Ideas for dinner tonight. Household and kitchen tips, recipes, tweaks. What's worked great, and not so great.
There IS a story behind this. Years ago, my sister Maddie invited our Mom, my husband, and I over to her place for dinner. I think it was hamburgers, baked beans and maybe french fries, I can’t recall the third item. Anyway, when Maddie put the plates before us on the table, our Mom said, “Oh we’re having a BEIGE dinner”! I don’t know why, but it struck us all so funny. None of us had noticed except for Mom, but yes, it WAS a beige dinner! All of the food on the plate was various shades of brown/beige. Ever since then, I’ve been pretty aware of how foods color plays on the plate. How it’s more visually appealing to have a nice balance and variety of color. Well, last night I made a beige dinner! I had such hopes for this meal idea. I am still eating vegan, and haven’t checked any recipes online, or in books yet, still just forging my way through. I thought this was going to be SO pretty, SO tasty, SO everything. It tasted good, but I made a few mistakes on this baby. It was SUPPOSED to be this colorful, savory, long grain and wild rice stuffed Portobello mushroom with all sorts of goodies in the stuffing. Almost. I SHOULD have stuck with my first thoughts, of using collard greens again, but I thought, no, I’m getting in a rut with the collard greens, I’ll use zucchini or eggplant instead for the green.I thought that the eggplant would lose its color, and I felt like having zucchini. Well, the zucchini was good, but it loses its color when diced and cooked. (beige). The organic long grain and wild rice blend was very good, with a nutty flavor, but also…. basically beige. The Portobello mushroom, perfect! (varied color here,… brown), garlic and onion, tofu, yes…. beige. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before. Oh well. Next time, I’ll use the kale or collard greens, I won’t use the red wine (the flavor did not go well at all) and I’ll get larger Portobellos, as they were lost underneath the stuffing. It looks like there was a huge pile of rice on top, but it was less than 1/4 cup. It was still very tasty, just not as visually appealing as I would like. I’d add some colorful bell peppers in it too.
Here’s what I used and did for the Long and Wild Stuffed Portobello with Tofu. Adjust to your liking. I DO suggest, use something more colorful in the mix!
2 T minced garlic
2 Portobello mushroom tops, cleaned of the ridges,(they make it bitter) save stems and chop
1/2 zucchini roughly chopped
don’t forget colorful veggies!
1/2 c pre-cooked wild and whole grain brown rice such as Lundberg Wild Blend
1 c vegetable broth or stock (for rice)
1/4 c diced onion
4 slices extra firm tofu, 2 of the slices cubed
1/2 T Herbs du Provence (a blend of marjoram, oregano, rosemary, savory, thyme) or to taste
basil to taste
salt and pepper to taste
In small sauce pan prepare rice according to directions.
In large pan, spray Pam. Over medium heat, add garlic and onion. Add mushroom stems. (If using any type of greens, add them now, along with a little broth) Add zucchini, diced tofu, and other vegetables such as chopped colorful peppers, or maybe some carrots. Add spices. When rice is done, add spoonfuls of rice to the vegetable mixture until you get the ratio you like. Add spices and broth if necessary. In another pan, spray Pam, or use butter if you prefer. Cook mushrooms and sliced tofu over medium heat, covering to keep moisture in. Turn, cook until mushrooms are soft and tofu has browned. Slice tofu into strips.
To plate, place some of the left over rice, if any, on a plate. Place mushroom on top. Either spoon rice & vegetable mixture over the mushroom, or put it into a small ramekin to mold, then turn out onto the top of the mushroom. Top with tofu strips. ( I added a walnut here too, goes nicely with the nuttiness of the rice blend) Serve with a colorful green salad or vegetable.