Tag Archives: mushrooms

Easy Spinach & Mushroom Pasta Sauce

Sometimes, when you just need a quick dinner and don’t feel adventurous, it is easy to discount pasta as “too easy”, or feel guilty about all those carbs. But the good news is, pasta is a great blank canvas on which you can paint all sorts of tasty, healthy flavors.

You can use generous amounts of pesto, which can be made in a blender and contains easily 2 servings of vegetables per plate. You could also whip up a white bean alfredo sauce, which is essentially watered down hummus, and is super healthy and filling.

Or you could make my favorite veggie-packed sneaky healthy red sauce of all time: spinach and mushroom sauce.

mushrooms and spinach

The beauty of this is its simplicity. You only need spinach, mushrooms, some spices, and a giant can of crushed tomatoes.

You can easily substitute in a jar of pre-made sauce, and add the veggies; or use diced or even whole tomatoes, just whir them in a blender before simmering. Canned or dried mushrooms would work just fine as well. You can also use frozen or canned spinach, but it will make the sauce much waterier and it would be best to simmer the sauce for an hour or more to thicken.

homemade pasta sauce ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 pint of any type of mushrooms
  • 2 heaping cups fresh spinach
  • 1 tbsp dried onion/onion powder
  • 2 tbsp Italian spice mix
  • Garlic salt, pepper, to taste

spinach and mushroom pasta sauce ingredients

Step 1: In a pan, add the mushrooms and a bit of water, wine, or stock. Cover with a lid and bring to a simmer. Cook 5-7 minutes, and then add the spinach. Cook another 3-5 minutes until wilted.

simmer tomato sauce for pasta

Step 2: Add in all the spices, and the tomato. Bring to a gentle simmer, and place the lid on, slightly askew so that the steam can escape and your stovetop isn’t covered in sauce bubbles. Simmer until thickened to your liking, usually about 15 minutes for me.

spinach mushroom pasta sauce

Serve with or without meatballs, sausage, or any other sauce additions you like. The flavors all work together beautifully, and most people won’t even notice there are extra veggies! If you want to really fool them, you can puree the sauce with a blender or immersion blender before serving.

 

What’s your favorite way(s) to sneak more vegetables into your diet?

Pork with Mushroom Gravy

 

This is a great recipe for using up extra mushrooms. It may not be a problem if you have fungus-lovers in your house, but my fiance does not think mushrooms are ‘fun’ in any way. I try to keep sneaking them in though, because they bring that lovely umami flavor to everything, and I personally love the things! This turned out really well, and he asked for seconds… so, vouched-for deliciousness.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 large pork chops or a small roast, about 6 ounces
  • 1 pint mushrooms (any kind, I used white and enoki)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 an onion
  • 4 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth or bouillon granules/cubes
  • 2 tbsp flour

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Step 1: Dice up your mushrooms, garlic, and onion. You can use any type of mushroom here, from white to bella to enoki to shiitake.

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Step 2: Cut the pork into bite-sized chunks and brown over medium heat. I served this over noodles, so I started them boiling at the same time. This would also be delicious served over rice or with a nice salad or green beans on the side.

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Step 3: Add the mushrooms, diced garlic, and onion to the pan. Cover and cook on medium heat 10-12 minutes, until onion becomes translucent and mushrooms soften.

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Step 4: Either remove everything to a plate and keep warm, or make the gravy right on top of it all. Mix in the flour, followed by the chicken broth, yogurt, and the milk.

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Step 5: Bring to a boil and then simmer until the gravy thickens. Keep stirring so that it doesn’t burn, and cook down until it is your desired thickness. Add more milk or water or flour as needed.

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Serve either alone or over noodles or rice. I sprinkled it with chopped chives from the back yard and a little garlic salt.

 

Pork with Mushroom Gravy

Pork with Mushroom Gravy

Ingredients

  • 2 large pork chops or a small roast, about 6 ounces
  • 1 pint mushrooms (any kind, I used white and enoki)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 an onion
  • 4 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth or bouillon granules/cubes
  • 2 tbsp flour

Instructions

  1. Dice up your mushrooms, garlic, and onion. You can use any type of mushroom here, from white to bella to enoki to shiitake.
  2. Cut the pork into bite-sized chunks and brown over medium heat.
  3. Add the mushrooms, diced garlic, and onion to the pan. Cover and cook on medium heat 10-12 minutes, until onion becomes translucent and mushrooms soften.
  4. Either remove everything to a plate and keep warm, or make the gravy right on top of it all. Mix in the flour, followed by the chicken broth and the milk.
  5. Bring to a boil and then simmer until the gravy thickens. Keep stirring so that it doesn't burn, and cook down until it is your desired thickness. Add more milk or water or flour as needed.
  6. Serve either alone or over noodles or rice.
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http://www.budgetepicurean.com/comfort-food/pork-with-mushroom-gravy/

 

Vegan Tofu-Sauerkraut Lettuce Wraps

 

As I’ve been diving into the world of vegan food options, it has made me more creative with my meals, how they are cooked, what is in them, and what I can mix together.

One meal option I have fallen in love with is lettuce wraps. It is just like a taco, only completely gluten-free (depending on what you put inside), no added carbs, and very healthy. You get a dose of greens de facto because of the lettuce leaves, and skip the extra calories and added who-knows-what in the typical tortilla (refined & bleached white flour, leaveners, softeners, added sugar, GMOs, etc etc).

And, like a regular taco, you can put just about anything inside! Wraps are a great catch-all for veggies you need to use up, leftover half-batches of grains, and anything else you can think of. Here I use some of my homemade sauerkraut (which is so mind-blowingly easy to make, and delicious!), fried tofu, and mushrooms as my umami base, then load on top of it cooked rice & black beans, diced avocado & fresh salsa. Ah-maz-ing.

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And the best part is, you can’t really over-eat these! There is so much veggie goodness and nutrition packed into every wrap, you can have three or four, no problem. This recipe makes enough for 4 large wraps.

Ingredients:

  • 4 large outer leaves of romaine (plus more shredded)
  • 1/2 block firm tofu, drained
  • 4 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup sauerkraut or raw cabbage
  • 1/2 cup cooked rice
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1 large avocado
  • 4 tbsp salsa of choice

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Step 1: I made my black beans from dried (much cheaper than canned!) by taking 1 cup of beans per 2 cups water and putting them in a slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours. This makes the beans nice and tender and ready to eat. Cook the rice according to package directions.

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Step 2: Drain and press the tofu by placing it on a folded paper towel with another on top. Press firmly, or place a heavy object on top, for a few minutes. Then add the tofu, mushrooms, and sauerkraut to a medium-hot frying pan, and cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms are moist and browned. Add a tbsp of water or vegetable stock if it dries out at any time.

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Step 3: Assemble the lettuce wraps. Take a large leaf of Romaine or other head lettuce and hold it in the palm of one hand. Add a tbsp or two of rice and cooked beans, then a heap of the cooked tofu-mushroom-sauerkraut mixture.

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Step 4: Add optional toppings like the diced avocado and salsa, or try sliced olives, juilenned carrot, zucchini, or radish, or shredded cheese. You could add nutritional yeast, soy sauce, sriracha, refried beans, or any other taco topping your heart desires.

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Above all, make it your own and enjoy!

 

Vegan Tofu-Sauerkraut Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients

  • 4 large outer leaves of romaine (plus more shredded)
  • 1/2 block firm tofu, drained
  • 4 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup sauerkraut or raw cabbage
  • 1/2 cup cooked rice
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1 large avocado
  • 4 tbsp salsa of choice

Instructions

  1. I made my black beans from dried (much cheaper than canned!) by taking 1 cup of beans per 2 cups water and putting them in a slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours. This makes the beans nice and tender and ready to eat. Cook the rice according to package directions.
  2. Drain and press the tofu by placing it on a folded paper towel with another on top. Press firmly, or place a heavy object on top, for a few minutes. Then add the tofu, mushrooms, and sauerkraut to a medium-hot frying pan, and cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms are moist and browned. Add a tbsp of water or vegetable stock if it dries out at any time.
  3. Assemble the lettuce wraps. Take a large leaf of Romaine or other head lettuce and hold it in the palm of one hand. Add a tbsp or two of rice and cooked beans, then a heap of the cooked tofu-mushroom-sauerkraut mixture.
  4. Add optional toppings like the diced avocado and salsa, or try sliced olives, juilenned carrot, zucchini, or radish, shredded lettuce, or shredded cheese. You could add nutritional yeast, soy sauce, sriracha, refried beans, or any other taco topping your heart desires.
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http://www.budgetepicurean.com/vegan/vegan-lettuce-wraps/

Asian tofu/cabbage soup

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This is a spin-off of a soup a friend of mine made that was fabulous. I had most of the ingredients and another friend wanted to go to the Asian specialty store where I could get the rest of the ingredients. It’s so simple, but it is delicious!
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Ingredients:
1/2 Napa cabbage
1 package tofu
1 package mushrooms
2 large carrots, diced
4 cups water/stock
Optional: 3-4 pounds chicken/duck/beef

Step 1: Dice the cabbage, mushrooms, tofu and carrots.

Step 2: Cook the veggies in order of hardness, carrots first, then cabbage, then mushrooms. Add the stock and any seasonings you like. I used veggie stock and put some extra chicken stock and black pepper in for spice.

The broth is simple but complex. You should try it first, then add salt or other spices to taste. The tofu adds a punch of protein, making this a perfect well-rounded meal for a vegetarian or vegan.