Thursday, March 8, 2007


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Wholewheat butterfly or bowtie pasta (farfalle) with lowfat Vegan Alfredo Sauce, veggie "chicken strips", peas, mushrooms, and Cheddar "Sheese" on top.

Sorry I haven't blogged for ages-- family business and catching up on other business got in the way. I haven't cooked anything terribly interesting this week, but I did make a couple of good improvisational quick pasta dishes for lunch, using what I had in the house. I didn't write them down as I cooked, but I have a pretty good eye and memory for what I cooked (I wrote them down later), if too much time doesn't pass, so I'm pretty sure these recipe should be accurate.

In the following recipe I used a vegan "cheese" from Scotland called "Sheese" as the topping. I have just been sent a box of Sheese-- many kinds, including some creamy spreads, which I don't think are available in North America yet! The "strong cheddar" is the only one we have tried yet, but we like it! Nice texture, punchy taste. No hydrogenized fats, either!

"Sheese" is available in the UK, and in many other countries; see where to buy.
(UPDATE 2015: Unfortunately, Sheese is not available in the USA anymore, and only available in Canada via Koyo Foods' Ontario catalogue.)

I used my low-fat vegan Alfredo sauce to moisten the pasta.

Printable Recipe

Servings: 6

12 oz wholewheat farfalle (bowtie or butterfly) pasta
1 cup frozen baby peas, thawed
1 Tbs olive oil 2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
227 g (about 8 oz.) vegan "chicken strips" (I used President's Choice, which is produced by Gardein, but you can use any brand you like; or you could use some reconstituted Soy Curls) salt and freshly-grated pepper to taste
1 cup grated vegan cheese", a strong cheddar style (or any favorite strongly-flavored vegan "cheese")

Alfredo Sauce
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup corn flour (or yellow cornmeal ground to a fine flour in a dry electric coffee/spice grinder)
2 cup nondairy milk
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup Go Veggie! vegan soy parmesan or your favorite vegan parmesan sub
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Put the water for the pasta on to heat before starting the sauce. Preheat the oven to 350 ° F.

Make the sauce:
In a small saucepan or microwavable bowl, whisk together the water and the corn flour. If you are cooking the mixture in the pot on the stovetop, stir it constantly over high heat until very thick.

Microwave option: microwave at full power for 20 seconds. Whisk. Repeat three times, or until very thick.

Mix the cooked corn mixture in the blender along with the remaining soy milk, garlic, and salt. Blend until very smooth, which may take a couple of full minutes. Add the soy parmesan and black pepper to taste. Blend briefly. Heat gently before adding to the pasta.

Cook the pasta until "al dente" in plenty of salted boiling water; drain in a colander and set aside mixed with the peas.

Sauté the mushrooms, onions and garlic in the oil in a large nonstick skillet until the onions soften. Add the veggie "chicken" strips and stir to heat.
Add the pasta, peas, and sauce to the pan and mix well. taste for salt and pepper. Scoop the mixture into an oiled 10" round casserole with a cover. Sprinkle the top with the grated Sheese. Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Serve hot.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving):
424.8 calories; 16% calories from fat; 7.9g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 664.4mg sodium; 556.6mg potassium; 61.8g carbohydrates; 6.0g fiber; 5.2g sugar; 55.9g net carbs; 24.7g protein; 8.4 points.


This is a creamy pasta recipe, too (I seem to be in the mood for this!). I had ordered some Porcini Mushroom Powder by mail from Pistol River Mushrooms in Oregon-- only $24.95 US for a lb., which lasts a LONG time!!

It is made in Italy, smells and tastes divine! I want to experiment with using this product in my mushroom broth and in seitans.

Anyway, they sent me a little packet of dried portobello mushrooms as a gift, so I decided to try them in the following dish, which I made for lunch today.

They are really delicious!

I also had some silken tofu from an open box that needed using, some reconstituted Soy Curl "crumbs" (the small bits left in the bottom of the box) in the freezer, and a little bit of wholewheat fusilli left in the box. This is what I came up with:

Printable Recipe

Servings: 2

NOTE: If you don't have any suitable dried mushrooms, use about 1 1/2 cups sliced fresh portobello mushrooms, and sauté them with the other veggies.

3 oz. fusilli pasta ("corkscrews"), or other similar pasta
1/2 oz. dried, sliced Portobello mushrooms (or other favorite dried mushrooms), soaked in about 1 cup boiling water
1 cup reconstituted Soy Curls "crumbs" (or finely-chopped veggie "chicken" strips of your choice, or Yves Veggie "Ground Round Chicken", which is only available in Canada)
1/2 Tbs olive oil
3 green onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 a red bell pepper, seeded and diced
3/4 cup firm or extra-firm SILKEN tofu OR medium firm tofu
3/4 cup mushroom soaking water
2 tsp. veggie broth powder or paste
salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste
Go Veggie! or EarthIsland/Follow Your heart vegan soy parmesan, or your favorite parmesan sub to sprinkle on top

Soak the dried mushrooms in the boiling water and let sit for 10 minutes. then drain them and save the soaking water.

Cook the fusilli in a medium pot of salted boiling water until "al dente". Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, sauté the onion, garlic and pepper over medium heat in the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet until they soften. Add the Soy Curl "crumbs" and stir to heat.

Mix the tofu and 3/4 cup mushroom soaking water with the broth powder in the blender until smooth.

Pour the tofu sauce, drained mushrooms, and cooked pasta into the skillet and stir until it is well-heated. taste for salt and pepper. Serve with vegan soy parmesan.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving): 487 calories, 86 calories from fat, 9.8g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 968.3mg sodium, 526.5mg potassium, 78.5g carbohydrates, 5.7g fiber, 4.8g sugar, 23.9g protein, 13.4 points.



harlemgrrl said...

first comment? whoo-hoo!

i was especially pleased to see this meal as i've recently perfected a yummy creamy vegan stroganoff (baby bella mushrooms, baked tofu, onions, shallots, marsala wine, etc) inspired as always by your drooltastic example.

by the way, sheese is now available by mail through food fight vegan grocery

i've ordered the smoked and strong cheddars, as well as the blue (a dairy cheese i really do miss) i look forward to trying them as soon as they arrive.

pre-spring love from your ever adoring new york fans ;0)

harlemgrrl said...

sorry i just realized you had the food fight info there already (i zoomed down to recipes as usual)


Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

We just had a "wine and Sheese" party at my house tonight, and our favorite was the Cheshire. The Smoked Cheddar and Gouda were also good. I'm going to blog about it later in the week!

Anonymous said...

I had a bad experience with dry porcini once; after rehydrating I found little worm type things in the cap portion. Is that common in porcini? I would fear getting them in a powder. Just one reason I prefer buying whole foods and making things from scratch. Ever used agar to gel up a liquid containing vinegar? Any success? Too many questions?

Twisted Cinderella said...

Thanks for the yummy recipes! I tried the "beef" strips of that same brand last night for supper. I haven't tried the meatless chicken strips but I am going to.

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Moldy Cowl, you can get worms in any dried mushroom that has sat around too long. It's a natural product, so it's a possibility. Best thing to do is keep you dried products frozen (well-wrapped so that moisture doesn't get in). This company seems to have an excellent reputation. Perhaps you should contact them about this.

About agar and vinegar, yes I have used them together, in a sort of jelled salad (not my favorite thing, but some people like them). Here are the results of my experiments and they worked fine (however, now I might use a little less agar and combine it with a bit of cornstarch, which is what I do for a gelled fruit juice);

VEGAN TOMATO ASPIC, ADAPTED FROM “LAUREL’S KITCHEN” (Robertson, Flinders and Ruppenthal) Serves 6-8
(For a softer jel served out of a bowl, use 1/4 c. agar flakes or 2 tsp. powder.)

6 T. agar flakes OR 1T. agar powder
4 c. tomato juice
1-2 tsp. Sugar
1 tsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. salt
1 c. chopped celery or fennel root
1/4 c. chopped green pepper
1 c. grated carrot
3 green onions, chopped
2 T. minced parsley
3 T. lemon juice
OPTIONAL: 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
OPTIONAL: 1 c. chopped walnuts

NOTE ABOUT WALNUTS: If using in a mold that will be unmolded onto a plate, srinkle the bottom of the mold with the walnuts, if you are using them. If serving the aspic in a bowl or flat dish to be spooned out or cut into squares, sprinkle them over the aspic after it has cooled for about 15 minutes, and press them down slightly with the back of a spoon.

Dissolve agar in 1 c. tomato juice and let stand 1 minute. Add to remaining tomato juice in a non-aluminum pot, along with sugar, soy sauce, curry, basil and salt. Heat to boiling. Add dissolved agar and chopped onions and boil 2 minutes. IMMEDIATELY (see Cooking Note at top of this file)add chopped vegetables and lemon juice, and pour into a 2 quart oiled bowl of salad mold, or even a flat (attractive) baking dish. (See Note above about nuts.) This will set either in the refrigerator or at room temp in about 1 hour, but can be made well ahead of time.


I haven’t made this for a long time, but my late husband Wayne really liked it. This is adapted from the recipe above.

(For a softer jel served out of a bowl, use 1/4 c. agar flakes or 2 tsp. powder.)

6 T. agar flakes OR 1T. agar powder
4 c. tomato juice
1-2 tsp. Sugar
1 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. salt
1 c. chopped cucumber (if possible, use European cucumber that doesn’t need to be peeled)
1 c. chopped Roma tomato
1 small green bell pepper, seeded and minced
1 small onion, minced
3 green onions, chopped
2 T. minced parsley
3 T. red wine vinegar
1 large clove garlic, crushed

Dissolve agar in 1 c. tomato juice and let stand 1 minute. Add to remaining tomato juice in a non-aluminum pot, along with sugar, soy sauce, and salt. Heat to boiling. Add dissolved agar, and boil 2 minutes. IMMEDIATELY add chopped vegetables (see Cooking Note at top of this file), vinegar, parsley and garlic, and pour into a 2 quart oiled bowl or salad mold, or even a flat (attractive) baking dish. This will set either in the refrigerator or at room temp in about 1 hour, but can be made well ahead of time.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Bryanna, those look like excellent salads. The worm infestation I mentioned must've happened before my mushrooms were dry. I've read that porcini caps had tubular structures in them, but hadn't noticed these "worms" in others I'd prepared, which hasn't been often.

Anonymous said...

that sheese looks great. who'd have thought the scotish would be leading the way in vegan cheeze!