Note: I was taught to cook by feel as I grew up. As a result, many of my own recipes lack measurements. Adjust the recipe as you see fit in order to match your own preferences and tastes!
Ingredients: -Mushrooms (I used baby portobellos, but any hearty, stuffable mushroom should do) -Olive Oil -Finely diced onion -thinly sliced garlic -chopped walnuts -chopped sundried tomatoes (omitted from the pictured dish - my boyfriend isn’t a fan of tomato) -chopped parsley -vegan parmesan cheese -brown jasmine rice -star anise -cinnamon stick -salt -pepper
1) Heat up a dry saute pan over medium heat and add the star anise and cinnamon. Toast until aromatic, then remove from heat.
2) Add washed rice and water to a pot or rice cooker, add the star anise and cinnamon, and cook until done and fluffy.
3) Preheat oven to 350 degrees (Fahrenheit).
4) Remove the stems from the mushrooms and reserve them. Brush the mushroom caps on both sides with olive oil, sprinkle the insides with salt and pepper, and then place them bottom-up in a baking dish. Dice up the stems and reserve for the filling.
5) Over medium heat, heat up some olive oil until it shimmers. Add the onion and saute until soft and translucent, then add the garlic and cook until it goes soft and fragrant (keep an eye on it… nobody likes burnt garlic!)
6) Add the diced mushroom stems and cook until browned. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley, walnuts, tomatoes, parmesan, and rice (remove the cinnamon stick and star anise). Season with salt and pepper to taste.
7) Fill each mushroom cap with stuffing and bake for about 20 minutes or until the mushrooms are brown and soft. Cover the pan with foil if the stuffing begins to burn.
Garnish with a little more vegan parmesan and serve hot! These are great as an appetizer, light entree, or even as a little snack. To give them a little extra acidity, serve them with a red wine vinaigrette!
I don’t often cook vegan. My family’s culinary traditions are very much so meat based, and as a result, nearly every dish I make has at least one meat item. However, my boyfriend and I have a friend of ours who periodically stays with us, who is vegan. Though he doesn’t mind cooking his own food, I do like to cook some sort of meal for the three of us when he comes into town as a sort of celebration. As such, I get the pleasant challenge of cooking vegan!
One would think that my choice for a magical ingredient in this dish would be the rice, mushrooms, or the nuts (which lend a very nice texture, so if you’re balking at adding it to the stuffing, give it a try… I promise you that the mouthfeel is very interesting). However, it’s none of these. Instead, it’s the star anise that was added to season the rice.
Not everyone has this spice sitting in their kitchen. In fact, many people are unfamiliar with the benefits star anise has when it comes to both cooking and magic. However, between its delicate licorice flavor and its ability to comfort the stomach and aid in digestion has earned it quite a reputation in Asian cuisine, and its beautiful shape has allowed it to become a gorgeous garnish in many cuisines.
Star anise comes from an evergreen tree native to Vietnam and southwest China, called Illicium verum. The seeds are harvested and dried just prior to ripening, kept in their star shaped pod. They’re a primary ingredient in Five Spice blend, and the oils are frequently extracted for their strong licorice scent.
In medicine, star anise is used for a variety of ailments, including stomach upset, flu, bronchitis, and rheumatism. Traditionally it’s burned as an incense or added to food, but the presence of shikimic acid in the pods allowed star anise to become of importance to the modern medicine industry. As a result, the acid is extracted from the seed pods for the use in modern flu treatments.
The culinary uses for star anise are varied, but the most common use is adding it to broth or stock for its flavor (those of you who’ve been following me for a while may remember my recipe for mushroom chicken ramen a while back… I’ve since taken to adding star anise to the broth anytime I make it both because of the flavor and because it makes the ramen a bit easier on the stomach). However, its uses aren’t limited to broths and stocks.
Star anise is used in mulled wine, as well as in coffee (trust me… allow a pod to steep in your coffee - the flavors combine beautifully, and do so more fully each time you reuse the pod). Though one of the ways in which we indulge in this spice most often is in the form of masala chai.
This beautiful little spice continues to be used in other products ranging from mouthwash and toothpaste to massage oils and skin creams. It seems there’s very little that it can’t do!
In magick, anise most definitely has its uses! The most frequent one I’ve seen is carrying it whole or wearing it as a necklace for luck. However, in Hoodoo, the pod can also be placed under the pillow to allow one to dream of another person far away. It’s added to mojo bags, hands, poppets, and witch bags and jars for luck as well. When a person sleeps with it under his or her pillow, it’s said to stave off nightmares, as well.
When powdered and burned as an incense, star anise helps to heighten psychic awareness and clairvoyance, and can be of great help during meditations.
In my practice, star anise is used for luck and dreams as above, but I also use it for healing and encouraging deeper spirituality. Its star shape reminds me of tarot as well, so I also enjoy keeping it on hand for divination.
Consider the different ways star anise can add its flavors, aromas, and magic to your craft. Though it seems an odd little spice, it packs quite a punch - a punch that any witch or cook can definitely make use of!
Hey I saw you're turning raw vegan too, any advice for a fellow health nut ?? Xxx
Certainly! These challenges are meant to make you try new things, but you should never feel like you are depriving yourself. If you like pasta, try raw pasta and the same for pizza, tacos, and any other food. Also, never fear nuts. Nuts are magical things. They can be made into raw nut butters (raw coconut and almond just might be the best things in the world). You can also turn them into almond milk, soak them and puree them into a yummy sauce, make nut cheese, and so on. Here are a few of my favorite recipes so far:
The raw basics/wow you can make them from scratch/ yum
all the artisana nut butters! they are fabulous and I would highly recommend all of them
So far, I’ve felt a lot more relaxed around food, energized, and have spent way less time in the kitchen (which in no ways am I complaining about!) Hope you are doing well and I hope this helped, love!