Sunday, January 8, 2012


A lot of people think that we vegetarians miss out on a lot of foods. I don't think that's true -- if one thinks creatively, one can cook most anything without the meat. Even before I became vegetarian, almost 15 years ago, it was all about the spices and seasonings. So now as I venture deeper into cooking, I experiment using the same seasonings from the dishes from my past, but without the meat. Simple! The trick for a healthy diet is not to forget your protein source, which can be found in tofu, lentils, beans, tempeh, seitan (wheat gluten), soy protein, quorn (mushroom protein), eggs and vegetables.

So it goes with stroganoff. I first ate it 2 years ago when my husband's brother prepared it for us with quorn instead of meat. It was so delicious! It was really thoughtful of him to do that. I had to get the recipe, which he said was quite simple -- onions, mushrooms, tomato paste, paprika and creme fraiche. I made my husband make it at home, and we ended up adding some other ingredients which make this most delicious and really quick, unlike many Indian dishes. 

Stroganoff originated from Russia and was traditionally eaten over a bed of rice. We chose to eat it with a mixture of brown and red rice, but feel free to eat with white rice or egg noodles. 

Serves 4

1 medium onion, chopped
2 tbs olive oil
230g (10 - 12) button mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp red chili flakes
1 tsp Hungarian sweet paprika
1/2 tsp herb de provence
3 tbs tomato paste
1 tbs Dijon mustard
1 tbs flour
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
1 tbs fresh parsley, chopped
Protein of your choice - quorn, seitan, soy protein, tofu, about 400g

Heat oil and saute the onion until soft on medium low heat. Then add the mushrooms, garlic, paprika powder, chili flakes and herb de provence and cook on medium heat. Once the mushrooms cook down, stir in the flour and cook for a minute. Add the tomato paste, mustard, salt, half of the parsley, quorn (or other protien) and water and simmer on low heat for 7 - 10 minutes, or until the protein is cooked. Add the creme fraiche and cook until heated through. Garnish with the remaining parsley and serve over rice or noodles. 


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