Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps | Copycat PF Changs from

3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons canola or grapeseed oi
1 (12- to 14-ounce) package extra-firm tofu (do not use silken)
8 ounces baby bella (cremini) mushrooms, finely chopped

1 (8-ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced      note I used 2 tsp ginger/garlic paste
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 green onions, thinly sliced, divided
8 large inner leaves romaine lettuce (from a romaine heart) or butter lettuce leaves
Optional for serving: grated carrots, additional red pepper flakes

In a small bowl, stir together the hoisin, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. Set aside.

Press the tofu between paper towels to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Refresh the paper towels and press again. Heat the 2 teaspoons canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Once the oil is hot, crumble in the tofu, breaking it into very small pieces as it cooks. Continue cooking for 5 minutes, then add the diced mushrooms. Continue cooking until any remaining tofu liquid cooks off and the tofu starts to turn golden, about 3 minutes more. Stir in the water chestnuts, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, and half of the green onions and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds more.

Pour the sauce over the top of the tofu mixture and stir to coat. Cook just until you hear bubbling and the sauce is warmed through, 30 to 60 seconds.

Spoon the tofu mixture into individual lettuce leaves. Top with remaining green onions, grated carrots, and additional red pepper flakes as desired. Enjoy immediately.

The tofu filling can be refrigerated for 3 to 5 days. Reheat gently in the microwave with a bit of water or stock to prevent it from drying out or in a skillet over medium heat. Try the leftovers mixed with rice or scrambled with eggs!

Homemade Ginger Garlic Paste from

4 oz Fresh Ginger Root peeled
4 oz Fresh Garlic peeled
1-2 tsp Fresh Water
1 pinch Sea Salt
1 4 oz Mason Jars
1 Covered Ice Cube Tray

Place all ingredients into Vitamix, Blender or Food Processor and process until slightly smooth.
Store in refrigerator in a covered glass vessel or freeze for later use.
Recipe Notes
The Homemade Ginger Garlic Paste freezes well.
I store them in my freezer in individual servings in this Covered Ice Cube Tray.
When you need some paste, just pop out a cube or two. It is so convenient

Instant Pot Chicken Shawarma from pressure luck

Pressure Luck
1/2 cup olive oil (yes, I know that’s a lot)
2 tbsp of salted butter
1 yellow onion, sliced longways into thick wedges
1 tbsp of crushed garlic
4 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into strips with fat trimmed (thighs are strongly suggested for this recipe due to how tender they are, although breasts will do as well – you can also use some beef round/flank steak and pork tenderloin cut into strips too if you prefer)
1/2 cup of garlic broth (I used 1/2 tsp of Garlic Better Than Bouillon + 1/2 cup of water but you can just use 1/2 cup of chicken broth if you don’t have this)
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp of curry powder
1 tbsp of seasoned salt
1/2 tbsp of cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp of black pepper
1 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper (optional)
For arranging, if desired:
Pita/flatbread, warmed or room temperature
Hummus, any of your choice or click here to make mine
Red onion, sliced into strands
Cucumber, diced
Tzatziki (click here to make mine)

Add the butter and olive oil to the Instant Pot, hit “Sauté” and adjust so it’s on the “More” or “High” setting. Once melted and the oil begins to bubble (or the display reads “Hot”), add in the yellow onion and garlic and cook for about 3-5 minutes
Next, add in the chicken thighs followed by the paprika, turmeric, cinnamon, curry powder, cumin, seasoned salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper and crushed red pepper flakes. Stir well so all the spices are mixed in with everything in the pot
Then, add in the garlic (or chicken) broth. Stir very well, deglazing/scraping the bottom of the pot
Secure the lid, hit the “Keep Warm/Cancel” button and then hit “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” High Pressure for 7 minutes. Quick release when done. (Note: Remember, we really made this a spice-infused marinade more than a sauce as most of it is compromised of olive oil, therefore its main purpose is to season and infuse the chicken with that amazing shawarma flavor as it pressure cooks in the pot. So while it’s not necessarily meant to be eaten as a saucy soup, it’s perfectly ideal for drizzling over the shawarma and/or rice and veggies when serving. You can also save any remaining infused olive oil, place in a mason jar and pop in the fridge to cook other dishes with in the future!)
Prepare your shawarma wrap by taking some pita, spreading on some hummus, laying in some chicken and yellow onion, topping with some strands of red onion, diced cucumber and some tzatziki. Top it off by drizzling the incredible spiced-infused oil we cooked our shawarma in over the top. Wrap it together nice and tightly, making sure the bottom is tight (I know). Wrapping the bottom portion in foil may help with any messy drippings

Vegetarian Portobello Stroganoff

butternut squash salad with farro and pepitas from smitten

1 medium butternut squash (about 2 pounds)
5 to 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup semi-pearled farro (see Note up top)
1/3 cup toasted pepitas (I used, and love, the salted ones)
3 ounces ricotta salata or another salty cheese, crumbled or coarsely grated (about 3/4 cup)(omit to make vegan)
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Peel squash, then halve lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Cut squash into approximately 3/4-inch chunks. Coat one large or two small baking sheets with 2 tablespoons oil total. Spread squash out in single layer on sheet. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast until pieces are tender, about 30 to 40 minutes, turning them over halfway through the cooking time. Set aside to cool slightly.

While squash is roasting, cook farro in a large pot of simmering salted water until the grains are tender but chewy, about 30 minutes. (Since there are so many varieties of farro, however, if your package suggests otherwise, it’s best to defer to its cooking suggestion.) Drain and cool slightly.

While squash is roasting and farro is simmering, in a small bowl, whisk together sherry vinegar, water, 1/2 teaspoon table salt and granulated sugar until sugar and salt dissolve. Stir in onion; it will barely be covered by vinegar mixture but don’t worry. Cover and set in fridge until needed; 30 minutes is ideal but less time will still make a lovely, lightly pickled onion.

In a large bowl, mix together butternut squash, farro, red onion and its vinegar brine, the crumbled cheese and pepitas. Toss with 3 tablespoons of the remaining olive oil, use the 4th one only if needed. Taste and adjust seasonings. Eat now or later. Salad keeps in the fridge for up to a week.

Crazy carrot cake

1 1/2 Cups flour + 3 Tablespoons
1 Cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 Cup finely grated peeled carrots
1/2 Cup chopped walnuts
1/2 Cup golden raisins
1 teaspoon white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5 Tablespoons Canola oil
1 Cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and grease an 8″ baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, mix the first 8 dry ingredients and blend well. Next, add carrots, walnuts and golden raisins – blend well. Last, add the wet ingredients – vinegar, vanilla and oil, then pour the water over top – mix well. Pour in greased baking dish.

Bake on middle rack of oven for *35 to 45 minutes. Check with toothpick to make sure it comes out clean, remove when ready. Allow to cool and top with your favorite vanilla or cream cheese frosting. Enjoy!

Links to Frosting Recipes
Basic Cream Cheese Frosting recipe from
Head here for a VEGAN CREAM CHEESE FROSTING from the Minimalist Baker

Note: *Oven baking times may vary, be sure to check your cake to make sure you do not over bake.

Soy-Maple Salmon from food

Mix the soy sauce, maple syrup, orange juice, 2 garlic cloves and 2 tablespoons water in a large bowl; add the salmon and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate 20 minutes.

Coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Drain the fish, season with salt and pepper and place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until slightly golden around the edges, 8 to 10 minutes.

Lemon-Spice Visiting Cake from Dorie Greenspan

  • Butter and flour for the pan
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • 1 large (or 2 small) lemons
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ½ cup heavy cream, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 5 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • cup marmalade (for optional glaze)
  • ½ teaspoon water (for optional glaze)
  1. Center a rack in the oven, and preheat it to 350. Butter an 8 1/2-inch loaf pan (Pyrex works well), dust with flour and tap out the excess. (For this cake, bakers’ spray isn’t as good as butter and flour.) Place on a baking sheet.
  2. Whisk the 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, cardamom, ginger and salt together.
  3. Put the sugar in a large bowl, and grate the zest of the lemon(s) over the sugar. Squeeze the lemon(s) to produce 3 tablespoons juice, and set this aside. Using your fingers, rub the sugar and zest together until the mixture is moist and aromatic. One at a time, add the eggs, whisking well after each. Whisk in the juice, followed by the heavy cream. Still using the whisk, gently stir the dry ingredients into the batter in two additions. Stir the vanilla into the melted butter, and then gradually blend the butter into the batter. The batter will be thick and have a beautiful sheen. Scrape it into the loaf pan.
  4. Bake for 70 to 75 minutes (if the cake looks as if it’s getting too dark too quickly, tent it loosely with foil) or until a tester inserted deep into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer to a rack, let rest for 5 minutes and then carefully run a blunt knife between the sides of the cake and the pan. Invert onto the rack, and turn over. Glaze now, or cool to room temperature.
  5. For the glaze: Bring the marmalade and water to a boil. Brush the glaze over the top of the warm cake, and allow to it to set for 2 hours. The glaze will remain slightly tacky.
  6. When the cake is completely cool, wrap in plastic to store. If it’s glazed, wrap loosely on top.

salmon dmv

orange juice 2-3 tbsp
soy sauce  1-2 tbsp
maple syrup 1 tbsp
ginger/garlic paste  1 tsp
mix & marinate salmon for 10-15 min

Sear skin side for 1-2 min, flip, salt and pepper fish then add marinade. Cook for 3-4 min.  Remove fish to broiler pan.
reduce marinade by half add 1 tbsp butter or margarine and a splash white wine

finish fish — baste with marinade then broil or toast (toaster oven setting)  4-5 min. serve with sauce

Mushroom Lasagna with Pancetta and Sage

Why this recipe works:
To make a mushroom lasagna recipe with no-boil noodles and widely available mushrooms, we found that roasted portobellos gave the dish concentrated mushroom flavor. A very loose béchamel sauce had enough liquid to properly hydrate the noodles.

If Italian fontina is not available, use whole milk mozzarella rather than a
rubbery Danish, Swedish, or American fontina. We like the mushroom sauce made with whole milk, but both skim and low-fat milk are acceptable.

*  1/2 ounce  dried porcini mushrooms , rinsed well
*  1 cup  water
*  2 pounds  portobello mushroom caps (about 10 medium), cleaned and cut into
2- to 3-inch by 1/4-inch slices
*  4 tablespoons  olive oil
*  8 ounces  pancetta , cut into 1/4-inch pieces (omit)
*  2  large red onions , chopped medium (about 4 cups)
*  8 oz button mushrooms, cleaned, stems trimmed, & broken into rough
*  4 med cloves  garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1
tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon)
*  1/2 cup  dry vermouth
*  3 tablespoons  unsalted butter, plus additional for greasing pan
*  3 tablespoons  unbleached all-purpose flour
*  3 1/2 cups  milk
*  1/4 teaspoon  nutmeg
*  1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
*  1 tablespoon  minced fresh sage leaves
*  8 oz  Italian fontina cheese, rind removed and shredded (about 2 1/4
*  1 1/2ounces  grated Parmesan cheese  (about 3/4 cup)
*  12  no-boil lasagna noodles
*  2 tablespoons  minced fresh basil leaves
*  1/2 teaspoon  grated lemon zest from 1 lemon

1.  Cover porcinis with water in small microwave-safe bowl; cover with
plastic wrap, cut several steam vents in plastic with paring knife, and
microwave on high power for 30 seconds. Let stand until mushrooms soften,
about 5 minutes. Lift mushrooms from liquid with fork and roughly chop (you
should have about 3 tablespoons). Strain liquid through fine-mesh strainer
lined with paper towel into medium bowl. Set mushrooms and liquid aside.

2. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Spread
portobello mushrooms in even layer on rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with 2
tablespoons oil, tossing to coat mushrooms evenly; sprinkle with 1/2
teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and toss again. Roast mushrooms until
shriveled and all liquid released from mushrooms has evaporated, about 30
minutes, stirring halfway through cooking time. Set mushrooms aside to cool.

3. While portobellos roast, heat 1 tablespoon oil and pancetta in 12-inch
nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until pancetta is browned and
crisp, about 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to large
bowl; pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat. Add onions, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and
1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are
browned around edges, about 10 minutes. Transfer onions to large bowl with
pancetta and set aside.

4. Meanwhile, process button mushrooms in food processor until uniformly
coarsely chopped, about six 1-second pulses, stopping to scrape down bowl as
needed. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in now-empty skillet over
medium-high heat until shimmering. Add chopped button mushrooms and cook,
stirring occasionally, until browned and all moisture has evaporated, 6 to 8

5. Reduce heat to medium and stir in porcini mushrooms, 1 tablespoon
garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring frequently,
until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add vermouth and cook, stirring
occasionally, until liquid has evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes.

6. Add butter and cook until melted. Add flour and cook, stirring
constantly, about 1 minute. Slowly add reserved porcini soaking liquid,
scraping pan bottom to loosen browned bits. Add milk and nutmeg. Increase
heat to medium-high and bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and
simmer until sauce has thickened and reached consistency of heavy cream, 10
to 15 minutes (you should have about 4 cups). Remove from heat and stir in 2
tablespoons parsley and sage.

7. Combine fontina and Parmesan in medium bowl. Toss cooled portobello
mushrooms with onions in large bowl. Place noodles in 13 by 9-inch ovensafe
baking dish and cover with hot tap water; let soak 5 minutes, agitating
noodles occasionally to prevent sticking. Remove noodles from water and
place in single layer on kitchen towel. Wipe baking dish dry and coat with

8. Using rubber spatula, evenly distribute 1 cup mushroom sauce in bottom
of baking dish; position 3 noodles on top of sauce. Spread 3/4 cup sauce
evenly over noodles followed by 2 cups mushroom-onion mixture and 3/4 cup
cheese. Repeat layering of noodles, sauce, mushroom-onion mixture, and
cheese two more times. Place 3 remaining noodles on top of last layer of
cheese. Spread remaining sauce over noodles and sprinkle with remaining
cheese. Lightly spray large sheet of foil with nonstick cooking spray and
cover lasagna. Bake until bubbling, about 20 minutes.

9. While lasagna is baking, combine remaining 2 tablespoons parsley and 1
teaspoon garlic with basil and lemon zest in small bowl. Increase oven
temperature to 500 degrees, remove foil from lasagna, and continue to bake
until cheese on top becomes spotty brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove lasagna
from oven and sprinkle evenly with herb mixture. Cool 15 minutes, then cut
into pieces and serve.

Serves 10 to 12.   Cooks Illustrated, Published September 1, 2006.