There really is nothing like comfort foods to get through the grey months after the holiday season is over. If you’re anything like me January is a very sad month after all the excitement of December. It’s pretty drab where I live in Northern Idaho right now. I can usually count on at least having a white blanket of snow to brighten these months that seem so long. While I don’t like having to drive in snow it does improve my mood in the Winter. This year seems determined to be fickle and throw all kinds of weather at us. Earlier this week we had the craziest wind storm. Downtown Coeur d’ Alene was out of power all day and trees were falling everywhere. Such a crazy day. I’d be curious to know if your area is getting strange weather too. (let me know in the comments.)
So let’s talk about stroganoff…
Traditionally made with beef, it has always been a favorite of mine. If you think it impossible to make without meat, think again. This version is creamy, savory, and packed with delicious mushroom and onion flavor. The sauce is made with cashews as the base. I use cashews pretty often for their mild flavor. They really do make the best dairy free cream sauces that even impress my friends that swear all vegan food tastes terrible.
Mushrooms are the true hero of this recipe with that amazing umami flavor they bring to the table. They have always been a favorite of mine but I think they fall into the category of foods that people seem to either love or hate. I think it’s the texture for most people. I happen to love them but it you or your family happen to enjoy the flavor but not the texture, guess what? They can be blended into the sauce to hide them while keeping all that delicious flavor. I use that trick all the time when cooking for kids.
Okay, let’s break this simple recipe down before you try it…
Start by soaking the cashews. They only need about 4 hours if starting with cold water but if you’re in a hurry you can simply use boiling water and wait about 10 minutes.
While the cashews are soaking, get the water going for the pasta and chop the veggies. Get the onion and garlic cooking in a saucepan, I like to use vegetable broth as needed to sauté them but feel free to use oil if you prefer.
Now while everything is cooking, drain the cashews and put in a blender or food processor with the other random ingredients, then blend until really creamy.
By now the pasta water should be ready so add the noodles to the water and stir; once those are ready, drain them and rinse in cold water. But while those boil, add the mushrooms to the sauté pan and cook for a few minutes until they start to soften. [Now, if you’re going to use my little blending trick to hide the mushrooms this is where you’d take the onion/mushrooms off the heat and cool enough to add them to the blender. If you want them whole then you just skip that.]
It’s finally time to add the cashew sauce. Pour it in and scrape as much of that goodness out of the blender (I’m so bad about this, I’ll spend way too long scraping bowls. ;p) Reduce the heat to low and simmer the sauce with everything in the pan for about 15 minutes to let the flavors develop. Now you’ll want to add as much salt and pepper as your heart desires and taste the sauce. You might also need to add a little more vegetable stock or milk if it’s gotten too thick.
Last step, add the pasta to the sauce and stir it all together. Serve topped with fresh parsley for aesthetics if you like (I totally forgot to buy fresh for these photos so it’s definitely dried in the pics. Go me.*facepalm*)
If you decide to try this recipe I am always excited to know what you think. Oh, and don’t forget to tag me on Instagram if you share a photo. 😉
Creamy Mushroom Stroganoff (Vegan+GF)
Stroganoff, traditionally made with beef, it has always been a favorite of mine. If you think it impossible to make without meat, think again. This version is creamy, savory, and packed with delicious mushroom and onion flavor. The sauce is made with cashews as the perfect cream base.
- 8 ounces rotini pasta use gluten free if you like
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 cups mushrooms sliced
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon coconut aminos can be replaced with tamari or soy sauce if not gluten free
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon fresh parsley
- 2 cups plant-based milk
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch or cornstarch if you don't have it
- 1 cup raw cashews soaked for at least 4 hours in cold water or 10 minutes in boiling water
- 1 cup plant-based milk
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 - 2 cups vegetable broth
Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package instructions. Once done, rinse in cold water and set aside.
While the pasta cooks, combine the onions and garlic in a non-stick saucepan and place over medium high heat and add enough vegetable broth to prevent them from sticking. Stir over heat until the onions are translucent, adding more broth as needed. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 3 minutes until they begin to cook.
Drain and rinse the cashews then combine with milk, coconut aminos, nutritional yeast, onion powder, vinegar, and starch in a blender or food processor and blend until completely smooth. Add the cream mixture to the saucepan.
Reduce heat to low and stir until the sauce begins to thicken. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes. Add additional liquid (milk or broth) as needed if sauce gets too thick. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Once the sauce is ready, stir the pasta in and serve topped with chopped parsley if desired. Leftovers last well for up to a week in the fridge.