February 19, 2015 By This Vegan Girl
You’re probably here reading this because you love green beans as much as I do. I love this versatile… vegetable? legume? Who cares? Green beans are delicious and so adaptable. They can stand alone as a side dish or be mixed in with a main dish. They can be heavy or light. Salty, spicy, or sweet. Green beans are the ketchup of the vegetable world (by American standards, anyway).
This is my go-to recipe if I need a scrumptious side dish. It’s packed with flavors you love and it makes your house smell amazing. It also looks pretty, which impresses guests. Ultimately, perhaps the best thing about this side dish is that it only takes 20 minutes from start to finish.
Savory Green Beans
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Yield: side item for 2-4 people
- 12oz of fresh whole green beans, stems removed
- 4 tablespoons grape seed oil OR melted coconut oil
- 1 tablespoons of soy sauce or Tamari (gluten-free)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
- Shaved almonds (garnish)
- Sesame seeds (garnish)
Step 1: Boil and blanch the green beans.
Green beans are delicate, meaning that it is imperative that the cook time is taken very seriously. If not, you’re either going to end up with an under cooked, uncomfortably crunchy green bean; or an overcooked, unattractively limp, and mushy green bean.
Boil a pot of water. Once the water has reached a rolling boil, add the green beans, boiling for 4 minutes. While the green beans are boiling, prepare a large bowl full of ice water.
Once the green beans have finished boiling, place the beans in a strainer, strain the hot water, and immediately dump the green beans into the ice water. If you’re new to the green bean scene, placing the hot green beans in ice cold water is called blanching. The reason for blanching is to halt the cooking process of the vegetable, as the heat from the green bean will continue to cook the green bean after you remove it from the boiling water. Blanching leaves you with a perfectly crisp result.
Step 2: Create the savory sauce.
This step can be done while the green beans are boiling. Heat up a skillet on the stove at medium heat.
After that, combine the oil, Tamari (or soy sauce), garlic cloves, and sesame oil in a small bowl. To bind the oils and Tamari, whisk the ingredients quickly for 30 seconds.
Step 3: Pan fry the green beans.
Once the green beans have been blanched and the savory sauce is ready, place the green beans and pour the sauce into the skillet. Have the green beans cook for 7-10 minutes, moving the contents around with a spatula every few minutes to avoid sticking/burning. Your end result should not yield limp green beans; however, you are wanting the green beans to have absorbed some of the liquid.
Step 4: Garnish and serve.
Once the green beans are finished cooking, serve. Garnish the beans with sliced almonds and sesame seeds for added crunch, flavor, and beauty.
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January 29, 2015 By This Vegan Girl
The idea for these tacos came in bits and pieces. I guess it started a few weeks ago when my soon-to-be brother-in-law was telling me how mushrooms are the umami, or savory part, of vegan dishes. He’s right! Mushrooms have volume, can easily absorb flavors, and ooze juices when cooked just right.
Fast forward to that special time of month when my stomach becomes a dumping ground from all the crap I stuff my face with. Okay, I’m exaggerating a tad, but the cravings were a bit out of control this month. I was obsessed with this Dairy-Free Dorito Popcorn recipe from Whole New Mom.
I thought about that perfect spice blend nonstop that week. Then, it came to me: “This would be a delicious taco seasoning.” That thought, plus the thought of the savoriness of mushrooms, led me conceive this dreamy meal. The “meat” here is full of flavor and has a great consistency!
Don’t get me wrong; I looove black bean tacos. However, it’s difficult to incorporate taco seasoning in black beans. They’re just not the absorbent type.
Try this recipe and you will not be disappointed. In fact, you might be obsessed like I am.
Mushroom-Walnut Tacos with Queso
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10-20 minutes
Yield: 8 tacos
For the Mushroom-Walnut Meat:
- 2 large portobello mushrooms
- 1/2 cup walnuts, crushed (but not minced)
- 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- a dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
For the Queso:
- 1/2 cup raw cashews, milled in the blender or food processor
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup coconut milk
- 1/8 cup grape seed oil
- Taco shells/tortillas (I used mini corn tortillas to keep it gluten-free)
- red onion
Step 1: Prepare the toppings.
I’m trying to get more organized in the kitchen by chopping the little stuff first.
I got an EXTREMELY rare, beautiful picture of my cockatiel Fleegle here. I was taking pictures of my chopped fruits and veggies, and Fleegle flew over to see what was going on. As soon as I snapped this picture, he flew away, leaving me with a lovely picture of his wingspan! I’ve never seen the details of his underwing, and it’s so beautiful!
Step 2: Blend/mix/cook the meat.
I like to start with the spices. Since nutritional yeast is made with flakes, I like to put all the spices in the blender together at once. That way, all the spices are evenly distributed and fused together.
After that, throw the mushrooms in the food processor until the mushrooms are in tiny pieces.
Are your walnuts crushed yet? If so, do that now. Make sure your walnuts are decent chunks. I lightly crushed mine with the handle of my cutting knife.
Mix the spices, mushrooms, and walnuts together in a bowl. There’s your meat!
Throw the meat on a skillet set at medium heat. Stir/flip the meat every minute or so for about 10-12 minutes. You’ll start to see the meat become more crumbly; this is jackpot, people.
Step 3: Blend your queso.
The queso can be made in 5 minutes while the taco meat is cooking (as long as you keep stirring the meat every minute or so).
Start by placing only the cashews in the blender/food processor. Blend until the cashews are in tiny bits or like cashew meal.
After that, toss or pour the rest of the cashew cheese ingredients in the blender/food processor and blend until all ingredients turn into liquid gold.
Step 4: Prepare your taco shells.
If you’re using corn tortillas like I did, you’re going to need to fry them on the pan on medium heat. I used a tiny bit of coconut oil for every tortilla I used. The tortillas fried for about 2 minutes on each side.
For those of you that are baking your tortillas in the oven, follow the packaged directions to do that.
For those of you eating soft flour tortillas, you may happily be on your merry way to Step #5… asshole. What? I didn’t say anything. Okay, I’m just super jealous, alright? Sorry.
Step 5: Assemble your tacos.
Oh yay! This is the fun part! Will you put on the leafy greens first, or the meat? Who cares? It’s up to you!
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