Italian Dinner Party – Pt.1 Tuscan Stuffed Mushroom

Behold! The best mushroom caps ever made!

Behold! The best mushroom caps ever made!

I don’t know why I call these Tuscan mushroom caps. Probably because the smell and taste of olives and roasted red peppers brings to mind very old-world humble food, or maybe it’s the first name that came to mind. Either way they are delicious!  Don’t they look tasty? I thought so too… so much so that I made a double batch, cooked them early and ruined my dinner. Well that and half a loaf of pumpkin bread. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though because the main dish was homemade pasta and if you’ve ever tried to make pasta by hand you know it can be a bit of a pain in the butt. That’s all the hints on next week’s dish from me.

You will notice I suggest exposing the mushrooms to sunlight. This is because it turns them into little vitamin D2 bombs. Which if you’re a full time vegan you may have noticed it hard to find in food sources.  Also don’t throw away the mushroom stems or gills! They are great for tossing in stir fries, soups and of course gravy! Anyways it’s time for me to get back to my first of 4 consecutive 10 hour days. Wish me luck!


Don't they look yummy?

Don’t they look yummy?

10-12 Button Mushrooms (UV exposed for 20 mins)
1/3 cup olives 
1/3 cup roasted red peppers 
1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast 
1 tbsp Olive Oil 
Salt and Pepper to taste 
Clean button mushrooms and place in sunlight for 20-30 mins. 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Remove stems and gills. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. 
Finely chop olives and roasted red peppers. Combine olives, red peppers, nutritional yeast olive oil and add a touch of salt and pepper to taste. 
Distribute the olive mixture into the mushrooms. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. 

Pumpkin Crazy!

For those of you here in Canada Happy Thanksgiving! It seems like forever since I’ve been posting. I seriously underestimated how insanely busy a cigar store can be in the summer. Now that the rainy season is starting to hit I finally have some days off to cook.

This weekend I made two of my favourite fall foods: pumpkin pancakes and pumpkin bread. I got so pumpkin crazy I added some leftover pure into my vanilla chai smoothie. The pumpkin bread is not an original recipe but it’s delicious and can be found at Hell Yeah it’s Vegan: Vegan Pumpkin Bread. Here’s how mine turned out.

This doesn't seem to do it justice!

This doesn’t seem to do it justice!

Now for my Pancakes! I love making these on Sunday mornings because  the house smells great for hours and I feel a little spoiled. Not to mention I’m always proud I got my veggies in during breakfast.  By using flax and safflower oil you are also giving yourself a nice balance of your omega 3’s & 6’s.  When it comes to family breakfasts I never mention these are vegan I just say their my Heart Healthy Pancakes!

This recipe is usually only enough for 2 because you will eat them until your body tells you you HAVE to stop.

Just missing the syrup on top!

Just missing the syrup on top!

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp of ground flax 
3 tbsp of water 
1 tbsp safflower oil (olive oil works well) 
1 cup coconut milk (or non dairy milk of choice)
1/2 cup pure pumpkin
Combine flax and water in a separate bowl and let stand while preparing dry ingredients. 
Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg together in a medium bowl. Add flax mixture, oil, milk and pumpkin to the dry ingredients. 
For each pancake, scoop 1/4 cup of batter on to a hot griddle or nonstick skillet. Turn pancakes when bubbles appear and edges are cooked, after about 2 minutes. Cook for 1 1/2 minutes on second side.