1 leek – diced
  • 1 onion – diced
  • 4 medium mushrooms – thinly sliced and cut into halves
  • 2-3 tablespoons of Nuttelex or similar non-diary ‘butter’
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1-2 teaspoons of vegetable stock powder or a bullion cube (alternatively, replace water with home made vegetable stock)

The easiest way to dice your leek is this: cut the leek in half lengthways and pull out the little center bit.  You’ll then be able to flatten out the rest of the leek into ‘sheets’, cut lengthways into thirds and then cut those long strips into squares.

To begin the sauce, melt a decent spoonful of Nuttelex on a fairly hot heat.  Once melted, put the diced onion and leek into the saucepan and stir constantly for 2-3 minutes, remembering to scrape down the sides fairly regularly.  Once the mix is well coated and starting to look translucent, add 1/4 cup of water and 2 teaspoons of stock powder (or 1/4 cup of pre-made vegetable stock).  Put the mushroom in, turn the heat down a little bit and put a lid on the saucepan and let it simmer away, stiring or shaking occasionally.  Once the mushroom has softened up take off the heat, and let rest with the lid still on for a few minutes.  It will thicken up a bit, but not heaps.  Serve either on top of or on the side of your roast loaf.

The loaf is great with roast vegetables.  Last night we had ours with crispy roast potatoes, parsnips, sweet potatoes and pumpkin with peas.  Tonight, we had the loaf with mashed potato, peas and carrots.  S also had chips from the fish and chip shop – but we won’t talk about that…

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Faux-Chicken and Mushroom White Stew

29 Jun

The summer days are slipping away and the rain looks like it’s here to stay, and that only means one thing: putting all those lovely crispy salads and BBQ recipes away and pulling out warm, tasty, comforting winter food!  This one is a staple in my kitchen, even though I am not the hugest fan of faux-meat, S is still in that transition phase and, even so, he just likes the taste.  For this dish I like to use the Fry’s faux-chicken strips.  Firstly, I like Fry’s because S really likes the taste, and secondly, because all of their products are vegan and I think that’s worth supporting.

This stew is really good on it’s own but even better with pastry ‘biscuits’ or a lid.

For the biscuits you’ll need a sheet of puff pastry.  I use Borg’s, because it’s vegan and it says so in big bold letters right on the front (which is easy when S makes the trip to the supermarket!).  You’ll also need a scone-press, a cookie-cutter or, failing all that, a knife.  All you need to do is cut out circles of pastry, spray with olive oil or brush with some Nuttelex and pop them in the oven until their just starting to get some colour and then flip them over and back in until golden brown.

For the stew:

  • 1/2 pack of Fry’s Chicken Style Strips
  • 1/2 a medium leek – diced
  • 1/2 a decent sized brown onion – diced
  • 4-5 medium sized mushrooms – peeled and sliced
  • 1 big carrot – cut into rough cubes
  • 3/4 cup of peas (not minted!)
  • 1/2 tub of Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 3/4 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Nuttelex
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • sour cream substitute (like Tofutti Sour Supreme) to garnish, if desired.

What to do:

Start by browning off the leek and onion in the Nuttelex, in a large pot.  When it looks almost done, put in the faux-chicken strips, 1/2 cup of vegetable stock and a pinch of salt, and the diced up carrots and let it simmer away for 5-6 minutes, to cook the carrots and the faux-chicken though.  Next add the peas, nutritional yeast, the rest of the stock, 1/4 of a tub of Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese and stir until the cream cheese has dissolved.  At this stage it should look like some insipid bath water – that’s okay!  Now is the time to add the mushrooms, and to slowly add small piles of flour and more cream cheese and continually stir until the sauce begins to thicken up, obviously, stop when you get to a consistency you like.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Top with a sour cream substitute if you like, and three or four pastry biscuits.  This makes a pretty good pie filling, too.

Vegan Tofu Stroganoff

15 Jun

I am ashamed to admit that from the opening minutes of last night’s MasterChef I have been thinking – nay, obsessing – about the logistics of this dish.  How to make the beef and sour-cream laden dish vegan?  And, honestly, this dish would not be at all possible without the use of a sour-cream substitute.  You can either make one yourself, or you can use Tofutti’s Sour Supreme.  I really wasn’t sure how this would turn out, but it passed the S clean-plate test, so it must be okay.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 block of firm tofu
  • 1 medium sized brown onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • A big handful of mushrooms
  • plain flour
  • sweet paprika
  • a few spoonfuls of tomato paste
  • Sour Supreme or a home made sour-cream alternative
  • about 2 cups of very light vegetable stock
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fettuccine – home-made or store bought, if desired.

What you need to do:

Start by chopping up your tofu into blocks – as traditional stroganoff calls for ‘strips’ I cut my tofu into strip-like bits.  In a bowl, mix about three tablespoons of plain flour with about two teaspoons of sweet paprika and toss your tofu around in the mix to coat.  In a hot pan with a little bit of water, toss the tofu around a bit in order to ‘toast’ the sides of the tofu.  Set tofu aside.

After this, in the same pan, add the finely chopped onions and garlic to brown off a bit.  When they’re starting to look good, add the tofu in along with about 2 cups of light vegetable broth, and two dollops of tomato paste and, after giving it all a good stir around to incorporate, add in the flour and paprika mix from the tofu coating.  At this stage, put on your fettuccine, if you want it (depending on how long it will take; fresh will obviously be much, much quicker so should go on right at the end.)

This is the most important stage to taste your sauce.  Add more paprika if needed, or tomato paste, or broth (if you like thinner sauce) or flour (for thicker) and some salt and pepper.  Now add your cut up mushrooms – you can cut them in any way, really, but I like to slice.  Along with this, add in about two heaped spoonfuls of the Sour Supreme (or alternative) and carefully incorporate all that together.  Turn the heat down to a simmer, until the mushrooms are nice and soft.  Serve either alone, or, on top of the fettuccine.

Edited to add:  I have just seen that the addition of paprika to the MasterChef Stroganoff is causing a bit of an uprise amongst Russian cooks.  To be honest, the few beef recipes I looked at over the course of the day did include paprika, so that influenced my decision to use it.  However, it seems it may be not a true ingredient – in which case, use at your own peril.  Another small note, most recipes I looked at included either wine or sherry, neither of which I had on hand so neither was included.  A spoonful of sherry or splash of wine could be easily (and probably, tastily) included just before the simmering, or with the first lot of liquid.