Oyster Mushroom Shawarma

'Shroom Shawarma | veganblonde.com
Oyster Mushroom Shawarma | veganblonde.com

Back in the days, in Montréal, after a night out, we would go and stuff our face with shish taouk and chicken shawarma sandwiches. That was the best 4 a.m. indulgence. I would always ask for extra toum, that silky Lebanese garlic sauce that makes your breath stink for days! Alas, morning would always remind you of that fact. Seriously though, these ‘shrooms taste, feel, and look so much like the meat version, you could play tricks on people! Try to find the best possible oyster mushrooms for extremely decadent results!

  • 2 lbs oyster mushrooms, wiped clean with a moist paper towel
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Preheat the oven to 375˚.

Prepare the mushrooms by pulling them apart into strings. Keep some chunkier parts for a meatier texture. Place the strings in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze the water out of the mushrooms. You will need to do this in 3-4 batches. Transfer the strings to a large mixing bowl.

In a small mixing bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients. Add to the mushroom strings and mix well with your hands to make sure all the strings are well coated. Transfer the strings to a large parchment-lined baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, stirring twice. Broil for 2-5 minutes.

Serve in a pita, garnished with tahini or toum, lettuce, tomatoes, tabbouleh… Or in a salad… Or do like me and eat half the sheet after it’s out of the oven!

Let me know if you try this recipe! Leave a comment, rate it, or tag a photo using #THEVeganBlonde on Instagram or Facebook. Bon appétit!

En français…

Pleurotes Shawarma

Les nuits à Montréal se terminaient souvent par une visite chez Sara ou Amir, pour se bourrer la face de shish taouk et shawarma! Quoi de mieux, à quatre heures du matin, qu’un sandwich extra sauce à l’ail? Bien tassé avec l’alcool de la veille, on s’assurait un réveil tout en beauté… Mais sérieusement, cette recette de pleurotes shawarma est tellement fidèle à l’originale, c’est à si méprendre! Il est important de trouver des pleurotes frais pour un résultat hyper décadent!

  • 2 lb de pleurotes, essuyés délicatement avec un linge humide
  • 2 c. à soupe + 1 c. à thé de piment de la Jamaïque broyé
  • 1 c. à soupe de poivre noir
  • 1 c. à thé de cannelle
  • 1 1/2 c. à thé de cumin
  • 1 1/2 c. à thé de coriandre moulue
  • 2 c. à thé de sel de mer
  • 1/4 tasse d’huile d’olive

Préchauffer le four à 375˚.

Préparer les pleurotes en les séparant en lanières avec les mains. Séparer certaines lanières plus grosses que d’autres pour assurer une texture qui se rapproche de la viande. Placer les lanières dans un linge à vaisselle propre et tordre afin d’en extraire l’eau. Vous devrez procéder en 3 ou 4 fois. Placer les lanières dans un bol à mélanger.

Dans un petit bol, mélanger le reste des ingrédients. Ajouter aux pleurotes et mélanger bien en utilisant les mains. Placer les lanières sur une grande plaque de cuisson, préalablement recouverte de papier parchemin.  Mettre au four et cuire pendant 20 à 25 minutes, en retournant les lanières deux fois pendant la cuisson. Terminer la cuisson à broil pendant 2 à 5 minutes.

Servir dans un pita et garnir de tahini ou toum, laitue, tomatoes, tabbouleh… Ou en salade… Ou faites comme moi et mangez la moitié de la recette directement à la sortie du four!

Si vous essayez cette recette, n’hésitez pas à laisser un commentaire, afficher une photo ou partager la recette en utilisant #THEVeganBlonde sur Instagram ou sur Facebook. Bon appétit!

Quinoa Salad with Fresh Fruits and Ponzu Vinaigrette

Quinoa Salad with Fresh Fruits and Ponzu Vinaigrette
Quinoa Salad with Fresh Fruits and Ponzu Vinaigrette | veganblonde.com

This is great potluck food. And with Mother’s Day this weekend, what better thing to bring over than a healthy, tasty, and fresh quinoa salad? The dish can be made ahead of time, without the vinaigrette, and kept refrigerated until serving time. Just toss with the made-ahead vinaigrette before serving.

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa, from 1 dry cup (I cook 1 cup and keep the leftovers for another dish)
  • 3 large kale leaves, cut in a chiffonade
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, separated
  • 1 ear fresh corn, shucked
  • 1 apple, cored and diced
  • 1 pear, cored and diced
  • 1 mango, diced (or about 1 cup)
  • 1/3 cup red onion, diced small
  • 1/3 cup pecans, toasted
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons ponzu
  • 1 teaspoon ume plum vinegar (you can use red wine vinegar)
  • Sea salt and fresh pepper

In a large salad bowl, place the kale, and add 1 tablespoon lime juice. Massage the kale with your hands about 1 minute. Add the quinoa, corn, apple, pear, mango, red onion, and toasted pecans. Mix well.

In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil, ponzu, 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, and vinegar. Season well with sea salt and pepper. If you are serving right away, pour the vinaigrette over the salad and mix well. If you are wanting to bring your dish somewhere or eat later, store the salad and the vinaigrette in the fridge separately, and toss right before serving.

Let me know if you try this recipe! Leave a comment, rate it, or tag a photo using #THEVeganBlonde on Instagram. Bon appétit!

Black and Green Beans Zoodles

Black and Green Beans Zoodles
Black and Green Beans Zoodles | veganblonde.com

It’s almost 5pm and you have no idea what dinner will be. Panic? No way. Make this. Easy, super quick, and modifiable, for your ultimate cooking pleasure. I couldn’t be more serious.

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup green beans, cut in 1/2″ pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1″ piece fresh ginger, smashed (optional)
  • 1″ piece fresh turmeric, smashed (optional)
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 full cup of kale, in a chiffonade
  • 4 zucchini, spiralized
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • Fresh herbs, olive oil, lemon juice (for my go-to vinaigrette, click here)

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell pepper, green beans, garlic, ginger, turmeric, and generous pinches of sea salt and pepper. Sauté until the vegetables are starting to soften, 3-4 minutes. Add the beans and kale, and heat through. Take off the heat. Place zoodles at the bottom of a shallow bowl and top with the beans mixture. Top with fresh herbs, olive oil, and lemon juice, or your favorite vinaigrette.

Let me know if you try this recipe! Leave a comment, rate it, or tag a photo using #THEVeganBlonde on Instagram. Bon appétit!

Basic Herbs Vinaigrette

Whenever you make a bowl, or a salad, or some roasted potatoes, you can use this fool-proof vinaigrette. You can add fresh garden herbs to it, some capers, even some hot pepper flakes or sriracha for an extra kick!

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 heaping tablespoon fresh garden herbs (optional)
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Whisk all the ingredients in a small bowl.

Let me know if you try this recipe! Leave a comment, rate it, or tag a photo using #THEVeganBlonde on Instagram. Bon appétit!

Strawberry, Black Bean, and Millet Salad

Strawberry, Black Bean, and Millet Salad | veganblondes.com
Strawberry, Black Bean, and Millet Salad | veganblondes.com

I am holding on to the last, the very last strawberries! The season is soon over, but I wanted to share with you this strawberry salad recipe, because I’ve been making it a lot lately, and because the strawberries could be replaced by many other in-season fruits. This protein-rich salad can be eaten as a side dish, or as a nice lunch entrée. It is easy and quick to put together, and is chic enough for company. Let us know if you make it with any other fruit!

  • 2 cups strawberries, diced
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup cooked millet
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, minced

In a large salad bowl, mix together the strawberries, the red onion, the black beans, the millet, and the pumpkin seeds. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, garlic, maple syrup, sea salt, olive oil and cilantro leaves. Add to the salad bowl, mix well, and serve. Bon appétit!


Cashew Quinoa Crunch


Cashew Quinoa Crunch
Cashew Quinoa Crunch | veganblonde.com

This is a seriously simple quinoa recipe that is not only plant-based, but also gluten free. I whipped this up one morning for my daughter’s school lunch. I didn’t have much time, but I had leftover quinoa. I added aromatics and sautéed some veggies, and done! The great thing here is that you can play with the dish. You can use whatever color quinoa you want, if you don’t have red onion, yellow is just fine. If you don’t have spinach, but your fridge is overloaded with kale, let it go! I tested the dish again and made the recipe amount to four large servings, or six side dish servings. Enjoy the simplicity!

  • 1 cup quinoa (whichever color is fine)
  • 1 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil (olive oil works too), plus more for drizzling
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 cup crimini mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 large branch of celery, sliced 1/2″ thick
  • 3 tablespoons tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 2 large handful of spinach
  • 1/4 fresh cilantro, minced
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Rinse the quinoa under cold running water, rubbing it with your hands, for a good minute. Drain. Drizzle a small amount of coconut oil in the bottom of a medium saucepan and heat over medium-high heat. Add the quinoa and toss until the water is absorbed and the quinoa starts to toast, about 1 minute. Add the water and the salt, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and let cook over very low heat until all the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Take off the heat and keep covered for another 10 minutes.

While the quinoa rests, heat 3 tablespoons of coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cashews and sauté until golden 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, red onion, mushrooms, and celery, and sauté until the onion is translucent and the mushrooms are cooked, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and add one tablespoon of the tamari. Mix well. Add the spinach and the cooked quinoa. Mix and cook slowly until the spinach starts to wilt, about 2 minutes. Add the last two tablespoons of tamari and the cilantro. Mix well. Serve garnished with more cilantro. Additional garnishes could be scallions, fresh lime, and coconut cream. Bon appétit!

Grilled Fennel, Kale, and Orange Salad

Kale Salad
Grilled Fennel, Kale, and Orange Salad | veganblondes.com

This fennel salad is one that could easily be made without grilling the fennel. You could slice it very thin and toss your salad just the same. But by grilling the fennel, you open the door to a burst of different flavors and textures that will make you grill the fennel next time around as well!

The key here is to have deep char marks on your fennel before turning it over. You want it to be almost caramelized. And it takes some time. It’s very hands off, but you have to be there to turn!

  • 2 large fennel bulbs, trimmed and cut in halves (you can keep some of the fennel fronds to decorate the plate)
  • 2 large oranges, one zested then juiced, the other cut in supremes
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale, cut in a chiffonade
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 teaspoon old style Dijon mustard (the grainy one)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, plus more to oil the fennel halves
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup (or to taste)
  • Sea salt and pepper

Start a grill over medium-high heat, or alternatively, build a two-zone fire in your charcoal grill.

Rub the fennel halves with some olive oil and season liberally with sea salt and pepper. Place the fennel cut-side down on the hot grill and cook, covered, until deep char marks appear on the flat side of the fennel halves. Turn and repeat the process on the other side. You can turn again and cook some more if your grill isn’t too hot. If the grill is too hot, transfer the fennel halves to the non heated zone of your grill (or on the little warming shelf many grills have). Cover and let cook some more until you obtain a very cooked, sweet tasting, and aromatic fennel.

While the fennel is cooking, make the vinaigrette by combining the orange juice, the orange zest, the shallot, Dijon, olive oil, maple syrup, and salt and pepper. Whisk until smooth, taste and adjust seasonings.

Toss the kale in a large bowl with a little bit of the vinaigrette and massage with your hands for one minute. Plate and set aside.

Once the fennel is cooked, transfer to a cutting board and slice thin, discarding the cores. Transfer to the plate on top of the kale. Top with the orange supremes, some vinaigrette, and the fennel fronds. Bon appétit!