Pinto bean cutlets, mushroom gravy, kale chips, and mashed potatoes

This was a pretty elaborate meal altogether, and completely worth the effort! On Friday night we made pinto bean cutlets, based on the Veganomicon chickpea cutlets, mushroom gravy, kale chips, and sinfully delicious mashed potatoes.

Mushroom Gravy

1 package white mushrooms, sliced thinly

1 TBL vegan margarine

1 TBL light tamari

3 large garlic cloves, minced

1.5 cups water (or enough to cover mushrooms)

Extra tamari


1-2 TBL cornstarch, with enough water to make a thick, yet runny paste (3-4 TBL water)

In a pot, saute mushrooms in a small amount of Earth balance (or other vegan margarine) until they release their juices, about 5-7 minutes. Add tamari and garlic. Cook another 5 minutes or so. Add water to cover (approximately 1.5 cups), bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for another 5 minutes. Taste the liquid, if too watery add 1-2 teaspoons of tamari, add cayenne. Taste for seasoning. When the sauce tastes good, add in about half of the cornstarch mixture and stir continuously. It will thicken rapidly. If you like a thicker gravy, add more cornstarch. Continue to stir until it’s your desired thickness. Then turn down the heat, and stir occasionally until you are ready to serve it.

Kale Chips

There are lots of great recipes for kale chips on the internet. We chopped up the kale, tossed it with about 1 TBL olive oil, salt, cayenne, and garlic powder. Then baked it at 325 for 10 minutes. Easy-peasy.

Pinto Bean Cutlets

(This recipe makes only four, so we doubled the recipe below, and froze the leftover cutlets.)

1 cup canned pinto beans

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup vital wheat gluten

1/2 cup matzah meal

1/4 cup pinto bean liquid

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 cloves garlic minced

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon rosemary

Preheat oven to 400.

In a mixing bowl, use an immersion blender to mix the pintos together with the oil until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and knead for about 3 minutes, until strings of gluten have formed. (We let the dough sit for 10-15 minutes and this helped with the next stage.)

After the dough rests, divide the cutlet dough into four equal pieces. To form the cutlets, knead each piece in your hand for a few moments and then flatten and stretch each one into a roughly 6 x 4-inch rectangular cutlet shape. The easiest way to do this is to first form a rectangular shape in your hands and then place the cutlets on a clean surface to flatten and stretch them.

Add a moderate thin layer of olive oil to the bottom of the pan. Place the cutlets in the pan and cook on each side for 6 to 7 minutes. Add more oil, if needed, when you flip the cutlets. They’re ready when lightly browned and firm to the touch.

Brush both sides of each patty with olive oil, place on baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Flip patties over and bake another 10-15 minutes until firm and brown on both sides.

Mashed Potatoes

We didn’t really measure anything, as per the norm, but these mashed potatoes were perfect. Chop 7-8 small yukon gold potatoes and boil until soft (leave the skins on). While the potatoes cook, grate 1/2-3/4 cup almond (or other non-dairy cheese) into a mixing bowl. Add 3-4 TBL of Earth Balance, approximately 1/3 cup rice milk, salt, pepper, and garlic powder to the cheese. Set aside. After the potatoes are done, drain in a colander and mash with cheese mixture. Top with mushroom gravy……….Enough said.

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