Monday, January 20, 2014

{Bite: Food For The Soul}

Over the weekend my sisters and I drove to Ohio to attend the funeral services of my Aunt Sadie (Bootsie). It was honestly one of the hardest things we've had to go through, as she was basically a second mother to us. It's still so unbelievable that she is gone - such an amazing soul that was taken away from us way too soon.

While the weekend started with sadness, it was amazing to be with my family again. Sure we were just home for Christmas, but any time we can all be together is a time that is cherished because it doesn't happen very often. On Sunday, my sisters and I decided to treat our parents and made a delicious vegan dinner for them. Let me tell you - while I'm no where near being a vegan, this recipe seriously made me rethink the possibility of becoming one. Such a bold, filling, and flavorful dish. 

Below are just a few of the ingredients used for this recipe:

1. We decided to use brussel sprouts, leaks, parsnips, turnips, and purple potatoes. Cut each of the vegetables that you plan to use, and place them to the side.

2. In a separate pan, add a few tablespoons of vegan butter (we used soy-free Earth Balance), a few sprigs of fresh rosemary and sage, a few garlic cloves, and salt/pepper. Under a low fire, slowly allow the butter to melt and allow ingredients to infuse together and simmer for about 10 minutes.

3. Using a basting brush, lightly glaze all vegetables with the herb butter and salt/pepper to taste.

4. Place all vegetables into the oven (preheated to 450 degrees) and roast for about 30 minutes. Half way through, be sure to flip the vegetables so that the browning occurs on both sides.

5. While the vegetables are roasting, gather about 3-4 cups of mushrooms (we used an earth mix of shitake, portabella, and white button) and coarsely chop them into medium size pieces.

6. In a skillet, add garlic, leeks, and Earth Balance butter. Sauté and then add the mushrooms to let them cook and blend with the aromatics in the pan. Once the mushrooms brown - add salt, fresh sage,  and pepper. Cook until all the flavors are blended seamlessly. 

7. Add a few tablespoons of flour and begin to cook. Let the bottom of the pan accumulate color (this will add another layer of earth goodness). Add water, or veggie stock to the pan. Let the mushrooms come to a slight boil so that the gravy will thicken. Make sure you test and adjust seasonings to taste. 

8. Remove the vegetables from the oven and lightly drizzle them with a little olive oil and another sprinkle of sea salt and pepper to taste (optional). 

9. Start to build your dish. Add a nice helping of polenta (use cooking directions on package) onto your plate and add some of the mushroom pan gravy on top. Next add a few spoonfuls of the roasted vegetables....and enjoy!

10. This dish alone is very filling, and in my opinion the only addition needed is a glass of wine. For the meat eaters, you can't go wrong with adding in some roasted chicken, or even braised short ribs on the side. Yum!
My sisters and I didn't use a recipe for this dish - we simply knew the flavors we wanted and went with the flow. However, if you would like a very specific recipe to follow so that you can make this dish at home, please leave a comment below and I can create one for you! 

Is this something you would try?

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