Crispy maitake mushroom poor boy with roasted kale and spicy sesame remoulade

A spicy, crispy and filling sandwich with a fluffy, freshly baked whole wheat bun. It’s important to use fresh maitake for this, and there’s no real substitute mushroom for this particular method.

Ingredients

For the bun
1 1/4 cup whole wheat bread flour
1/2 warm water
1/2T yeast
1/2T balsamic vinegar
A pinch sea salt
1/4t coarse yellow corn meal

Optional: I add 1t herbes de Provence, rubbed. Unbleached flour will give you an even fluffier bun, but at a cost to the flavour and nutrition of the dish.

For the mushrooms
1 cup fresh maitake mushrooms, hand torn into about 1/2″
to 1″ pieces
1T tamari
1T maple syrup
1t prepared brown mustard
1t green nori flakes
1/2T fresh garlic, minced
1/2t fresh ginger, grated and minced
A pinch sea salt

Optional: Whisk 1T cooking oil with the tamari and maple syrup for a richer flavour and a crispier texture.

For the breading
1/4 cup unsweetened plant milk
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup coarse yellow corn meal
1T smoked paprika powder
1/2T dried bay leaf, freshly ground
1t celery salt
1t dulse flakes
1/2t dried onion powder
1/4t crushed red chilis (or to taste)
1/4t black pepper, freshly ground
1/4t white pepper, freshly ground
1/4t dried, ground turmeric
1/4t dried, ground allspice
A pinch dried, ground nutmeg
A pinch dried, ground cloves
Coarse sea salt and additional pepper to taste

Optional: Add a pinch of cardamom if you have it.

For the kale
1 cup curly green kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped
1T nutritional yeast
Coarse sea salt to taste

For the remoulade
2T sesame seed butter (as opposed to tahini — I use a fairly traded brand)
1T unsweetened soy milk
1T white pickling vinegar (or to taste)
1t lemon juice
1/2T fresh garlic, minced
1/4t coarse sea salt
2T tomato passata (or tomato puree)
1T sriracha (or similar or to taste)
Coarse sea salt to taste

Optional: Use 2T sriracha and 1T tomato passata for something spicier. Use cashew butter for a slightly darker colour and sweeter taste.

Directions

Start the mushrooms, then the bun, then the remoulade.

Whisk the tamari, mustard and spices for the mushrooms and toss to coat. Cover and let stand at room temperature while you make the dough for the bun. Toss periodically.

Add the flour and sea salt to a small bowl. Mix the yeast and the warm water (be sure to follow the directions for your yeast regarding temperature). Let the yeast proof for about 5 minutes. Add the water and vinegar to the flour. Stir to combine until the dough forms.

On a floured board, knead until a smooth elastic dough forms and then knead for at least another 15 minutes.Kneading is important to the fluffiness of the bun. Cover with a warm, wet tea towel and let rise for at least an hour, periodically punching the dough down.

When the dough is ready, roll it out to an 8″ cylinder. Let the bun rise, very lightly covered with the tea towel for another 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 500F. Heat is important to the fluffiness of the bun.

Sprinkle the corn meal onto a baking sheet. Add the dough carefully to the baking sheet and bake on the middle rack for approximately 12-18 minutes or until the dough is lightly browned. Ovens vary; use the temperature and texture of the
dough as a guide. When done, remove the bun from heat and cool on a wire rack.

While the bun cools, make the remoulade. Mix the sesame seed butter, lemon juice, garlic, and vinegar until the sesame is smooth and fluffy. You can also blend the ingredients in a small food processor if you prefer. Add the remaining ingredients for the remoulade and and mix until smooth. Cover and let stand for the flavours to mix until you’re ready to finish the dish.

With the bread cooling and the remoulade ready, mix the dry ingredients for the breading. For the mushrooms, you can use either a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, a silicone baking sheet if you have one, or you can always use
a lightly oiled, warmed baking sheet. If you’ll be using parchment paper, reduce the oven heat to 425F (or the temperature your paper is rated to). Otherwise, reduce to 450F. Preheat the oven accordingly.

Toss the mushrooms in the plant milk until well coated. Toss the mushrooms in the dry spice mixture until well coated. Let stand 5 minutes. Pour the remaining plant milk evenly over the mushrooms. Toss until almost all of the breading coats the mushrooms. Pack if necessary. Let stand 5 minutes. Add the breaded mushrooms in a smooth even layer to the baking sheet.

Bake until the mushrooms are crispy but not dry. Expect about 20 – 30 minutes depending on the method and your oven. Use the colour and texture as a guide. Add the kale at the 10 minute mark and roast with the mushrooms. The kale will be done when it’s soft and a vibrant green. Remove the kale separately if it finishes more quickly.

When the mushrooms are done, remove from heat. Toss the kale with the nutritional yeast. Slice the bun carefully. Season the mushrooms, remoulade, and kale to taste. Spread about 1T remoulade on the bottom of the bun. Add the kale in a smooth, even layer. Pack down into the bun. Add the mushrooms. Add the remaining remoulade on top.
Add the top of the bun, and push down lightly, and serve.

Miso soup with tofu, shiitake mushrooms and kale

Simple and nourishing, this makes 4 small bowls or 2 large ones.

Ingredients

1T water
2 scallions, minced about 4″ green reserved for garnish
1 cup shiitake mushroom caps, stemmed and sliced 1/4″
250g tofu, 1/4″ cubes
1T tamari
1T lemon juice
4 cups water
1 ‘spring’ dried kombu, about 1″
2-3T red miso (use low sodium if you can find it)
1 cup green kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped
Coarse sea salt to taste
1/2 cup purple carrots, matchsticked

Optional: 1/2t toasted sesame oil add some additional flavour to this dish, and a teaspoon of white sesame seeds will add colour, flavour and nutrition. I often add nori flakes to mine as a garnish as well. White and yellow miso often have a milder flavor than red. Regular orange carrots are also fine for this dish and add a lovely colour contrast.

Method

Bring a medium pan to heat on medium high heat. Add the scallions and water and stir fry for 1 minute. Add the shiitake and tofu stir fry for 2 minutes.
Add the tamari and lemon and deglaze the pan. Stir fry for another 2 minutes or until most of the moisture has been absorbed, the tofu is lightly browning, and the pan is starting to dry again.

Add water and kombu. Bring to a gentle simmer and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat, remove the kombu, add the miso and stir to combine. If you’re new to miso, add 2T to start and add more to taste. Add the kale and stir to combine.

Let stand a minute to wilt the kale lightly. Season to taste. Ladle out. Garnish with scallion greens sliced on an angle and the matchsticked carrots, and serve.

Note, miso ‘tea’ also makes a light, simple snack or breakfast. Bring a cup or so of water to a boil, pour over a 2-3 teaspoons of miso in a mug, and stir until dissolved.

Portobello mushroom, potato and asparagus bowl

With asparagus, artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, kale and kalamata olives, this is a simple, colourful bowl with a lot of rich flavours. This makes a smaller side dish for 4 or a larger bowl for 2.

Ingredients

For the potatoes
2 cups potatoes (quartered minis or 1/2″ dice)
1T tamari
1/2T balsamic vinegar
Coarse sea salt to taste

For the mushrooms and asparagus
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, (dehydrated, not jarred) rehydrated in 1/4 cup boiling water and chopped
2T water
1/4t coarse sea salt
1/4 cup scallions, minced, 4″ reserved for garnish
1T fresh garlic, minced
2 portobello mushrooms, stemmed and sliced, 1/4″
1T lemon juice
1 cup asparagus, cut in 1″ pieces (6-8 stalks)
1 cup artichoke hearts (not jarred), chopped
1 cup packed green curly kale, stemmed, coarsely
chopped
2T kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
2T nutritional yeast
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions

Start the potatoes, then make the mushrooms. Preheat the oven to 450F. Toss the potatoes in the tamari and vinegar. Roast on the middle rack in a baking sheet or roasting pan until browned and fork tender, turning periodically. Expect about 30 – 40 minutes. Ovens vary; use the texture and colour of the potatoes as a guide. Don’t overcook. Remove from heat when done and set aside.

At about the 20 minute mark, combine the sun-dried tomatoes with the boiling water to rehydrate. At the 30 minute mark, bring a large or wok with a lid to heat on medium high. Add the 2T water, sea salt and scallions and stir fry for 1 minute. Add the garlic and stir fry for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and stir fry for about 3 minutes, until they start to loose their moisture.

Add the lemon. Toss to combine. Lower heat to medium low, cover and let simmer for 5 minutes. Return heat to medium high. Stir fry until the pan begins to dry (should be 2-3 minutes). Add the asparagus and artichoke hearts. Stir fry for 1 minute. Add the water from the sun-dried tomatoes. Stir fry for another 5 minutes or so until
the pan begins to dry again. Add the kale. Stir fry for 1 minute.

Remove from heat. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, olives, potatoes, and nutritional yeast. Stir to combine. Let stand, covered, 2-3 minutes for the potatoes to absorb some of the flavour of the dish. Season to taste. Bowl out, garnish with scallions cut on an angle and serve.

Tomato, artichoke drop soup with brown rice and kale.

A warm and filling soup. The tapioca binds the artichoke and tofu into a nice, lightly chewy drop dumpling. This makes 4 small bowls or 2 large ones.

Ingredients

For the soup
1/4 cup long-grain brown rice
4 cups vegetable stock
2 cups tomato passata (or tomato puree)
1/4 cup scallions, minced, with about 4″ green reserved
for garnish
1T garlic
1/2T dried basil, rubbed
1t dried oregano, rubbed
1/2t dried thyme, rubbed
1T lemon juice
1/4t black pepper, freshly ground
2 cups green curly kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped
2T nutritional yeast
1/2 cup carrots, matchsticked (I use purple carrots)
Sea salt and black pepper to taste.

For the artichokes
120g extra firm, high quality tofu
1/4t coarse sea salt
1/2 cup artichoke hearts (not jarred)
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/2t dried ground turmeric
1/2t baking powder
1/4 cup cold water

Optional: Replace the basil, oregano, and thyme with a tablespoon of “Italian herbs” mix or herbes de Provence.

Method

In a large pan with a lid, toast the rice for 2-3 minutes on medium high. Add the stock, return to a simmer, cover reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 – 40 minutes until the rice is soft. Add the passata, herbs and spices to the soup. Cover and simmer another 10 minutes.

While the soup finishes, puree the artichoke ingredients until smooth. Uncover the soup and increase the heat to medium to return the soup to a light boil. Scoop about 1T artichoke mixture onto a spoon and drop into the soup. Repeat (quickly) until all of the mixture has been dropped.

Simmer for another 2 minutes (be sure not to overcook). Add the kale and nutritional yeast. Stir to combine. Add the carrots, reserving a few for garnish if you like. Let stand 2 minutes to cool. Season to taste. Ladle out, garnish with scallion green sliced on an angle and serve.

Chocolate chia pudding with strawberries

A simple breakfast or a light treat rich with omega 3s.

Ingredients

1 1/4 cup unsweetened plant milk
2T black chia seeds
A pinch coarse sea salt
1t lemon juice
2T cocoa (I use a fairly traded, Dutch-process brand)
Sweetened to taste (I use stevia)
1/2 cup strawberries

Optional: Maple syrup, date syrup, agave nectar, etc., will work fine to sweeten this. To use dates to sweeten, mix the cocoa, a small amount of water and about 2-3T soft, dried dates, pitted and chopped. Puree till smooth, and add the mixture to the chia.

Method

Mix the chia seeds, plant milk, lemon and sea salt. Cover and let stand 30 minutes, stirring periodically. Refrigerate covered for 8 – 10 hours or until the seeds have thickened. Stir in the cocoa thoroughly and sweeten to taste. Cover and chill for another 20 minutes. Garnish with strawberries and serve.

Peanut butter frozen dessert breakfast pie with chocolate brownie crust

No oil, no sugar, no wheat, no flour, and no baking. A simple, relatively nutrient dense (for pie), and delicious treat. This makes up to 8 slices.

Ingredients

For the brownie crust
1/4 cup whole grain, brown teff
1 cup water
A pinch coarse sea salt
30g bittersweet chocolate (I use an organic, fairly traded bar)
Stevia to taste (or 3 tablespoons coconut sugar)
A pinch coarse sea salt

For the peanut butter, banana filling
4 frozen bananas (about 3 cups)
1T unsweetened, unsalted cashew butter
2T unsweetened, unsalted peanut butter
2T milled flax seed
1/4 cup unsweetened plant milk
1T lemon juice
A pinch coarse sea salt
Stevia to taste (or 1/4 cup maple syrup, 3T agave nectar, etc.)

Optional: Stevia can be an acquired taste and it’s not available everywhere. As an alternative, use a few tablespoons coconut sugar or maple syrup or a couple tablespoons of agave nectar for the brownie crust and 1/4 cup coconut sugar or maple syrup or a few tablespoons agave nectar for the filling. A little coconut oil in both the brownie and the filling will turn this into a richer dessert.

Method

In small pan with a lid, toast the teff for about 5 minutes. Add the water water and sea salt and bring to a light boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed. Stir frequently toward the end to avoid sticking.

Add the sweetener and mix until dissolved (as necessary). Reduce to the lowest possible heat. Add the chocolate, and stir until melted. Stir continuously until the chocolate has melted. Be careful not to add moisture, change the heat or do anything that might cause the chocolate to seize, and don’t overcook.

When the chocolate has melted, pour/spoon into a 9″ glass pie dish, mounding up the sides about half an inch. Refrigerate 30 minutes uncovered to cool. Cover with plastic wrap and let setup for at least 2 hours.

When ready to fill and serve the pie, blend the filling ingredients until smooth and fluffy. Sweeten to taste. Fill the brownie crust. Cut and serve immediately.

Note, the flax and cashew butter provide the fluff and hold for the filling. To serve this as a well-chilled rather than frozen dessert, add an extra tablespoon of both flax and cashew butter. Prepare as above and then refrigerate immediately for 2 hours to setup. It must be well chilled to keep it’s hold, and keep in mind, the warmer the filling, the stronger the banana flavour (but if you like banana and peanut butter, you’re all set).

Pepper, tomato and onion stew (lecsó) with black lentils and kale

Inspired by lecscó, my version adds a little nuance with the poblano pepper and rounds the dish out with some kale and black lentils. Shown here with freshly made spätzle (gluten free, plant-only) dusted with nutritional yeast, but fresh bread, roasted or mashed potatoes, rice or similar accompaniments should all go well.

Ingredients

1/3 cup black beluga lentils
3/4 cup water
1 ‘sprig’ dried kombu (about 1/2″)
4 scallions, minced (about 1/2 cup)
1/4t coarse sea salt
1 cup red peppers, cored, seeded, 1/3″ dice
1 cup Hungarian peppers, cored, seeded, 1/3″ dice
3/4 cup poblano peppers, cored, seeded, 1/3″ dice
1/2T smoked paprika
1/2T coconut sugar (or a little maple syrup)
1/2T lemon juice
1 cup tomato passata (or puree)
1/2 cup vegetable stock
2 cups green curly kale, stemmed and chopped
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste

Optional: There are a number of regional variations for lecsó, but tomatoes, onions, and peppers form a common base. Use some fresh tomatoes, slice the peppers and onions in strips rather than dice and use green pepper rather than poblano for a more traditional version. If you do, saute the onions first, add the paprika and sugar and then the rest of the peppers. Lecsó is often stewed. You ca make this dish in a slow cooker if you prefer (just be careful not to overcook the peppers). A tablespoon of cooking oil will also add some richesse to this dish.

Method

Bring the water to a boil in a small pan with a lid. Add the lentils and kombu. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed. Remove the kombu and set the lentils aside to cool for 5 minutes, covered.

With the lentils underway, bring a large frying pan to heat on medium high. Add the peppers, scallions and sea salt. Stirfry for 3-5 minutes, or until the peppers are starting to wilt. Reduce heat to medium. Add the paprika and coconut sugar. Saute for 3-5 minutes.

When the pan starts to brown, add the lemon juice and deglaze. Add the passata and stock, and return to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for about 20 minutes uncovered or until the passata has been reduced by about 1/3, stirring periodically (but gently).

When ready, add the kale and black lentils. Stir to combine. Let stand 2-3 minutes to cool and to wilt the kale. Season to taste and serve.

Jicama, zucchini, and carrot noodle bowl with peanut sauce

Sweet and spicy, with dulse, nori, and sun-dried tomatoes, this is a light but flavourful dish. This makes a small bowl for 4 or a larger one for 2. You’ll need a mandoline or spiralizer to cut the noodles.

Ingredients

For the dressing
2T sun-dried tomatoes (dehydrated, not jarred)
1 ‘sprig’ dried kombu, about 1″
3T warm but not hot water
2T unsweetened, unsalted peanut butter
1T red miso
1T lemon juice

For the noodles
2 cups jicama, peeled and spiral cut
1 1/2 cups zucchini, trimmed and spiral cut
1 cup carrots, trimmed and spiral cut
2 scallions, minced (3″ – 4″ reserved for garnish)
1T fresh garlic, minced
1t fresh ginger, grated and minced
1/4t dried red chilis
Coarse sea salt and chili to taste

For the garnish
Scallion green sliced on an angle (as above)
2t nori flakes
1t purple dulse flakes

Optional: Add some fresh greens, shredded cabbage and/or diced tomato for additional nutrition.

Method

Soak the sun-dried tomatoes and kombu together for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. While the tomatoes and kombu soak, spiral cut the jicama, carrots and zucchini, and then let the noodles dry in a clean tea towel.

After 30 minutes, remove and discard the kombu but not the soaking water. Remove, squeeze, and mince the sun-dried tomatoes. Whisk the rest of the dressing ingredients with the remaining water.

Pat the noodles dry. Garnish with the dressing, scallions and sea vegetables. Season to taste and serve.

Shoestring sweet potato, black bean, and kale bowl with caper aioli

A fairly simple but rich bowl with sweet potatoes, kale, black beans and caper aioli. This makes a good size bowl for 2 or a small side dish for 4.

Ingredients

For the sweet potatoes
3 cups sweet potato, peeled and spiral cut
1T sriracha (or similar or to taste)
1/2T curry powder
2T tamari
1/4t coarse sea salt
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the mushrooms, kale and black beans
2T water
1/4t coarse sea salt
2 scallions, minced
1/2 cup maitake mushrooms, finely chopped
1 cup cooked black beans
2 cups green curly kale, coarsely chopped
1/2T lemon juice
2T nutritional yeast
1/4t black pepper, freshly cracked (or to taste)
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the aioli
2T sesame seed butter
2T white pickling vinegar
1t lemon juice
1T fresh garlic, minced
1t prepare brown mustard
1T pickled capers, minced
1/2T dried green herbs (I use herbes de Provence)

Optional: Shoestringing the potatoes will require a spiral slicer, although a mandoline will give you something similar. If you have neither, dice the sweet potatoes 1/4″ and adjust the cook time as noted below. If you make the beans from scratch, start with 1/3 cup and 1 cup of water (or make them in a batch). I stew them with kombu. A little sun-dried tomato added with the kale would also go well in this dish.

Method

Start the sweet potatoes, and then make the kale and then the aioli.

Preheat the oven to 400F. Cut the sweet potatoes. Mix the sriracha, tamari, curry powder and sea salt. Toss the sweet potatoes in the mixture until well coated. Bake evenly distributed on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper on the middle rack until crisp. Expect about 30 – 40 minutes. Stir periodically to ensure even coverage. Remove from heat when done.

Not, the potatoes should be well-distributed to increase the amount of air flow available to them (so that they crisp). The more open air they get, the better. If you dice the sweet potatoes, bake until fork tender. Ovens vary; use the colour and texture as your guide.

At the 25 minute market, mix the ingredients for the aioli in order, up to but not including the capers, until emulsified and fluffy. Add the capers and green herbs, stir to combine and let stand while you saute the kale.

Bring a large frying pan to heat on medium. Add the scallions, sea salt and water. Stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the maitake mushrooms and stir fry for 3 minutes. Add the kale and stir fry for another 2 minutes. Add additional water by the tablespoon if the pan gets too dry.

Add the lemon juice and deglaze the pan. Remove from heat. Toss with the nutritional yeast and black pepper. Let stand to cool while you plate the sweet potatoes.

To plate, add the sweet potatoes in an even, shallow layer. Season the beans, kale and mushrooms to taste and layer on top. Dollop with the aioli and serve.

Crispy oven fries

Russet potatoes and parchment paper produce a crispy oven fry with no oil. Shown here with cauliflower, kale, and red beans in curry-spiced coconut milk gravy.

Ingredients

2 large russet potatoes about 5-6″ long, about 2″ – 3″
diameter (I use organic)
1/4t fine sea salt

Optional: Russets produce a dry fry. You can always season them further with garlic powder, cayenne pepper or other spices before baking, or serve them with curry, chili, aioli, or just plain catsup. Slice the fries 1/4″ if you prefer a smaller fry, but in that that case, use potatoes about 4″ long. A little avocado or peanut oil will add some
flavour to your fries.

Method

Preheat the oven to 450F (or to the highest temperature to which your paper is rated). Slice the potatoes carefully and as evenly as you can in long, 1/3″ to 1/2″ slices. I usually cut mine in half length-wise, then, with the cut side down, each half into thirds length-wise. Then I quarter the stack lengthwise so that I have long slices of
potato.

With the oven ready, arrange the potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with the sea salt. Bake on the middle rack until fork tender or lightly browned. Expect about 30 – 40 minutes, depending on the temperature and how well done you like your fries. Turn 2- 3 times to ensure even cooking. Ovens vary; use the colour and texture of the potatoes as a guide.

If you cook them until fork tender, let them stand 2-3 minutes in the oven turned off before removing from the sheet. If until lightly browned, you should be able to serve them right away. Season to taste, garnish as you like and serve!