So we’ve gone (very temporarily) vegan. I’d like to say that it is in response to the shame I feel from a week of road trip food and a recent stuffed-crust-pizza-breakdown (YOLO). But in reality, we’re seriously lacking in a vegan option for the Steve’s Deli menu and I do my best work under tight constraints.
When it comes to food, I generally have no moral compass. I mean, I love cute things as much as the next lady, but I felt a pretty close bond with my houseplants and I’ve let a few of those have suffer a lingering, attention starved death. So, I don’t let myself get dragged down by the emotional burden of my fried chicken’s feelings any more than I would my stuffed pepper’s feelings. Where I do majorly empathize with those following a vegan diet is the lack of quality options. Why does the cranberry walnut seitan salad from down the street taste like hippy sweat? Why is my vegan vegi dip over-salted to the point of actual physical pain?
My main focus in this experiment was flavor. I always fall on the side of savory, and I found myself doing a delicate dance around replicating meat and showcasing the inherent qualities of the ingredients at hand. Even after surveying friends from varying dietary restrictions, I still came up short for what the vegan holy grail of sandwiches was, so this recipe was a way to explore both ends of the spectrum.
We recently visited a local store dedicated to foraging and picked up some black trumpet mushrooms. We used those to compliment portabello, adding dark miso and raw cacao for a meatier flavor and rounding out the rest of the mixture with odds and ends from our Penn’s Corner box. We topped off the peppers with a cashew goat cheese we’d made earlier in the week.
- Preheat oven to 350*
- Remove pepper caps and clean
- Chop mushrooms and set aside
- Saute onions, garlic, and kale in olive oil until tender.
- Blend remaining ingredients until smooth. Add liquid as needed.
- Toss mushrooms in mixture and place into peppers, leaving room for cheese.
- Pack end of pepper with cashew goat cheese.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until peppers are tender.
- 1 portobello mushroom
- 2 tbsp black trumpet mushrooms
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 young onion
- 1 garlic scrape
- 4 purple kale leaves
- 1 tbsp dark miso
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 inch piece of ginger
- 1 tbsp cacao nibs
- 1 tsp salt
- 1tsp black pepper corns