Vegan Stroganoff

December 9th, 2011 | Tags: ,

This food writing thing is starting to look like a pattern. It occurred to me today that by not writing frequently, I’m engaging in a pattern of thought-hoarding, which fits in with my tendency to ’save’ other things (computer hardware and paperwork are the most pernicious of these). So I guess I’ll try to ride the food wave into more regular writing. Being vegetarian (with a vegan partner) means needing a fair amount of creativity in the kitchen, or at least a breadth of good recipes so you can fake it. Most frequently I rely on Vegan Dad (linked to in the blogroll) or Isa Chandra’s lineup of books and online recipes. But I have one recipe that I have been crafting over the last decade that is mostly my own, and nets high marks consistently even from the most steadfast omnivores. That is, my vegan stroganoff.

It’s pretty straightforward, really; it just requires a small amount of preparation. Just before you start veg prep, soak a little less than 3/4c TVP in 3/4c vegetable stock (or a water/soy sauce mix, but homemade veggie stock is cheap and easy to make). Then take a brick of silken tofu (I prefer the Mori-Nu aseptic packs) and mix in a food processor with about a tablespoon of olive oil, 1/4t salt, and about half a lemon’s worth of lemon juice. This is the “sour cream.”

Once that’s out of the way, you just start throwing it all together. Basically you saute over medium heat a nicely-chopped onion and a stupid, ungodly amount of thinly-sliced mushrooms (though you might call it a godly amount if you’re a fungus-worshiper like myself). Add to that minced garlic (or granulated if you don’t feel like mincing garlic), and then some herbs (parsley and thyme are nice), salt, and pepper to taste. Once most of the moisture is gone, add the TVP, which should have mostly soaked up the stock by now. It’ll add a little bit of moisture to the pan to deglaze any scorching. Cook the TVP for about 5 minutes, maybe 10 if you cut the heat down, and then add the sour cream. Let the heat get through it, stirring thoroughly, and when you start to see it bubbling again it’s chow time! I like to serve this over rice or short noodles. Egg noodles are traditional, of course, but if it’s got starch it’ll probably be ok.

This recipe changes just about every time I make it. Sometimes I play with the consistency of the sour cream; other times I change up the herbs or veg base. Celery is not unheard of, nor is eggplant. But I have laid out the basics, and it’s out there for you to play with now. Bon appetit!

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