mushrooms

Vegetables, mushrooms and chickpeas in homemade sweet and sour sauce - Λαχανικά, μανιτάρια και ρεβύθια με σπιτική γλυκόξινη σάλτσα - Vegan in Athens

Vegan sweet and sour vegetables and mushrooms

When I started my blog “Vegan in Athens”, as a small contribution to animal rights and veganism, I had decided that I would share Greek and Mediterranean vegan recipes and indeed that’s what I try to do. On the other hand, I could not abstain from writing about recipes that, although not created under the Mediterranean sun, are an important part of our modern (vegan) eating culture. One such example is the vegan Russian salad, for which I wrote about in the previous post, and now the well-known sweet and sour sauce from China for which I am going to write today. In fact I will tell you about my Greek and vegan approach of the sauce, which can be used either as a dipping or pouring-over for a meal or as a sauce which is cooked together with various ingredients such as vegetables and tofu.

Vegetables, mushrooms and chickpeas in homemade sweet and sour sauce - Λαχανικά, μανιτάρια και ρεβύθια με σπιτική γλυκόξινη σάλτσα - Vegan in Athens

Since the ingredients traditionally found in Chinese cuisine are quite different from those found in Greece, I adjusted my recipe in order to create an easy, budget, vegan sweet and sour sauce, mainly made with ingredients that grow locally. So when we are in the mood for something more “exotic” I often stir-fry some fresh vegetables and mushrooms, adding a source of plant protein, such as chickpeas and afterwards I mix with my Greek-Chinese sweet and sour sauce. For this purpose I use local, fresh products that are easy to find and affordable to purchase. Thus instead of using pineapple, I use freshly squeezed orange juice, instead of sesame oil, olive oil and instead of rice vinegar, apple-cider or white vinegar. When I want to keep the recipe sugar-free I like to use agave nectar instead of sugar.

Vegetables, mushrooms and chickpeas in homemade sweet and sour sauce - Λαχανικά, μανιτάρια και ρεβύθια με σπιτική γλυκόξινη σάλτσα - Vegan in Athens

Sweet and sour vegetables and mushrooms are delicious, easy and quick to prepare. Basically you only have to saute the vegetables together with the mushrooms and then add the mixture of the sauce. The addition of corn starch is a trick that is used in order to thicken the sauce without adding large amounts of fat. Another useful little secret to maintain your vegetables crunchy and tasty, is to saute them in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, stirring regularly, for a few minutes (if you have a large wok that’s fantastic, but mine was ruined long time ago and till then it serves as a flower pot). After sauteing, you simply add the sauce and simmer for a while before serving. This delicious dish can be served with rice or noodles.

Vegetables, mushrooms and chickpeas in homemade sweet and sour sauce - Λαχανικά, μανιτάρια και ρεβύθια με σπιτική γλυκόξινη σάλτσα - Vegan in Athens

Ingredients

  • 1 large red bell pepper cut into strips
  • 1 large orange bell pepper cut into strips
  • 2 medium carrots cut into strips
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped cabbage (we can use regular white or Chinese cabbage or bok choy)
  • 2 cups (250 g) white mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 spring onions or 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 piece of ginger about 4 cm peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups chickpeas, cooked and drained
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

Vegetables, mushrooms and chickpeas in homemade sweet and sour sauce - Λαχανικά, μανιτάρια και ρεβύθια με σπιτική γλυκόξινη σάλτσα - Vegan in Athens

for the sauce

  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar (preferably apple-cider)
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar or other sweetener
  • 1/2 cup slightly concentrated tomato juice
  • 2 level tablespoons cornflour
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

Vegetables, mushrooms and chickpeas in homemade sweet and sour sauce - Λαχανικά, μανιτάρια και ρεβύθια με σπιτική γλυκόξινη σάλτσα - Vegan in Athens

Method

1. Add the olive oil in a large frying pan and saute the vegetables and ginger over medium-high heat, stirring often, for about fifteen minutes or until slightly tender but crunchy. Add the chickpeas, salt and pepper and stir.
2. In a bowl, mix the orange juice, tomato, vinegar and lemon. Add the corn starch and mix well until completely dissolved.
3. Pour sauce mixture to the pan, stir and as soon as it comes to boil reduce the heat and simmer for five minutes, until the sauce thickens. Serve immediately with cooked rice or noodles.

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Vegan traditional Greek Easter magiritsa – mushroom, greens and leek soup - Βέγκαν, πικάντικη μαγειρίτσα με μανιτάρια και αρωματικά χορταρικά - Veganinathens.com

Vegan traditional Greek Easter soup with mushrooms, greens and leeks

Well, I have no idea how do Christian people in other countries celebrate Easter, but Greeks definitely pay a lot attention to that. It is considered so important that its celebration is prepared throughout the Holy Week. For example on Holy Wednesday we bake Greek Easter cookies, on Holy Thursday non-vegans dye eggs red, on Holy Saturday the dinner that takes place after midnight is prepared. One essential dish is the traditional Greek Easter soup, which is called “magiritsa”. This soup is supposed to highlight the end of the Lent and it is eaten usually after the Pasqua midnight.

Although the traditional recipe is anything but vegan –I don’t even want to mention what it is made of- Greek vegans and vegetarians, prepare a cruelty-free but super-tasty version of this dish with mushrooms. Today I cooked my vegan version of the traditional magiritsa with a variety of mushrooms, green leafy vegetables, leeks, hot pepper and spices for a more authentic taste.

Traditionally the soup is “thickened” with the well-known “avgolemono” -a sauce made of eggs and lemon juice. Instead of that, I added creaminess and even more taste to my dish with a combination of tahini, corn flour and nutritional yeast.

So, whether religious or not give this filling starter a try! It is so yummy and warming that one may want to enjoy it more often than just Easter.

Vegan traditional Greek Easter magiritsa – mushroom, greens and leek soup - Βέγκαν, πικάντικη μαγειρίτσα με μανιτάρια και αρωματικά χορταρικά - Veganinathens.com

Ingredients

  •  750 g fresh mushrooms (I used oyster as well as white and brown button mushrooms)
  •  2 medium leeks, chopped
  •  5 medium spring onions, chopped
  •  3 tbsp rice
  •  ¼ cup olive oil
  •  200g lettuce leaves coarsely chopped (1 medium lettuce)
  •  200 g chards, coarsely chopped (1 bunch)
  •  1 bell red pepper, chopped
  •  1 cup dill, chopped
  •  ½ cup white wine
  •  3 cups vegetable broth (or water)
  •  1 tsp dry, hot chili pepper flakes
  •  1 tsp ground cumin
  •  1 tsp curry powder
  •  salt and freshly ground pepper

For the lemon and tahini sauce (tahinolemono)

  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp corn flour
  • ¼ cup lemon juice

Vegan traditional Greek Easter magiritsa – mushroom, greens and leek soup - Βέγκαν, πικάντικη μαγειρίτσα με μανιτάρια και αρωματικά χορταρικά - Vegan in Athens

Method

  1. Wipe the mushrooms thoroughly with a damp cloth and cut into pieces.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil and pour the onions and leeks chopped. Sauté lightly and add the mushrooms. Increase heat, add the wine and let cook for 5 minutes
  3. Add the lettuce, chard and dill and stir until wilted. Add the broth (or water), the salt and the spices and simmer for about 20 minutes over low heat. About ten minutes before removing from heat, add the rice and stir.
  4. Prepare the “tahinolemono”: In a bowl, mix the lemon juice, 2-3 spoons of broth, the nutritional yeast, corn flour and the tahini paste, stir well, pour in the soup and bring to boil. After 1 minute turn off the heat. Serve hot with a sprinkle of lemon juice and maybe an extra touch of hot pepper.

Vegan traditional Greek Easter magiritsa – mushroom, greens and leek soup - Βέγκαν, πικάντικη μαγειρίτσα με μανιτάρια και αρωματικά χορταρικά - Vegan in Athens

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Sweet and sour pickled mushrooms - Γλυκόξινα μανιτάρια τουρσί - Veganinathens.com

Sweet and sour pickled mushrooms

I love fresh mushrooms and when they are in season we buy different varieties and keep them in the fridge until we use them in some recipe. In the farmer’s market that takes place in my neighborhood, one can find various kinds of fresh mushrooms –actually they are so fresh and delicious that I want to have them all!

Last Saturday I bought three different kinds of fresh mushrooms –Portobello, Pleurotus and Agaricus and, since fresh, local, mushrooms will soon not be available, I decided to prepare pickled mushrooms in order to preserve them and be able to enjoy them for longer. To spice up things I added in my recipe herbs, spices and some orange juice, which gives a mild sweet flavor.

For this recipe I used equal amounts of Pleurotus mushrooms, Agaricus and Portobello. We like to eat pickled mushrooms as a meze with our lunch or dinner but what I like the most is to add them in sandwiches -their sour and sweet, spicy taste make them much more interesting!

Sweet and sour pickled mushrooms - Γλυκόξινα μανιτάρια τουρσί - Vegan in Athens

Ingredients

  • 600 g fresh mushrooms
  • 1 large carrot, sliced
  • 1 big red bell-pepper, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¾ cup orange juice
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar or other white vinegar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper seeds (various colors)

Sweet and sour pickled mushrooms - Γλυκόξινα μανιτάρια τουρσί - Vegan in Athens

Method

  1. Clean the outer surface of the mushrooms with a damp towel and chop them.
  2. In a saucepan add the water, the orange juice, the vinegar and the salt and bring to boil. Add the chopped mushrooms, the vegetables, the herbs and the spices and boil for 2-3 more minutes.
  3. Remove from heat, divide the mushrooms together with the herbs, vegetables in 2 sterilized jars, add enough broth from the pan to cover and let them cool. Cover the jars and keep in the fridge.
  4. Wait 2-3 days for the flavors and taste to develop and after that they will be ready to enjoy!

Sweet and sour pickled mushrooms - Γλυκόξινα μανιτάρια τουρσί - Vegan in Athens

 

 

 

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