Monday, February 12, 2007

Italian Saute

When we ate out last Thursday at a nice Italian restaurant, I was inspired to make an Italian saute similar to the one that we had that night. I took an 8 ounce package of baby bella mushrooms, and cut the smaller ones in half and the larger ones into quarters. I marinated them in pomegranate red wine and toasted garlic for about half an hour.

In the meantime, I got some water boiling with a vegan bouillon cube. Once it was boiling, I reduced the heat a bit and put in some rainbow orzo (colored with vegetable extracts) - as a general rule, try using twice as much water as orzo, aim for about 8-10 minutes till al dente, and drain excess water/broth.

In a large saute pan, I started cooking some onions cut into large chunks. After a minute or so, I added other vegetables also cut into large chunks - orange bell pepper, broccoli, and the mushrooms (which had nicely absorbed the wine), and did a quick saute for maybe 5 minutes. Near the end, I added some halved olives stuffed with jalapeno peppers. I served this atop the orzo and sprinkled some salt and toasted garlic on top.

It was a reasonable dinner, but my wife needed some sauce as she found it rather bland. I would enjoy making a similar dish in the future, but might work in some additional flavors.

Yesterday, I hosted a photo competition at the restaurant where we have our annual Thanksgiving, and put together a good vegan menu of items like kale rollups (they didn't have kale so used spinach), a tempeh-sweet potato tagine, a quinoa salad, an eggplant dip, hummus, and several other items - and fabulous desserts including a great cherry biscotti, pastries, cookies, and fruit.


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