Modern Market

So yesterday I was introduced to a little place called Modern Market….Where has this restaurant been my entire life? It is a casual homestyle restaurant with options for nearly everyone.   The meals are prepared on site from scratch.  On the paleo diet? No problem.  Gluten free? No problem Dairy free? No Problem Vegan? Vegetarian?  You get the point.  I was excited to see the half and half menu.  Everything looked so good.  I thought I would start with a half pizza, gluten-free of course, and a half salad.  Then I saw the soups.  I changed my mind three times in sixty seconds but my cashier was so patient.  Everyone was really.  In fact my companion went back and changed her order minutes after we paid and it was no problem at all.  With that menu I imagine they get a lot of indecisive customers.

I went to the Bethesda location which had only been open for two days.  Outside of the balloons outside, you wouldn’t know.  It fit right in like it had been in the community for decades.  The staff worked together like family and the already huge customer base raved about the grand opening and of course the food.  I met several people who had already visited Modern Market multiple times in the two days it had been open.  After I ate, it was very clear to me why.  After getting over my indecision, I decided on the Flat Iron Steak salad.  The salad consisted of mixed greens, flank steak, roasted potatoes, carmelized onions, gorgonzola, and a balsamic vinaigrette.  That salad haunted my dreams last night.  I woke up wanting to get back to Modern Market to try breakfast this morning.  Unfortunately I knew I wouldn’t pass one in my travels.

I am anxious to get back and try other menu items.  I didn’t take a picture of my salad but it looked identical to the website photo. ( www.modernmarket.com )That rarely happens.  Next time I go, I will slow down and take a picture before I dig in.  I couldn’t help myself.  Go see for yourself.

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Vegan BBQ

I’m making vegan bbq and you can too. This is another one for the quick and easy file. Here’s what I use: Portobello mushrooms, firm tofu, fresh garlic, cayenne pepper, paprika, brown sugar, olive oil, bbq sauce and liquid smoke. Let’s get started.

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First I rough chop my mushrooms.  Then I add firm tofu.  I purchased it cubed to save me a step.  Next I season and mix.  You can season it however you choose.  I listed my favorites above.  I intended to bake but my oven decided to war against me today.  So stovetop it is.

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I have the mixture on medium heat and stir occasionally.  It only takes a few minutes for the mushrooms to cook down and the kitchen to fill with the glorious aroma of my spice blend.  Now it’s time to add bbq sauce and let it simmer.

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Fried Mushrooms

I rarely fry anything. On occasion, though, I crave fried chicken or fried shrimp. When I do, fried mushrooms always satisfy. You can fry any type of mushroom you choose. My favorite is oyster mushrooms.

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I start by soaking my mushrooms in almond milk.  This helps the flour adhere to the mushrooms.  It doesn’t matter if the mushrooms are in the milk a minute, an hour, or a day. 

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Next I work on the breading.  I pour rice flour, potato starch, corn meal, and a blend of cajun spices on a plate.  Then I simply blend it with a fork before coating the mushrooms.

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Lastly, I deep fry the mushrooms until they’re golden brown.  This takes less than two minutes.

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I like my mushrooms with siracha and honey.  Yum!20151031_110414

Sophie’s Kitchen Breaded Vegan Scallops

This product boasts gluten, soy, cholesterol, meat, and seafood free; as well as certified kosher and non gmo. But how does it taste? The vegan scallops as pictured on the box look delicious. Don’t they always. They were reasonably priced at my local store so I decided to give them a try.

The box suggests oven, toaster oven, or pan fry preparation.  I went with pan prep as this is how I usually prepare scallops.  (Spoiler alert: I have purchased these scallops multiple times.  So yes I give them a positive review.)

The thing to keep in mind when trying meat substitutes is they are not going to taste exactly like meat.  If you’re looking for an exact repilica, don’t. Instead look for something comparable.  These scallops do just that.  They have managed to be comparable in appearance, taste, and texture.  They are a great option when you need to prepare a meal quickly.  Here are quick meals I threw together with these vegan scallops.

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Vegan Crumble

I use this sweet and savory mix to top salads, pastas, baked potatoes, and even to have as a meal of it’s own.  The base of this recipe is red beans and buckwheat. (Buckwheat is actually gluten free.) Before I start, I have to soak both. I do this the day before allowing the beans and the buckwheat to soak over night. Once they have soaked, I rinse them before adding them to my blender with my seasonings.

To start you will need a cookie sheet, parchment paper, and an oven preheated to 400°.

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When I cook dry beans, I never use the enclosed seasoning packet.  However, I don’t discard it either.  I save it for recipes like this one.  No worries if you don’t have one.  This is what you should use:

Onion powder

Paprika

Soy sauce

Liquid smoke

Nutritional yeast

Tomato paste

Maple syrup

I use a teaspoon of each except the tomato paste and maple syrup.  I use two teaspoons of those ingredients.  Now blend.

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At this point, the mixture will smell good enough to eat but it’s not done yet.  Spread the mixture into a thin layer on the parchment paper and bake for ten minutes.  Now it’s done!

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If you are using this with your breakfast, I would suggest drizzling with more maple syrup and let it bake another two minutes.  It can be sliced or crumbled and it freezes well.  To use after freezing, simply fry or bake.

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BBQ Tofu

Though not so quick, this dish is really easy. This recipe calls for extra firm tofu. I start by preheating the oven to 350. While the oven is heating, I drain the tofu and press dry with a paper towel.  Once dry I slice the tofu length ways and apply a dry rub to both sides.  (Optional- Sometimes I add diced green peppers as well.)  My rub consists of garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, brown sugar, and cayenne pepper.

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I bake the tofu for 30 minutes at 350°.  Then I flip the tofu, base with my favorite bbq sauce and bake for another 30 minutes.

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Almost done.  Lastly, flip, base, and bake for another ten minutes.  Now you’re done.  Enjoy!

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Vegan Cheese and shells

Brace yourself. This may be one of the easiest dishes you’ll ever make. Prepare to be blown away by the sheer simplicity.  Start with your favorite pasta.  I’m using brown rice shells.  Boil your pasta as usual.  While the pasta is boiling we will whip up a quick “cheese” sauce.

To make the sauce, you will need nutritional yeast, potato starch (or flour), paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, corn starch, olive oil, almond milk, and water. Start by mixing the dry ingredients in a sauce pan.  I used equal parts nutritional yeast and potato starch, 1/4 cup each.  I used one teaspoon of each of the remaining dry ingredients.

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Next, add the wet ingredients.  I used one teaspoon of olive oil, one half cup of almond milk, and one half cup of water.  Whisk continually until thick.

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Once the sauce has thickened, pour over drained noodles.  Mix and serve.  Optional: top with additional nutritional yeast and vegan bacon.

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