Sometimes it happes when I’m passing restaurants, bakeries and the likes. The scent of freshly baked goods or a certain dish turns up my appetite making me long for whatever it is in that very moment – and yes, even if I just ate. Don’t tell me you didn’t know that ;).
Sometimes, though, those cravings come out of nowhere yet still need to be satisfied. So here’s to a confession: I’m a convinced vegetarian and don’t ever feel deprived by my choice of foods. But there are still those days when I crave the hearty flavour of meat, its texture and taste. In consequence I’m finding way to get the meatiness without the meat.
So when that unshakeable longing for something ‘meaty’ hit on Tuesday I immediately knew what I wanted: Stroganoff. Which is funny because I’ve never had actual Boeuf Stroganoff. But it was the vegan option at my sister’s wedding – then featuring seitan. Only I didn’t have seitan at hand and am generally not the hugest fan of store-bought so I once more resorted to my favourite meaty vegetables again: mushrooms.
That was the beauty of discovering vegetarian dishes for me: playing with the meaty taste and texture resemblance of certain natural ingredients to create dishes that satisfied without desperately trying to mimic or replace meat. Quickly looking up some Stroganoff recipes online I got to work with what I had on hand and ended up with a satisfying plate of meatless meatiness.
- olive oil
- 1 small red onion, finely diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 6-7 mushrooms, sliced thinly
- 100 g/3.5 oz silken tofu
- 1 heaped tsp [white] cashew butter
- 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tbsp vegan worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- pinch of cayenne pepper [optional]
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup chickpeas
- 1-2 medium-sized pickles, chopped
- 1/2 tbsp chopped parsley [I used frozen]
- 1 tsp of mustard [optional for a more authentic Stroganoff but I don't like mustard so I omitted it]
1. Heat the olive oil and sauté the onion until lightly browned. Add the garlic and let cook for another two minutes.
2. Meanwhile blend the silken tofu, cashew butter, soy sauce and worcestershire sauce.
3. Add the mushrooms to the onions and cook until softended. Mix in the pickles and chickpeas.
4. Pour in the tofu sauce and season with the spices. Stir in the parsley.
5. Serve over either your grains of choice or cauliflower rice.
Mushrooms instead of meat, added chickpeas, … Once more this is by no means authentic but since we’re already at the topic of strange but good: why bother with traditions? It’s delicious on its own right and that’s what counts.
Happiness inducing today: As it’s still rather early I’ll go with a great Farmers’ Market haul including kabocha [finally again!] and apples – obviously knowing their names.
Do you ever crave foods you’ve never had before?
What are your favourite vegan/vegetarian ‘meaty’ recipes? Feel free to link me up in the comments for when the cravings hit the next time :).