Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Vegan Mushroom "Pasta" and Salad

As I struggle on the "healthy eating" wagon, cooking always inspires me to make better choices.

I saw THIS spaghetti squash and vegan cream sauce recipe and could not help but attempt this normally heavy dish on a hot summer day.

This was my first time cooking spaghetti squash.  Check out that knife I used... to cut it open.  Definitely could have done better with a cleaver, ya know? ;)


Scooping out the seedy middle reminded me of Halloween.

And I also got to use something else I've never cooked with before -- shallots.

Now dressed in olive oil, garlic, and shallots, these puppies went into the oven for about 55 min...

Meanwhile, I made a simple salad.  Tomato, romaine, and some extras like this pickled radish.  I made this a while back because "The Ukrainian" bought radishes and didn't eat them (nor do I like them).  So I put them in a salt/vinegar/black pepper mix.  In other words, I saved those darn radishes' lives. ;)  Their second life is actually rather tasty.

I also added these artichokes.  I do NOT like this very much because it's packed in some sort of oil/goo, so I just wash all that off.

The squash out of the oven... a fork made it all strand-y.  Perfect!

Now for the cream sauce... here are the (vegan) ingredients, lined up and ready to go!

I used a huge container of mushrooms and proceeded to dump in the wet ingredients.  You can see the nutritional yeast in there... yum!

Once it cooked down a bit, I added the cornstarch (I used more than was prescribed in the recipe due to fear of water-y-ness.  I didn't have to worry, nor did I really need to cook this down for as long as I did -- nearly half an hour! -- before adding this cornstarch slurry.)

Here is the final product.  I liked this so much that I had to stop myself from getting seconds (I wasn't even too hungry to begin with).  It doesn't taste vegan at all, though the squash in place of the pasta makes this a light enough meal to enjoy during the summer.  I will definitely be making this (or some variant) again.

The things at the top are Trader Joe's lentil chips and hummus.

3 comments:

  1. Looks good! How did the actual squash-pasta taste? I've always been curious to try it...but too wary to ever actually make it.

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  2. I've never tried spaghetti squash before. I always thought it looked a little too... funny. I'm weird like that when it comes to food.

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  3. I love spaghetti squash! I used to make it in the crockpot with a red sauce. I added meat to the sauce, though and I'm not sure how great it would be without it. I may have to commandeer this recipe!

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