Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Stuffed Mushrooms

Mushrooms, as most of you know, is a low-calorie food and a great source of vitamin B. It has a meaty texture and comes in several varieties with the most commonly used ones being white (button), portobello, oyster, shiitake and enoki (thin and long white) mushrooms. It is widely used in asian cooking but equally gaining significance in italian and american cuisine as well. Generally, I cook with mushrooms as an ingredient in my soup or gravies but wanted to try making stuffed mushrooms for a change. These stuffed mushrooms work great as a bite size appetizer but you can transform it to a nice dish by serving the stuffed mushrooms with 
b├ęchamel sauce (using vegan butter and soy/almond milk) and some fresh salad.

Ingredients:

12 oz Crimini mushrooms  
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 cup frozen spinach, thawed
Mushroom stems, finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 - 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
2 tsp nutritional yeast
1/2 - 1 tsp dried parsley (adjust to taste)
1 tbsp fresh parsley
Salt, to taste

Method:


Clean the mushrooms by rinsing them and patting them dry. Remove the mushroom stems and chop them finely.

In a pan, heat oil, add the minced garlic and onions and fry until onions are slightly golden brown. Now, add the spinach and mushroom stems. Cook until slightly done.

Add the crushed red pepper flakes, dried parsley, bread crumbs, nutritional yeast and salt. Cook for few minutes. 

Fill each mushroom cap with the prepared stuffing. Preheat oven to 375° F.  In a baking pan, spray some oil and place the mushrooms. Bake for 30-40 mins until the mushrooms are done. The mushrooms tend to get too brown if left for longer, so make sure you take them off appropriately.

Makes 16-18 mushrooms (depending on the package)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Three Bean Salad

Bean Salad is a summer salad dish with different beans such as green beans, yellow wax beans, kidney beans, black-eyed peas, garbanzo beans and onions or other vegetables like bell peppers, etc., It is usually prepared with a vinaigrette which is slightly on the sweeter side. Beans are packed with protein and fiber which can help lower cholestrol levels as well as fill you up. You can use your choice of beans and mix it up for variations.

Ingredients:

1 cup green beans, steamed and cut into bite-size pieces
15.5 oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
15.5 oz can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1 small green bell pepper, chopped (optional)
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
5-6 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (optional)

For dressing:

4-5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp cider vinegar (or white vinegar)
2 tbsp dijon mustard
Juice of 1 lemon
1- 1 1/2 tbsp honey (adjust to taste)
1 tbsp sriracha hot sauce (optional)
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste

Method:

In a bowl, add cider vinegar, dijon mustard, minced garlic, lemon juice, honey, sriracha sauce and olive oil. Whisk all the ingredients together. Add salt and pepper to taste and whisk well. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, add the green beans, garbanzo beans, dark red kidney beans, red onion, green bell pepper, sun-dried tomatoes and chopped cilantro.

Add the vinaigrette to the beans and toss well. Serve immediately or chilled.

Makes 4-5 servings.