Creamy Garlic and Mushroom Sauce

Mushroom sauce made using cashew cream with garlic, onion and fresh basil


A good cashew cream is a staple in vegan cooking and is pretty much the foundation for any type of white sauce as a replacement for dairy. This mushroom sauce is stunning with roasted potatoes which is why I put it in this Sunday Roast recipe set but you can modify it any way you want – you can add different herbs and spices, bulk it up with spinach or other vegetables. You can add it to pasta for an Alfredo-style sauce or put it on toast. The possibilities are endless once you perfect the smoothest, creamiest cashew cream – just have fun experimenting.

mushsauce

I’ve also used Nutritional Yeast in this recipe and you’ll see it quite a bit in my cooking. It’s a B12 supplement and a great replacement for cheese in sauces. When you first open the packet, it smells really weird and looks a bit like fish food – but don’t be put off. When you add the flakes to liquid, it dissolves down making the sauce thicker and creamier and gives a subtle cheesy flavour.

 

Prep: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 20-25 minutes

Equipment: High speed blender

Serves: 4-6

 


Ingredients:

AMOUNT

INGREDIENT(S)

~250g

Mushrooms (any type)

1 small

Red onion

1 handful

Fresh basil

1-2 tbsp

Olive oil

1 tbsp

Garlic purée

¼ tsp

Dried basil

½ tsp

Dried oregano

¼ tsp

Dried thyme

¼ tsp

Paprika

½-¾ tsp

Black pepper (coarse or fine)

½-¾ tsp

Salt (coarse or fine)

Cashew cream

AMOUNT

INGREDIENT(S)

~150g

Cashews (plain)

2-3 tbsp

Nutritional yeast

1-2 tbsp

Lemon juice

1 tsp

Apple cider vinegar

½ tsp

White ground pepper

¼-½ tsp

Salt

~300 mls

Water

 


Recipe

 

  1. In a saucepan for boiling, add 150g of cashews and fill with water so that the cashews are just covered. On a medium-low heat, gently simmer for 15-20 minutes.

 

In the meantime:

  1. Clean and thinly slice the mushrooms and red onion. You can use any type of mushrooms for this – I used a mixture of closed cup and porcini.

 

  1. In a saucepan for frying on high heat, add enough olive oil to thinly cover the bottom of the pan and add in the following (amounts listed above):
  • Sliced onions
  • Salt – ¼ tsp fine or ½ tsp coarse
  • Dried oregano
  • Dried thyme
  • Dried basil

Stir to distribute the herbs evenly, cover with a lid and allow to cook on a low heat until the onions become soft

 

  1. Add to the pan:
  • Garlic purée
  • Paprika
  • Sliced mushrooms
  • Black pepper

Stir to make sure the mushrooms are well-coated with the herbs and spices. Cover with the lid and leave on a medium-low heat until the mushrooms are cooked-through. Turn off the heat.

 

Cashew cream

  1. Once the cashews have boiled, add them to a high speed blender with the following:
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Lemon juice
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • White ground pepper
  • Salt (¼ tsp fine or ½ tsp coarse)
  • 300 mls of water – or enough to get the consistency you want

Blitz until you get a smooth cream.

 

  1. Add the cashew cream to the mushrooms and stir on low heat to make sure everything is well combined.

 

  1. Mix in the fresh basil – roughly chopped and then turn off the heat and serve.

 

This mushroom sauce goes with anything! Try it with these:

 

 

 


Roasted Potatoes, Parsnips and Red Onion

Simple and fluffy roasted potatoes with sweet baby parsnips and red onions.


When I cook I always, for some reason, attempt to feed the five thousand so the quantities I used gave about 7 or 8 servings…even though I was only cooking for 3 people #standard. Obviously, just adjust the quantities to whatever you need. 🙂

Prep: 15-20 mins

Cooking time: 1½ hours

Serves: 6-8

 


Ingredients

AMOUNT

INGREDIENT(S)

4-5 large

Baking potatoes

~250g

Baby parsnips

4 medium-large

Red onions

4-5 tbsp

Vegetable oil (baking or frying)

1 tbsp

Garlic purée

½ tsp

Dried oregano

½ tsp

Paprika

½ tsp

Coarse or fine black pepper

1½ tsp

Salt

 


Recipe

  1. Peel and wash the potatoes and red onions. As baby parsnips are less fibrous than mature ones, there is no need to core them. Just clean and prep them the way you would do with carrots. Roughly chop the potatoes into 2-inch chunks and the red onions into quarters.
  1. Add the vegetables into a large mixing bowl and add the following (amounts shown above):
  • Vegetable oil – enough to evenly coat all the vegetables
  • Garlic purée
  • Paprika – this is non-negotiable!
  • Dried oregano
  • Black pepper – I preferred coarse for this recipe but fine works just as well
  • Salt
  1. Using your hands, massage and mix the herbs and spices into the vegetables until they are all well-coated and the seasonings are all evenly distributed.

The potatoes will need a little longer to cook than the parsnips and red onions – I added the parsnips and red onion to the tray with the “beef” seitan as they both required 1 hour of cooking time and I put the potatoes in a separate baking tray and put it in the oven about 30 minutes earlier.

  1. Place the seasoned potatoes into a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and fill the tray with vegetable oil up to about ½ centimetre in depth.
  1. Cover the tray with foil making sure the edges are tightly sealed and bake in the oven at 180-200ºc (fan-assisted) for 1 hour*.

*If you haven’t already added the parsnips and red onions to another baking tray, then remove the tray with potatoes from the oven after 30 mins and add them in there. Continue cooking with the tray covered for a further 30 mins

  1. After 1 hour, discard the foil and place the tray back into the oven uncovered and allow to bake for another 30 minutes for the vegetables to crisp up.
  1. Remove from the oven after a total baking time of 1½ hours. Allow to cool and serve.

 

Looking for accompaniments to this dish? Why don’t you try out these recipes:


New Year, New Blog: Welcome to Zarah’s Earth Kitchen!

Hello, and welcome to the blog! Finally! I have been talking about creating this blog for such a long time now and I figured the New Year and the fact that it’s Veganuary would be the perfect time to start. It has taken a little while with a fair amount of effort and planning to achieve the vibe I was hoping for and I just need to say how amazing my parents and little brother have been in helping me pull everything together. Zarah’s Earth Kitchen is finally here and I’m so pleased I get to share all my favourite vegan recipes with you.

new year_sparkle

Since becoming vegetarian and then vegan, the last three years have been a massive learning curve with regards to cooking. Eating and cooking vegan isn’t that difficult but it naturally requires a bit of effort and change initially. Once you become more familiar with plant-based ingredients and know more about substituting, it becomes easier. Click About Me to learn more about why I went vegan.

When I started out, I had wished there was more information on plant-based cooking so I’m hoping the blog will provide a little bit of inspiration for those who are interested in incorporating more vegan meals into their diet but aren’t sure where to start or just need more ideas. The recipes are also aimed at people with varying degrees of skill – so whether you’re an experienced cook or just starting out in the kitchen, hopefully you’ll find these recipes helpful. I would really love to know what you think of the dishes themselves and recipe formats – whether they’re easy to follow or too simple? Have I missed anything key? Did you modify the recipe and how did it turn out? Leave me a comment and let’s chat.

I have so many ideas that I’m very excited about which will be coming up very soon so make sure you’re subscribed to the blog to receive updates every time I post a new recipe and follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter as I’ll be posting there regularly too. If you have any ideas for anything you’d like me to try then let me know. I hope you enjoy these meals as much as I have creating them!

~ Zarah xo

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