Portobello Mushroom jerky raw

If there’s one thing you learn right away when you go vegan (or vegetarian), it’s that Portobello mushrooms make for a good “meaty” substitute. If you don’t happen to figure this out on your own, any number of restaurants nationwide will show you: grilled Portobello “steak” is often offered as a substitute for chicken, fish, or meat on salads and in other entrée dishes. Though I do know a number of veg*ns who don’t care for Portobellos—they find the texture off-putting—most plant-based eaters I know are delighted to use this mighty mushroom as a satisfying centerpiece in any number of special meals.

Recently, I was reminded of how much I like to use Portobello caps when I whipped up an old favorite for dinner: my raw, vegan “steak and potatoes”:

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Recipe is here. This is raw comfort food at its finest—let remind you all that Chloe’s husband, who is a lover of traditional meat and potatoes, goes a little crazy for my raw mashed potatoes!

Today, I’m taking a slightly different spin on raw Portobello. Instead of eating it whole, like the proverbial “meat” of a dish, I decided this week to slice it up, marinate it, and create a high raw vegan’s version of “jerky.” Part of the inspiration, naturally, was my eggplant bacon:

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And in fact, this recipe uses the very same marinade. The results, though, are slightly different: the “jerky” has more chew, and I actually found it more accessible tasting than the eggplant bacon.

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It’s salty, smoky, and absolutely delicious. It’s also an ideal way for students and other busy folk to get veggies in on-the-go. Which means it’ll be a true staple this semester!

Raw, Vegan Portobello Mushroom “Jerky” (raw, vegan, gluten free)

Makes about 2 snack sized portions

2 Portobello mushroom caps, sliced into strips about 3/4 inch thick

For the marinade:

3 tbsp tamari
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp chili powder
3-5 drops liquid smoke OR 1/4 tsp smoked paprika (omit to make 100% raw)
Black pepper to taste

1) Soak the mushrooms in the marinade for about 4 hours or more (overnight is good).

2) Dehydrate at 115 degrees for about 4-6 hours, or until mushrooms are dried out but still chewy (not crunchy). Dehyrating time will vary according to how much liquid the mushrooms absorbed, so check them and adjust time accordingly.

A very typical snack for me when I come home in the afternoon after class is a small plate of greens and veggies, some raw crackers, and 1/4 cup homemade hummus. Below you’ll see a snack plate featuring the “jerky”:

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The whole point of this recipe is ease. So if you don’t have time to throw together a little plate like that, just pack up the jerky along with some fruit or crackers or almonds, and munch on-the-go!

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Yum.

Hope this inspires you all to add more veggie power into your snacking routine!

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Mushrooms are powerful sources of antioxidants and phytochemicals. Note that their nutrition power is best harnessed through eating a mix of raw and cooked ‘shrooms. This fills the raw quota very nicely Smile

Happy MLK day, everyone: I hope you’re commemorating in a special way.

xo

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