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Mushroom Leek Gravy

A rainbow of colourful vegetables provide the perfect crunch, in-between bites of creamy mushroom leek gravy covered brown rice.

Mushroom Leek Gravy

Leeks are a new-to-me vegetable. I tend to not eat many onion-family vegetables, usually only stepping into the territory with the occasional green onion. But since signing up for an organic veggie box delivery every two weeks, I decided to give them a try.

Mushroom Leek Gravy

I decided to explore. Create something new.

I had some brown rice, and steamed veggies, and wanted something a little more rich and creamy. Something with a bit of comfort factor. And it needed to take less than 20 minutes to make, because I was hungry.

Mushroom Leek Gravy

Mushroom Leek Gravy

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound mushrooms of your choice, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 leeks (washed, bottom beard cut off, and sliced into thin rings)
  • 2 teaspoons thyme
  • 1 Tbsp tamari
  • 1.5 cup water
  • 1.5 Tablespoons arrowroot powder (or kuzu)

Directions

  1. Add 2tsp sesame oil to pan, and heat to medium-high.
  2. When the pan sizzles, add in the leeks, and let saute for about 5 minutes until browned.
  3. Stir in the mushrooms, and the thyme.
  4. Place a lid on top, and let saute for about 8 minutes. Checking every few minutes, adding a bit of water if sticking.
  5. Add in the tamari, and let cook about a minute.
  6. Pour in 1.5 cups water.
  7. Dilute the arrowroot in a bit of cold water, stirring out any lumps. Add to pan.
  8. Let cook another 5 minutes or so, stirring frequently until gravy is thickened.
  9. Add in the 1 tsp toasted sesame oil for flavour.
  10. Serve over top brown rice and steamed veggies (recommended vegs: broccoli, carrots, daikon).
Mushroom Leek Gravy
Mushroom Leek Gravy

YUM!!!

To steam veggies;

Place daikon and carrot chunks in an inch of water in a pot. Add a teeny pinch of salt. Bring to boil with lid on. Add in broccoli. Let cook for about 2-3 minutes. That's it!

Brown Rice:

If you need to know how to make brown rice, check out

this post for boiling method,

and

this post for pressure cooking

.

Mushroom Leek Gravy

Lucky me---my veggie box is coming this week. This one is definitely a repeat :) 

One of my favourite ingredients:

Japanese Mushrooms!
The mushrooms in Japan are the tastiest I've ever had! In the produce section of almost every grocery store, you can find at least 5 different types of mushrooms. The larger ones at the front of the photo are giant shitake mushrooms (I can't remember the names of the ones at the back, but they are delicious). There are usually at least 3 different types of shitake mushrooms alone! I also love maitake and enoki mushrooms. Mmmmmmmmmmm.
I use mushrooms all the time in cooking. They are a staple in quick stirfrys. And lately about once a week, I have been making thai green curry. We use lots of mushrooms, and don't need anything else!

I have also enjoyed making a simple creamy vegan mushroom sauce:

  • heat ~1tbsp sesame oil in a frying pan
  • Add in a whole bunch of mushrooms (I usually use about 3 packages of musrooms, about the amount shown in the photo)
  • Saute away.... adding in some pepper and a pinch of salt
  • If you like, you can also add in ~2 TBSP of nutritional yeast to give the sauce a cheesy flavour
  • Once the mushrooms have cooked down, add in 1/2-1 c. of milk, or a milk alternative. I have tried it with soy milk
  • Let the milk boil down
  • Serve on top of brown rice

Do you like mushrooms? What's your favourite mushroom recipe?

Maggie's Challenge, Sesame Butter, and....stuff?

So many of you have been asking me about sesame butter; how is it different than tahini? What is it??


I had never tried sesame butter before this this first jar, and I am most delighted by it. This link describes sesame butter and tahini. It says that Sesame Butter is basically an Asian tahini, that is made with raw sesame seeds and is thicker. I definitely agree with the thicker part. It is so good. Mmmm!! My jar though, says that the ingredients are: organically grown freshly roasted brown sesame seeds. So I guess this sesame butter is roasted, but in any case, it is DELICIOUS. I always prefer crunchy nut butters over smooth, so maybe that is why I like this better than tahini...or perhaps it is because it is with brown sesame seeds? You guys should try it though. It's thickness makes it perfect to add on top of oatbran, or to make into a....

Lemon Sesame Sauce

I am partaking in Maggie's challenge, and realized that I have yet to write about it. One of the parts is to try a new meal each week, and this is where my dinner from last night comes in: I made Toasted red and white quinoa, topped with steamed veggies and Lemon Sesame Sauce. Unforunately I was unable to take photos, because I was simply enjoying the meal so much. But here's how to make the sauce:

Into a blender throw:
~1tbsp sesame seeds
~1 tbsp sesame butter (or tahini)
~a splash of water
~2tsp of olive oil
~as much lemon juice as you like...I think I used at least 1/2 a lemon? But I love lemon!

That's it! Just whir it up until it's nice and creamy.
When it was time to serve it over the quinoa and veggies, I added a bit of hot water to dilute it, and also added in 1-2 tsp of toasted sesame oil (the most delicious ingredient ever). I just stirred it up and poured it over. Next time, I probably won't dilute it...it was wonderful all nice and thick.

Maggie's Challenge:
So, how have I been doing with Maggie's challenge, you ask?

Yoga: Well, the yoga part is going okay. I do yoga normally 6 days/week...I have been maintaining this, sometimes a bit of a less intense practice, and last week I skipped a few days.

Walking: This has been great, and definitely the most enjoyable part of the challenge. When the nice weather hits, walking just feels so right. Even if it is only 15 minutes outside.

New Meals Each Week: This has been going pretty well...I have tried some of the new nut butters, and this new sesame sauce. I have also eaten out a few times (not the greatest), but have tried new meals then. At sushi the other day, I order Chirashi for the first time (a big bowl of sushi rice, topped with tons of different sashimi). I also had a new thai dish with spinach and peanut sauce. I'm trying to make more things on my own though. And maybe just some new combos of old ingredients, like brown rice, kabocha, cinnamon, and rice syrup for dessert? Yes? I think so!

Eat Big Dinner With Not so much snacking after . Maggie updated her part of the challenge to not worry so much about this one, because it is just so frickin' hard. Seriously. I am trying to work on it too, but i'm not sure how realistic it is. We'll see. I'm not too concerned with this one, and am mostly working on the other parts.

Going organic with greens . I usually eat kale and collards, which I can ONLY find at my local organic market, so that's good. I also started eating spinach again (I don't normally eat it so much), and I just buy the organic tubs. Check!

Green Oats . Heck yes. I have been eating at least one, sometimes two bowls a day, and absolutely love it. The morning one is usually with spinach. If I have time, I will also do steamed kale/carrots/collards/kabocha all blended up into a disgusting looking delicious monstrosity. I'm pretty sure that anything green added in would be great...has anyone tried it with swiss or red chard? I bet broccoli would be awesome too.

Something of my own I have been following coco's challenge, and trying to not stuff myself too full at each meal. This has been going fairly well, but is definitely something I need to continuously work on. I have also been trying to eat more good fat. So far, I feel great about it. I eat way more seeds, more avocado, some coconut butter and some dark cocoa (for health purposes only, of course). I feel way fuller, and I think it is helping with dry skin, and perhaps some hormone issues. Mmmm. Pumpkin seeds:

Want to meet my new best friend?


Heather mentioned how sometimes she eats straight up baking chocolate, unsweetened, and delicious. I am guilty of that too. But this baby, though more expensive is ABSOLUTELY worth every cent. The best thing (other than its miraculously smooth texture, and very very low amount of sugar--only 3g for 3 amazing squares), is that there is NO soy lecithin added. Lots of organic chocolate bars, even dark ones, have this added in. Because i'm trying to avoid soy, this is wonderful news. I'll still eat chocolate with it, if there is nothing else, but if you don't need to, then why would you? Have you tried this chocolate yet? What do you think?

I wrote awhile back about all the gongshow hormone stuff going on in my body, and about my month of super clean eating. I'm going to post tomorrow (hopefully), with some updates, and some results that may explain some of my symptoms (some insight, finally).

I'll leave you with this awful sign I saw by a playground, that made me giggle:


Talk about no fun.

Hopefully your day is filled with lots of excitement, and fun--maybe not in the sand-throwing spitting form though. haha.