This mushroom gravy is one of my favorite vegan comfort foods, perfect on simple mashed potatoes or poured over grilled seitan, tofu, or tempeh. It’s flavorful, creamy, and filling. I originally wrote about it here three years ago, presenting it as a perfect food to impress omnivores. Serve this at your holiday dinners or weekend feasts, omnivorous or otherwise.
2 Tablespoons wheat or spelt flour
1 Tablespoon organic cornstarch
2 Tablespoons water
3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 cup sliced red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups mixed sliced mushrooms (shitakes, buttons, etc.)
1½ cups unsweetened soymilk
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
½ teaspoon each nutmeg and black pepper
- In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, water, and 1 Tablespoon olive oil until smooth. Set aside.
- Add 2 Tablespoons olive oil to a large skillet and heat on medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add mushrooms to skillet and cook five more minutes, until mushrooms wilt and release water.
- Reduce heat to low and add soymilk, soy sauce, and herbs to skillet. Stir to combine. Bring mixture to a simmer, then add flour mixture. Stir constantly, until gravy is thick and creamy. Remove from heat.
- Gravy can be used as is, or pureed for a smoother texture.
Yield: about 2 cups gravy
These are a perfect little party dish! These ‘pizzas’ are bite-sized, cute, and full of wholesome ingredients- and they will make even your most omnivorous friends happy. Note that the polenta needs to cool for a few hours in the fridge before cutting, so make the polenta before putting on your party dress. And if you want to skip the Kale Pesto, a traditional basil pesto or red sauce can be substituted.
sorry for the teeny photo!
Polenta Pizza with Kale Pesto
1½ cups vegetable broth
1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
1 cup polenta (course-ground cornmeal)
½ teaspoon each black pepper and dried basil
1 cup shredded Parmesan or Provolone cheese
½ cup toasted walnuts or pecans
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (more to taste)
1 clove garlic
4 cups chopped, packed kale, de-stemmed and washed
2 cups fresh basil, washed
salt and pepper to taste
- To make the polenta pizza: bring broth and milk to a low boil in a medium saucepan. Add polenta, pepper, and basil. Simmer over very low heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Turn of heat and let stand 10 minutes. Stir in cheese until melted completely.
- Pour polenta into an 8×8 baking dish and spread evenly across pan. Chill for one hour, or until firm.
- Meanwhile, prepare the pesto: blend nuts, tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, and kale in food processor until totally smooth. Add more oil (or water) if needed to achieve a smooth consistency.
- When polenta is firm, slice into squares (or cut using cookie cutters!), and place on serving plate. Spread pesto on top. Toast in oven to warm, or serve at room temperature.
Yield: 16 small servings
These enchiladas were a serious test of my patience. Usually I am pretty good at throwing stuff together and having it taste great, but these enchiladas did not work the first, second, or third time I made them! Finally, on the fourth recipe rewrite I got it down… which is good because the recipes had already been printed for cooking class! Mostly I was being picky because I wanted them to taste exactly the way I imagined they could taste, but it just was not happening. The sauce was too vinegary, too oniony; the tortillas were crappy; the vegetables were undercooked, and so forth. So, four trials later, I was able to share this wicked good version with my cooking class, my friends, and now you! Thank the enchilada goddess for smiling fortune upon me.
Fresh Vegetable Enchiladas
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic
1 fifteen oz can tomato sauce
½ cup vegetable broth
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp each chili powder, oregano and honey
1 tsp each coriander and cumin
1 cup finely chopped broccoli
1 cup finely chopped cauliflower
1 cup corn
½ cup diced red pepper
2 cups cooked black beans
½ cup whole milk yogurt
1½ cups shredded mozzarella or pepper jack cheese, divided
10 flour tortillas
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until soft. Lower heat and add garlic, tomato sauce, broth, vinegar, spices, honey, and salt. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add broccoli, cauliflower, corn and red pepper to a large skillet. Cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Set aside to cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, combine the cooked vegetables, black beans, yogurt, 1 cup shredded cheese, and ½ cup red sauce.
- Warm the tortillas slightly in the preheating oven, and dip into red sauce. Spoon about ¼ cup of the veggie mixture into the tortilla, and roll, placing the open side down in a 9 x 13 pan. Roll all enchiladas, and then cover with remaining red sauce.
- Bake for 20 minutes at 375; add remaining cheese to top and bake 5 minutes more. Let cool before serving.
Notes: The yield depends on what type and how many tortillas you use, of course. I used Rudi’s spelt tortillas (10 inches round), and could only fit 8 in my pan; the other two were baked in a small cake pan with equally good results. Also, the original recipe called for 1 cup red wine; I subbed broth and balsamic vinegar, but rock the vino if you have some on hand- it makes a really good sauce. BTW, this original recipe was shared by an old housemate of mine. She made these amazing creamy shitake mushroom enchiladas with this amazing red sauce. She got the recipe from the back of a shitake mushroom bag from Costco!
Now that all the bloggers and readers of the world have had a chance to recover from their month of posting, I’ve come back with a delicious and warming soup that is easy to prepare. This is one of my favorite soups ever- sweet, creamy, and light, perfect for this time of year. This recipe was originally published two years ago, during my first winter on Maui. I was inspired by the chef at the small health food store where I worked for a short time. Featuring sweet Kabocha pumpkin, homegrown herbs, and vibrant red pepper, this soup is perfect for autumnal potlucks or any holiday feasts.
cheers for perfect soup (sorry for the bad photo)!
roasted red pepper and pumpkin soup
3 cups kabocha pumpkin, or other sweet squash, skinned and chopped
1 medium white potato, diced
1/2 cup shallots, sliced thinly
1/2 cup onions, sliced thinly
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 medium red peppers, diced
2 tbsp olive oil
pinch salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cayenne
2 tbsp + 1 tsp honey or agave
handful of fresh sage leaves (about 1/4 cup chopped), or 1 tsp dry rubbed sage
2 cups veg broth
1/4 cup soymilk (or other milk)
1-2 tsp sesame oil
- Add pumpkin and potatoes to a large stockpot with enough water to cover and boil for about 15-20 minutes (see note below). When fork-tender, drain and set aside.
- Add shallots, onions, garlic, and red pepper and place in a big bowl. Add the olive oil, salt, peppers, nutmeg, and 1 tsp honey and toss until veggies are well coated. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes, then remove from oven and add the rest of the honey/agave and sage. Toss again, and bake for another 5-10 minutes, until the sage is wilted. It should smell delicious just as is!
- When the veggies are finished cooking (peppers and onions should be starting to blacken and sizzle), add to processor along with pumpkin and potatoes. Blend with broth until totally smooth, blending in batches if necessary. Return to stockpot, add soymilk and sesame oil, then simmer over low heat for 10 minutes to let the flavors meld. Add more salt/pepper/cayenne to taste.
- This soup keeps for a few days in the fridge, and is great over rice, with leftover lentils, or with greens for a very tasty quick lunch.
Pretty wacky title, huh! There’s a lot that I want to convey in this post. Firstly, Happy Halloween to all the trick-or-treaters big and small. This Smokey Black Bean Stew is a great recipe to warm up little bellies before heading out to find their sugar-laden loot. It’s colorful, healthy, and very tasty; I will be making this for weeks to come!
And, A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who stuck it out during VeganMoFo. This is actually the first year I’ve been able to finish the challenge- I posted every single weekday during the whole month! For the past three years I’ve been able to start off strong but then, y’know, life got in the way (nieces being born, new jobs, other stuff!) so I am happy to have had you along for the ride!
I am going to take a few days off after this month long adventure, but I would love to hear from you! Let me know what recipes sparked your interest- and what you would like to see more of here on MK. We’d love to hear from you!
Enjoy the goodies, and love, always- andrea
colorful and flavorful!
Black Bean Stew
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup diced red onion
4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 zucchini, sliced into rounds
1 cup fresh or frozen corn
1 fifteen-ounce can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
2 cups black beans, homemade or canned
2-3 cups vegetable broth
½ teaspoon each black pepper, oregano, and cayenne
½ teaspoon liquid smoke
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook for five minutes.
- Add garlic, red pepper and carrots. Sauté until garlic is just staring to brown.
- Add zucchini, corn, tomatoes, beans, broth, spices, and smoke. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep mixture from sticking. Add more spices to taste.
- Remove from heat and serve with tortillas, grains, or rice.
Yield: about 6 cups soup, or 6-8 servings
Sweet edamame (young soybeans) pair deliciously with rich hijiki seaweed. This is a great autumn recipe that is based around heartier foods like beans and sea vegetables, which are especially beneficial this time of year for their deeply nourishing properties. This recipe is adapted from Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks, one of my favorite vegetarian cookbooks.
gorgeous and healthy!
For an interesting read on the health benefits- and alleged dangers- of hijiki seaweed, check out this article from Eden Foods.
Edamame & Hijiki Salad
¼ cup Hijiki seaweed
1 (12 ounce) package shelled frozen edamame
1 cup shredded carrots
4 cups fresh spinach
2 cups shredded green cabbage
Creamy Miso Dressing
¼ cup brown rice vinegar
2 Tablespoons white miso
1 clove garlic, finely minced (optional)
1 Tablespoon honey
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
a few pinches sea salt
- Soak the hijiki in hot water for 20 minutes. Drain, and set aside
- Add edamame to a large pot of boiling salted water and cook for three minutes. Rinse in cool water and drain well.
- In a large bowl toss together soaked hijiki, edamame, carrots, spinach, and cabbage. Set aside.
- In a small bowl whisk together the dressing ingredients, ensuring miso is dissolved.
- Pour dressing onto salad and toss to distribute evenly. Serve immediately. Keep dressing separate if serving later.
Yield: six small servings
This recipe features hearty buckwheat or udon noodles, Asian style noodles that offer a nice change of pace from regular semolina pasts. Use whatever random mixed vegetables you might have around and drown it in this creamy sauce to make a fast, wholesome meal- something that I eat at least once a week as my favorite bowl food!
this bowl features wide udon, leftover greens, and tempeh!
Noodles with Miso-Tahini Sauce
1 eight oz package soba or udon (pictured) noodles
2 Tablespoons peanut oil
½ cup sliced onion
4 fresh shitake mushrooms
1 cup sliced red cabbage
1 cup fresh spinach
1 cup shredded carrots
¼ cup tahini
2 Tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
2 Tablespoons miso
dash of honey
2 Tablespoons water (more to taste)
- Cook the noodles according to instructions on package. Drain, rinse with cool water, and set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat peanut oil until hot, then add onions. Sauté until translucent.
- Add mushrooms, peppers, and carrots to the pan. Cook for 5-10 more minutes. Add to cooked noodles.
- Mix all dressing ingredients in a small bowl until very smooth and pourable. Add more water for taste. Pour over vegetables and noodles and toss to combine.
Yield: 2-4 servings noodles and about ½ cup dressing
*Some of you might have seen this post as Soba Noodles with Miso Tahini, but I changed it this morning when I realized that most of my posts from the past week didn’t have photos! This is the photo I have, but I had to change the name of the post to include udon noodles, which are pictured above*
Red lentils are the easiest of the lentils to cook, requiring only about 15 minutes in the saucepan. And this is the most simple soup to make use of those red lentils- it’s hearty, healthy, and delicious, brightened by the orange zest, which makes a bright counterpart to the earthy lentils. This recipe originally posted two years ago, during my first winter on Maui. I needed all the cozy I could get in the colorful, drafty house that I shared in Makawao.
easy red lentil soup
2 cups red lentils
4 cups water
2 tbsp coconut oil
½ cup sliced onion
2-4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tsp fresh grated ginger (or ½ tsp dried ground ginger)
2 cups broth (or simply more water)
¼ cup soymilk
1 tbsp dark miso
1 tsp orange zest (optional but surprisingly delish)
pinch each cayenne, black pepper, caraway, and nutmeg
- Add lentils and water to a saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower heat and cook until soft, about 15 minutes.
- In a skillet, heat olive oil and saute the onion and garlic until browned (add the fresh ginger too, if using)- about 15 minutes. Add the cooked onions, garlic, broth, soymilk, miso, zest, and herbs & spices to the lentils and simmer for 10 minutes longer at very low heat. Serve with brown rice and steamed greens or maybe some nice garlic bread and sauteed veggies.
That title is pretty audacious, I know. But this recipe really is THAT GOOD! Rich cashews and simmered vegetables replace dairy in this easy, comforting dish. Adapted from Oh She Glows food blog.
Baked Vegan Mac & Cheese
½ cup cubed white potato
½ cup chopped carrot
¼ cup chopped onion
3 cups (300 grams) pasta of choice (penne, etc.)
¾ cup breadcrumbs
1 Tablespoon Earth Balance margarine
1½ cups raw cashews
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
4 cloves garlic
5 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon prepared Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
paprika, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350º.
- Add potato, carrot, and onion to a small saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until tender. Drain and set aside.
- In a large stockpot, boil 6 cups water and cook pasta according to directions. Drain, rinse in cool water and set aside.
- Blend breadcrumbs and Earth Balance to food processor and blend to combine. Remove from processor and set aside.
- Add cashews to processor. Blend until cashews become coarse crumbs. Add almond milk, garlic, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, olive oil, mustard, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth, then add cooked vegetables and continue blending until very smooth.
- In a large bowl toss together noodles and sauce (you may have extra sauce- save it for later!). Pour into an 8-or 9-inch pan. Smooth top and then cover with crumbs. Garnish with paprika. Bake for 20 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Note: You can also just skip the baking and eat it all out of the bowl!
Yield: 6-8 servings
This Chickpea Gravy is a simple, low-fat sauce that offers a lot of flavor and works with lots of different meals. I finally got around to making it for a cooking class focused on Essential Sauces- and it was a hit with the students. Use the most flavorful broth you can find, or make your own for the richest gravy possible. Serve with mashed vegetables, drizzled on grains, or smothered on your favorite vegetable-based protein thingys like tofurky and seitan.
¼ cup olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon each ground coriander, black pepper, and paprika
2-3 cups vegetable or mushroom stock
6 Tablespoons chickpea (garbanzo) flour, sifted
- Heat olive oil in a heavy saucepan on medium-low. Add garlic and cook until just browned.
- Lower heat. Add flour and spices and stir until mixtures thickens. Cook for five minutes, stirring continuously, until flour mixture browns slightly and is fragrant- but be careful not to burn.
- Slowly stir in vegetable broth, whisking continuously until gravy thickens, adding more broth for a thinner consistency. Enjoy with your favorite faux meat, potatoes, rice, or veggies!
Yield: 2-3 cups gravy