DDD #113 – Vegan Heirloom Tomato Tart (Pie) with Homemade Buttery Crust

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2018

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Click the image above to watch the video.

I keep throwing softballs like this out there to you kids.  Softballs in that the recipe is easy & the result delicious.  When, oh when, will you trust me & try one?

This one is almost like a quiche but uses no eggs or heavy cream – and it is vegan!  I used three colors of heirloom tomatoes but any tomatoes would work, even cherry tomatoes, I suspect.

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For the pastry crust

makes two tarts

INGREDIENTS

2 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

16 TBS ice cold (even frozen) vegan butter

1/4 cup or more of ice water

Heirloom Tomato Pie with Arugula, Tofu, Cream Cheese & Parmesan

makes two tarts

INGREDIENTS

Pie crust – uncooked

5-6 heirloom (or other) tomatoes – sliced thin

2 cups fresh arugula

2 cloves garlic

1 (14 oz) block firm tofu

4 oz vegan cream cheese

2 slices of your favorite flavor vegan cheese

1/4 cup vegan Parmesan – grated  (plus a bit extra for topping – optional)

S&P

Basil – as garnish

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DIRECTIONS

For the pastry crust

Put the flour, salt & sugar in a food processor.  Pulse to blend.  Then, 1 TBS at a time, pulse in the cold butter until it is all incorporated.  Add a few TBS water & pulse until little balls of dough begin to form & it falls away from the bowl of the processor.

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Remove from the bowl & press into two balls – one a tad larger than the other.  Press flat, wrap in plastic wrap & chill for about an hour.  Let it sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes before you roll it out.

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DIRECTIONS

for the Heirloom Tomato Pie with Arugula, Tofu, Cream Cheese & Parmesan

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Press the dough into a greased pie or tart pan.  A traditional pie dish is absolutely OK to use – as is a spring form pan.  Slit the crust at the bottom and par-bake it for 7 minutes.

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Put the sliced tomatoes on paper towels, salt them & press more paper towels on top.  If your tomatoes are very wet & seedy, squeeze some of the seeds out to avoid excess moisture in the pie.  You can see that I did this with my red tomatoes.

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Meanwhile, blend the tofu, cream cheese, cheese slices, vegan Parmesan, arugula & garlic in a blender or food processor.  Season with S&P.

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When the crust has baked 7 minutes, top with the cup of grated Parmesan, the tofu mix & the drained tomatoes.  Add some S&P.  Maybe sprinkle some grated vegan Parmesan on top.  Drizzle a bit of olive oil on top.

Bake for 45-60 minutes – or until the ricotta is set.  You might need to wrap the edges of your pie with foil (or one of these cool silicone things – the red thing below – that I got at Bed Bath & Beyond) to prevent the crust from over-browning.

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When the center seems set, allow this to cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting into it.  It can be eaten warm or room temperature.

Garnish with basil & eat it up!

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DDD #93 – Vegan Grated Heirloom Tomato Pasta Sauce

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2018

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Click the image of me below to watch the sauce recipe WITHOUT the mushroom.  These images here reflect the use of a crazy lobster mushroom I bought when I originally made this recipe.  You need not use the mushroom – in fact – I rather suggest against it because it was very expensive and underwhelming but I include it here, anyway, for the curious & the risk takers.

I went to the farmer’s market for the first time in forever.  Once there, I was reminded of why I no longer go.  IT COSTS A FORTUNE.  Everything seems reasonable until you walk out with fingers screaming from the pain of carrying 400 pounds of produce & $200 poorer.  But it is always fun & there are usually yummy things to sample.  This time there were almond croissants the size of footballs, boxes of mixed mushrooms for $20, some peana & eggphan (I can’t resist misspelled signs).

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There were also golden beets that were larger than a softball and the crazy-looking thing above.  That, my friends, is a lobster mushroom.  It was about the size of a small Russet potato & weighed about 4 ounces.  I asked the mushroom monger what it was & she told me it was a lobster mushroom.  I asked why they were called that & was told that they not only have a reddish color similar to a cooked lobster but also that they have a slight seafood taste.  I had to have one!  I let her pick one out and as she weighed it, I began pulling out ones to pay for it.  I pulled for a while because that fucker there cost me $17!!!  I almost choked at the price but decided it would be a worthy blog post so I paid & walked away – wondering what the fuck I was gonna do with it.

Intimidated by the idea of ruining a $17 mushroom barely larger than my fist, I Googled to see what others had done with them.  I found this gorgeous photo & checked out the recipe at THE COFFEE TABLE COOKBOOK.

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I had the bulk of the ingredients already so I decided to make a vegan version of their FETTUCCINI WITH LOBSTER MUSHROOM AND SCRATCH-MADE HEIRLOOM TOMATO SAUCE.  I simplified the sauce recipe quite a bit but the most interesting thing I learned from their post was the concept of grating tomatoes.  Click that link & see how it is done & how not to grate your flesh into the sauce.  You basically grate the tomatoes on a box grater & it results in a beautiful tomato puree without any skin.  See below.

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I added a lot of crushed red pepper to my sauce which might have been a mistake because the spicy sauce sort of overwhelmed the very delicately flavored lobster mushroom.  The mushroom had only the slightest mushroom flavor & no seafood element at all.   Those photos above are the mushroom cut up.  Looks like chicken or pork – or bread.  It is very light & porous so it reduced to almost nothing in the saute pan.  Overall – I would say there is no reason to pay so much for what amounts to so little.  Regular mushrooms are just as good and far less costly.

I do recommend trying this sauce, however.  I eliminated the dairy from the original recipe & also could not bring myself to add a cup of the precious – a cup of white wine – to the sauce just to cook it off.  I felt the wine would be better used poured down my gullet & I don’t think the sauce suffered and I know I didn’t.

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Vegan Pasta with Heirloom Tomato Sauce & Lobster Mushroom

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

1/2 lb pasta

for the sauce

5 large heirloom tomatoes – grated (see here)

1 TBS olive oil

2 garlic cloves – chopped

1/2 tsp to 1 TBS crushed red pepper – to taste

10 basil leaves (plus more for garnish)

several sprigs of fresh thyme

S&P

IF USING  – for the mushroom

4 oz lobster mushroom (or 1/2 lb regular mushrooms)

2 TBS olive oil or vegan butter

3 garlic cloves – chopped

1 tsp thyme leaves

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DIRECTIONS

for the sauce

Heat the olive oil & add the garlic.  Saute one minutes & then add the other ingredients.  Simmer on med-high until it reduces by about half.  Season to taste.  Remove the thyme sprigs and throw them away.

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for the mushrooms

Heat the olive oil or vegan butter and saute the mushrooms until they are nearly done to your liking.  Add the garlic & thyme & cook another minute or two.  Be sure not to burn the garlic.  Season with S&P.

Cook the pasta as directed & toss with the sauce.  Serve & top with mushrooms & chopped fresh basil.

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DDD Ep. #6 – Vegan Roast Beef (Steak) with Sauteed Onions & Mushrooms & Roasted Heirloom Carrots

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

~

As you may or may not know – I started a Youtube channel last month.  I have almost twenty recipes posted there on:

Click HERE to go to the channel & check it out.

The roast beef you see here is my latest endeavor.  Here is the video.


Vegan Roast Beef (Steak) with Sauteed Onions & Mushrooms & Roasted Heirloom Carrots

INGREDIENTS

2 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten (or just enough to get a proper dough texture)

1 TBS caraway seeds (ground in a mill or with a mortar & pestle)

1 TBS fennel seeds (ground in a mill or with a mortar & pestle)

2 TBS freeze-dried shallots or granulated onions (or minced raw shallots)

1 TBS paprika

S&P to taste (go LIGHT with the salt)

1 cup vegetable stock

1/2 cup olive oil

2 TBS vinegar (red, white, balsamic – your call)

2 TBS molasses

1 cooked beet pureed with 1/2 cup veggie stock

A dry rub of your choice (or simply a blend of dry herbs)

Bottled marinade of your choice mixed with equal part water OR veggie stock with a few bay leaves

Cheesecloth & kitchen twine

1 onion – sliced

2 TBS brown sugar

8 oz mushrooms – sliced

1 bunch heirloom carrots

Additional olive oil

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 425

Whisk the first 6 (dry) ingredients together in a bowl.  In another bowl, whisk the stock, oil, vinegar, molasses & pureed beet.  Blend the wet & dry ingredients – adding vital wheat gluten or more stock until you have a ground beef texture.

Roll in your dry rub & wrap tightly in cheesecloth – tying off the ends.

Bring your marinade to  boil, reduce to a simmer & add the beef to it.  Simmer for an hour – turning once in the middle.  Be careful you do not boil your marinade away.  Add water or stock – if you need to.

Heat olive oil in a pan.  Remove the cheesecloth & pan sear the beef on both sides.  Set aside.  You can slice this thinly & make sandwiches or – go for the steak option.

In the same pan, heat some butter or olive oil & saute the onions until soft.  Add 2 TBS brown sugar & saute until the onions become golden.  Add the mushrooms & saute until they are done to your taste.  Season with S&P.

If you are doing “steaks,” cut them & sear them on both sides in the mushroom pan.

Toss the carrots in olive oil and S&P & roast 10-15 minutes (or until they begin to turn golden) – turning them once in the middle.

Serve!

Vegan Fried Tofu Tacos with Purple Cabbage & Heirloom Carrot Slaw

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Tacos are kind of like pizza in that they are endlessly customizable & virtually everyone loves them.  I have no great revelation here except that it is kind of hard to pan fry breaded tofu & have it look pretty but who cares?  These are TACOS & nobody cares what they look like – only what they taste like.  And these were very tasty.  Because the tofu was fried & I added avocado – I wanted to keep the rest pretty light – so I added no cheese or cream sauce but you certainly could. I made a very simple slaw with very little vegan mayo in it & it worked great because it added color & crunch but not much in the way of calories.  If calories don’t concern you, you could make the slaw with a creamier dressing, add more mayo or even use a different dressing altogether  – like an Asian miso salad dressing or something.  As I said – tacos are endlessly customizable so make these to suit yourself.  One pound of tofu will likely fry up to make enough filling for 6-10 tacos – depending on the size of your tortillas & your appetites.  Like with pizza – I am just making suggestions here as to ingredients but you can add ones you want, lose ones you hate, and fill them as densely or sparingly as you please.  They are tacos – almost impossible to fuck up.

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Purple Cabbage & Heirloom Carrot Slaw

Makes enough slaw for 6-10 tacos

INGREDIENTS

1/4 large head purple cabbage – chopped or grated (I used the grating blade in my food processor)

5 heirloom (or regular) carrots – grated (I used the grating blade in my food processor)

5 scallions – sliced finely

1 small bunch cilantro – chopped

1/4 tsp cumin

1/4 cup vegan mayo

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Mix everything up & season with S&P.  Add more mayo if you like a wetter slaw

Set aside.

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Vegan Fried Tofu Tacos

makes 6-10 tacos (as far as tofu goes – the other ingredient ratios are up to you)

1 lb extra firm tofu – cubed

Corn tortillas

Avocado – sliced

Tomato – diced

Cilantro

1 TBS sriracha

1 TBS agave nectar

1/2 cup corn meal

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp chili powder

S&P

1/4 cup olive oil

Potential garnish:  grated cheese, sour cream, diced onion, corn, black beans, cilantro, jalapenos, lime wedges

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DIRECTIONS

Toss the cubed tofu in the sriracha & agave.  In a large bowl, mix the corn meal with the cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder & some S&P.  Toss the tofu in the corn meal until it is well covered.

Heat the olive oil in a pan large enough to hold all the tofu – or do it in shifts.  If the tofu is too crowded – it might start breaking up.  Fry – carefully tuning once in a while – until it is all browned.  Never fear if some breading falls off.  You are gonna drop lots of goodies on top of the tofu so pretty is not important.

I like to warm my corn tortillas over the burners of my stove until they get some char marks.  You can do this – or not – but I recommend it.

Assemble your tacos! Layer some slaw, then tofu, tomato, avocado & cilantro and/or whatever toppings you have chosen.  Shove them in  your face.  Swill a beer.  Eat more tacos.  Have no regrets!

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Roasted Rosemary Potatoes & Heirloom Carrots and a 90210 U4EA Podcast!!

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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So – I did a live-on-stage podcast about the 90210 episode U4EA.  It was really fun & I think it is pretty funny.  If you are unfamiliar with the episode – you can watch it here: (http://www.hulu.com/watch/802321#i0,p9,s2,d0) OR YOUTUBE (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3AOH8HLFLw).

And HERE is a link to the actual podcast.   It is on i-tunes, too.

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These are not anything new but they really are delicious.  I used some leftover red onion that I had from my Easy Vegan Meatloaf – seen above.  I do not recommend that you do this as it just burned into charred blackness.  These come out crispy on the outside & creamy on the inside & are quite irresistible.  You will likely burn your mouth as you impatiently shove them in your face straight from the oven.

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Roasted Rosemary Potatoes & Heirloom Carrots

Serves 2 very well as a side

INGREDIENTS

5-6 red potatoes – cut into bite-sized pieces

5-6 heirloom (or regular) carrots – cut into bite-sized pieces

2 TBS fresh rosemary – chopped

olive oil

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 425 degrees.

Toss the potatoes & carrots with a drizzle of olive & the rosemary and S&P.  Be sure everything is evenly coated.  Roast – turning every 15 minutes – for about 45-60 minutes – or until the potatoes are golden & crispy.

Serve!

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Heirloom Tomato, Fresh Mozzarella & Avocado Caprese Salad with Olive Oil Caviar

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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So – I saw THIS post from The Skinny Fork on Pinterest & was intrigued by the olive oil caviar.  I promptly Googled it & about $75 later – I had 4 little jars of the stuff in different flavors.   I bought it HERE.

This is what they say about it at Gordon-Gourmet.com:

“About Caviaroli ®

DSC_0184Caviaroli is fine Spanish olive oil that is encapsulated to mimic the delicate refinement of caviar.  The concept transpired back in 2008 when Ferrán Adrià created this innovative product and produced it in small quantities, inspiring others to take part in this surprising enterprise.  Pere Castells, technical director of Fundació Alicia, introduced olive oil caviar to the Caviaroli team and helped begin research on production.  For two years, the team worked enjoyably at mastering the technology which initially was a challenge.  Finally, the first olive oil caviar was created outside of El Bulli’s kitchen, and soon it was presented to Ferràn Adrià, who promptly ordered 10kg in less than a week.  Adrià considered this new caviar good enough to be served at El Bulli, the restaurant where he worked as head chef.  He even presented the product in a lecture at Harvard, saying that “soon the olive oil caviar will be available,” and in jest added, “…but it can only be done with Spanish olive oil”, encouraging the use of quality grade Spanish products.

In  2011 at the Australian Fine Food’s Show, Caviaroli won “Best new Foodservice product award”, and in 2012 the production plant in Spain was registered and Caviaroli was approved by the FDA.  Stored in a sleek glass bottle, the Caviar will stay fresh for up to twelve months–the same as regular bottled olive oil.”

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There it it!  Cool looking, no?  I used a basil flavored one.  I did not add the traditional basil to my dish here because I knew fresh basil would overpower the caviar & I wanted to experience it.  (I also think balsamic vinegar overpowers caprese salads & never add it.)  The olive oil caviar tastes strongly of olive oil – the basil flavor is barely a tiny hint.

If you do not want to invest in something like this caviar – just drizzle olive oil & add some fresh chopped basil to your caprese.   By the way – caprese is pronounced like this:

It is “ca-pray’-zay.”  Not “ca-preece.”

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This is as easy as cutting stuff up.  Use as much of each ingredient as suits your tastes & the number of mouths you are feeding.

Heirloom Tomato, Fresh Mozzarella & Avocado Caprese Salad with Olive Oil Caviar

INGREDIENTS

Heirloom or regular tomatoes – sliced

Fresh mozzarella – sliced

Avocado – sliced or cubed

Olive oil caviar – or regular olive oil

Fresh basil (optional but traditional) – sliced – or even a thin drizzle of basil pesto

S&P to taste

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DIRECTIONS

Assemble & serve.

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Vegan Pasta with Heirloom Tomato Sauce & Lobster Mushroom

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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So – I went to the farmer’s market for the first time in forever.  Once there, I was reminded of why I no longer go.  IT COSTS A FORTUNE.  Everything seems reasonable until you walk out with fingers screaming from the pain of carrying 400 pounds of produce & $200 poorer.  But it is always fun & there are usually yummy things to sample.  This time there were almond croissants the size of footballs, boxes of mixed mushrooms for $20, some peana & eggphan (I can’t resist misspelled signs).

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There were also golden beets that were larger than a softball and the crazy-looking thing above.  That, my friends, is a lobster mushroom.  It was about the size of a small Russet potato & weighed about 4 ounces.  I asked the mushroom monger what it was & she told me it was a lobster mushroom.  I asked why they were called that & was told that they not only have a reddish color similar to a cooked lobster but also that they have a slight seafood taste.  I had to have one!  I let her pick one out and as she weighed it, I began pulling out ones to pay for it.  I pulled for a while because that fucker there cost me $17!!!  I almost choked at the price but decided it would be a worthy blog post so I paid & walked away – wondering what the fuck I was gonna do with it.

Intimidated by the idea of ruining a $17 mushroom barely larger than my fist, I Googled to see what others had done with them.  I found this gorgeous photo & checked out the recipe at THE COFFEE TABLE COOKBOOK.

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I had the bulk of the ingredients already so I decided to make a vegan version of their FETTUCCINI WITH LOBSTER MUSHROOM AND SCRATCH-MADE HEIRLOOM TOMATO SAUCE.  I simplified the sauce recipe quite a bit but the most interesting thing I learned from their post was the concept of grating tomatoes.  Click that link & see how it is done & how not to grate your flesh into the sauce.  You basically grate the tomatoes on a box grater & it results in a beautiful tomato puree without any skin.  See below.

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I added a lot of crushed red pepper to my sauce which might have been a mistake because the spicy sauce sort of overwhelmed the very delicately flavored lobster mushroom.  The mushroom had only the slightest mushroom flavor & no seafood element at all.   Those photos above are the mushroom cut up.  Looks like chicken or pork – or bread.  It is very light & porous so it reduced to almost nothing in the saute pan.  Overall – I would say there is no reason to pay so much for what amounts to so little.  Regular mushrooms are just as good and far less costly.

I do recommend trying this sauce, however.  I eliminated the dairy from the original recipe & also could not bring myself to add a cup of the precious – a cup of white wine – to the sauce just to cook it off.  I felt the wine would be better used poured down my gullet & I don’t think the sauce suffered and I know I didn’t.

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Vegan Pasta with Heirloom Tomato Sauce & Lobster Mushroom

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

1/2 lb pasta

for the sauce

5 large heirloom tomatoes – grated (see here)

1 TBS olive oil

2 garlic cloves – chopped

1/2 tsp to 1 TBS crushed red pepper – to taste

10 basil leaves (plus more for garnish)

several sprigs of fresh thyme

S&P

for the mushroom

4 oz lobster mushroom (or 1/2 lb regular mushrooms)

2 TBS olive oil or vegan butter

3 garlic cloves – chopped

1 tsp thyme leaves

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DIRECTIONS

for the sauce

Heat the olive oil & add the garlic.  Saute one minutes & then add the other ingredients.  Simmer on med-high until it reduces by about half.  Season to taste.  Remove the thyme sprigs and throw them away.

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for the mushrooms

Heat the olive oil or vegan butter and saute the mushrooms until they are nearly done to your liking.  Add the garlic & thyme & cook another minute or two.  Be sure not to burn the garlic.  Season with S&P.

Cook the pasta as directed & toss with the sauce.  Serve & top with mushrooms & chopped fresh basil.

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