E2 Week: Mushroom Ginger Soba

Engine 2 food is undeniably some of the prettiest food I’ve ever made. I don’t get it–is it the technique? Because I’ve made dinners with all these ingredients before: soba noodles, baby bok choy, carrots, kale, mushrooms–but they weren’t as startlingly lovely as this.

The flavorings: a smidge of mirin, tamari, and rice vinegar weren’t quite enough to make this not bland, however. The garlic and ginger added something (and I tossed in red pepper flakes for fun), but I still needed to spice this up with Sriracha at the end. I’d love to make this again, but it needs a little flavor bump: maybe sautéing the garlic and ginger with the mushrooms would provide a flavor boost. Maybe even a dash of miso. Or just less broth, since the sauce calls for a full cup and a half.

At least now I have a lot of black sesame seeds. That should be fun! Now to remember to roast them first…


Maple Sausages & Hash

This dinner is brought to you by brunch. And by the Post Punk Kitchen! And the letter K, and the number 7.

I’ve wanted to try these maple sausages forever. And my only beef *snicker* with them is that they’re too firm. I’m like baby bear when it comes to sausages. Not too soft, not too hard. I think the Happy Herbivore Spicy Sausage has the best texture, for my money, and that’s what I prefer to make. So now I just need to figure out the ratios so I can get different flavors–because the smoky maple flavor in this sausage was fantastic! It seems sorta funny to me that when I was an omni, I hated sausage. But I totally, completely, head-over-heels adore vegan sausage.

The rest of the dinner was just a bunch of steamed kale with garlic salt and nutritional yeast on it (the most vegan-y thing in the world) and Red Flannel Hash from Vegan Brunch. I’ve made it before, and guess what? Still good.


Roasted Veggies with Orzo

Mmmm…roasted veggies. I believe this is the Autumn Roasted Vegetables with Orzo from October’s Vegetarian Times Magazine. Man, that October issue has tons of great recipes! This one is no exception. And while there wasn’t anything that screamed “AUTUMN!” about this dinner, it was super classy. Kale, roasted cauliflower, roasted celery root, creamy orzo. How can you go wrong? And those little tiny baby potatoes! If you thought fingerlings were cute, you need to take a look at these.

The Triumphant Return of Kale

Oh, kale. I can’t stop trying to like you. Even the crinkly kale, which is mostly disgusting. But in this dish (Garlicky Mushrooms & Kale from Appetite for Reduction) you are mostly okay. Even the crinkly kale.

First, you’ll note that I altered the recipe (I can’t help myself!). I added a whole bunch of white beans, because I had them in the fridge and I thought it would be nice to add in a little protein. And I served it over barley, because it needed to be served over something. I can’t just sit and eat a giant bowl of kale. And I did put in the red pepper flakes that were suggested, because I will put red pepper flakes in anything.

I really, really want to make this again when I can get my hands on some dinosaur kale. I know it would be perfect. And maybe with some chickpeas instead of white beans. And maybe throw in a little ginger. The possibilities are endless.


Super Bowl Week!…the gravy bowl

Don’t you wish there was an actual Bowl game called “The Gravy Bowl”? I would so watch that. And I do not understand football. Do not try to explain it to me. I will not get it.

This isn’t like the Indiana Jones ride, you can look into the gravy bowl’s eyes and not head to your doom. Seriously, this was AMAZING. I took the time to steam the tempeh (always steam the tempeh) and the marinade rocked it. Actually, this marinade was very close to one I used to make for chicken, so it had a familiar taste to it. But better! So much better! And the gravy.

I want to take a moment of silence for that gravy.

Creamy, salty, rich…oh, gravy. GRAVY! You are always gravy to me. Also, perfect brown rice again, people. And decent sautéed mushrooms (they were sadly cold by the time I got everything together–should have made them last). And there it is, my old frienemy kale. I know you’re good for me. But eating you makes me feel like I’m chewing on old newspaper. When I make this again (and I WILL) I’ll probably use asparagus instead of kale, because who doesn’t need more asparagus in their life?

Recipes found in Appetite for Reduction. Except for the mushrooms, which you make like this–

Sautéed Mushrooms:

  • 1&1/2 cup sliced mushrooms (any kind you like)
  • 2 large cloves garlic, sliced
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp thyme (if you aren’t putting this on something else with thyme in it)
  • 1/4 cup white wine

Oil up your pan with some cooking spray and set to medium-high. I use cast iron, because it rocks. Toss in the mushrooms, and let them get browned on one side. Don’t touch! Now, stir them about and throw in your garlic. Keep cooking until both garlic and mushrooms are a little brown (but don’t burn the garlic, it will taste horrible). Add the thyme, salt & pepper, and stir it for a few seconds. Add the white wine to the center of the pan, and watch to make sure it cooks out. Remove from pan and use to top something delicious.

Chili Verde con Yummmmmm

And here’s another one of our fantastic dinners from Appetite for Reduction–Chili Verde con Papas.

Also, con EXTREMELY LARGE bunch of kale. I think it was triple a normal bunch. We actually had to pick kale out if it to make it less like a super hot salad. Oh well. It was still really tasty! Not all that spicy, plus the white beans really made it awesome. And, oh yeah, the potatoes. I looooove me some potatoes.