Sunday, October 20, 2013

My very own Spanish Vegizo

One of the things I miss the most from my carnivore days are the sausages, especially chorizo.  However, I realized that what I really liked was the flavor and not so much the texture of the meat. A few months ago, I prepared a dish with soy veggie crumbles and one of the ingredients I used was "Pimentón de la Vera", which is nothing more than smoked paprika.  Oh boy, I thought I had hit the jackpot.  Instantly, I realized that the flavor was no other than the flavor I much loved of the Spanish chorizo.  I thought, "If only I could make vegetarian chorizo (vegizo)".  I know we can find vegetarian sausages in the market, but their sodium content is very high, and not to mention the artificial flavors and ingredients one cannot pronounce that makers use in order to preserve these particular items. No no, I want to make my own vegetarian sausages at home.

My quest began right there.  After a few tries I finally found a recipe online that could take me to where I wanted to go, and it did.  This is my first try, and it was a success.  The best part of this is that now, at home, I can make my own Italian, German, Mexican or Spanish vegetarian sausages.  I am very excited about this. 

This recipe gave me eight.


Ingredients:


  • 1/2 cup red beans
  • 1/3 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 Tbsps. Tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsps. water
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 1/4 cup yeast
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsps. Hungarian paprika
  • 3Tbsps. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. dry oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
Directions:

     1.  In a bowl, mash the beans until they look like a puree. Add the broth, tomato paste, vinegar, olive oil, water, garlic and whisk well. 
     2.  With the help of a fork, stir in the gluten and blend it in well until a dough forms.  Add the yeast and combine it well.  Add now the herbs and spices and mix them in, knead the mixture like you do a pizza dough to blend everything together.  Give the dough a round shape and set aside.


 3. Cut eight pieces of foil paper and have them ready.  Section the dough until you get the amount of vegizos you desire.  Roll each section into a log and wrap into a piece of foil paper, twisting the ends like you would a hard candy.


     4.   Have a steamer basket with boiling water ready and add the foiled up vegizos to the basket.  Steam for 40 minutes.


  5.   Let it cool and voila, you have your wonderful vegizos. 

I will be making this very often.  Of course we will continue to buy chorizos because my hubby is not a vegetarian, buy I finally found what I had been looking for.

If you aren't a vegetarian but are looking to cut down on red meat, please make this recipe, you won't regret it.  And for my fellow vegetarians out there, we have hit the jackpot! 

Let me know what you think.

Buon Appetito!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Last weekend we went to my brother's place.  We love it there.  It is sort of our escape from the busy city.  Every time I go, I cook, especially on their recently renewed kitchen.  It is truly a delight to cook there.

I saw in the refrigerator four beautiful Portobello mushrooms, and instantly I decided to make something with them.  This vegetarian recipe is all mine. 

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms, ready to eat

Ingredients:
  • 4 large Portobello mushrooms
  • 2 cups od broccoli
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups of fresh spinach
  • 1/2 tbsp. dry oregano
  • 1tbsp. dry parsley
  • a little bit of red wine (this is optional)
  • Olive oil
  • 2 cups of Feta cheese
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese to garnish
Mushrooms ready for the oven
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Clean mushroom with a damp paper towel. Carefully break off the stems. Season the mushrooms with pepper and place them in a previously greased baking sheet.
  2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil and sauté the onion and garlic until translucent and fragrant. Bring the broccoli, spices and wine in. Cook the broccoli, until softened but not mushy.  Set aside to cool.
  3. Bring the sauté broccoli mixture and spinach to the food processor.  Use the pulse button to  manage the desire consistency. You want the broccoli and spinach to be roughly chopped.
  4. In a bowl, mix the broccoli spinach mixture with the Feta cheese. Fill each mushroom cap with a generous amount of the stuffing.
  5. Bake for about 30 minutes or until mushrooms are hot and liquid starts to form under the caps. 
These mushrooms were very delicious.  The greatness of this dish lies in its simplicity. Please make this recipe at home, and let me know what you think. 
Stuffed Portobello mushroom

Buon Appetito!