Magic Mushroom Powder

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Mushroom Wakame Powder

Thank you for stopping by Mami’s Good Food Kitchen, today I will share with you a magic seasoning powder I make that lends an umami flavor to some of my dishes.It’s quick and simple, and can be mixed with any other seasoning you enjoy to give it your own spin.

You will need:

  • a blender (I use a vitamix, others will work but may take longer)
  • 4 cups dried mushrooms, wiped clean  (a mix or just shiitake)
  • 1/4 cup shredded wakame seaweed
  • recycled jar to store powder in

After wiping the dried mushrooms clean, put them and the wakame in the blender. Cover the blender and use tamper to help push the mushrooms and wakame down to help them blend better and uniformly. Blend on high until mixture becomes a soft, dry, silky powder.

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mushroom and wakame powder

If you want to add any other spices or salt, you should add them before you blend everything, to ensure the same texture throughout. You could add  dried thyme, or granulated garlic or onion powder, or even dried rosemary, depending on your taste and how you intend to use the powder. I  blend only the mushroom and wakame because I season dishes differently depending on what I am making and  I like the freedom of choosing various seasonings.

A teaspoon or two in a soup will add a depth of flavor; or put some in the rice pot,while cooking  rice, or in the bean cooking liquid. If you are making seitan, a couple spoonfuls mixed in with the vital wheat gluten will add a nice umami flavor to your faux meat.

Store in a recycled, cleaned jar, in a cool dark place or wherever  you keep your other powders and spices. Kept dry, it should last indefinitely.

Till next time, take care and remember to serve your loved ones good, tasty  foods, made with love and care.

What, No Turkey!?!

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Roasted Pumpkin with Stuffing

Welcome to Mami’s Good Food Kitchen!Pull up a chair and have a cup of tea, while we have a little chat.

Thanksgiving is coming up and I’m sure you’ve seen all the advertisements suggesting you order your turkey early, or the advertisements telling you of the best places to go to get the best prices on your Thanksgiving centerpiece. Or maybe you’ve endured the countless requests to donate turkeys, or money for turkeys for people who are having trouble making ends meet or even putting food on the table. All presented with the unspoken and underlying belief that Thanksgiving is all about the Turkey. And it has been all about the turkey, since the first pilgrims celebrated the Harvest Festival in 1621. Or should I say, it has become all about the Turkey. People stress themselves out looking for the perfect turkey to cook in their oven in the most perfect way. Buying such a huge bird that it could easily feed many more than  actually expected for dinner. I know, I know, it’s about the leftovers.

Maybe its because I’ve always been such a rebel. Always fighting against tradition or always fighting against what I’m expected or supposed to do. Or maybe its because I think outside of the box, but in anycase, I’m going to share with you what is important for me on Thanksgiving and why I say,”forget the turkey- It’s still Thanksgiving!”

Let the turkey live! I choose not to eat animals because I believe the animal protein is harder for my body to digest, and I believe as long as there are other means to get our protein, we shouldn’t be needing to kill animals to be healthy and fed. So, what does Thanksgiving mean to me? It is a festival or celebration about life and the abundance in our lives. A time to come together with others with love and gratefulness. It’s about being kind and counting our many blessings. A time for examining the past year and remembering and cherishing memories made this year and in years past. And Thanksgiving is about sharing. Sharing with those in need and sharing with those we love. Sharing things we are all grateful for, and for sharing a meal that nourishes our souls and bodies and celebrates our abundance.

For my centerpiece this year, I will have a roasted pumpkin filled with stuffing. Slow roasted and toasty with the crunchy part of the stuffing some people love to munch on and the soft stuffing which has cooked into a savory soft bread pudding texture inside of the pumpkin. The bonus is the pumpkin flesh that becomes soft and melty and compliments the stuffing and the flavor of the Bell’s Stuffing Seasoning.

To begin, I prepare my ingredients.

  • 1 carrot, chopped fine
  • 3 baby onions, white and green parts, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins (or black raisins, or cranberries)
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Now it’s time to cut open and clean out that pumpkin! You can do it!

Now for the rest of the ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 tsp Bell’s Seasoning (mixture of Rosemary, oregano, sage, ginger, marjoram)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 3 cups of dried cubed stuffing (could make your own if you don’t want packaged)

and for the stock:

  • 2 1/2 Tbsp  no-chicken stock powder
  • 2 Tbsp Earth Balance (can be omitted if following a no fat diet)
  • 2 cups water

Next step is to water saute the onions, carrots and celery. When they have softened, you can add in the seasonings (Bell’s Seasoning, thyme, garlic powder and white pepper). While you are sauteing the veggies, put 2 cups water into small saucepan and place on stove. Turn to high and heat water, when it reaches a boil, whisk in the non-chicken stock powder, and the Earth Balance, if you are using it.

The next step is to add the bread crumbs to the saute pan with the veggies and seasoning. Stir until all is combined. Then take the saucepan holding the stock mixture and pour about 3/4 of stock mixture into bread cube mixture. Mix all together and add more stock if you like your stuffing moister.20161111_164022

And finally, you can spoon the stuffing into the emptied pumpkin, filling it all the way, and even mounding it, to ensure the crunchy bits that will form on the top. Also wrap the lid in aluminum foil, so it doesn’t burn while the rest of the pumpkin is baking. Any leftover stuffing you can spoon into a loaf pan (I used a glass one here), and bake it with the pumpkin, spreading it thin if you like it crunchy, or putting it in a smaller ovenproof container if you want it softer.

Bake in a preheated oven, 375 degrees fahrenheit, for approximately 50 to 60 minutes. Keep checking in the oven when you reach 50 minutes, the pumpkin will tell you when it’s done, it will be soft when poked with a fork, and the stuffing should look crunchy and browned, but not too dark…20161111_20155820161111_180436

Maybe mine came out a little too brown. I’ll remember, next time.

But it was good. Very good. I served it with mashed potatoes and gravy, and a big, green salad. I could imagine for Thanksgiving dinner, I would add more of the usual fixings, like green beans, or broccoli or cranberry sauce…you can add whatever else you would like on your menu.

Another change one could make, would be to change the squash out. The Pumpkin was good, but Buttercup Squash or Red Kuri Squash, or Kabocha, which are all squashes in the Hubbard Squash family,  would also work very well in this recipe for taste and for appearance. They are also pretty winter squashes and their taste is deeper and sweeter, with a silky texture. I always like to say, recipes are not rules, but merely guidelines and you should make things the way you know you will like them.

Thank you for visiting me today, at Vegan Mamis Good Food Kitchen. I hope you enjoyed today’s recipe and our talk about what Thanksgiving means to me. Let me know what you are Thankful for this year, and how you will celebrate this beautiful holiday. Take care and remember to feed yourself and your loved ones real food, good food, made with love, to keep everyone healthy and fed!

Easy Chickpea Frittata

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Chickpea Frittata with potato and onion

Today for lunch, we had a simple and filling meal. Chickpea frittata filled with caramelized onions and potatoes, served with hot sauce, and steamed broccoli. It was reminiscent of before we became plant-based, and I would make us my version of  Italian Frittata, or Spanish Tortilla, made rich and delicious with eggs and cheese.

I had heard of using Besan, or Chickpea flour as an egg substitute and although I didn’t expect it to taste just like eggs or have the same texture, I thought it would be at best, an interesting experiment.

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Chickpea flour and batter

Besan, ground chickpeas made into flour, is commonly used in Asian countries  such as India and Pakistan. It is a good source of Protein,  Potassium, Calcium, Iron, Vitamin B-6 and Magnesium. Because I believe in the whole-plant foods philosophy of eating, I would normally eat the chickpeas in there unground, whole form. But once in a while, you’ve got to answer that basic instinct that says “hey, I’d like some comfort food here, today!” And the rain was beating down on the roof, and the weather felt cold and showed no promise of letting up, so I thought today would be the perfect day to give this a try.

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Onions and Potatoes

I began by peeling and slicing one large yellow onion and two medium-sized potatoes. The onions were sauteed in water, to which I added a splash of white wine vinegar. I let them cook slowly in a non-stick pan while I  boiled the potatoes in a separate pot, stirring the onions occasionally to make sure they didn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. After they were cooked, I set them aside as I got the batter ready.

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Chickpea flour batter

Next I measured out one cup chickpea flour and poured it into a medium-sized bowl. In this bowl I also added:

  • 2 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 tsp Black Salt
  • 1/2 tsp White Pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder

The black salt is used to flavor the batter as an egg, due to its eggy aroma. So, if you don’t have black salt, or don’t want to use salt, simply don’t put it in. Same with the pepper. If you prefer black pepper, or don’t want to use it, it’s optional. Put together the ingredients however it pleases you. Add 1 cup cold water, and whisk ingredients until well combined and there are no lumps. Set batter aside.

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Cooking in pan!

Heat a nonstick skillet. If you are cooking low or no fat, Just be warned that the frittata may stick a bit, but if you are skeptical of your pan, I would just put a dime-sized drizzle of whatever oil you like to use and spread it around the entire pan with a spatula. I was afraid at first the whole thing would stick in the pan, and I tried to turn the frittata too soon and it did look like it was going to stick in the skillet. I let it cook longer, and when I did invert it onto the cutting board, it hesitated for just a second or two until gravity coaxed it to let go of the skillet.

So, once heated, arrange the cooked potatoes in the pan first. Then layer the cooked onions on top of the potatoes. Than take your bowl of batter and pour that over the entire contents of the skillet. It may look to you that you should have more batter to cover the potatoes and onions generously, but I just barely had enough, and after it was done cooking, I realized it was the perfect amount of batter to hold everything together.

Cover the skillet with a lid, and let it cook slowly, on medium low for 12 to 15 minutes. Now comes the hardest part of all (and I didn’t get a picture because I don’t have enough arms to hold my camera and flip the tortilla). Uncover the skillet and remove from the burner. Take a wooden cutting board and place on top of the skillet. The board has to be big enough to hold the frittata. Using pot holders or kitchen towels, pick up the skillet by the handle with one hand, the other hand you will have on top of the cutting board. Flip quickly, so that you end up with the skillet on top and the cutting board on the bottom. Place the cutting board on the counter top right next to you. If you didn’t hear the thump of the frittata releasing, gently knock on the bottom of the skillet. You may need to knock a few times but you should hear it release onto the board.

Gently slide the frittata back into the skillet, and continue to cook on low, another 10 minutes, uncovered.

When 10 minutes are up, turn off the stove and put cutting board on top of skillet, again. Using the same technique as you used for the first flip over, flip the frittata onto the cutting board, but this time, take skillet away as soon as frittata is on the cutting board, cut as desired, either in squares or wedges, and serve.

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Finished Frittata

I served our frittata with steamed broccoli and hot sauce. It was very tasty and satisfying. It was comforting and although it wouldn’t fool anyone into thinking they were eating eggs and cheese, the frittata was very flavorful and nutritious and definitely something I would cook again. My husband also liked it, and was pleasantly surprised with the familiarity of it.

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Frittata with hot sauce

Thank you for visiting me at Vegan Mami’s Good Food Kitchen, where I like to serve food that nurtures the body and brings love to your heart. Take good care of yourself and your loved ones, remember to eat real foods in their whole forms, as often as possible. Your health depends on it!