Sunday, January 10, 2010

Mushroom Stroganoff

My husband has always been a huge fan of stroganoff. When we took red meat out of our diet several years ago, stroganoff was one of the dishes that stopped appearing at our house. Until last night.

Husband, meet mushroom stroganoff. Mushroom stroganoff, meet husband. This could be the beginning of a very long friendship.

This recipe is half mine, half inspired by recipe surfing elsewhere. (It has become a favorite pastime of mine.) You certainly can use any mushrooms you have on hand for this recipe, but I think that the baby bellas are key for enhancing the beefy flavor. If you have red wine or sherry close by, replacing part of the vegetable broth with wine would seriously up the depth of flavor for this recipe, adding a bit more of the underlying tang that stroganoff usually has.

Try serving this over wild rice instead of plain pasta for a flavor loaded taste bud treat. You could also serve it over biscuits, your favorite pasta, or baked potatoes!

Mushroom Stroganoff

1/2 c chpd onion
10 oz sliced mushrooms ( I used half shitake, half baby bella)
1/4 c Earth Balance soy free margarine
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 c flour (I prefer brown rice flour if using GF flours, it is less gritty)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp ground thyme
1/2 tsp ground sage
1/2 c So Delicious coconut milk (or milk of choice- remember to use unsweetened)
1 1/2 c vegetable broth (can use up to 1/2 c red wine)
1 Tbsp coconut aminos (optional- can also use soy sauce or worcestershire sauce)

Melt butter over medium heat in large skillet. Add onion and saute 3-4 minutes. Add mushrooms, saute 3 minutes. Add garlic and saute 1-2 minutes more. Add seasonings and flour and stir to incorporate flour and brown it slightly, mixture should become very thick. Slowly add milk while stirring to evenly incorporate. Slowly stir in vegetable broth until mixture is smooth. Bring to a simmer and simmer to desired thickness. (You can add more milk or broth if you would like this to be thinner. As usual, the above amounts are estimates based on what I think I stirred in.) Remove from heat, stir in coconut aminos, and serve.

With care this recipe can be dairy free, soy free, gluten free, nut free, vegan, top 8 free and absolutely delicious!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Bread Pudding

I have been making bread two or three times a week for a few months now, and it is still SO hard to resist the temptation of freshly baked bread. The whole house smells of warm, fresh from the oven bread, and it takes every ounce of willpower this mama has not to slice off a thick hunk of warm yeasty goodness, slather it in butter, and gobble up half the loaf. Really. It calls to me.

However, being a mama with limited time on her hands, I resist. Because I know I won't have time to bake another loaf before I have to pack lunch for the allergic kiddo, and sandwiches are so darn easy. And. Well. Normal. It's nice to send something that can make her feel like a normal kid at lunchtime.

That being said, my kids do not care for bread that has aged beyond a day or so. Toasting it can buy an extra day. Sometimes we fly through a loaf in a matter of hours, occasionally it manages to make it to day three. The day of doom for bread around here, because no one will eat it. (Unless I broil it as garlic toast. Yum.) Prior to the holidays I had been freezing these little bits, saving them up for stuffing. Holidays are gone. Bread is not. What to do?

Make bread pudding of course! What better winter indulgence to use up those slightly stale loaves of love? Warm from the oven with a scoop of allergy free ice cream, or home made caramel sauce or even just a spoonful of your favorite jelly....heavenly.

Vanilla Bread pudding

1 flax egg (1 Tbsp flax meal + 2 Tbsp warm water, allowed to sit 5 minutes)
1/2 c organic cane sugar
1/2 c organic brown sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla
1/2 c canned coconut milk
1 1/2 c So Delicious coconut milk, or milk of choice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
8 c cubed stale bread of choice

Preheat oven to 350. Mix flax egg in large mixing bowl and allow to sit. Beat with mixer just until texture changes, about 45 seconds. Add sugars and blend well. Add vanilla and canned coconut milk. Mix well. Add remaining milk and nutmeg and blend. Add cubed bread and stir to coat. Grease 8x8 pan, add bread mixture and allow to stand 10 minutes. Bake 30-40 minutes until golden, and knife inserted in middle comes out clean. Drizzle with warm maple syrup, top with ice cream, or sauce of your choice, and serve.

Depending on the bread you use, this may need a splash more milk. If mixture seems to dry after combining with bread, drizzle in more milk until uniformly moist. Any milk can be used in this recipe, but I chose coconut for it's rich, thick texture. It adds that creamy indulgent flavor and texture that bread pudding needs. Feel free to use your milk of choice, I would suggest a rich milk, or combination of milks, like hemp milk, soy creamer, even a bit of soy or rice yogurt if using thin milks like rice milk. It adds body and flavor to round out the flavor nicely.

With care this recipe can be dairy free, egg free, nut free, gluten free, soy free, top 8 free, and delicious!