Cooking Heals the Soul: Stuffed Mushrooms and Spicy Asparagus & Tempeh

21 Feb

I’ve had a few bad days in a row, but before I get too down on myself I grab a wooden spoon, a pan, oil and some vegetables and my world restores back to order.  Everything I worry about is lost in the recipe.  I’m in the moment making the perfect meal and my thoughts don’t haunt me.  Instead of worrying about work, bills, relationships, etcetera, I’m focused on measuring the right amount of ingredients and not burning the food.

Last night I cooked a meal that healed my soul.

As a starter I made Mouth-Watering Stuffed Mushrooms and then finished with an entrée of Spicy Asparagus and Tempeh.  Here’s how I altered the recipes to spice things up and make them my own:

The Mouth-Watering Stuffed Mushrooms kept true to its name.  Next time I’ll make more than 6 mushrooms because a few just weren’t enough to quench my appetite of this tasty delight.  Instead of real cream cheese I used the vegan version, Tofutti, and I substituted the parmesan cheese with the soy variation from Galaxy Nutritional Foods.  I added 2 tablespoons of shredded mozzarella soy cheese and doubled all the spices.  The vegan version with extra spice was extremely flavorful and delicious!

The Spicy Asparagus and Tempeh put Thai take-out to shame.  I did not include the mushrooms because I didn’t have this particular ingredient, so I added a little chopped broccoli to the dish instead.  I also didn’t have cornstarch, so I used all-purpose flour, which worked well as a thickening agent.  I like a lot of spice so I used 1 tablespoon of crushed red pepper instead of the measly 1/2 teaspoon that the recipe suggested, and I added 2 teaspoons each of nutritional yeast, ground ginger and onion powder.  I cooked the asparagus far longer than the recommended 3 minutes because I like my vegetables tender in stir-fry meals.  I don’t like a lot of rice so I only cooked 1 cup and it was the perfect amount.  I added green peas, a little vegan butter and a splash of vegetable broth to the cooked rice which made it more moist and flavorful.  This dish is a healthy addition to my stir-fry recipe collection.

Thanks to this meal, my heart wasn’t as heavy as when I began cooking.  The ingredients to a great recipe like last night’s are enough therapy to restore my soul.

Vege-meter for stuffed mushrooms: 9

Vege-meter for asparagus-tempeh: 8

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One Response to “Cooking Heals the Soul: Stuffed Mushrooms and Spicy Asparagus & Tempeh”

  1. Toni Scheafer February 25, 2011 at 4:50 am #

    Hey Ali- hpw is everything? Your mom sent me an email about your blog. Denny and I signed up. Can not wait to see and test what else you cook up!!! Sounds like fun. Say hi to Kevin.

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