It’s been a while! Hello everyone! I hope you had a wonderful summer! Mine was spent exactly how I envisioned it! I had lots of time in the water, spending time with loved ones and living my lazy best life! That said, I am ready for autumn! While I love living a Jeff Spicoli summer, “All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I’m fine,” around this time every summer, the wheels start coming off the bus. So now that the kids are heading back to school next week and Kevin is gone for the week, I will have the house all to myself for the first time in years. Years.
I am in a creative mood and hope to get the ball rolling on some new recipes. I am still working on some recipes for my cookbook and improving my food photography skills. I have just shy of 100 recipes written and photographed. It’s a pet project that I have been working on and want to finish by next Spring! I am pretty sure this Mushroom Carnitas recipe will be in the book!
The book is divided into sections and will be called “Vegan Around the World!” Recipes like Mushroom Empanadas, Sweet Potato Galette, Vegan Faux Gras, Chickpea Aloo Gobi, and Cajun Gumbo are sure to have a taste for every palate!
I have also dedicated several recipes to friends and family. One of my favorite vegan chefs is Joanne Lee Molinaro. I love her stories and how she weaves her culture into her recipes. I hope to share some of my philosophies regarding veganism, sustainability, and the science of health for not only us humans but also the health of the planet. I would also like to share some of my culinary instructions and advice. As someone who’s been in the culinary world in one form or another since the early 1990s, I can offer some easy substitutions and suggestions and maybe expand your culinary knowledge!
So, without further ado, let’s get to it! This Mushroom Carnitas recipe is nearly perfect. What does that mean exactly? Well, it has precisely 12 ingredients, it’s ready in under 30 minutes, and it is so good you will want to make enough for seconds. Promise!
I used two kinds of mushrooms for this recipe. There is a lot of flexibility in the mouthfeel for whatever type of mushroom you fancy. I used half king oyster mushrooms and portobellos, but you could also use shitakes, lions mane, really just about anything other than the small white button mushrooms. You want a nice “shreddable” mushroom. With a nice dusting of spices like cardamom, cumin, orange zest, and Mexican oregano, the carnitas are oven roasted for about 15 minutes.
I like to keep it simple. Much like the shredded pork variety, I used onions, jalapenos, garlic, and orange juice. I also like the addition of the vegan Worcestershire sauce, and you could even use a tiny amount (1/8 tsp) of liquid smoke if you like.
The Violife vegan feta is an excellent substitution for Mexican Queso Fresco. Highly recommend it! Add some pickled red onions, avocado, and fresh cilantro, and call it a day, mis amigos!
Yummy carnitas! You can make tacos, nachos, or tostadas!
- 8 oz. of mushrrooms, ( I used 4 oz king oyster mushrooms, and two portobellos, stem and gills removed)
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large onion, chopped, plus finely chopped onion for garnish
- 1 medium jalapeno, seeded and sliced into 1/4” rings
- 1 ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (reduce, or omit, if you don’t like heat)
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon cardamom
- 1 ½ teaspoon crushed dried oregano leaves, preferably Mexican
- 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 2 tablespoons vegan Worchestershire
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, evenly divided
- Salt and fresh pepper to taste
- 6 small corn tortillas, warmed, for serving
- Chopped cilantro for garnish
- Salsa for garnish
- Vegan Feta
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. (220°C) Prepare a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Clean and shred the mushrooms. Slice off the mushroom caps (if using oyster or portobello mushrooms) and gently pull them apart with your fingers. I like them approximately about 1/2 wide and 2 inches long. The important thing here is to ensure they’re all the same size. Add the mushrooms to a large mixing bowl and toss with the spices. Drizzle one tablespoon of olive oil and toss well.
- Transfer the mushrooms to the prepared baking sheet and spread them out in an even layer.
- Bake mushrooms for approximately 15 minutes. Check the around the 12-minute mark. They are not heavily coated with oil and can burn if you’re not careful.
- While mushrooms are in the oven, cook onions and jalapeno. Warm a medium-size skillet over medium heat. When the pan is heated, add the remaining olive oil. When oil begins to shimmer, add onion and jalapeno. Saute for 7-8 minutes, or until vegetables start to soften. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.
- When mushrooms are done, add to the skillet with the onions and jalapeno. Mix well. Return pan to medium heat, and once warm, add orange juice, orange zest, and Worcestershire sauce. Saute until the liquid has almost evaporated, about 3-4 minutes.
- While the mushrooms are cooking, warm a well-oiled comal or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. You can also lightly spray the tortillas with spray oil. Add tortillas and cook until lightly browned, about 2-3 minutes per side.
- While the mushrooms are done, remove them from heat.
- Fill each taco with carnitas, and garnish with your favorite salsa, onion, avocado, and vegan feta!