Now and then I experiment in the kitchen and it actually GOES WELL! Without too much babble about how this came about, I'll be introducing you to your newest dairy-free, vegan derivative of a family favourite...
VEGAN LENTIL MUSHROOM STROGANOFF!
This came together on a whim, thinking for a second I wanted to use up cabbage and make lazy cabbage rolls, but then wanting to steer away from tomato-ey tastes and whip up something savoury without too much tang.
Starting my adventure, I got busy on the phone for a minute and accidentally charred some of the cabbage, but no harm done. It added to the depth of flavour and crisped up some of the pieces. (I'm human too :D )
I found a can of coconut milk and then thought, "Curry remake!" from one of my fave restaurants, Padmanadi, but then settled on bringing creamy and savoury together with some dried thyme and fresh dill. A non-dairy free option would be to garnish with plain yogurt, but I preferred the fully-committed version with dairy-free sour cream to top.
It's a beautiful thing. A happy accident. And I'll try my best to recreate it for you here below...
Dairy-Free Lentil Mushroom Stroganoff
(Serves 4. Vegan Option, Gluten-free Option, Raw)
2 cups wild and brown rice - into the rice cooker with 1 tbsp vegan margarine, 1 tsp onion powder, and 1/2 tsp salt (takes 1 hour)
4 cups chopped napa cabbage
2 large cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp vinegar
Dash salt and pepper
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
2 cups brown lentils (must be brown to get that certain spike - the others are too mild)
1 veggie bouillon cube or 1 tsp veggie bouillon powder
Optional toppings per serving:
2 tbsp vegan sour cream or light plain yogurt
1 tbsp fresh chopped dill (this really makes it!)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 tbsp grated aged cheddar cheese
Start the rice in the rice cooker (or over stove top or in the oven if you're confident with that!) an hour before you'd like to dine.
Pour the lentils into 4 cups of water in a saucepan and set on high heat on stovetop. When boiling, reduce heat just enough to keep at a rolling boil. When the liquid is halfway used up, add the veggie cube and stir in, then cook until lentils are done and soft - in total about 20 to 25 minutes.
When the rice starts cooking, chop the cabbage and crush the garlic cloves, and place in a large "flatter" stir-fry pan and fry with 1 tsp olive oil on high heat. Add the salt, pepper, lemon juice and vinegar. Chop your mushrooms. When the cabbage is somewhat wilted and perhaps even starts to brown, add the mushrooms and cook until soft, in total about 20 minutes.
Chop fresh dill. Spoon onto a plate or into a bowl in this order: 2/3 cup rice, 2 cups cabbage mixture, 2/3 cup lentils, sour cream topping, and then sprinkle dill on top. Serve hot and enjoy!