Last year, after two years of being a pescatarian and almost 2 years of being a vegetarian I started playing around with the idea of *becoming a vegan. This led to quite a bit of experimenting and I thought I would share a vegan recipe I came up with during that time that I have made over and over ever since.
I got the idea for this recipe because my father is from Mexico and my mother is Honduran. It is in my DNA to crave carne asada. I read on many vegan blog sites how Portobello mushrooms can work as a steak substitute so I thought I would come up with a quick dinner dish centered around portobellos. In a nod to my love of carne asada I gave the dish a **Latin American twist by including cumin, avocado,cucumber and the like to my recipe. The result was a savory and filling dinner that takes no longer than 15-20 minutes to prepare.
*I finally went vegan on March 19th the day of the Vegan Street Fair check out my photo diary of the event here Vegan Street Fair: Los Angeles
**I hate the word “Latin American”. I prefer indigenous but it takes to long too explain why and would distract from my point to use it…for now.
Here is my recipe:
2 Portobello mushrooms
2 Tsp Olive oil
2 Cups of water
1 Cup quinoa
2-3 Dashes cumin
2-3 Dashes salt
2-3 Dashes pepper
2-3 Dashes cayenne pepper
1 tsp of Cayenne (a few more dashes for cucumber and tomato mix)
Tortillas…whatever amount your heart desires.
Preparing the Quinoa:
Put 2 cups of water, and one cup of uncooked quinoa in a sauce pan on high heat. As its cooking stir in 1 tsp of olive oil, a dash of salt and a tsp of cayenne pepper.
Bring it to a boil. Once it is at a “rolling boil” bring it down the lowest heat possible and cover it
After about 15 minutes the quinoa should be done but feel free to check on it after 8 minutes or so. You will know it is done because the germ of the quinoa will start separating from the seed. In other words you will see tiny little spirals that are a lighter color, more “opaque” in a sense than the rest of the quinoa. Call me crazy but it is a delicate and beautiful sight to behold. I sometimes wonder if the spiral is consistent with the golden ratio. However, I’m no math wiz so I’ll stick to just wondering. Moving on….
While the quinoa is cooking chop up the tomato, cucumber and slice up the avocado.
Mix the tomato and cucumber together and sprinkle a dash of cayenne pepper and salt over the mix and over the avocados as well.
Squeeze the whole lime over the cucumber and tomato and mix again.
Cut the portobello mushrooms into slices of whatever thickness you prefer. Gently rub a few dashes of cumin, salt, and pepper on to the slices. Very gently!
Grill them on low to medium heat on your favorite skillet or pan for about 6 minutes.
Warm up some tortillas. Eat them as a side or wrap them around the portobello slices to create a makeshift taco.
Plate and serve.
HELPFUL TIP: IN ORDER TO MAKE THIS PREPARATION QUICK, PREPARE QUINOA FIRST AND START DOING EVERYTHING ELSE AS SOON AS THAT QUINOA IS WORKING
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