Posts Tagged ‘mushroom’

Sometimes, it’s Saturday and I’m able to take my time taking awesome pictures for the blog, complete with props and natural sunlight and cute dishes.


Other times, I have been trying to make a dish for two weeks but haven’t found time;  had to toss ingredients out at least once because they went bad before I could use them; had to hussle out of the kitchen cause my roommate needed it to make dinner with his friends; had to take pictures in front of old plastic-ed windows in the early morning gray-ness because it’s snowing; and the recipe I’m photographing is really nothing but a pile of orange and  brown (albeit delicious) mush.

(Did I use those semi-colons correctly?!?! I think I followed the rules the Oatmeal gave me! oh yeah!)

Can you guess which situation this delightful shephard’s pie recipe falls under?


Despite the fact that it may win the award for the most unpleasant pictures on the site, the recipe is actually really delicious, which is a lot coming from me. Shephard’s pie used to be my one freebie at dinner. You know, you had to eat what Mom makes except for your one freebie meal because she knew you genuinely hated it. Shephard’s pie was my freebie (until I went vegetarian, then I got a special meal each night. Go me!). But since this recipe has exactly none of the ingredients that my mom’s shephard’s pie had, it shouldn’t be a big surprise that I like it better.

Like my potato masher? After I made the Sweet Potato burgers for my parents and it took me a million hours to mash the potatoes with a fork, Mom bought me my very own potato masher. yeah!! lol

Like my potato masher? After I made the Sweet Potato burgers for my parents and it took me a million hours to mash the potatoes with a fork, Mom bought me my very own potato masher. yeah!! lol

This recipe takes the tradition meat, potatoes and veggies (Mom’s always had ground beef, corn, mashed potatoes and gravy) and subs in lentils, mushrooms and sweet potatoes, all things I love! Weirdly enough, when it was cooking though, it definitely smelt like I remember Mom’s did! Maybe I was just psyching myself out…

Lentil, Mushroom & Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

From thekitchn.com
Makes 6 servings

6 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed*
1 cup brown or green lentils, washed and picked over
3/4 cup dry steel cut oats
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound  mushrooms, divided ( used baby bellas, the original recipe used creminis)
1 onion, chopped
2 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 cup low-sodium vegetable stock
1/4 cup red wine
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Prick each sweet potato several times with a fork and place on a baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until very soft to the touch. Set aside to cool.

In a medium pot, combine the lentils, oats, bay leaf and salt with 5 cups of water. Bring to a boil and lower heat. Simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until lentils are soft but not mushy, stirring occasionally to keep the oats from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Discard bay leaf and drain mixture into a colander or sieve.

While the lentils and oats are cooking, finely chop half of the mushrooms and set aside. Cut the remaining mushrooms into quarters. Warm the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the quartered mushrooms and a pinch of salt and cook until browned and soft. Add the chopped mushrooms, onion, carrot, celery and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and translucent. Lower heat to medium and add the lentil and oat mixture, followed by the vegetable stock, wine, tomato paste, soy sauce, paprika, and parsley. Taste and add salt if needed. Simmer mixture for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add a few grinds of black pepper.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Peel sweet potatoes with your hands and place in a medium bowl. Use a fork to mash them into a smooth paste and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Evenly spread the lentil mixture into a 9×13-inch baking dish. (For thicker layers, use a 9×9-inch pan.) Spoon the sweet potato mixture on top and smooth with a spatula. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling at the edges.

 *Note: The original recipe called for 5 medium sweet potatoes but that didn’t even cover 3/4 of my shephard’s pie in a 9×13 pan. I would suggest buying and roasting 6. Start by mashing 5 and if you need more, mash the 6th. If you end up not using that 6th roasted sweet potato, you can always cube it and add it to a salad or have it it for lunch.
Bonus points for me: Shephard’s Pie is considered an Irish cuisine on wikipedia. Which means that I am over a week early with presenting you with a St. Patty’s Day dinner idea. Just add a Guiness (Extra Stout is vegan according to Barnivore.com) and your done. More St. Patty’s day recipes to come!

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Mushroom and Grain soup

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Mushroom Gravy Rice Bowl

Greetings from vacation!

Before I start, I just want to thank everyone who checked out Wicked Vegan for my St. Patty’s Day posts. I had a record high number of hits Thurs, Fri and Saturday, tripling what I normally get in an average day. I hope everyone enjoyed themselves and got to make some yummy St. Patty’s day food!!

I’ve left the city behind for a week and have gone up north with some friends to the mountains. I had expected loads of snow and cold weather and lots of comfort food but, temperature-wise,  it’s a record high up here and yesterday I went and sat in the sun for 2 hours. Of course, in true me fashion, everyone was in shorts and sandals and I was in boots, tights and a skirt. But, in my defense, I had packed for the mountains! Lots of hoodies and jeans and warm boots. Plus, my skirt had a floral print and my boots were suede ankle boots. It was practically spring gear!

Anyway, this weather is making me really glad I didn’t spend a boatload on a plane ticket to FL. It’s the perfect weather for shopping (which I’ve done a lot of!), not so good weather for holing up and scrapbooking/crafting (which was my plan).

It’s also throwing of my very rough idea of what I was going to be making food-wise. Plus, I’m in a strangers kitchen, which isn’t stocked like mine, so recipes this week may be scarce. I’ve already gone to the local smokehouse once and I’m contemplating going again tonight (they have a super delicious vegan burger with homemade hummus and BBQ sauce. I’ve already bought a jar to take home with me…).

I did manage to whip together this dish the first night I was here, when it was still cold, before I went grocery shopping and before I discovered where the smokehouse was so at least you’ll get one recipe this week!

Mushroom Gravy Rice Bowl
adapted from Oh She Glows

Yield: 2 servings


  • 1/2 cup uncooked brown basmati rice
  • 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped sweet onion (1 medium onion)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups sliced crimini mushrooms (300 grams)
  • 1.5 tbsp minced fresh rosemary*
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1.5 tbsp low-sodium tamari (soy sauce)
  • 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 & 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • Freshly ground black pepper & kosher salt, to taste

Cook your basmati rice according to the directions on the package (should take about 15-20 minutes).

While your rice is cooking, heat olive oil in a medium size skillet. Add the onions and garlic and saute for about 5 minutes.

Add the mushrooms in and cook for 12 minutes. Now add the rosemary, nutritional yeast and tamari/soy sauce. Stir everything in and let that cook for one or two minutes.

While that is cooking, mix together your veggie broth and cornstarch and whisk with a fork or small whisk until there are no clumps. Add to the mushroom mixture, stir and let cook for another 5 minutes or so until the mixture has thickened to a gravy consistency.

Spoon your finished rice into a bowl and top with gravy mixture.

*My only complaint about this recipe was that the needles of rosemary really took away from the gravy consistency. I would suggest running a knife through the needles before adding them to the recipes or grinding them up. You could leave them out all together but they add a great flavor to the gravy.

This recipe originally called for Kale and millet instead of rice but my super market didn’t have millet and I forgot my kale in my late night, night-before-I-leave packing. I imagine kale would be a great addition to this and will definitely add it next time I make it.

Even without it though, the mushroom gravy was delicious and hunkering down on the couch with a bowl full while watching movies was the perfect start to my vacation.

Now…off to finish scrapbooking Day 1 of my Italy trip I took 2 years ago. I’ve managed to buy an excessive amount of condiments while here and even buy a purple polka dotted paring knife at an outlet kitchen store but I haven’t even made a dent in my scrapbook, which is why I’m here! Let’s see if I can remedy that today.

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oh, Hello Cold

So here’s the thing with being a 20-something at an entry-level job living in a city- you don’t have a ton of money. At least not with a degree in english and art history and a nasty Starbucks habit you can’t kick.

This means that I have to be stingy- I can’t purchase that studded Burberry purse that I’ve been drooling over for over a year. (Ms. Lindsey-I-have-no-job-but-800-outstanding-lawsuits-Lohan gets one though. WHATEVER!) That trip to Disney World so I can go to the halloween night 5 days in a row and wear 5 different costumes ain’t happening. Decorating my kitchen with gadgets from Crate and Barrel will have to wait…until I’m married…and they are purchased for me.

This frugal attitude also extends to my apartment. My very drafty apartment. The roommates and I do our best to keep the heat down low. Which means from mid-October until May my house is cold. Sometimes very cold. Like, sleep-in-multiple-layers-and-gloves cold.  Though no one will come visit us and we walk around in full length sleeping bag/body suit things, it does helps us save money so we aren’t eating only Ramen Noodles (and I can save for a trip to Italy).

Though we avoid the Ramen, soup does helps fight off the chill, which is already starting to creep into the apartment. This mushroom onion soup is definitely going to be in rotation this winter. PLUS, it may give me a legitimate excuse to buy an immersion blender. Yeah! one gadget I don’t have to wait for my wedding day for!

Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup with Cashew Cream

from JoytheBaker.com

2 TBS olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 pound of cremini mushrooms. cleaned and sliced

1 TBS soy sauce

1 TBS vegan Worcestershire sauce

about 1 tsp course ground black pepper

3 cups vegetable broth

salt to taste

For the Cashew Cream*:

1/2 cup raw cashews

1/2 cup water

*you may substitute the Cashew Cream with 3/4 cup half and half or 8 oz. of silken tofu

Cream from just cashews and water. How cool is that?!

In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onions to hot oil and saute until translucent and slightly browned, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic, stir, and cook for 1 minute more.  Add the mushrooms, soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce and cook until mushrooms are cooked and broken down, about 5 minutes.  Stir occasionally.  Add cracked pepper and  vegetable stock and cook at a simmer until mushrooms are completely soft.  This took me about 10 to 15 minutes.

While the soup simmers, prepare the cashew cream.  In a blender, combine raw cashews and water.  Blend on high until smooth.  Pour into a measuring cup and set aside.  Don’t worry about washing the blender… we’re going to use it to blend the soup.

When mushrooms are cooked through, add about one third of the soup to the blender.  Hot soup rises high in the blender so definitely be careful how high you fill the blender.  Blend soup on low, increasing the speed to high, until no large mushroom chunks remain.  Pour blended soup into a clean pot or large bowl.  Blend the remaining soup in batches.  *If using silken tofu instead of cashew cream.  Blend the silken tofu in with the mushrooms and broth.

Add the cashew cream to the blended soup and stir to incorporate.

Place a fine mesh strainer over the pot that you cooked the soup in.  In batches, pour the blended soup into the fine mesh strainer and work the soup through the strainer with a rubber spatula.  Don’t use a wooden spoon… you could get splinters in your soup… seriously.  Heat and serve the strained soup.  Or place in a freezer safe container for a few weeks down the road.

This recipe was delicious! And how cool is the cashew cream thing?! Cashew’s have such a subtle taste to them that it didn’t overwhelm the onion and mushroom taste. Also, I didn’t bother straining it. The blender did a good enough job and, honestly, I don’t have a strainer that fine. If you don’t have a blender or aren’t into soup that sort of resembles baby food, that’s cool. I tried a bite of the soup before it went into the blender, with just the onions, mushrooms and broth all cooked together, and it was amazing! It was sort of a different twist on a french onion soup.

So, technically, this soup recipe could actually be considered two soup recipes- a vegan cream of mushroom AND a French Onion Mushroom soup, depending on how you prepare it. Don’t you just love this blog =)

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