Everyday Vegan Eats: Scampi Pasta with Asparagus and Walnuts

Everyday Vegan Eats Cover

I’m pleased to be hosting Zsu Dever on on her Everyday Vegan Eats blog tour today! I have one of Zsu’s recipes to share and a chance to win a copy of her book. Everyday Vegan Eats is Zsu’s debut cookbook, and it’s chockfull of recipes for delicious comfort food dishes that will please everyone, no matter what their dietary preference. These are the recipes that Zsu feeds her family on a regular basis, and they’re the dishes that kept everyone happy as they all transitioned to a vegan diet. Everyday Vegan Eats contains recipes for veganized favorites such as Baked Macaroni and Cheese, Lasagna Americana, New England Chowder, Deli Reubens and this Scampi Pasta…

 

Scampi Pasta

Scampi Pasta with Asparagus and Walnuts

Serves 4

Scampi, in the restaurant world, is a dish of shrimp sautéed in garlic butter and tossed with parsley and fresh lemon juice. In this version, dulse stands in for the flavor of seafood and the garlic-lemon sauce is tossed with thin pasta. This is a very fast meal, so get your pot of water boiling first.

 

Ingredients: 

  • 8 ounces capellini or angel hair pasta or gluten-free pasta
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped raw walnuts
  • 1/4 cup dulse seaweed flakes
  • 1/4 cup packed finely chopped parsley
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided sea salt and fresh ground black pepper

 

Preparation:

  1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water. Cool the pasta under running cold water, drain, and set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and walnuts. Reduce the heat to low. Cook, stirring, until the garlic is golden, about 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Increase the heat to medium. Add the dulse, parsley, and asparagus. Cook, stirring, until the asparagus is partially cooked, about 3 minutes.
  4. Stir in 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta cooking water and continue to cook until the asparagus is crisp-tender, another 2 minutes.
  5. Stir in 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, the reserved pasta, and the other 1/2 cup of reserved pasta cooking water. Cook, stirring, until the pasta is heated through and the sauce has thickened.
  6. Season to taste with salt, plenty of black pepper, and the rest of the lemon juice, if needed. Serve hot.

 

CHEF’S TIP: If you have a wok, this is a great place to use it. Garlic or walnut pieces can be pushed up the side of the wok, out of higher heat, if any of them brown faster than the others. When the sauce is ready to be tossed with the pasta, you’ll have plenty of room to combine them.

 

From Everyday Vegan Eats by Zsu Dever. ©2014 Zsu Dever. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press.

 

Enter to win a copy of Everyday Vegan Eats! Follow the instructions below to enter. U.S. residents only, please. Contest ends at midnight EST on Monday, May 19th. Good luck!

 

Rawsome Vegan Baking Totally Tahini Cups with Coffee Cream Filling

rawsome-coverI’m happy to be hosting Emily von Euw on her blog tour for her gorgeous new book Rawsome Vegan Baking today! Emily has also brought a copy of her book for lucky reader. Follow the instructions at the end of the post to enter. Be sure to also check out my interview with Emily on Chic Vegan too!

 

tahini-coffe-cups-sm

Totally Tahini Cups with Coffee Cream Filling

Simple, sublime, stylish . . . sassy? Okay, enough with the alliteration. These are just plain yummy. I know not everyone has a major sweet tooth like me, so this recipe is for those folks. Tahini is delicious, but it is also quite bitter. It has a strong nutty flavor (from the sesame seeds it’s made of) that goes perfectly with savory meals. However—its nutty bitterness can still work wonderfully in desserts as well. Here, it’s combined with salt and coconut oil to make a shell encompassing sweet coffee-date cream. Can you say yum!? Probably not, because your mouth will be too full of these terrifically tasty tahini cups . . . Duh. Did it again.

 

Makes: 6 cups

 

TAHINI SHELL

  • ⅓ cup (80 g) tahini
  • ⅓ cup (79 ml) melted coconut oil

COFFEE CREAM

  • 1 cup (175 g) pitted dates
  • ½ cup (118 ml) strong brewed coffee, or as needed
  • Salt

 

TO MAKE THE SHELL: Combine the ingredients by hand or in a food processor until smooth. It will be a bit watery but the coconut oil will harden up in the fridge. Pour half of the mixture into the bottom of 6 cupcake liners and put in the fridge for 20 minutes, or until solid. Set aside the other half of the tahini mixture.

 

TO MAKE THE FILLING: Put all the ingredients into your food processor and process until smooth and very thick, adding the coffee, as needed. This could take a few minutes, and you may have to stop the food processor to wipe down the sides a few times so everything continues to combine evenly.

 

ASSEMBLY: Scoop a dollop of the filling into each of the hardened bottoms in your cupcake papers. Pour enough of the remaining tahini mixture on each to cover the dollop. Put back in the fridge for about 20 minutes, or until solid, then sprinkle with salt and enjoy!

 

 

Follow the instructions below to enter to win a copy of Emily’s book Rawsome Vegan Baking. US residents only, please. Contest ends at midnight eastern standard time on Friday, April 4th.  Good luck!

Chef Del’s Better Than Vegan

Better Than Vegan

Chef Del Sroufe managed to reach 475 pounds on a vegan diet high in processed foods such as pastries, soda, potato chips and soy ice cream. After joining the Wellness Forum and working with Pam Popper, he cut out processed foods, sugars and oils, and he began eating a whole foods vegan diet rich in vegetables, fruits, beans and whole grains. He lost 240 pounds and in his new book Chef Del’s Better Than Vegan: 101 Favorite Low-Fat, Plant-Based Recipes That Helped Me Lose Over 200 Pounds, he shares is weight loss story along with his favorite recipes. With the recipes in Better Than Vegan, Chef Del proves that the healthiest diet can be the most delicious. The book also contains cooking tips, health advice and a pantry primer. If you’re new to vegan cooking, are trying to lose weight, or want to improve your overall health, Chef Del’s Better Than Vegan is for you!

 

Chef Del makes a stop here on his blog tour today with his recipe for Breakfast Burritos and copy of his book Better Than Vegan for one lucky reader.

 

BreakfastBurritos

Breakfast Burritos

Serves 4

 

This tofu scramble is made with lite firm tofu and then baked instead of fried, so the fat content is greatly reduced.

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 large leeks, white and light green parts only, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 pound lite firm tofu, pressed and mashed to the consistency of ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 4 10- or 12-inch whole-wheat tortillas
  • 1 cup salsa (store-bought or your favorite homemade)

 

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Sauté the leeks, red bell pepper, and mushrooms over medium-high heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until the leeks are translucent and tender. Add the garlic, cumin, coriander, pepper, turmeric, soy sauce, and nutritional yeast, and cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Add the tofu and mix well. Spread the mixture on a large parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the scramble from the oven and stir in the cilantro. To make the burritos, divide the scramble between the four tortillas and spoon some salsa over the filling. Fold the ends of each tortilla over the filling and roll it up.

 

I have a copy of Chef Del’s Better Than Vegan for one lucky reader. Follow the instructions below to enter. US and Canadian residents only, please. The contest ends at midnight eastern time on Sunday, January 12th. Good luck!

Clean out the Closet Giveaway

GiveawayAs a blogger, I acquire quite a lot of things. Sometimes I use it, and sometimes I don’t. I cleaned out my office closet recently and realized that I just have too much stuff, so it will all go to one lucky reader. This is quite a nice load of loot, if I do say so myself. Here’s what’s included in this giveaway:

 

Giveaway with Archie

  • A ladies size small Tofurky t-shirt that may or may not have some orange fur on it
  • A copy of The Now and Zen Epicure by Miyoko Schinner (This is my old copy of the book. I had a copy and then I won a copy at Vida Vegan Con.)
  • A Kombucha Starter Kit from Oregon Kombucha – Coconut Green Tea flavor
  • A “VEGAN” necklace from For the Animals Sanctuary
  • A Veggiegirl button
  • A few coupons for Upton’s Naturals and Field Roast
  • A few samples of vegan products such as Arbonne protein powder and Tom’s toothpaste
  • Orange Tabby Cat not included

 

Follow the instructions below to enter. Contest ends at midnight EST on December 8th. U.S. residents only, please. Good luck!

 

Vegan Chocolate by Fran Costigan

Vegan Chocolate

 

Two of my favorite words in the English language are “vegan” and “chocolate”, so Fran Costigan already had me as a fan for her newest cookbook Vegan Chocolate before I even set eyes on it. After I set eyes on it, she had a fan for life. Vegan Chocolate is a beautiful hardcover book packed with the most gorgeous, mouthwatering photos of cakes, pies, cookies and other drool-worthy chocolatey treats that I’ve ever seen. Beware – you may be tempted to eat the book’s pages.

 

Hot Chocolate Mexican-Style LR

I did a little work for Fran over the summer, so not only was I able to get a sneak peek at this masterpiece, I also got to sample some of her decadent homemade chocolate treats: brownie bites, truffles, ice cream shell, chocolate hazelnut spread, cake, ganache and more. Each one was better than the last and this chocoholic always went home happy. 

 

Cashew Cream Truffle Squares LR

As a vegan I’m often asked if it’s possible to make dessert without eggs and dairy products, and I’ve also had people tell me that they could never be vegan because they could never give up chocolate. (Chocolate is vegan by nature, but the way. It’s not vegan when candy bar manufacturers add milk and butterfat to it.) In Vegan Chocolate Fran proves that not only is it possible to make luscious vegan desserts, but they can be rich and sinfully chocolatey as well. This book is packed with recipes for chocolate cakes, pies, cookies, brownies, truffles, puddings, ice creams, drinks and more. I can guarantee that you can win over even the most die-hard carnivore with any one of them. 

 

Brownie Pudding Cakelettes LR

Fran begins the book with a list of ingredients that are helpful to have on hand for vegan baking, as well as a list of kitchen equipment essentials. She also includes a chocolate primer, with information on storing chocolate, what the different percentages mean and the different types of chocolate. Each chapter begins with Fran’s tips for successful treats, troubleshooting recommendations, and helpful information such as how much frosting is needed for a sheet cake and how to make cake crumbs for decorating. Kate Lewis’s photos of Fran’s creations are works of art, and this book should be on display on your coffee table, rather than tucked away in your bookcase.

 

Chocolate Raspberry Pie LR

Vegan Chocolate is a must have for any chocoholic, avid baker, and vegan foodie and it makes a great holiday gift. Be sure to check out my interview with Fran on Chic Vegan too! 

 

Lemon Olive Oil Truffles LR

You’re in luck, because Running Press sent me an extra copy of Vegan Chocolate and I had Fran autograph it, so I could give it to one lucky reader. Follow the instructions below to enter. Contest ends at midnight EST on December 1st. U.S. residents only, please. Good luck!

 

 

The Vegucation of Robin

Vegucation of Robin

I’m not a fan of Howard Stern, so until I received a copy of The Vegucation of Robin from Avery Publishers, I didn’t know anything about his sidekick Robin Quivers. I didn’t know that she had recently been battling cancer, and I certainly didn’t know that she follows a vegan diet. 

 

In The Vegucation of Robin, Robin Quivers talks about her health issues and the battles with her weight that’s she’s dealt with for throughout her life. She also talks about food addiction and attempts at cleanses and diets. It wasn’t until basketball player John Salley recommended a vegan diet and referred her to a vegan healer that Robin really changed her diet and lifestyle for good. She now credits her vegan diet for saving her life and helping with her speedy recovery after surgery to remove a tumor, and realizes she would have been much worse shape if her diet had been different.

 

The Vegucation of Robin is part memoir, part health book and part cookbook. In part 2 of the book, Robin lays down a primer for a healthy vegan diet: eat more vegetables and cut out the junk. She also talks about detoxing and cleanses, as well as self care – something so many people neglect. Part 3 is all about the food and it’s packed with lots of healthy, easy-to-make recipes such as Roasted Broccoli au Gratin, Wild Mushroom Risotto and Scallion-Tomato Tofu Scramble. Robin also offers up suggestions for special meals, such as Thanksgiving and summer cookouts.

 

I enjoyed this book. Quite often health books tend to just rattle of facts and be rather dry, but since The Vegucation of Robin is about Robin’s own journey, it’s full of humor and personality. While this book might not be for seasoned vegans, I would recommend it to any omnivore who is looking to add healthy dishes into his or her diet, since the recipes use easy-to-find ingredients and are easy to make. I know that to the outside world, vegan food can sometimes seem weird or foreign – I’ve even heard the world “fake” used twice in past week – but there’s nothing strange here. I would also recommend The Vegucation of Robin to those who are struggling with their health, as I know that reading about another’s health issues and how she overcame them can be very inspiring.

 

I have an extra copy of The Vegucation of Robin and I would like to give it one of you. Follow the instructions below to enter. The contest ends at midnight EST on Sunday, November 24th. US residents only, please. Good luck!

 

Vegan Holiday Kitchen Giveaway

Vegan Holiday Kitchen Nava Atlas’s Vegan Holiday Kitchen came out in the fall of 2011 and it instantly became my go-to cookbook for the holidays. Polenta, Sausage and Mushroom Stuffing and Pumpkin Cheesecake with a Hint of Chocolate have both become mainstays on my Thanksgiving table, and I’m counting down the days until I can make them again this year. I love the simple recipe for Agave and Mustard-Glazed Brussels Sprouts so much that I don’t even wait for the holidays to make it. The Red Quinoa Pilaf with Kale and Corn recipe is the perfect way to introduce someone to quinoa and I often make it with my health coaching clients when we discuss grains. 

 

Pumpkin Pie

Vegan Holiday Kitchen is not only perfect for Thanksgiving cooking, but it’s also perfect for cooking up delicious meals for Christmas, Hanukkah and beyond. Nava also shares recipes for Passover, Rosh Hashanah and Easter, as well as Independence Day and other summer holidays. There’s even a chapter with recipes for brunches and potluck dishes. Nava offers tips on how to plan our your holiday meal, what to cook ahead and what shortcuts you can take, and there are helpful tips and tidbits sprinkled throughout the book. Each section has sample menus that you can mix and match and there are plenty of recipes that will keep you coming back to this book year after year. The recipes all use standard ingredients that can be found at any grocery store, so omnivores won’t have any problems finding ingredients when they’re cooking dinner for vegans, and non-vegans won’t find anything “too weird” or foreign to them. In addition to being chock full of delicious recipes, this is a beautiful hardcover book full of mouthwatering photos, making it perfect for gift giving!

 

Dianne and Nava

Speaking of gift giving, I just happen to have an extra copy of Vegan Holiday Kitchen that Nava autographed the last time she was visiting New Jersey, and I’d like to give it to one you. Follow the instructions below to enter. The contest ends at midnight on Sunday, November 17th. US residents only, please. Good luck!

Jazzy Vegetarian Classics Review and Giveaway

 JazzyVegetarianClassics_FrontCover

You’re probably familiar with Laura Theodore from her PBS cooking show Jazzy Vegetarian, which is now in its third season and can currently be seen on the Create channel on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Her new cookbook Jazzy Vegetarian Classics is the companion book to the show, and all of the recipes to the delicious dishes that Laura cooks up on the show can be found within its pages. On the television show and in her cookbooks Laura focuses on flavorful, classic meatless dishes that can be made without strange or hard-to-find ingredients. These are the kind of meals that you can easily serve to your omnivore friends at a dinner party, or your picky-eater family members at the holidays. Chances are that they won’t even miss the meat. Dishes include Spaghetti and Wheatballs, a veganized Jazzy-Style Caesar Salad with Cashew Parmesan, Polenta Pizza, Oven-Baked Two-Bean Chili and even decadent desserts like German Chocolate Cake and Blueberry Cheeze-Cake.

 

Mushroom Stroganoff

Jazzy Vegetarian Classics is a gorgeous hardcover book full of delicious recipes and mouthwatering photographs. In the book’s introduction, Laura talks about how she was able to combine her love of performing with her love of food to create the Jazzy Vegetarian. Laura – and all of her recipes – are actually vegan, but when she came up with the name, the word “vegan” wasn’t used much, and most people didn’t know what it meant. Laura also provides a list “Jazzy Basics”, making it easy for those new to vegan cooking to stock a their pantries. She also provides sample menu ideas, along with music suggestions to play with each meal. The book is packed with recipes for everything from breakfast and snacks to soups, stews, pastas, pizzas and desserts. There are recipes for main dishes, side dishes, beverages and even sauces and dressings. There’s really something for everyone.

 

Spaghetti and Wheatballs

Since these meals really are classics that anyone can enjoy, Dennis picked up a copy of the book to give to his parents in Oklahoma when he went to visit them last month. He texted me one night to say that he was cooking Spaghetti and Wheatballs, and my response was “Hey! You need to cook that for me!” And when he came home, he did! This meal is cat approved, as we found half eaten wheatballs all over the kitchen counter after we ate our own meal, although I probably would advise against cooking it for your feline friends. They’ll just demand dinners like this all the time if you do.

 

Apple Turnovers

While Dennis was making the wheatballs, I threw together a couple apple turnovers. Even though I like to bake, I usually avoid making anything that requires rolling out dough. The genius behind these turnovers is that the “crust” is actually whole wheat tortilla! Dessert only took a few minutes to prepare and it was ready to eat when we were done with our pasta. 

 

Tofu Ranchero

One morning I was watching Jazzy Vegetarian while eating an English muffin for breakfast. Laura just happened to be making breakfast during the episode and the show’s star was her Tofu Ranchero recipe. It looked so good that it made me resent my muffin. I immediately went shopping to pick up all of the ingredients for the recipe, along with the ingredients for Laura’s Cornbread Sweet Pepper Mini Muffins. This was the perfect breakfast, and would even make an incredible dinner!

 

Cornbread muffins

I recently  interviewed Laura Theodore for Chic Vegan and then she interviewed me on her radio show. She also stopped by Montclair for a book signing, and I had her autograph an extra book so that I could give it one of you wonderful readers.  One lucky winner will win an autographed copy of Jazzy Vegetarian Classics. Follow the instructions below to enter. US residents only. Contest ends at midnight EST on Sunday, November 3rd.  

 

Zeke the Plumber’s Awful Waffles from Natalie Slater

Bake and DestroyI had so much fun hosting Natalie Slater on the blog tour for her book Bake and Destroy that I’ve decided to do it again! Natalie is here once more, this time with a recipe that’s perfect for Halloween. Since Natalie is influenced by slasher films, pro-wrestling, punk rock and heavy metal, her recipes seem appropriate for the spookiest day of the year. She’s also brought a copy of her book with her for one lucky winner to enjoy. You can enter the giveaway contest at the end of the post. 

 Waffles

If I went as a Salute Your Shorts character for Halloween this year, I would absolutely hands-down be Bobby Budnick. Played by Danny Cooksey, Bobby Budnick was a jerk with a heart of gold. His interests included Megadeth, Zeke the Plumber, and fellow camper Dina. He had a red mullet and I’m not sure any of his shirts had sleeves and he was perfect.

 

Bobby Budnick is my spirit animal. And like Bobby, I am not a nature lover. I am a city kid through and through. I like video games and rock n’ roll, and if I’m going to eat a hot dog, it ain’t gonna be off a stick. It’s going to be Chicago style or someone’s getting roasted, toasted, and burned to a crisp courtesy of menacing, terrifying Zeke the Plumber.

 

This recipe isn’t for everyone – but it would certainly make for lively Halloween party conversation. So here it is, world. The Awful Waffle. My ode to camp counselor Ug Lee, to Donkey Lips, and to you, Bobby Budnick, wherever you are. 

 

Zeke the Plumber’s Awful Waffles

 

Ingredients

For the waffles:

  • 1 & 1/4 cups soymilk
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 & 1/2 Tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
  • 1/2 teaspoon Liquid Smoke
  • 1/4 cup chopped white onion
  • a handful of poppy seeds
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • pinch salt

You’ll also need:

  • vegan hot dogs
  • tomato, cut into wedges
  • celery salt
  • yellow mustard

 

Instructions

  1. Warm up your waffle maker. I recommend also warming your oven to about 200 degrees so you can keep the finished waffles warm while you work on the toppings.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, vinegar, oil and Liquid smoke. Stir in the relish and onion. Then, add the flour, baking powder, cornstarch, poppy seeds and salt. Stir until just mixed. Drop about 1/4 cup of batter into your greased waffle maker, and cook according to your waffle maker’s instructions. Mine took 3-5 minutes.
  3. I sliced my veggie dogs first, and then cooked them on a hot griddle. You should cook yours whatever way you prefer, then slice them up. Top your waffles with hot dogs, tomato wedges, celery salt, yellow mustard and of course, a Kosher pickle on the side.

 

One lucky winner will win a copy of Natalie’s book Bake and Destroy. Follow the instructions below to enter. US residents only. Contest ends at midnight EST on Sunday, October 27th. 

Pies and Tarts with Heart by Dynise Balcavage

Pies and Tarts with Heart

I’ve been excited about Dynise Balcavage’s new book Pies and Tarts with Heart for a while. I loved her first two books, and I new this one would be just as good, or even better. Dennis was happy when he heard about it too, because if he could, he would eat all of his meals in pie form. 

 

Pies and Tarts with Heart is chock-full of recipes for, yes you guessed it, pies. There’s a wide variety of pies here, both sweet and savory. There are chocolate pies, raw pies, nutty pies, holiday pies, artsy pies, dinner pies and even impostor pies like whoppie pies and boston cream pie. There’s also a chapter on homemade pie toppings. There’s plenty of info to get you started on your pie making adventure, such as how to stock your pie-making pantry, notes on ingredients and how to make perfect pie crusts. 

 

I’m happy to be hosting Dyinse on her blog tour today, with her recipe for Booze-Infused Mushroom Polenta Pie. I love both mushrooms and polenta, and I don’t mind a bit of booze now and again, so this recipe seems as if it was written just for me. Be sure to enter my giveaway contest for a chance to win your own copy of Pies and Tarts with Heart.

 

BoozeInfusedMushroomPie

 

Booze-Infused Mushroom Polenta Pie

I realize that using “booze-infused” in a recipe title is not my classiest culinary writing moment. But to be honest, I’m a bit weary of foodies who glamorize even the simplest of dishes. And this dish is simple: honest-to-goodness, stick-to-your-ribs comfort food. This recipe is not difficult, but it is a bit time-consuming, perfect to make on a chilly winter day when you have cabin fever or when you just feel like puttering about the kitchen. It’s wonderful with a bowl of veggie soup or a tossed spinach salad. And if you want it to sound fancier, just insert the name of the booze you use in the title, such as “Marsala-Infused,” “Sherry-Infused,” or “Vermouth-Infused.”

 

Makes one 9-inch (23 cm) pie

 

For Crust:

  • 2 cups (470 ml) mushroom (preferred) or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup (140 g) cornmeal
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon salt, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

For Filling:

  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) one of the following liquors, in my order of preference: Marsala, amontillado sherry, dry vermouth, dry red wine, brandy
  • 4 cups (280 g) sliced fresh mushrooms (cremini, button, shiitake, or a mixture)
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) nondairy creamer
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 cups (60 g) chopped fresh spinach
  • ¼ to ½ cup (20 to 40 g) nutritional yeast
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

 

Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC, or gas mark 5). Spray a pie pan with cooking spray.

 

To make the crust: Heat the broth in a large saucepan over medium heat until just steaming, about 5 minutes; do not boil. Slowly whisk in the cornmeal, about ¼ cup (35 g) at a time, to ensure the batter does not get lumpy. Add the seasonings and stir well. Bring to a boil over high heat. Decrease the heat to low/medium-low and cook until very thick and no longer soupy, about 10 minutes. Careful! It bubbles up and can spatter. Spread about ½ cup (130 g) or so in a 6 x 3 x ¼-inch (15 cm x 7.5 cm x 6 mm) layer (give or take) on a sheet of waxed paper. Let the remainder of the batter cool slightly, then spread in the prepared pie pan. Use a small cookie cutter to cut some shapes from the cornmeal layer. Keep it simple: stars, hearts, and circles work best, because cornmeal dough can be fragile. Set the shapes aside. Bake the pie crust for 22 to 25 minutes, or until golden.

 

To make the filling: Heat the oil over medium heat in a large sauté pan. Add the garlic and onion and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until softish. Turn the heat to high, add the Marsala, and deglaze the pan. Lower the heat to medium and add the mushrooms. Cook for about 1 minute, stirring to coat.

 

In a small bowl, whisk together the creamer and cornstarch to make a slurry. Add to the mushrooms and continue to cook over low to medium-low heat, stirring occasionally and scraping any bits from the bottom of the pan, until the mushrooms are soft, about 10 minutes.  

Add the spinach and cook for about 1 minute, then stir in the nutritional yeast and remove from the heat. Adjust the seasonings to taste.

 

Remove the crust from the oven, but leave the oven on. Let cool for about 5 minutes, then fill with the mushroom mixture and decorate with the polenta cutouts. Bake for 5 minutes more. Remove and let cool for 1 hour before serving, either warm or at room temperature. This is best reheated in the microwave, because it helps retain the moisture.

 

Take It Slow!

Onions and garlic browning too quickly? Reduce the heat and sprinkle with salt. The salt draws out water and slows down the cooking.

 

Enter to win a copy of Pies and Tarts with Heart! Contest ends at midnight EST on October 20th. US residents only, please. 

 

Dr. Fuhrman