Tag Archive for easy vegan recipes

Veganizing Julia Child: Mushroom Bourguignon

I have long been a fan of Julia Child. I admire her immensely, because she was a pioneer in her field. Before Julia, there were very few female cookbook authors, and there were no TV chefs. She singlehandedly brought the art of French cooking to North America.

I spent the first half of last summer (before I went to Paris) reading her biography, and we share some traits in common. First off, we’re both quite tall, secondly, we almost share a birthday (born just one day–and several years–apart), and we are both cookbook authors! In a way, I owe her thanks for my own success, as she was the one that paved the way.

Vegan Mushroom Bourguignon

If you don’t eat meat, living in France can be a challenge. They are a very meat-loving country. Luckily, in Paris, it wasn’t that hard to find vegetarian or vegan places, but most of Julia’s recipes revolve around animal-based proteins. So I have taken up the challenge: I want to veganize some of Julia Child’s recipes, and I’m starting with Beef Bourguignon.

Beef Bourguignon is a hearty stew made with lesser cuts of beef. By stewing them for hours in wine, stock and aromatics, the tougher cuts of meat become tender. For this particular recipe, I’m substituting mushrooms for the beef. Mushrooms are a great swap in this case, as they have a meaty texture, and will soak up all the flavors like little sponges. The bonus of this recipe is that it’ll only take you half an hour or so to make, as opposed to the 3-5 hour timespan it would take you to make it with beef.

You can use whatever kinds of mushrooms you like for this; I’m using button and crimini mushrooms, as it was what was at my grocery store. But portobellas would also be great. If you can find foraged mushrooms this time of the year at your Farmer’s Market, go for it.

You don’t have to be precious about the mushrooms. I sliced some, and some I quartered, just to give different bits of texture in the dish. You could even leave them whole if they are smaller.

Mushroom Bourguignon

Traditionally, Julia Child would have served this with potatoes, but I’ve served it over top of noodles and it was great. It would also be wonderful over polenta, don’t you think?

One last note: I thickened the stew with flour, but you could easily thicken it with cornstarch if you wanted to keep it gluten-free.

The end result is a rich, hearty stew, dark and earthy and shimmering with wine. It’s perfect for a cold fall day.

Bon Appétit!

Mushroom Bourguignon

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp vegan butter substitute
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, 1/2″ dice
  • 1 large carrot, quartered, cut into 1/2″ dice
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp fresh rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 packages of fresh mushrooms (mixed)–about 5-6 cups, sliced or quartered
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp miso paste
  • 1-2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1-2 cups red wine
  • 3 tbsp flour or cornstarch
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Heat a large dutch oven oven over medium heat and add the vegan butter and olive oil. Once they are melted together and shimmering, add the onions and carrot, season with salt and pepper, and stir well. Continue to cook for about 5 minutes or so, stirring occasionally, until they are soft.
  2. Add the garlic and continue to stir until the garlic becomes fragrant. Now toss in the bay leaf, rosemary, and sprigs of thyme.
  3. Add the mushrooms all at once and stir well to combine. Season with salt and pepper, then allow to cook down for about 5-10 minutes, until the mushrooms have begun to shrink down and are releasing their moisture.
  4. Make a well in the middle of your pot, and add the tomato paste into it. Dissolve the miso paste into your vegetable stock, and add about a cup of it, along with the wine, into the pot as well. You should have stock and wine coming just to the top of the mushrooms. Stir, cover, reduce heat and allow to stew down for about another 5-10 minutes, adding more moisture if needed.
  5. Once the stew begins to thicken and darken, stir together your flour or cornstarch with about the same amount of stock until no lumps remain. Carefully begin to add this slurry to your stew, a little at a time, cooking it out, until you get your desired gravy consistency.
  6. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
  7. Serve atop noodles or potatoes, along with a side salad.
  8. Can be made a day in advance, and maybe even tastes better the next day.

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Chocolate Pumpkin Beer Cake {Vegan}

This cake has rapidly become my go-to when it comes to birthdays.

Truthfully, I am kind of snob when it comes to baked goods. Despite the fact that my kid loves Oreos, we very seldom have them in the house. I prefer to send him to school with homemade cookies in his lunch.

Chocolate Pumpkin Beer Cake Vegan

Same goes for birthday cakes. Now, I’m not much of a decorator. My cakes are not elegant by any means. Rustic rules the day. But what they lack in finesse, they make up for in flavor.

It was my brother’s birthday a few months back, and I made this cake (for a table full of carnivores). This was the result:

Vegan chocolate pumpkin beer cake

Yup, you don’t have to be vegan to like it. It’s just good cake.

I liked this recipe so much, I put it in my cookbook. This version I’m sharing with you today is a slight adaptation that includes pumpkin, because, well, I had some that needed to be used up, and also, it’s that time of the year. Pumpkin is great to add to vegan recipes because it both binds and helps to make the cake nice and moist.

I’m using a dark beer here. Porters and stouts are perfect for this kind of recipe. They go so well with the chocolate, and they add both a depth of flavor and also a lightness to the cake, from the carbonation of the beer.

So if you’ve never baked with beer, why not?? It rocks.

Chocolate Pumpkin Beer Cake

For the cake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 1⁄2 cups dark beer (I’m using Granville Island Brewing’s Mocha Porter)
  • 3⁄4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp aquafaba
  • 1⁄8 tsp cream of tartar

For the Chocolate Ganche:

  • 1 cup 70% good quality vegan bittersweet (dark) chocolate
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened non-dairy milk (approx.)

Method:

  1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder.
  2. In a separate bowl, whip together the sugar, coconut oil, vanilla and pumpkin. Add the beer and stir again until everything is homogeneous.
  3. Using a hand- or stand- mixer, add the aquafaba and the cream of tartar to the bowl. Whip for about 6-10 minutes, or until soft peaks form.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir to combine. Carefully fold the whipped aquafaba into the cake batter. Pour into a prepared bundt pan.
  5. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool, then remove from the pan.
  6. To make the ganache, melt chocolate and milk together over a bain marie, adding more milk if needed to get the right constancy. Pour over the cake and allow to drip down the sides.

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