Penne Pasta with Portabella Mushrooms and Spinach

Penne Pasta with Portabella Mushrooms and Spinach

I used about five portabella mushrooms. They’re very large and rich in flavor which makes them ideal for a vegan dish like this where you’re not adding any cheese. It would be too bland with just spinach, onion and garlic, in my opinion. So, I just sautéed some garlic and chopped onion in olive oil until it was soft and fragrant. I’d precooked and drained the penne pasta, saving about a cup of the liquid to add to the mixture at the end if the pasta was too dry. After sautéing the onion and garlic, I added the chopped portabella mushrooms and continued to cook until they were soft and the juices had reduced. I seasoned with Flavor God Everything seasoning, and some pepper to taste. I then added about 5 cups of pre-washed and dried baby spinach and stirred until it was wilted. Last, I mixed the pasta into the pan and stirred it well. I added about a half cup of the saved liquid and let it all reduce and covered the pan for a minute or two. I served it with some chopped green onion on top just for a little garnish. (Basil would have made a nice garnish, too.) The mushrooms give this dish a really great flavor and richness.

The “Gaucho” from Eggslut

Eggslut (eggslut.com) in Grand Central Market, downtown Los Angeles has the egg-lovers’ market cornered. I’d read about it and seen lots of photos on Instagram of their different menu items. I thought today would be the perfect day to take a drive and check it out. This is what my daughter got, and she said it was to-die-for delicious. If I weren’t 99 percent vegan (1 percent salmon, and then vegan, lol), I’d be all over it.

Description from their menu:

GAUCHO—seared wagyu tri-tip steak, chimichurri, pickled red onions, shaved manchego cheese and seasoned arugula topped with an over medium egg, in a toasted veneto roll
$11.00
tri-tip: Snake River Farms, Boise ID
available after 11:30AM

Broiled Marinated Wild Sockeye Salmon with Quinoa and Salad

Broiled Marinated Wild Sockeye Salmon with Quinoa and Salad

It may not be vegan, but I must have salmon every few months because I love it too much to give it up! I marinated it and broiled in the oven. The marinade was simple, and I used just a little of it and saved the rest in a glass bowl with a tight-fitting lid in the refrigerator. I’ll use it today to marinate some chicken breasts for tonight’s dinner for my non-vegan guests.

Marinade:

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 c freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 c soy sauce
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp Flavor God Garlic Lover’s Seasoning

Mix it all together and set aside. Place one salmon fillet (or whatever you want to marinate) in a baggie, and add about 1/4 c of the marinade. Shake until it’s well mixed and then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. You can grill on the barbecue or broil in the oven. I chose to broil the salmon in the oven. I set the temperature to broil, and placed the rack about 6 inches below the heat element. Spray your cooking pan with olive oil and place the salmon fillet skin side down on the pan. Broil for about 3-4 minutes. Turn the heat down to 475 and continue baking for about another 3-5 minutes. Pull out of the oven and let it rest for a few minutes.

I served it with plain quinoa, and a simple salad of finely diced English cucumber, red bell pepper, sweet onion, and cilantro.

Quinoa Tabbouleh with Mango, Strawberries, Avocado and Kale

Quinoa Tabbouleh with Mango, Strawberries, Avocado and Kale

INGREDIENTS

2 c water
1 c quinoa
1 pinch salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp Flavor God Everything Seasoning
1 tsp coarse-grind pepper
1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
12 cherry tomatoes, deseeded and chopped very finely
1 English cucumber, finely diced
3 bunches green onions, finely diced
3 carrots, grated
1 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 mango, sliced
1/2 avocado, sliced
handful of fresh whole strawberries
Handful of chopped fresh kale
Some whole cherry tomatoes for the platter

METHOD

In a saucepan bring water and quinoa to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from stove and allow to sit for a few minutes before fluffing with a fork. Transfer to a large bowl and refrigerate while you are making the vegetable mix.

In a large bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, Flavor God seasoning, tomatoes, cucumber, green onions, carrots and parsley. Mix together well. If the quinoa is cooled enough by the time you’ve labored over all the fine chopping of your veggies, then stir it into the mixture. If it isn’t quite cool, let the vegetables marinate in the refrigerator until the quinoa is cool enough to add. Then mix it in, and stir well. Cover and refrigerate for at 30 minutes to let all the flavors blend.

Meanwhile, add the sliced mango and avocado onto a platter, along with whole strawberries. Place a handful of massaged and torn kale onto the platter. When the quinoa mixture is ready, serve on top of the kale. (I prefer to serve from a measuring cup so that it has a nice shape, and I know how large the serving sizes will be, but you can just spoon it into a pile over the kale.) Place some whole cherry tomatoes around the platter.

“Chop Salad” Vegetable Stir Fry with Rice

The family really liked the Vegan Pulao I’d made the day before, but I wanted to make a lower simple carb version, using a bunch of really finely chopped vegetables, and just a little bit of rice mixed in after the vegetables were done. I also grilled some super firm tofu, seasoned with Flavor God “Everything Seasoning,” and a light spray of olive oil (not pictured here, but I posted a photo of that on my donnalynnfox Instagram account). This stir fry includes a mouthwatering mix of vegetables that blend together well, and create an awesome, flavorful and colorful dish.

INGREDIENTS

1 c cooked and cooled rice
1/2 large cauliflower, finely chopped
2 c very finely chopped green beans
1 c finely chopped green onions
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 carrots, scraped and very finely chopped
4 stalks celery, very finely chopped
1/2 c finely chopped cilantro
2 tbsp EVOO
Flavor God Everything Seasoning (flavorgod.com) **
Fresh-cut chives for garnish

METHOD

Heat oil in non-stick wok or frying pan over high heat. Add the beans, carrots, and celery first. Mix and stir for a few minutes until they begin to soften. Add the garlic, cauliflower, green onion and cook for about another minute while continuing to stir. Turn heat down to medium and add cilantro and season to taste. Turn heat off and cover for five minutes. Turn heat back on to medium, and add rice, stirring gently into the mixture. Remove from heat once everything is heated through, and spoon into a large family-style serving bowl. Garnish with chives.

** Flavor God seasonings are the best I’ve used. Flavor God chef and owner, Chris Wallace, grinds his herbs and spices fresh every day for orders going out that day. His business has grown exponentially over the past few months because his product is so excellent. Check out his site at flavorgod.com. I ordered his eBook and the four-seasoning combo pack. I’ll definitely be ordering more once I run out (which will likely be soon)!

Vegan Pulao

Vegan Pulao

I’ve made pulao with chicken before, and it was great. I followed an Indian recipe to a tee. I was looking for a vegan version with a variation of spices, not necessarily Indian spices (though I love them). I’ve watched a lot of YouTube videos lately about how to make it, and this is what I came up with. It’s a variation of all the recipes I saw, but two important things about making any pulao are a) you must rinse the rice until the water is absolutely clear, and b) soak it before cooking. If you omit these steps, your rice will likely be too starchy, sticky, and it will break.

I just made this last night, so I have to hurry and write down the ingredients before I forget! Next time, I would add peas and cabbage (two ingredients I didn’t have on hand). I think cooking a little broken vermicelli and adding that to the mixture at the end would add to this recipe as well.

INGREDIENTS

2 c long-grain basmati rice, rinsed until water comes out clear, and soaked for 20 minutes before cooking
1 large onion, thin-sliced lengthwise
2 red bell peppers, diced very finely
2 carrots, grated
About 24 fresh organic green beans, chopped very finely
2 cloves minced garlic
3 tbsp EVOO
1 tbsp garam masala (an aromatic blend of spices often used in Indian cooking)
2 tbsp soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped green onion for garnish (could also use cilantro as well, or instead)

METHOD

The usual ratio of 1 to 2 (rice to water) should be 1 to 2.5 when making pulao. Also, do not cook the rice until it is completely done; reduce cooking time by about 5 minutes. Set aside. Meanwhile, have all your vegetables chopped and ready to add to the hot non-stick wok or large non-stick frying pan because you will cook everything on high heat, and it will not take long. Plus, you will need to be stirring the mixture constantly. Heat the oil in the wok/frying pan over high heat and add the onions and garam masala. Stir constantly until the onions begin to darken and the mixture becomes very fragrant. Add the garlic, beans, bell pepper, carrots, and continue stirring until all the vegetables are mixed well. Add the salt and pepper to taste (go light on the salt if you’re going to use soy sauce after you add the rice to the mixture, or you may want to omit the soy sauce altogether). Turn the heat down to low, and let the flavors blend for a few minutes before adding the rice.

Your rice is cooked and set aside. When you are ready to add it to your cooked vegetables, fluff it up very gently to separate the rice grains, trying not to break them. Add 4 cups of the cooked, fluffed rice to your mixture and very carefully fold it in. Add soy sauce (if you choose to use it) and blend in evenly using a soft spatula. Slightly cover and turn off the heat. Let sit for a few minutes for all the flavors to meld together.

Serve on a platter and garnish with chopped green onion.

Quinoa, Guacamole, Cucumber with Sliced Mango

Quinoa, Guacamole, Cucumber with Sliced Mango

I made Foxy’s organic whole-grain, and gluten-free quinoa. It’s a brand I haven’t tried before, and it’s excellent. My guacamole recipe is posted on here a few posts back (see “Weekly Meal Prep for my Son”). I sliced some fresh mango, and used the rest of the delicious cucumber/radish/dill salad that I’d made yesterday. Perfect combo for dinner, and it was filling. I usually post photos of main dish platters, but they doesn’t represent individual portion size, which is so important. I find it helpful to serve my plate by using a measuring cup to apportion some foods, including in this case the guacamole and the quinoa. I used 1/4 c of guacamole and 1/2 c of quinoa. It’s a good way to adhere to a healthy and appropriately-sized portion. It also adds to visual plate appeal when you serve it this way.