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Stuffed mushrooms, braised red cabbage, and chocolate cake

More odds and sods from the Flicking the Vs kitchen, most of it still brussel sprouts themed (a brussel sprout is for life, not just for Christmas dinner, I believe. They're too good to keep just for one meal a year.)

First up, roasted brussels as a side for some stuffed Portobello mushrooms.

How long since you last had stuffed mushrooms? Probably not for a long time - I think the last time they were popular, He Man was on the telly and Margaret Thatcher was in Downing Street. It felt like a good time to dig them up when I found three big Portobellos in need of some attention in the back of the fridge.

Keeping with the old-school theme, the stuffing for the mushrooom is just a packet stuffing mix with some fried shallots and nuts added in. I piled all that good stuff into the mushrooms, baked them for 15 minutes or so, and then decorated it with a little cashew cheese.

Next up, one of my favourite things I've cooked of late - polenta with braised red cabbage and borlotti beans. The cabbage was cooked with lots of white wine, white wine vinegar, garlic, onion, and herbs, and the borlotti beans have taken on their beautiful colour too to make an incredibly pretty feast.

I loved the taste of this simple stew and topping, but I loved the colour more. I guess I just need more purple food in my life!

I was going for a hearty Alpine type dish when I decided to cook gnocchi and cabbage together, but the end result didn't quite live up to my plan. I steamed the cabbage for a couple of minutes, then sauteed it, and did the same with the gnocchi. I finished it off with some chopped walnuts, and a hearty amount of salt and pepper.

It was sadly a bit bland. I think a more iron-y, flavourful cabbage like Savoy or January King, would help, maybe some caraway. Either way, back to the drawing board.

A more successful kitchen trial from my mum, who's decided to start learning how to make vegan cakes (far be it to stop her from embracing a whole new world of knowledge, right?!) 

Here's a slice of chocolate cake she made and brought up last time she was here, and very nice it was too. She tells me she used this recipe from Nigella Lawson, and though I recommend the resulting cake, you may not wanting to read the annoying editorial that goes with it. Highlight: "I never ever thought I would be in raptures about the joyfulness of a – yes – vegan chocolate cake".  Thus spake someone who has not really eaten much in the way of vegan cake, I presume. Sigh. Still, when I'm shoving something so tasty in my mouth, I don't mind what dingbat came up with the recipe.

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  1. I stand with you on roasted brussels sprouts — can't think of any reason not to eat them as often as possible. And you're right — can't remember having a stuffed mushroom in recent history. But polenta, ahhhh, we just had that the other night. Polenta is my comfort food of choice. Chocolate cake isn't unwelcome, either.

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  3. All looks good - my answer to the gnocchi cabbage would probably be some nutritional yeast over the top of it! I last had haggis stuffed mushrooms a few years back and was surprisingly pleased with them. And as for Nigella's comment on a vegan cake, it is quite surprising that these food writers are meant to have such a broad range of tastes and yet find a vegan cake surprising - I once heard a tv chef talking about a food challenge on tv and being asked to make a vegan dish and all he could think of was felafel which made me loose all respect for him

  4. Seconding the brussels sprouts for life notion. We've been eating polenta lately too, with tons and tons of sauteed mushrooms, also with tons and tons of wine!

  5. Someone needs to eat more vegan cake :) And thanks for reminding me of the concept of stuffed mushrooms - it has been many a year since I've had them but they're too good to leave behind in the 80s!

  6. Holy Moly! I love stuffed mushrooms, and now I want to make them! Your polenta and braised cabbage dish looks like something served in an elegant restaurant! Yum

  7. Beautiful, beautiful stuffed mushrooms! Dang. I gotta make something like that soon. It's been forever since I've made or had cashew cheese.
    Polenta is another dish I've not really made often. I think i like the firmer type better but yrs just looks so appealing.
    Very into the vegan cake deal too...


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