Sunday, October 2, 2011

Happy MoFo! Week One: Chain Restaurants

I don't think a lot of vegans go to chain restaurants, other than maybe PF Chang's. Not so much because they have nothing to offer vegans (and special orders are usually out of the question, as food usually comes in bags so each and every restaurant in the chain tastes the same), but because most of us can whip something up that's pretty amazing for half the cost. However; some of us have things we miss, or things we'd like to try "if only it were vegan." Well, this week, I'm going to try to alleviate a few pangs.

First up, the Crab Stuffed Mushrooms from Red Lobster. I went there a lot as a kid, but when I was around 22, I dated a guy who worked there. The stories he told me pretty much sealed the deal on never eating there again (and quite possibly planted a seed for veganism). But as I looked over the menu, I figured that I could make a reasonable imitation of the mushrooms without too much work, and I wouldn't have to ask what was in them, and I wouldn't have to worry that some sweaty line cook dropped them on the floor. I picked up a bag of "vegetarian codfish balls" at a local Chinese restaurant, and got to work.

I wound up making way too much stuffing. I put it in the freezer so I can make these again for a Halloween party or something. So, if you make these, you're going to need to get a lot of mushrooms. I got some good sized ones.

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Vegan Crab Stuffed Mushrooms
Makes 25-30 appetizers

30 oz large mushrooms (3 10-oz pkgs), washed and de-stemmed. Chop up half the stems.
1/2 stick margarine
2 tbsp finely chopped onion
2 tbsp finely chopped celery
2 tbsp finely chopped red pepper
1 1/2 cups oyster crackers, crushed
7 oz package vegan codfish balls, or other vegan seafood item
Ener-G egg replacer and water to equal one egg
1/2 cup or more water
pinch salt
1/2 tsp Old Bay seasoning (I used the Chesapeake seasoning from Penzey's)
few twists fresh black pepper
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheeze (I used Daiya)
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheeze (Daiya again)

Preheat oven to 400°

Cook the veggies and chopped up stems in the margarine over medium-low heat until tender. Set aside to cool. Chop up codfish balls in a food processor. Mix codfish, crushed crackers, cooled veggies, "egg," salt, pepper, spices, and cheddar cheeze. Add water to make for stuffable. Stuff the mushroom caps. You can pile it up on top, too. Place stuffed mushrooms in a baking dish, and sprinkle mozz cheeze all over. Bake for 15 minutes.

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2 comments: said...

Those sound so delicious!

rachel said...

these look amazing. i love stuffed mushrooms! i had no idea they made vegan seafood items, i may have to look into that :)