Creamy Kale & Mushroom Pasta

Creamy Kale and Mushroom Pasta -- Epicurean VeganKale and mushrooms. Two of my favorite veggies. Together with pasta: a new favorite meal! It’s incredibly easy to make and will be ready in no time.

1 Tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C onion, minced
3 Tbs flour, divided
1 C vegetable broth
Salt and pepper
1 tsp thyme
1/8 tsp nutmeg
2 Tbs nutritional yeast
3/4 C unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp lemon juice
2 portobello mushroom caps, sliced, then cut in half
2 C kale, torn into bite-sized pieces
1/2 C green onions, sliced
Optional: 1/3 C Dairy-free sour cream
12-14 ounces pasta of your choice (I used rotini)

Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat the olive oil and garlic over  medium heat; cook for 3 minutes. Add the onions, and cook another 6-8 minutes, or until the onions are softened. Add two tablespoons of the flour and coat the onions well; cook 1 minute. Little by little, add the broth and whisk until the mixture is thickened. While I prepare the sauce, I had the kale and mushrooms in my steamer pot. They only need about 5-7 minutes to steam, so keep an eye on the pot; I find that kale can get bitter-tasting if it gets over-steamed. Once it turns bright green, it’s perfect—remove from heat.

Stir the nutritional yeast into the sauce, along with the salt, pepper, thyme and nutmeg. In a small cup, whisk together the almond milk with the remaining tablespoon of flour. Again, little by little, whisk it into the sauce until it has thickened. Stir in the lemon juice. Combine the cooked pasta with the green onions and the steamed kale and mushrooms.
Creamy Kale and Mushroom Pasta -- Epicurean VeganPour the sauce over the pasta mixture and combine well. If using, add the sour cream and mix thoroughly. Season with more salt and pepper if you’d like, serve and enjoy!

Portobello Wraps

Portobello Wraps -- Epicurean Vegan

After the delicious portobello wrap I had at Ouray Brewery last weekend, I decided to make my own. I had purchased some Vegenaise Chipotle Spread a couple of weeks back and figured it was high time to try it out.

This certainly has a zip to it, so go easy if you’re not keen on really spicy food. However, I did use chipotle olive oil and cumin in this meal, so that could have added some heat as well. Overall, an excellent spread or dipping sauce, plus dinner was ready in about 15 minutes.

3 large portobellos, washed, stems removed, and cut into slices
1/4 of a medium head of red/purple cabbage, sliced into strips
1/2 of a large red onion, cut into strips
Olive oil
1/4 to 1/2 tsp cumin
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 spinach tortilla wraps
Romaine leaves
Tomato slices
Vegenaise Chipotle Spread
Optional: Black olives, sliced

Portobello Wraps -- Epicurean Vegan

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the red onion and cabbage and cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, or until they begin to soften.

Portobello Wraps -- Epicurean Vegan

Add the portobello mushrooms and cook another 5 minutes, or until they begin to soften. Add the cumin, salt, and pepper.

Portobello Wraps -- Epicurean Vegan

Layer some Vegenaise onto the tortilla, then one large romaine leaf. Scoop some mushroom filling on next, then top with a few tomato slices (and black olives, if using). Roll up tightly and cut diagonally in the middle. Enjoy!

Portobello Wraps -- Epicurean Vegan

Creamy Mushroom Fettuccine

Creamy Mushroom Fettuccine -- Epicurean Vegan

“To err is human.” I found myself quoting Alexander Pope as I made this dish from Big Vegan. Apparently, I wasn’t very good about reading the ingredient list, or directions when I decided on making this dish this week. I didn’t realize that it calls for dried mushrooms. Didn’t pick those up. It called for fresh parsley. Didn’t get that. It called for a cast iron pan. Still haven’t bought one. But that’s OK! I improvised and this turned out to be an amazing dish, mostly because I did not screw up the sauce. It’s a fantastic sauce that I will be making again and again. It’s full of flavor and isn’t too thick or too thin, and is so easy to make. The Husband called it a vegan stroganoff. The recipe also calls for seitan, but I’m not a fan, so I left it out. Below is my ad libbed version that I promise won’t disappoint! In fact, I got nixed out of the leftovers, but thankfully, there was some sauce left so I made some rice and had a satisfying lunch.

Creamy Mushroom Fettuccine -- Epicurean Vegan


3 Tbs rice flour
1 Tbs olive oil
2 C shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 C almond milk
1/4 C white cooking wine
1 Tbs tomato paste
1 Tbs nutritional yeast
1 Tbs white miso
1 pinch nutmeg
1 pinch cayenne
1 pinch turmeric
6 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp salt
8 oz portobello caps (3 of them), thinly sliced
16 oz dried fettuccine
1/4 C toasted walnuts, chopped


Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil and garlic in a large skillet. Add the shiitakes, green onion, portobellos, and cook until browned. Sprinkle with the flour and stir to combine.

Creamy Mushroom Fettuccine -- Epicurean Vegan

Whisk together the almond milk, wine, miso, tomato paste, yeast flakes, nutmeg, cayenne, and turmeric. Reduce the heat on the mushrooms to low and slowly add the sauce, little by little, stirring as you go to keep it from burning. Season with the salt. It won’t be a real thick sauce; you just want it heated through.

Creamy Mushroom Fettuccine -- Epicurean Vegan

Drain the pasta and serve it with a ladle or two of sauce on top along with the toasted walnuts. You can also mix the sauce with the pasta, but I like to usually keep them separate. Enjoy!

Cabbage and Portobello Tacos

Cabbage and Portobello Tacos -- Epicurean VeganSorry for the absence! I’m back and ready to cook! These veggie tacos were certainly well-received last night by the family. Maybe it’s because I haven’t had much time to cook for them lately, but whatever the reason, they made this vegan trio happy.

2 tsp garlic, minced
1 Tbs olive oil
3 large portobello caps, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
2 medium zucchinis, cut into matchsticks
3 C red/purple cabbage, sliced into wide strips
Corn taco shells
Seasonings: (mild)
1 Tbs chili powder
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
The rest (optional): fresh cilantro, sliced green onion, salsa, or avocado slices

Cabbage and Portobello Tacos -- Epicurean Vegan

Cabbage and Portobello Tacos -- Epicurean Vegan

Heat the garlic and olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add the onions, zucchini, and cabbage; cook 10-12 minutes, or until they begin to soften and brown. Combine the seasoning ingredients and add to the pan along with the portobellos.

Cabbage and Portobello Tacos -- Epicurean Vegan

Thoroughly combine everything. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook the mushrooms until they soften and reduce in size, 7-9 minutes. You may want to cover the pan and let them cook.

Cabbage and Portobello Tacos -- Epicurean Vegan

Serve in warmed corn taco shells and top with any of the optional ingredients. This is a fabulous (and quick) gluten & soy-free meal! Enjoy!

Cabbage and Portobello Tacos -- Epicurean Vegan

Stuffed Portobellos and Steamed Bok Choy

Stuffed Portobellos and Steamed Bok Choy -- Epicurean VeganPortobellos are such a versatile fungi.

They make great burgers, a main stir-fry ingredient, and of course, an ideal vessel for other veggies. I wanted to make something wheat and soy-free, which is tough as a vegan, but these really fit the bill. But what to have with them? Before, I would have served bread, but since I that’s out, I decided to steam some bok choy. By the way, you’ll be seeing more wheat and soy-free recipes (although I may use miso from time to time) on my blog, as I am working on eliminating these from my diet. Why? Well . . . you see, I have endometriosis, something I’ve had to deal with for the last seven years, and I’ve now opted to treat it with diet, herbs and acupuncture. Endo is an inflammatory disease, so processed flour aggravates it. It’s also said that estrogen feeds the disease, so there goes soy with its natural estrogen!

TMI? Sorry. I won’t go on about it, but I wanted to explain my reasoning for my decision and to also let other women know that it’s possible to live with endo and not rely on drugs and/or  surgery (at least, that’s my plan). Otherwise, I want to make clear that I have nothing against soy. In fact, it’s worth pointing out that Dr. Neal Barnard has determined that soy consumption is not only safe, but highly encouraged. Oh, and I want to make clear, I’m steering clear of wheat, not necessarily gluten. There’s a difference between the two, so fortunately, whole grains aren’t out of the picture for me, just processed wheat.

So, on to the recipes!

4 portobello caps, washed and stems and gills removed
1 box Near East Long Grain & Wild Rice mix
1 small red onion, diced
1 small zucchini, diced
1/2 C fresh parsley, chopped
2 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
Daiya cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare the rice mix according to the package instructions. This will need to cook for 30 minutes. When the rice has about 6 minutes of cooking time left, heat the olive oil and garlic. Add the red onion and cook for about 3 minutes. Then add the zucchini and cook another 3 minutes or so.

Stuffed Portobellos and Steamed Bok Choy -- Epicurean Vegan

Stir in the cooked rice and parsley; season with salt and pepper.

Stuffed Portobellos and Steamed Bok Choy -- Epicurean Vegan

Place the portobellos upside down in a large baking dish. Sprinkle some Daiya cheese on the bottom and fill each mushroom cap evenly with the rice mixture, piling it high.

Stuffed Portobellos and Steamed Bok Choy -- Epicurean Vegan

Pour a little water into the bottom of the pan. This will help steam the mushroom caps. Bake for about 15 minutes, then top with a little Daiya cheese and bake another couple of minutes.

While these are baking, I got started on the bok choy.

Stuffed Portobellos and Steamed Bok Choy -- Epicurean Vegan

I think this veggie is so underrated. Low in calories, this lightly sweet and crispy veggie is loaded with vitamins C and A as well as calcium. I cut up some mushrooms and together, steamed the veggies with some (soy-free) Earth Balance for about 7-9 minutes.

Stuffed Portobellos and Steamed Bok Choy -- Epicurean Vegan


Portobellos with Tomatoes and Truffle Cheeze Sauce

Portobellos with Tomatoes and Truffle Cheeze Sauce -- Epicurean VeganWe got some beautiful portobellos and tomatoes from Green Buffalo Food Co. and this came together so fast. The truffle cheeze sauce is amazing! I could have eaten it with a spoon—it is rich, creamy and perfect for veggies, pasta, or by the spoonful!

1/2 Tbs olive oil
2 Portobello mushrooms, stem and gills removed
2-4 large basil leaves (I used spinach, but I think I’d prefer basil for more flavor)
4 tomato slices

1/3 C almond milk
1/2 C Daiya mozzarella
1/8 tsp (or less) white truffle oil

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Place portobellos, face down, in the pan and lightly saute for about 2 minutes. Turn over and saute the other side. Add the basil leaves and 2 tomato slices per mushroom. Reduce heat to low and cover.

Portobellos with Tomatoes and Truffle Cheeze Sauce -- Epicurean VeganTo prepare the sauce, bring the almond milk just to a boil, reduce heat to medium and whisk in the cheeze and truffle oil. Whisk until smooth—it’ll only take a couple of minutes.

Portobellos with Tomatoes and Truffle Cheeze Sauce -- Epicurean Vegan

Serve the portobellos with sauce drizzled on top and enjoy!

Wild Rice-Stuffed Portobellos

Vegan MoFo, Day 24

Wild Rice-Stuffed Portobellos -- Epicurean VeganI have been dying to make these for a while now. They did not disappoint. I used about 2 cups of cooked wild rice for five mushrooms, but the recipe makes enough for six. Also, I recommend using vegetable broth when making the rice—keep in mind, the rice will take about 45 minutes to cook. Typically, I steam or slightly saute the mushroom caps before stuffing them, but this time I decided not to—and I’m glad. They came out perfect; not soggy or too soft. When looking for portobellos for this dish, try to pick out ones that are very bowl-shaped. They’ll flatten a little as they bake, so the curvier, the better. (I like that, curves are good)!

6 portobello mushrooms, stemmed and de-gilled
2 C wild rice, cooked
1 red bell pepper, diced small
3 large green onion, diced
1/2 a can of artichoke hearts, diced small
1 Tbs Earth Balance
2 tsp garlic, minced
1 C vegan mozzarella, shredded
1 Tbs fresh rosemary, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with foil; set aside. In a large skillet, heat the margarine and garlic until hot. Add bell pepper, green onions, and artichokes. Saute 3-5 minutes and add rosemary, salt and pepper.

Wild Rice-Stuffed Portobellos -- Epicurean VeganSaute another 5-7 minutes and transfer to a bowl. Add the cooked rice to the bowl and combine the two mixtures.

Wild Rice-Stuffed Portobellos -- Epicurean VeganPlace the portobello caps on the baking sheet—upside down. Sprinkle some vegan mozzarella inside the caps, then spoon the rice mixture into each cap evenly.You can season with some more salt and pepper, if you’d like.

Wild Rice-Stuffed Portobellos -- Epicurean VeganTop with remaining cheese and bake, uncovered, for 10-12 minutes. Enjoy!

Wild Rice-Stuffed Portobellos -- Epicurean Vegan

Spinach and Pesto Lasagna

Spinach and Pesto Lasagna -- Epicurean VeganOh, man. Have you ever made it to vegan food nirvana? Well, this lasagna will take you there. Of course, you’ll have to come back, but you can always go back for seconds. It looked so good as I assembled it, I wanted to eat it right then and there. I used my previous pesto recipe as well as my “ricotta” cheese recipe that I use for the stuffed shells and vegetable lasagna. To make things easier, I made those earlier in the day. I also decided to use regular lasagna noodles instead of the no-boil variety, and I was a little weary, but not only were they easy to use, we preferred them over the no-boil ones.  I just cooked them very al dente since they will continue to cook later in the oven.

3 Tbs Earth Balance Margarine
2 shallots, minced
1/4 C all purpose flour
2-1/2 C almond milk
1/2 C white wine
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbs vegan Parmesan cheese
2 portobellos, diced
“Ricotta Cheese”:
1-14oz pkg extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
1/3 C nutritional yeast
1 C fresh basil leaves
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 Tbs lemon juice
1/2 to 3/4 C vegan mozzarella, shredded
2-1/2 C fresh basil leaves
1/2 C parsley
1 C pine nuts
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/8 C lemon juice
1/3 C olive oil
3 Tbs vegan Parmesan cheese
The rest:
2-1/2 C vegan mozzarella, shredded
4-5 C baby spinach
12 lasagna noodles

I recommend making the “ricotta” mixture and pesto earlier. To make pesto, combine the basil leaves, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and olive oil in a food processor. Process until smooth. Add the pine nuts and Parmesan cheese and process until well combine and smooth. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. To make the tofu mixture, combine all ingredients except the mozzarella cheese in a food processor. Process until smooth and then transfer to a bowl. Stir in the cheese and again, store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Preheat oven to 350.

Boil the noodles until al dente–don’t have to cook them like regular pasta. While these are boiling, start the sauce: In a large saucepan, melt the margarine over medium to high heat. Add the shallots and saute for a couple of minutes. Whisk in the flour and white wine. Add the almond milk and lower heat; cook until it begins to thicken, stirring often. Add salt, portobellos, and Parmesan cheese.

Spinach and Pesto Lasagna -- Epicurean VeganSpread a ladle full of sauce on the bottom of a 9×13″ baking dish.  Make sure you rinse the noodles with water to keep them separated—you may have to do this a few times throughout the process. Layer 3 noodles on the bottom of the pan, on top of the sauce. Next, add about 2-3 tablespoons of the tofu mixture onto each noodle. Do the same with the pesto. Then add a later of spinach, then sprinkle on some cheese.

Spinach and Pesto Lasagna -- Epicurean VeganTop with 3 more noodles and then another 1-2 ladles of sauce on top. Repeat layers 2 more times and then top with remaining 3 noodles, the rest of the sauce, and the cheese.

Spinach and Pesto Lasagna -- Epicurean VeganCover with foil and bake for 40-45 minutes. For the last 5-7 minutes of baking, you can remove the foil and continue baking in order to melt the cheese on top. Let sit a couple of minutes before slicing up. Next stop: vegan food nirvana.


Spinach and Pesto Lasagna -- Epicurean Vegan

Portobello Burgers

Portobello Burgers -- Epicurean VeganThis is my kind of burger! They took no time at all to prepare—you can saute or grill the portobellos and use your favorite toppings. I went with Hawaiian-style.

4 portobello mushrooms, cleaned and patted dry
1 avocado, smashed
4 Tbs Tofutti cream cheese
4 pineapple rings
4 burger buns
Olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Coat portobellos with oil and salt and pepper. Saute in olive oil for 5-7 minutes on each side over medium heat.

Spread 1 tablespoon of cream cheese on one bun and about a 1 tablespoon of avocado on the other. Top bottom bun with a portobello and then a pineapple ring. It’s that easy! Enjoy!

Portobello Tacos with Salsa Verde

Portobello Tacos with Salsa Verde -- Epicurean VeganThis recipe from Vegetarian Times serves 6–easily. The salsa verde–at least 10! It makes a lot of sauce, so next time I’ll probably halve the recipe for that. I also found the sauce a bit bland, so I added a bit more salt. The original recipe is for grilled portobellos, but I decided to saute them. These were very yummy and the marinade was simple and delicious.

1/3 C canola oil
3 Tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tsp black pepper
6 large portobello mushroom caps
6-6″ soft corn tortillas (can easily get 12 tacos from this recipe–and I think I prefer flour tortillas)
2 avocados, sliced
2 C chopped tomatoes
3 C shredded cabbage
Vegan sour cream
Salsa Verde:
4 tomatillos, chopped (or 1 C canned)
1 large green bell pepper or poblano chili, roughly chopped (I used the bell pepper–may have been why I found it bland)
1 large bunch fresh cilantro, leaves only
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbs agave nectar
1-1/4 C canola oil
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt

If using the grill, preheat grill for high heat.

To make marinade: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.

To make tacos: Brush mushroom caps with marinade. Grill mushrooms 3-5 minutes per side. Cool until easy to handle, then slice into strips. (I actually poured the marinade in a zip lock bag and added the mushrooms, letting them marinate for about an hour. Then I sliced them and sauteed them in a large skillet for about 5 minutes).

Portobello Tacos with Salsa Verde -- Epicurean VeganTo make salsa verde: Puree all ingredients in a food processor 1 minute or until smooth. Pour salsa over mushroom strips and let stand 10-15 minutes. (I just scooped a couple of tablespoons of the salsa into the taco).  Lightly warm tortillas 15 seconds per side in a skillet or in grill.

Portobello Tacos with Salsa Verde -- Epicurean VeganFill tortillas with sliced mushrooms, avocado slices, tomatoes, and cabbage. Top each with sour cream, if using. Enjoy!