Posts Tagged ‘mushrooms’

This weekend was CRAZY! I had three whole days off and I feel like I was kept busy for every second of it.

Highlights: Staying in bed late on Saturday morning, cooking marathon Saturday evening, waking up to find a guy sleeping on my couch on Sunday and then having him take and post pictures of me on instagram as I took photographs for WV (Hey Rob! Hope you didn’t think  I was too weird standing on chairs…), Hanging with Whitney, Seeing Taking Back Sunday in Maine and having them sing the Ballad of Sal Villanueva (I screamed so loud when I realized they were playing this…), eating at Silly’s in Maine, AND I started some christmas presents.

Whew! How was your weekend??

cashew cream!

Now, to focus on Thanksgiving which is two days away! Oi with the poodles…

So, to stay vegan during Thanksgiving, I have found the best thing to do is be prepared! Be prepared, be prepared, be prepared. I can’t say it enough. Last year (and this year too), my mom was super helpful in working out things I can and can’t eat but it’s because we knew what everyone was bringing so we could work around it. Last year, I had a tofurkey and a bunch of veggies. I also made an appetizer (this salsa…so good!) and a dessert (these cookies) and got my mom to make this casserole, which we are making again this year because everyone loved it (sub Earth Balance for butter and leave out marshmallows to make vegan). By planning ahead and strategically contributing to the spread, I was able to make sure that I had at least one thing to eat per course and that was super helpful in allowing me to avoid things.

So, when prepping this year I wanted to tackle some classic staples that may be favorites for you. First up, green bean casserole. I LOVE green bean casserole! Though it’s a classic, I only started really loving it recently so I was pretty bummed when I couldn’t have it last year. Thus, it was the first thing on my list of things to make this year.

Green Bean Casserole
casserole from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen
toppings from How Sweet Eats


  • 1 1/2 pounds of fresh green beans, ends removed and cut in half
  • 1 TBSP salt


  • 10 oz of mushrooms (I bought the pre-washed, pre-sliced variety. Save time on Thanksgiving day!)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • salt, to taste
  • fresh pepper, to taste
  • 2 TBSP flour
  • 3/4 cup vegetable brother
  • 1 TBSP dry sherry
  • 3/4 cup cashew cream* or soy creamer (important note)

(Note: to makes cashew cream- soak 1 cup of raw, unsalted cashews in water for a minimum of 4 hours or over night. Then, drain the cashews and place them in a blender with 1 c. of dairy milk of choice. Blend until smooth. Soy creamer can be used in place but I’m much prefer cashew cream. I think it provides a much more neutral base and it’s something that can be made if soy creamer is not stocked at your local grocery store)


  • 1 large sweet onion, very thinly sliced
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat panko crumbs
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp oregano


Preheat oven to 425.

Beans: Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the beans and the salt. Cover and cook 6 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately run cold water over them to stop the cooking process. Let drain and see aside.

Topping: While the beans are cooking, heat a large skillet over low head and add the olive oil, onions and salt. Stir well to coat, then cover and cook onions until caramelized, about 20 minutes. While the onions are cooking, mix together the panko crumbs, thyme and oregano and set aside. Alternatively, I imagine if you have 1/2 tsp of onion soup mix, that would also taste great mixed in with the panko crumbs.

Sauce: Spray a skillet with non-stick spray and heat over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, garlic, salt pepper and (optional) cayenne pepper. Cook until mushroom are soft and exude their juices. Whisk together the veggie broth and the flour until mixture is smooth and then add to the mushroom mixture along with the sherry. Simmer, stirring and everything is well mixed. Add the cashew cream and cook for about 5-10 minutes until the mixture thickens (the cashew cream is pretty thing anyway so this only took be 5 minutes). Add the beans.

Place the green bean/mushroom mix into a casserole dish. Top with caramelized onions and panko crumbs. Place in a pre-heated 425 degreee oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the casserole is warmed through and the  panko crumbs are golden.

To make this the night before, follow the steps through placing the green bean/mushroom mix into a casserole dish. Cover and chill until prepared to serve. Right before placing this in the oven, top with caramelized onions (I cooked these the night before and kept in a separate bowl until ready to put on casseroel) and panko mix. Cook for 15-20 minutes at 425. If you find that the mixture has turned too solid in the fridge over night, pour a little bit of soy milk on the green bean mixture, stir it around, then top with onions and panko.

I really love this dish! I was actually eating it cold and uncooked out of the casserole dish the night I was prepping it. Unfortunately, unlike the Sweet Potato casserole above, I don’t think this dish will pass as non-vegan to the other people at your Thanksgiving dinner. I think traditional green bean casserole has too distint a taste and when you start veganizing it, people will know. It’s so yummy, though! My suggestion would be if you are making this for just you, half the recipe, make it the night before,  bring it to your Thanksgiving dinner and just pop it in the oven with all the other veggy dishes when they  are heated up. You’ll get your green bean casserole AND all the left overs when you tell your family it’s vegan. At least, that’s what will happen at my house!

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Before I begin, I want to apologize for the SUPER crappy quality of these images. 1. they were taken on my cell phone. I wasn’t planning on posting this recipe but it received such rave reviews from my Mom and Grandma that I changed my mind. The only camera I had on me was my phone though and 2. My free on-line photo editor, Picmonkey, isn’t working. It keeps crashing Safari every time I try and load a photo onto it. If you have a good program you use or may know why my computer is doing this, help and guidance would be welcome!

And now on with the post!

So, as I mentioned yesterday, for November I am cleaning up my finances and my life! I’m participating in No Spend November with my friend, Rachel. I’ll update you on how that is going tomorrow.

On top of that, I will also be cleaning up my eating. I have, unfortunately, been treating halloween candy like it’s a major food group and pretty much eating it with everything. Now, we all know that halloween sized candies have no calories on halloween BUT what about days when you are stuck in the house cause of a hurricane and you lose track of what you’ve eaten. Or, a week after halloween cause it’s still hanging around.

yeah…that’s not a good thing.

I’ve been feeling pretty crappy with all the sugar I’ve been consuming so I decided to crack down on some better eating. Then, Leanne over at Healthful Pursuit posted a cleanse that she would be doing for two weeks and I really liked the idea! It’s all fruits, veggies and nuts/seeds for the first week and that’s what I needed. No sugar!  You can check out the guidelines here if you want to join us!

The best part though, salads, pureed soups and smoothies are all in, which means I get to keep trying and posting new recipes!

As I mentioned above, I actually made this recipe on Saturday for my Mom and Grandma and they completely loved it! We all went back for second and thirds. It’s all vegetables so if you omit the sugar in the sauce, I believe it will meet Healthful Pursuits cleanse guidelines.

It was, literally, bigger then my head. And that’s pretty impressive since I inherited my Dad’s huge head. Thanks Dad…

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai
from Peas and Thank you
makes about  entree size servings

For the stir-fry:

  • 1 large spaghetti squash (should yield about 8 c. of “noodles”)
  • 2 c. mushrooms
  • 1 c. carrots, peeled and cut into coins
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar snap peas

For the sauce:

  • 3 T. hoisin sauce
  • 1/3 c. reduced-sodium soy sauce, tamari or aminos
  • 1/3 c. organic ketchup
  • 1/3 c. fresh lime juice
  • 1/3 c. warm water
  • 3 T. organic sugar

Garinshes: lime wedges, cilantro and peanuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut the squash ends off your spaghetti squash and then cut in have length-wise. Scoop out the seeds. Spray with some cooking oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on a cookie tray, cut side down, and bake for 30-50 minute depending on the size. You want it fork tender, soft enough to easily pierce with a fork. (Mine was ginormous so required 50 minutes but my usual medium sized squashes take about 30 minutes). Once your squash is cooked through, remove and let cool. Using a fork, scrape out the squash into strands and fluff.  Set aside.

Spray a large skillet or wok with cooking spray or a light mist of oil and place over medium-high heat.  Sauté mushroom, carrots and snap peas until tender crisp, about 4-7 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce by whisking together hoisin, soy sauce, tamari or aminos, ketchup, lime juice water and sweetener.

Add the spaghetti squash “noodles” to the pan with the vegetables and heat thoroughly.  Serve the veggie and squash mix and pour sauce over individual servings, to taste, and toss. ( I had left over sauce)  Serve immediately, passing lime wedges, chopped cilantro, and peanuts at the table for garnish, if desired.

This recipe was super yummy, though I was a little sad it wasn’t more peanutty. I’ve recently heard of powdered peanut butter that has significantly less calories then regular peanut butter and taste best when mixed with things. I’m sort of dying to try it in this recipe! We ate this with Szechuan Green Beans, by the way, which is definitely one of my favorite recipes

Ok everyone, today is day 1 of my two week cleanse! I’m not sure if I’ll make it that long but I’m excited to try. I’ll update you on it tomorrow as well as how my No Spend November is going. Stay tuned!

PS. Grandma, Mom and I also played scrabble and I may have won. Not braggin’ or nothin’ but Quotha for 40+ points for the win! But, you know, I’m not braggin’…

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Hello everyone! Sorry there was no Weekend Things post for you yesterday. Um, it was my birthday and birthdays = no work. Also…I sorta can’t figure out how to transfer pictures from my fancy new cellphone to my computer soooo you may have a Wednesday Things…or a Thursday Things…or A Whenever-the-hell-I-can-figure-out-my-phone Things.

So until then, you are stuck with my rambling and more fall recipes. Today, I will be rambling about some of  my favorite things (be lucky you are on the other side of the computer and can’t hear me singing). 1. Halloween Sprinkles. Seriously…they make everything better! Ice cream, birthday cupcakes (coming soon), peanut butter toast, oatmeal, lattes, you name it! I’m pretty much obsessed!

2. Pumpkin Beer- I have to put the kabosh on this obsession. I’ve been having pumpkin beer every. single. day. and that’s WAY more then I usually drink. Plus, beer isn’t exactly a healthy food to be obsessed with…I mean, neither is sprinkles but at least sprinkles come in fun shapes and colors!

3. Dexter. I’ve watched the show but I decided to tackle the book for Halloween. Last year I read Salem’s Lot around this time because I love me a good vampire story. This year, I thought I’d tackle the serial killer series. So far, I have not been disappointed!

and last but not least, 4. Butternut Squash. I’ve had this at least 5 times a week and when I made up my weekly meal plan, I snuck another recipe in. I can’t help it! I keep having leftovers. This recipe was thought up because I had leftover roasted squash from my Black Bean Butternut Squash Burritos. I promise I’ll try another vegetable…maybe…

Butternut Squash Kale Rice Bowls
servings 1

olive oil

2 cloves of garlic

1 c. cubed butternut squash, roasted

1/2 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced

1 c. Kale, finely sliced ( I used frozen for this recipe)

1/2 c. brown basmati rice

1/4 c. apple cider

pepita seeds (optional)

Butternut squash: Peel your squash and slice into 1″ cubes. Put into a glass pan, lined with tin foil, drizzle with olive oil and toss until squash is coated. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes, or until fork tender.

While the squash is roasting away, prepare the rice. Rince 1/2 c. under water. Place in a medium size pan with 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes.

Once your squash and rice are ready, heat some olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, or 3-4 minutes. Add the mushrooms. Saute until golden, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the mushrooms have begun to turn golden, add the squash and the kale. Mix together really well and add 1/2 c. cooked rice and apple cider. Reduce heat to medium low and let the mixture simmer together, stirring occasionally. Simmer until the apple cider has mostly evaporated.

Serve hot in a big bowl, sprinkled with pepita seeds.

I love this recipe because it’s SUPER versatile. I used everything that I already had in my house but you could add sautéed or caramelized onions, serve with quinoa instead of rice or omit the grain and have as a side. All would be delicious.

I had this for dinner almost every night last week and I’m not sick of it at all. In fact, the more butternut squash I have, the more I seem to crave it. This is a problem… especially since we don’t have sharp knives in our kitchen anymore and I risk my fingers every time I try and peel one. It’s so worth it though!

I have not tried this with halloween sprinkles but I’m pretty certain black and purple bat sprinkles would only make it more amazing. Like, 90% certain…

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I have the day off today!! I’m soooo excited. I work two jobs and I can’t remember the last time I had a whole 24 hours to myself.

But, I’m definitely not just hanging out doing nothing. I took the day off so I can focus my efforts on the single most important day of the year…Cookie Baking Day, obviously! Each year, my mom and I usually set aside one day around Christmas to bake our Christmas cookies, which we then give away at parties and as gifts. Of course, I’m flying solo this year because there wasn’t a weekend that I was free so Mom and I could both bake. It’s a bummer but so far, so good. I’m jamming to It’s a Punk Rock Christmas and A Day to Remember and singing really loudly and obnoxiously.

I started my day off with this yummy breakfast. A girl needs fuel for an all day baking/rocking out marathon!

Scrambled Tofu and Veggies
from Post Punk Kitchen
serves approximately 2-3

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium chopped white onion (about a cup)
2 cups cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon thyme, crushed with your fingers
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
1/4 cup water
1 lb. extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
1 teaspoon salt
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
juice of 1/2 a lime

Heat oil in skillet over medium-high. Saute onions 3 minutes, until softened. Add mushrooms, saute 5 minutes more. Add garlic, saute 2 minutes more. Add spice blend and mix it up for 15 seconds or so. Add 1/4 cup water and deglaze the pan,  scraping the bottom to get all the garlic and spices.

Crumble in tofu and mix well. Don’t crush the tofu, just kind of lift it and mix it around. You want it to remain chunky. Let cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding splashes of water if necessary to keep it from sticking too much. Lower the heat a bit if you find that it is sticking. Add lime juice. Add nutritional yeast and mix it up. If it seems too dry add splashes of water. The moistness really depends on how much water the tofu was retaining before you added it.

PPK suggests serving this with salsa and guacamole. I didn’t have any guac but I mixed salsa in with it and it was SO good.

I’m officially done one batch of cookies, have a bunch more chilling and am working on my laundry. I also took the dog for a drive. I would be such a kick ass house wife. I will now be accepting applicants for husbands. Tattoos preferred but not necessary.


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