It’s that time of year ago: the vegan month of food, affectionately known as Vegan MoFo by those of us who like to eat and cook vegan and demystify the vegan world to the people who share our lives. It’s an opportunity to get inspired, reflect, celebrate, and be creative – in the kitchen as well as at the keyboard. Maybe I will finally make good on that New Year’s resolution I always have about making more time to cook and write.
I participated in Vegan MoFo 2010, although with a paltry 7 blog posts, my participation was a bit underwhelming. This time around, I’ve decided to keep things simpler. No more getting carried away with elaborate recipes that mean we don’t eat dinner until 11pm or that has my husband sitting patiently at the table while I try to snap the perfect shot of a dish before we eat. My general goals for this month are:
- Educate: answer some of the common questions I get about being vegan, clear up some of the myths, and provide resources for the veg-curious
- Inspire: share some of the quotes that keep me focused and connected
- Clean out the cupboard: I buy a lot of things that sound cool that then spend a lot of time on the shelf. Cases in point: seaweed, amaranth, brown rice syrup. I would like to dust these off and put them to delicious use.
- Act on all those good intentions: The ‘Vegan’ folder in my Bookmarks bar is frightful. Let’s see if I can cook up some of those recipes I’ve clipped and bookmarked over the years.
- Take it easy: Focus on some of the recipes that I turn to when I want to be eating as soon as possible. Bonus points if they require minimal dishwashing.
- Expand my horizons: There are certain foods that I don’t find immediately appealing (looking at you, zucchini) or accessible (eggplant, um, hi?). But I know they’re both good for me, in abundance, and affordable, so I will strive to feature these, in hopes that I won’t be so stymied every time a neighbor tries to unload kohlrabi or surplus zucchini on me. Also, nearly all of my recipes will be gluten-free, because for some mysterious reason, everyone lumps gluten-free and vegan folks together. Yup, we can share the love.
I will also aim for brevity. That said, here is one of our favorite, quick and easy dinners. A hit with vegans and carnivores alike. I made this once so I would have something to eat at an asado (Patagonian barbecue, a veritable homage to meat) and my meat-loving Argentine friends went crazy for it. I barely got enough to eat!
Roasted portobello mushrooms for 2
2 portobello mushrooms (choose the sturdiest, heartiest ones you can, as they will reduce in size)
2 tablespoons of oil (I use olive, but you can use whatever you’ve got)
1 tablespoon of soy sauce or tamari or Bragg’s liquid aminos
2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar (can use another vinegar or even wine in a pinch)
salt & pepper to taste
This recipe is really just two things: mushrooms and a marinade. Dust off the mushrooms, and trim the stems, if necessary. Keep the stems. Mix together the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. Coat both sides of each mushroom with the marinade – a pastry brush makes it easy, but you can use a spoon too – and make sure to soak the gill side. I do one mushroom at a time. Throw any extra stems in and coat them too.
Oven roasting: Place the mushrooms gills-up on a baking dish (brownie pan, cookie sheet, or anything that will catch the juicy marinade as it bakes). Roast at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes. If you want, you can flip them over after 10 minutes and baste with the marinade that’s pooling around them. Mushrooms will be done when a fork slides into them easily – no need to struggle.
Grill roasting: Wrap the mushrooms in foil (I have gotten up to 4 mushrooms in a single foil packet) and roast on the grill for 5-10 minutes. Poke with a fork to assess doneness. Mushrooms will be ready when the fork slides into them easily.
- Easy to make more. Just add mushrooms and increase the marinade proportions accordingly.
- Speaking of the marinade, I have made extra and found that it can be refrigerated for weeks. Maybe longer, although I’m not a food safety person, so use your best judgment.
- We usually pair this with vegan mashed potatoes (see tomorrow’s post) and a simple green salad.
Quote of the day:
In honor of the recent 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, words from MLK seem fitting:
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
– Martin Luther King