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seasonal food

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Banza Recipe #5: Vegan Mushroom Stronganoff

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This week I made my fifth recipe using Banza chickpea pasta. Banza does not pay me but they did send me six free boxes of pasta, which I really appreciate. The ingredients in Banza are chickpeas, tapioca, pea protein and xantham gum. Banza is vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free and egg-free. Banza contains two times the protein, four times the fiber, and half the net carbs of regular pasta. To find out more, including where it's sold and how to order, visit eatbanza.com.

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I am a pasta lover. Whether it's homemade white pasta at a restaurant or the heartier whole wheat pasta I typically make when cooking pasta at home, noodles plus sauce plus toppings will always be one of my favorite meals. The thing I love most about Banza pasta is that it TASTES LIKE PASTA. If you like the flavor of pasta, you'll like the flavor of Banza. There is no discernible difference. Getting a big protein and fiber boost is an absolute bonus, but first and foremost I care about flavor. 

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Speaking of flavor, to make my stroganoff I turned to a recipe that is creamy, luxurious, and full of rich mushroom flavor. Normally I like to tweak or change recipes, but I followed this one to a T and I'm so glad I did. In my opinion it's a flawless recipe. It was created by Molly Patrick, the co-founder of Clean Food Dirty Girl. She's badass and her recipes are delicious. This particular one was posted at One Green Planet and you can find it here: Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff. 

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I can tell I'm going to like a recipe because it's full of real ingredients like veggies and spices. What I gravitated to most in this recipe was the earthiness of two different kinds of mushrooms, the freshness of parsley, and the richness of veggie broth and a little vegan sour cream. 

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I cannot emphasize enough how much I am not paid by Banza despite the fact that I love pimping their product. 

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Look at the richness of this sauce! I made a special trip to the store yesterday when I realized I was out of onions because obviously there's no way to make this dish without a beautiful yellow onion. 

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Where are the chickpeas? Absolutely undetectable. Banza tastes, looks and feels just like regular pasta. Just don't forget to rinse it after it's cooked. If you do forget, there will be a gummy, starchy quality to the pasta. So don't forget. 

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I hated cooked mushrooms as a child. I would only eat white button mushrooms raw and dipped in A-I steak sauce. I couldn't handle the texture or flavor of cooked mushrooms. Then I grew up and everything changed. There are few things I like more than rich, sautéed mushrooms. 

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I love the simplicity of this dish. It shouldn't take a million ingredients to achieve a delicious flavor profile. I make some exceptions to this rule, but in general if I see lots of ingredients in a recipe, I run away and opt for something simpler instead. I have a big appreciation for people who make recipes that require minimal ingredients and time. 

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Stroganoff is the ultimate comfort food, especially now that the weather is turning cooler. I love that this dish is both classic American comfort food and also a super modern twist that can appeal to a variety of eaters. This dish is gluten-free, soy-free, egg-free, dairy-free, and nut-free. Yet at the end of the day, it's just simple, yummy, crowd-pleasing food.

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My Favorite Summer Ingredients

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I love summer because it means eating lots of fresh food. Whether it’s produce that came from the store, farmers market, CSA or berry farm, summertime produce is full of flavor and is generally super easy to prepare. If you want to get out of the kitchen, no problem — most summertime ingredients taste great either raw or grilled. Here are a few of my favorites. 

1. Berries

My family loves to go berry picking during the summer. Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries: any berry, anytime, anywhere, and I’m happy. We are lucky to live in Oregon, where there is an abundance of U-pick farms. I love to eat berries plain, add them to a Greek yogurt parfait, mix them into scone batter, or enjoy them with ice cream. 

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2. Corn

Corn on the cob is such a perfect food because it’s fresh, flavorful, and fun to eat. I love corn when it’s boiled but I LOVE corn when it’s grilled. We recently grilled ours in the husk and found that it came off pretty easily after cooking, which is great because peeling away those corn “hairs” is often the one thing that makes an otherwise easy food seem like a bit of a pain to prepare. I like corn with a little bit of olive oil or butter and salt and pepper, but I also like it with no seasoning at all. Especially when it comes to sweeter corn, I think it’s just as good naked. 

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3. Tomatoes

It’s difficult to beat a garden-fresh tomato (or a handful of garden-fresh cherry tomatoes). I love them raw or in salads and I LOVE them roasted. I think roasted tomatoes make the perfect addition to pasta, sandwiches, eggs and more. 

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4. Peaches and Nectarines

I love peaches and nectarines. I think they have the perfect amount of sweetness to seem decadent enough on their own, but they’re also delicious when combined with ice cream, cobblers, or other desserts (especially if they're grilled). Blend a peach in a blender and throw it in a popsicle mold, add a layer of coconut milk, and you have yourself an amazing peaches ‘n cream pop (I learned this trick from Fit Girls Guide). 

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5. Zucchini

Zucchini is one of those foods that everyone always seems to have an abundance of in their gardens, and I for one do not complain when asked to take on some of the overfill. I love to spiralize zucchini and use either in conjunction with or as a replacement for pasta. I also love the taste of grilled zucchini. In my mind there are few things more perfect than a big platter of grilled veggies. If for whatever reason you’re getting sick of grilling things this summer, you can always slice zucchini up thin and bake in the oven for some delicious homemade zucchini chips. 

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Worth Mentioning:

watermelon, green beans, summer squash, pineapple. Yum!

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