Back in 2008, Oprah went vegan as part of a 21-day cleanse. I remembered being very excited by the prospect, simply because of the vast amount of people that she reaches on a daily basis.
She had famous vegan chef Tal Ronnen cooking fabulous meals all month, many of which were mentioned on her show and posted to her website. Tal is an awesome vegan chef and I admire everything that he’s done to show that vegan food can be just as glamorous (more glamorous!) than traditional omni fare. However, I was also worried that these slightly “gourmet” recipes would scare away the average omnivore into thinking that being vegan requires spending half the day in the kitchen. While the goal was to show that “vegan can be elegant”, the recipes were probably most appreciated by existing vegetarians/vegans or serious foodies who were already used to spending more than 20 minutes making a meal. The average omnivores watching the show probably thought to themselves, “I’d love to go vegan too, but I don’t have my own celebrity chef, or three hours to poach mushrooms“. Heck, I’m vegan and I thought the same thing!
So here’s my take on Tal’s Cajun-Seared Portobello Fillets with Avocado Lime Mayo: I marinated the Portobello mushrooms in the spice mixture for an hour before simply cooking them in a nonstick skillet. I’m sure the 3-hour poached version tastes amazing, but this was pretty delicious, considering the amount of work put into it!
TIP: You could make awesome appetizers by using baby Portobello mushrooms instead…
I served these alongside Jen’s Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries, which I veganized by using Ener-G egg replacer. As she mentions in her recipe, the trick is to make sure that none of the fries are touching each other when they’re cooking. From there, you’ve got delicious sweet potato fries, right from your oven!
Have you tried any of Tal’s recipes? Leave a comment below if you have, as I’m seriously considering buying his cookbook!