Thursday, April 21, 2011

Procrastination and Portabellas

I have pictures. Lots of pictures. I have recipes. Lots of recipes. I have crafts and projects and passions and stories...

And yet, I procrastinate. I keep saying - tomorrow. Early tomorrow morning. Yup, I'm gonna wake up early tomorrow morning and do all the things I just feel too tired to do tonight. I focus better in the mornings. I'm more motivated in the mornings. And so surely - when I say I will do my ever-growing to do list early the next morning - I will.

Then the morning rolls around and all of a sudden I find myself doing
other things. Cooking, reorganizing, lazily getting ready for work...all of a sudden it's nighttime. I'm tired and promising myself yet again, that tomorrow will be the day I do all the things I always say I will do.

Today is tomorrow morning. And I'm determined to knock out this list one craft, blog, photo, meal, walk, a time. So let's get started, with something yummy :)

I came up with this recipe for Payder, who adores the Portabello Fries at a local restaurant here. We had them the other night and they were like the best vegan chicken fingers ever! I wanted to make a guilt-free version that we could make at home. I am pretty sure these would freeze great and you could just pop them into the oven to bake whenever the mood strikes!

Portabello Chik'n Fingers

2 portabello mushroom caps - Remove the gills with a spoon and cut the mushrooms into 1/2" thick slices

Prepare your breading:

bowl 1: 1/3 cup
flour (I used spelt)

bowl 2: 1/2 cup almond milk
3/4 t. sriracha
1 T. egg replacer (or cornstarch, potato starch, or tapioca starch...)

bowl 3: 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup whole rolled oats
1/4 cup rolled oats pulsed into a flour (or you could sub in a whole grain flour)
1/4 t. hot pepper flakes
1/2 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. sea salt
1 T. nutritional yeast
2 t. extra virgin olive oil
few cranks fresh ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare your bowls and set them up in order. Spray a baking sheet with oil or cover in parchment paper. Dip each portabello slic
e into each bowl in order, first coating with flour, then liquid mixture, then crumb mixture, and then place on the cookie sheet. This is easiest if you designate one hand to be your wet hand and one hand to be your dry hand to help keep the mess to a minimum! For instance, I always use my left hand to dip and flip the 'shroom in the wet mixture and then place it in the crumb mixture, where I then use my right hand to make sure it is well coated in crumbs. (Too much info? haha)

Now just bake for about 25 minutes, flipping halfway thru
. They are all done once they are golden brown! Serve up with the dipping sauces of your choice! We prefer BBQ sauce and thai sweet chili sauce, and even just plain ol' ketchup!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


One of my favorite, but often forgotten, meals is fresh rolls! My general rule of thumb is crisp veggies, something savoury and something sweet, and I always serve them up with a nutty dipping sauce. The variations are endless!

Fresh Rolls
1 package round rice papers
1 cucumber, julienned
1 carrot, julienned
1 avocado, thinly sliced
Handful strawberries, julienned
Handful fresh basil, chiffonade
greens (I prefer to use baby greens such as romaine and spinach)

For the Sauce...
1/4 cup nut butter (I used my freshly made Almond butter!)

Healthy squirt of Sriracha (or 1 tsp. hot pepper flakes)
1 T. agave nectar (or honey, or sugar, or 1 t. stevia...)
1 T. Tamari (or soy sauce or shoyu)
1 T. lime juice (or brown rice vinegar)
a couple tablespoon warm water to thin, if necessary


Once all of your veggies are prepared you will need a large shallo
w dish filled with very warm water. Place one rice paper in the warm water and in about 1 minute it should be soft and ready to use. Spread it out on a plate or cutting board. In the center, a tad closer to the bottom than the top, begin piling your fillings. Just a little of each, or it will be hard to roll.
Once all your fillings are in, gently fold in the right and left sides. Now fold over the bottom and begin rolling upwards toward the top, using your fingers to make sure all the yummy fillings stay in. If this feels confusing there are lots of
videos that show how to do it!

Now the sauce is super easy! I just toss all of the ingredients into a blender and hit go, but you coul
d also just whisk them by hand. Adjust the seasonings to your tastes. As you can tell I have used lots of different ingredients for the sauce, depending on what I have on hand!


Monday, April 4, 2011

Adventures in Vitamixin'

Everyday when I walk into the kitchen, my giant fancy-pants blender stares at me, willing me to use it. And I do. But a greens smoothie in the morning really isn't using this "hot-rod" machine to its full potential.
So all of a sudden I find myself just throwing things into it. Such as a cup of frozen almonds, a dash of cinnamon, a glug of maple syrup and a scoop of coconut oil. I turn it on and as the sound of an airplane taking off fills my house I watch as the almonds are pureed into perfectly creamy butter.
Satisfied, I pack up a jar to give as a gift and one more to store in the fridge to spread on tortillas, blend into smoothies, simmer into savory sauces, and eat just by the spoonful as the craving hits.

While this batch was deeeelicious, I am excited to tweak it and make it better. Not to mention all the possible new flavor combinations...