And just like that, it’s 2017. Happy New Year, my friends!
Early January can bring a lot of pressure to set extreme New Year’s resolutions. Resolutions that temporarily fill the gym like a can of sardines, resolutions that involve crazy fad diets, and resolutions that encourage hard-and-fast rules with zero room for deviation. It can get a bit too crazy, a bit too fast - don’t ya think?!
This year I’m skipping the aggressive new year’s resolutions and opting for moderation. Partly because my fear of commitment makes it hard to get excited about doing (or eating) the same thing every day. Sure I love kale (a lot), but there’s no way I’m living on straight up kale for the next year. This lady still needs her pasta every now and again.
For days when your body is craving a nourishing and cozy meal, I encourage you to tuck into this vegetarian mushroom stroganoff. It’s comforting in the way that only carbs can be. And you can still feel good about it, I promise. Traditional stroganoff is loaded with meat, butter and sour cream. This lighter version switches out the meat for an extra big serving of umami-packed mushrooms (yay veggies). A combination of flour, vegetable stock and dairy-free milk forms a creamy sauce that covers every morsel of pasta. The sauce is so satisfying, it reminds me of a pasta-friendly mushroom gravy. And who doesn’t like gravy? Instead of butter, I use a neutral oil (like sunflower seed). These easy swaps make a better-for-you pasta that you can feel good about digging into. Because, it is the new year after all.
After a holiday full of cooking, I’m really digging the “one pot”-ness of this dish. Personally, I think there are some one pot recipes that could benefit from a second pot. But this one definitely isn’t it. And, given my approach to cooking has been described as a “mini hurricane” (direct quote from Anguel)...it’s always a bonus when kitchen cleanup is contained. As is often the case with one pot pasta dishes, you’ll want to keep an eye on your noodles as they cook. If it looks like they need a bit more liquid, add some more stock to loosen up the sauce and allow the noodles to cook. If you’re using egg noodles, they cook pretty quickly so make sure to stay on your toes! Overcooked noodles suck.
Season the dish with salt and pepper to suite your taste, because seasonings of vegetable stock can vary greatly by brand. For garnish, top with a generous serving of fresh parsley and a sprinkle of cheese. If you eat dairy, then hard Italian cheese (grated) works great. Vegans, opt for a dairy-free version, obviously (this brazil nut parmesan is delish).
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil, divided (or other neutral oil)
- 1 large yellow onion, diced (about 2 cups)
- 1 lb cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme (leaves)
- 3 tablespoons all purpose flour (or spelt flour)
- 3½ cups vegetable broth (the best you can find, see note 1)
- 7 oz dried broad egg noodles (see note 2)
- ½ cup non-dairy milk (unflavored and unsweetened)
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- Parmesan cheese (for garnish, see note 3)
- Chopped flat-leaf parsley (for garnish)
- Sauté onion: Heat 1 tablespoon of the grapeseed oil in large skillet (or pot) over medium-high heat. Add onion, sauté until translucent and golden at the edges, about 6 minutes.
- Add mushrooms: Add mushrooms, sauté until golden brown and any liquid is cooked off, about 8 minutes.
- Build sauce: Reduce heat to medium. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of grapeseed oil, garlic, and thyme. Cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in flour until vegetables are evenly coated. Pour in vegetable stock, stirring vigorously to prevent clumps and scrape any brown bits off the pan.
- Cook noodles: Let mixture come to a boil. Then, add (uncooked) noodles and non-dairy milk. Use a spoon to stir the noodles so they're evenly covered with liquid. Cook, stirring every couple of minutes (so the noodles cook evenly), until the noodles are al dente, about 8 minutes. Keep an eye on the noodles: if the pan starts to look dry, add a splash of more stock. Stir as the noodles cook, so they don't stick to the pan; but be gentle as to avoid breaking the noodles.
- Season and serve: Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with cheese and parsley, and serve immediately.
- Vegetable broth: There aren't a lot of ingredients in this dish, so the vegetable broth you use will have a big impact on flavor. Use the best you can find. We highly recommend using Better than Bouillon (either the No Beef Vegetarian or Organic Vegetable Base).
- Broad egg noodles: Also sometimes labelled German Egg Noodles. Broad egg noodles are thin and slightly wavy. They are different than Spaetzle-type noodles (which tend to be twisted). For a vegan option, use pappardelle noodles.
- Parmesan cheese: Imported Parmesan cheese typically contains animal-based rennet. If you wish to avoid this, look for cheese labelled as "vegetarian friendly" or lists "microbial enzymes" (instead of rennet) as an ingredient. Asiago cheese is also a good alternative. For a vegan option, use a vegan Parmesan substitute such as store-bought shredded or homemade nut-based Parmesan (or leave it out altogether and season with more salt).