27 September 2009

Mushroom Dip Sandwiches

The past month has kept me pretty busy and because of that, I've neglected this blog. But I'm back with a recipe to share!

Growing up, French dips were my favorite sandwich. It was always a special treat when my dad took us out for lunch at the little cafe next to the repair garage that my mom and dad owned and operated. I always ordered the French dip. I loved the combination of textures, the warmth of the au jus and the act of dipping the sandwich that made the sandwich so much fun to eat. Something got me thinking of all that the other day and inspired me to come up with a vegan version of this forgotten love.

My step-dad and step-brother were working on my car yesterday and a home-cooked lunch seemed like the perfect thank you for their help. My mom helped me with the shopping and in the kitchen while the guys did their thing outside. Mushrooms were the obvious stand-in for the traditional roast beef, but the au jus took a little more thought. I wanted a mushroom broth, but the store we went to didn't carry any. I ended up getting a creamy portobello mushroom soup (Imagine brand) and it worked well enough. I realized today that one of those Not Beef bouillons would have been great, but there's always next time. Going beyond the traditional recipe, I spread some aioli on the rolls and melted some mozzarella (vegan for me, everyone else had the real stuff) over the mushrooms just before serving.

The sandwiches turned out great. My omni family loved them, even my veggie-suspicious step-brother and my step-dad insisted that I make them again. We made up a simple salad to accompany the sandwiches and we all left the table satisfied. This ones a keeper!


You'll need:
(All measurements approximate)

4 T Vegenaise
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 - 1 t lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste


combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. This has a very strong garlic flavor, adjust if needed.

Mushroom Dip Sandwiches

You'll need:

1 1/2 lbs mushrooms, sliced (I used 1 lb cremini and 1/2 lb portobello)

1 recipe aioli

4 oz. vegan mozzarella (I like Follow Your Heart)

4 French rolls (this is a great use for any leftover baguette!)

1 t olive oil

4 C your choice of broth for dipping, heated

salt and pepper to taste


Heat a large pan and coat in olive oil. Add mushrooms and saute until just brown. If using portobellos, grill slices (George Foreman or panini grill) until tender, about 8 minutes. If using fresh French rolls, slice them open and put them under the broiler until just brown while mushrooms cook - don't leave them in too long! To assemble the sandwiches, spread aioli on the rolls, divide mushrooms among rolls and top with mozzarella slices (top and bottom). Return rolls to broiler until cheese starts to bubble and brown (yes, FYH mozzarella will do that!). Portion broth into individual warmed bowls and serve alongside the sandwiches.

02 September 2009

Locavore 100 Mile Challenge: Day Three

Today's menu (sorry, no pictures):

Breakfast - rolled emmer with honey and blackberries and mint tea with honey

Lunch - leftovers from last night's dinner

Snack - two peaches, apple cider

Dinner - spelt berries with tomatillo, roasted garlic and jalapeno (not so good), chard sauteed with onion and mashed potatoes with roasted garlic, savory herb and (gasp!) salt and Earth Balance

That's right, I'm out. I made it until about 7pm today. I had just spent another hour and a half making dinner when I realized that although this has been a fun and very educational experience, I just don't have the time to do it. I can't spend over an hour making dinner every night. I'm driving down to Richland on Saturday for my best friend's wedding and I still need to finish making the 200 paper cranes I promised her. I have some long days ahead of me and I'm going to need that coffee. I was a total zombie today at work, not just because of the caffeine addiction, but general exhaustion.

So as I finished cooking my 100% local dinner tonight, all of this was going through my mind. I decided I was done and threw some salt and Earth Balance on my mashed potatoes. It was so good. I missed salt.

I wish the rest of the contestants luck - I know you are stronger than I am!

01 September 2009

Locavore 100 Mile Challenge: Day Two

Today's Menu:

Breakfast - spelt berries cooked in apple cider with blackberries and honey and mint tea with honey

Snack - acorn squash seeds toasted with camelina oil and savory herb with roasted red and yellow cherry tomatoes (from Fresh Abundance)

Lunch - a combination of leftover spelt berries and carrots from last night's dinner and leftovers from yesterday's lunch of zucchini, tomato, etc.

Snack: 2 peaches, apple cider

Dinner - mashed baked potato, roasted garlic, corn and savory herb mixed together and rolled in emmer flakes and fried in camelina oil over a bed of sauteed onion, purple sweet pepper, green beans (FA) and bok choy (p.e.a.c.h.)

Another day is coming to an end. I'm pretty sure that if I can make it to the end of Wednesday I'm golden. As I mentioned before, I'm going to need some more cider and fruit. I've been eating two peaches a day and feel like I need more variety. I've decided to forgo picking up any legumes (at least for now) because I feel like I'm getting enough protein from the spelt, emmer and veggies (yes, veggies have protein too!). I'm really having fun in the kitchen! I'd been in a rut recently and haven't been too creative with my meals. This challenge was just what I needed to get me thinking beyond tofu. My mid-morning snack was so good. I left the squash seeds in the oven a little too long and some of them got a little charred, but surprisingly that made them taste better. And the tomatoes I roasted after reading about Monique's breakfast yesterday were fabulous. Little pockets of sweet juicy flavor. Tonight's dinner was an experiment that paid off. The flavor of the roasted garlic really came through and played well with the sweetness of the corn. It was just fine with out the salt, but I couldn't help but long for a drizzle of something like a balsamic reduction. Again, this meal was kid-approved. I'm so thankful my son isn't nearly as picky as I was at his age.

Foods I'm craving:

bread of any kind
good vegan pizza
balsamic vinegar