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My New #Bae, Mushrooms

So, I have decided to become “vegetarianish.” What does that even mean? I really don’t know because I love meat. I love the way it sounds when it hits the sizzling pan like foreplay, the way it can meld and marry any flavors, the aromas that fill the house when it’s simmering, sautéing, blackening, browning, frying or stewing. It’s heaven sent. It’s beautiful. It’s love.  Do people know about meat and its wonders?!

I guess “vegetarianish” for me means I eat mostly vegetarian meals with the occasional seafood thrown in every few weeks and when I want duck confit or Harold’s Chicken, dammit I eat it! Which only ends up being once or twice a month, thankfully. This is not a political or animal rights move. It started as a 30 day no meat challenge in April and I felt and looked good after the challenge so I said “Why go back?”

Since then, I’ve been trying really hard to find meatless meals that touch me in my soul right where my taste buds and heart mingle, the way a good burger or a piece of fried chicken does. Because, let’s be real. I live to eat. I do not eat to live.

Unfortunately.

Which brings me unveil my new obsession: MUSHROOMS.

I have grown to love mushrooms because they can make me think I’m eating some sort of meat, kind of. I’ve used them in lots of meals as a meat substitute and they work beautifully.  I still am gonna eat a medium rare steak & a lamb burger soon-ish. But until them, mushrooms are Bae.

Below are two easy and quick meals I’ve cooked in under an hour on a weeknight that include my new boo-thang, mushrooms.  

 

Veggie “Cheesesteaks”

                                      Look at that almost steak Umami deliciousness...

                                      Look at that almost steak Umami deliciousness...

 

I recently tried a real cheesteak while in Philly for a friend’s wedding about a month ago (hence “vegetarianish”) and it was HEAVENLY. I have been craving steak since then (and dreaming about chasing cows, but I digress), so I made this veggie “cheesesteak” and it curbed the craving. This recipe is really simple, very cheap and cooks up in 30-45 minutes. Let me know what you think!

Ingredients:                                                                                                                                    For the “Steak”:                                                                                                                          Olive oil and butter for sautéing                                                                                                       2 onions, sliced thin1 bell pepper, sliced thin                                                                                 7-8 garlic cloves, pressed or sliced thin                                                                                           2 8 oz containers of your favorite sliced mushrooms (I white, baby bellas & cremini)                 Worchester Sauce, Soy Sauce, Pink Salt, Cumin, Garlic Powder, Smoked Paprika, Cayenne           Pepper & Black Pepper to taste

For the Cheese Sauce/Whiz:                                                                                                             1 T butter                                                                                                                                           1 T flour                                                                                                                                               2/3 ish C milk, room temperature                                                                                                     4-6 oz good quality cheese (I used a mix of Gruyere, Sharp Cheddar, White Cheddar and              Fontina)                                                                                                                                           4 hoagie rolls                                                                                                                                 Hot peppers, to taste                                                                                                                         Mayo, to taste

  Directions:

  1. Caramelize bell peppers, garlic and onions in EVOO & butter until browned, remove from          pan.                                                                                                                                                   2. Add mushrooms to pan, cook until they sweat and create some liquid.                                   3. Add onion mixture, seasonings & sauces. Season to taste.                                                         4. Toast hoagie rolls in a pan w/ a smidge of butter or oil.                                                           5. In a sauce pan, make roux w/ melted butter and flour, whisking until smooth & combined.     6. Once smooth, add milk, whisking continuously to prevent lumps.                                           7. Once roux is desired consistency, add cheese and stir frequently until melted & smooth       8. Spread mayo on hoagie buns & fill with mushrooms & onions. Top with lots of whiz & hot           peppers.

 

Balsamic Mushroom Reduction in Parmesan Cream Sauce Over Linguini

 

                                   It almost tastes like chicken, if you close your eyes! 

                                   It almost tastes like chicken, if you close your eyes! 

This recipe was inspired by about ten Pinterest posts. I was craving Shrimp Alfredo but had no shrimp and not enough heavy cream. So, I remixed it. This is another really quick, simple meal that is ready in 30 minutes. I paired it with whole grain linguini because that’s what I had, but you can use fettucine, linguini, spaghetti, box tie pasta, really whatever makes you happy.

Ingredients:                                                                                                                                       8 oz pasta                                                                                                                                 Butter & Olive oil for sautéing                                                                                                         1 onion, diced very small                                                                                                               5-6 garlic cloves                                                                                                                               8 oz your favorite mushrooms, sliced                                                                                       Good quality Balsamic Vinegar, maybe ¼ C                                                                             Heavy cream, maybe ½ - 1 C                                                                                                               Juice & zest of 1-2 lemons or limes                                                                                         Parmesan Cheese maybe ½ C                                                                                                   Herbs de Provence, Pink Salt, Cumin, Black Pepper, Cayenne, Basil & Oregano to taste   Cilantro for garnish

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water until al dente.                                                 2. Sautee garlic and onions in EVOO & butter until soft.                                                                 3. Add mushrooms to pan, cook until they sweat and create some liquid, add butter if                   needed.                                                                                                                                             4. Add balsamic vinegar and let mushroom mixture cook down for about 10 minutes, stirring       frequently.                                                                                                                                       5. Turn off heat & add heavy cream, parmesan cheese & seasonings to taste. Add more heavy     cream if the balsamic vinegar taste is overpowering.                                                                     6. Add pasta to mushroom sauce. Add some pasta water if the sauce is too thick.                     7. Fold in lime/lemon juice & zest & cilantro.                                                                                 8. Plate and garnish with extra cilantro, parmesan & zest.

Until Next Time-                                                                                                                           Hint of Love, Pinch of Sôl,                                                                                                         Chooch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sage, Peace & Love

This past Friday, Sôl Appétit took part in the healing at Urban Escape Healing’s event, Healing Collective: A Night of Sacred Space.

I have never felt so much love in one space before. The space is laced in teals and blues that nurture your soul and upon entrance, that sage hits your nostrils and immediately forces you to lay your burdens down. There were different healing sessions you could sign up for: acupuncture, massage, Tarot Card reading, meditation, psychotherapy to name just a few. It was beautiful, amazing, wonderful. In a time where there is so much pain and hate in the world, I truly felt like I had stepped into another world that was cloaked in love and peace. J

My beautiful sister, Jasmyne , also my business partner for the night, was with me in the trenches in the kitchen serving up Sôl Appétit’s habichuelas guisadas, pollo guisado, arroz amarrillo and a mixed greens and arugula salad with mango, cilantro, avocado, red onions, cherry tomatoes and citrus vinaigrette, just like your abuela makes it. 

I met a bunch of amazing souls, fed lots of people, received lots of love and got to appreciate the beauty that happens when people come together with the sole purpose of making the world a better place.

Thank you to Neale Baldyga at Urban Escape Healing for giving me the opportunity to share my gifts with the crowd. Also, many thanks to those that supported me during and before the event: Khadijah Kysia, my dear friend who is also an acupuncturist, my sister Jasmyne, my Nana and my friend Alana Martin. I couldn’t have done this without any you all’s love and support.

 

***Urban Escape Healing is located at 1049 N Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60622 (address changing soon but the goodness will continue) 

 http://urbanescapehealing.com/   https://www.facebook.com/uehealing/

Urban Escape Healing Studio is a Chicago-based business & community that works in natural and vibrational healing techniques through sessions & workshops.

Until Next Time-                                                                                  Hint of Love, Pinch of Sôl,                                                             Chooch

 

 

 

 

 

Arroz Amarrillo

Arroz Amarrillo

Mixed greens and arugula salad with citrus vinaigrette

Mixed greens and arugula salad with citrus vinaigrette

Habichuelas Guisadas

Habichuelas Guisadas

Pollo Guisado 

Pollo Guisado 

My friend Alana, helping me prep the night before 

My friend Alana, helping me prep the night before 

My beautiful Nana helping out in the kitchen

My beautiful Nana helping out in the kitchen

My gorgeous sister, Jasmyne, and I at the event :) 

My gorgeous sister, Jasmyne, and I at the event :)