For many people, starting a new vegan lifestyle can be a challenge, especially if you're flying solo. Something that can make it a little easier is to make food that resembles some old favorites. This has been especially helpful for me. Drinking almond milk has made it very easy to give up cow's milk, making nut cheeses has helped to lessen my cheesy temptations, and inventing a couple of non-dairy ice cream recipes has made giving up one of my all time favorite foods a cinch.
Since I was not a big meat-eater before "the change", I haven't really felt the need for meat substitutes, such as "Not Dogs" or soy burgers, but many do enjoy these substitutions. Something that many vegetarians use as a natural substitute for steak is portabella mushroom steaks....
Maybe we love them because they're big and brown and juicy, like a steak, and they take a while to finish because of they're sheer size! Or....maybe we just love them because they taste great. The kids love them, too. For dinner last night, I'd cut them into thirds in case the kids didn't like them, and there were two pieces left when dinner was over. After leaving the dishes on the table and rushing to see a dance dress rehearsal the teenagers were involved in, we returned to deal with bathtime, kitchen clean up and the like. As I was getting the babies' bath ready, I walked by the kitchen and saw the seven-year-old girl eating up the last of the mushrooms thirds. She sincerely thanked me and told me how good they were. There are not too many things that make me happier than my family showing appreciation for my efforts in preparing a healthy meal!
As far as the meal was concerned, I couldn't just stop at portabella steaks. We had to have fry look-alikes, too! We made them by cutting jicama with the french fry cutter, seasoning the "fries" and blending up sundried tomatoes and other spices in the Vitamix for some raw ketchup. Check out the bounty!
Now, for the honest report...I didn't truly expect all of my kids to like this meal. When I first tasted the jicama with the ketchup, it was a little tangy for me, but as I kept eating it, it grew on me and I loved it! The babies loved it, too, which was a shocker. The other kids had a bit of a hard time with the jicama though, so there were lots of leftovers for me to pick through. As I said before, however, the portabella steaks were a hit. My husband even loved his!
Here are the recipes for the portabella steaks and the "Crunch Fries" with ketchup...
Directions: Place mushrooms capside (upside) down on a texflex dehydrator sheet or oiled cooked sheet. Sprinkle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. For dehydrator method, place mushrooms on a teflex sheet and dehydrate for one hour at 145 degrees. For oven method, place on lowest temperature in oven with door cracked open with a wooden spoon and bake for 45 minutes or until tender. That's it!
Crunch Fries with Ketchup:
Ingredients for the fries:
1 pound jicama, cut into the shape of fries
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon onion powder
sea salt to taste
Ingredients for the ketchup:
1/4 cup onion powder
1/2 cup dried tomatoes, soaked for two hours and drained
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup raisins
1 tablespoon salt
For the fries, combine the sliced jicama with the olive oil, paprika, onion powder and sea salt
For the ketchup, blend together the tomatoes, vinegar, raisins, salt and onion powder in a blender. Dip fries in ketchup and enjoy!
P.S This recipe was discovered in the "un"cook book called "The Complete Book of Raw Food"...
It's got over 400 raw vegan recipes from the world's top chef! Great book to try! Have a great one!
I am also pleased to list this post at...
-Tip Junkie's "Talk to me Tuesday",
-5 Minutes for Mom's "Tackle It Tuesday",
-Tammy's Recipe's "Kitchen Tip Tuesday",
-Blessed With Grace's "Tempt My Tummy Tuesday",
-Mary's "Tightwad Tuesday",
-Jen's "Tasty Tuesday" and
-The Lazy Organizer's "Talk About Tuesday".
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