Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The lazy vegan's 15 minute dinner: Grilled portobello mushrooms, roasted garlic mashed potatoes and savory herb gravy

Lately, I have been getting a bit burned out by preparing dinners that take over an hour after a long day at work. Therefore I decided to try something that would be quick but would taste like it took a lot of work to prepare. I love mashed potatoes! I make the best mashed potatoes from scratch so I never wanted or needed to use instant mashed potatoes before from a fear that it would taste weird. All the instant mashed potatoes at regular grocery stores that I found contained milk or butter so I kind of gave up, until I found Edward & Sons Organic Mashed Potatoes (They have home-style, roasted garlic and cheese, which are all vegan). I made this dinner with the roasted garlic mashed potatoes. Let me tell you, I was shocked about the flavor! It tasted almost like homemade mashed potatoes with freshly roasted garlic! I chose the quickest preparation method-sprinkling the mashed potatoes powder into a bowl of freshly boiled water and melted vegan butter. I had to use much more liquid than suggested ( I added more almond milk) to reach my desired consistency. As a gravy I prepared "Quick savory herb gravy" that made a wonderful topping for the garlicky mashed potatoes. The gravy was nice and thick with a pleasant herbal taste. I served all this with grilled portobello mushrooms that I marinated in my own marinade. I grilled the mushrooms on my electric grill. This dinner took me less than 15 minutes (minus the time that the mushroom were marinating).
Here is a recipe for the marinade. You can use it for tempeh (about 8 oz) or mushrooms (about 2 or 3 large caps) that you cut into 1/4" thick slices and place into a medium-size ziplock bag. Then you fill the bag with marinade, shake and chill for about 30 minutes to 1 hour. Cook the tempeh or mushrooms either on a grill, or in a large skillet that was sprayed with a non-stick spray, or with a little bit of oil.

Smoky marinade

1/3 cup soy sauce
3 Tbs water
1 Tbs canola or olive oil
2 Tbs red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp. liquid smoke

Whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl.

This Wizard's Worcestershire Sauce has been my pantry staple for over 4 years. I use it in stews, marinades, soups, baked beans, and even some salads. I even put it into a virgin Bloody Mary drink :-) I go through a bottle every few months. What do you use your Worcestershire sauce for?


  1. A little secret: I used to looove instant mashed potatoes as a kid. My palate changed and I realized they were actually pretty gross, but maybe brands have gotten better since then. It certainly looks like a delicious meal. I would even wait 17 minutes for this!
    I don't ever use Worcestershire sauce either but I never see it/look for it - however - a vegan Blood Mary sounds awesome.

  2. Mashed potatoes and gravy just happens to be one of my all-time favorite comfort meals... I haven't used instant mashed potatoes in ages, but then again, I haven't ever tried the Edward and Son's brand. I love their instant bouillon, so maybe this is worth a shot, too.

  3. @foodfeaud: Let me know if you find the vegan W. sauce, you can use it in baked beans as well. Play around with the liquid when making the instant potatoes, it might be too dry if you don't use enough milk-water or too watery. Add liquid slowly, stir and wait before adding more. It's worth trying it again :-)

    @HayMarket8: I need more 5 minute meals :-)

    @bittersweetblog: Give it a shot and let me know what you think. Their bouillon cubes are soooooo good! I use them in all my soups, stews, gravies and gumbos :-)