Easy, creamy, mushroom stroganoff

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There’s something elegant yet comforting about stroganoff. This recipe has the bonus of being supremely fast and easy to make AND it’s good for you (unlike the butter, beef and sour cream laden traditional recipes, which are a cholesterol-fest in a pot).

I went very simple with this dish – mushrooms only. But, you could easily brown some Gardein “beef” tips or vegan meatballs and add them to the dish for a heartier meal.

 Ingredients

1 Tbsp vegan margarine

1 medium onion, diced

1-2 cloves garlic minced

227g (about 1 pound) cremini mushrooms, chopped

2 Tbsp flour

1 cube of vegan bouillon (enough to make 1 cup of broth although you’re not making a cup of broth)

400ml (14-oz) can coconut milk

1 tsp ground mustard

2 Tbsp nutritional yeast

Pepper to taste (a few grinds)

1 Tbsp soy sauce

1 Tbsp miso (I used a dark, brown rice miso)

1 Tbsp cider vinegar

2 Tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp paprika

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Directions

Melt the margarine in a pot or large pan and add the onion and the garlic. Stir on medium heat until the onion is soft and translucent.

Add the mushrooms and sauté until the mushrooms have released their liquid.

Sprinkle the flour over the sautéed vegetables and stir to heat the flour through. You want to get the raw flavour out of the flour. Your veggies and flour will likely bind up and make an ugly wad – don’t worry!

Add all the other ingredients and stir well. The veggie-flour wad will break up and you’ll have a gently golden sauce. Stir occasionally and allow to simmer (not boil) for 5-10 minutes.

Serve over pasta or potatoes.

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Mushroom stroganoff…. the Russian revolution of good taste continues

Stroganoff

One of the first meals I ever made was for a dinner party my much-older sister was hosting. I was 11. She was having friends from university over and asked me to cook beef stroganoff. It was one of the most heart-stopping (literally – beef, butter, sour cream, egg noodles) dishes I’ve ever made. And so good.

Here’s a mushroom stroganoff that’s cleaned up its act and yet is as creamy, rich and satisfying as my original dish. My recipe is heavily based on the one by Isa Does It: Amazingly Easy, Wildly Delicious Vegan Recipes for Every Day of the Week by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Note – you do have to do some prepping at least 2 hours before you want to start cooking because the cashews need to soak and the tofu needs to marinade.

Ingredients

225g / 8 ounces of fusilli or rotini pasta

¾ cup cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours

1½ cups vegetable or mushroom broth

12 ounce package tofu

1 medium yellow onion, diced

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp red cooking sherry

3 Tbsp A-1 sauce

1 tsp salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

½ teaspoon smoky paprika

1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

4 cloves garlic, minced

225g cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced (about ½ pound)

1 tsp dried thyme

½ cup dry white wine

2 Tbsp tomato paste
Directions

Cook the pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.

Make the tofu

To make the tofu, cut the block into 8 equal slices. Place on a clean, lint-free towel and cover with another towel and press to squeeze out the liquid. Use the whole flat of your hand and press evenly.

Place the tofu in a shallow dish. It’s okay if the tofu is stacked in 2 layers.

In a small bowl or glass mix 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 Tbsp cooking sherry and 1 Tbsp  A-1 sauce. Pour over the tofu and place the dish in the fridge to marinate for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.

When the tofu has marinated, place it on a small baking sheet in a single layer. Pour any remaining marinade over it. Bake at 450 for 30 minutes. When it’s done, remove from the oven, let cool a bit and then cut into bite-size strips.

Make the sauce

Place the soaked, drained cashews, the broth, 2 Tbsp A-1 sauce, the balsamic vinegar and the salt and pepper in a blender and blend until you have a creamy sauce. Set aside.

In a large pan or pot (you want a nice wide bottom on the vessel for sautéing… if your bottom is nice and wide too, well that’s just fine!), heat 1 Tbsp olive oil and sauté the onion and garlic until they’re translucent. Add the thyme and paprika and heat through.

Add the mushrooms and fry until the mushrooms release their liquid and then start to brown. This can take about 10 minutes.

Add the tomato paste and wine and stir. Then add the cashew-based sauce and heat through. You might want to let the dish simmer for a few minutes to let it thicken though my sauce was already very thick. Add the sliced tofu and mix to combine

Serve over the pasta. Tell your friends you’re having stroganoff. Offer to share…. Enjoy!