Mushroom, Caramelized Onion & Goat Cheese Galette + Some Thoughts on Special Diets

I’ve received a lot of questions about my diet since I started this blog, so I thought I would take this opportunity to address some of those questions here. It is Wellness Wednesday, after all—so what better time to discuss the word “diet”? If you’re a dedicated reader, I’m sure you’ve noticed that I make a lot of things that are vegan and/or gluten free. However, I also make a lot—a lot—of recipes with cheese and eggs and grains. What gives?

The answer is somewhat complicated. I, personally, do not ascribe to any particular “diet.” I went through a brief (I mean, really brief—like a week) stint of veganism about a year ago, but didn’t see it sticking. I still subscribe to a lot of vegan YouTubers and bloggers, and I dutifully watch and read all of their new material. Veganism as a lifestyle, though, just isn’t for me, and I’ve accepted that. I see myself as more of a “flexitarian,” as pretentious as that term is. To me, meat is to be used mainly as an accompaniment to a plant-based meal, or as a flavor enhancer. I also avoid eating meat that has been raised unsustainably or inhumanely.

The reason that I still make a lot of vegan meals is twofold. First, I still think a lot of them are delicious. Genuinely. Yes, I love tofu. No, I’m not lying. But not all vegan meals are made of fermented soy products, and that brings me to my second reason. I cook vegan and vegetarian meals because my goal is to bring people closer to wellness, and no matter which way you look at it, that usually means a diet that includes more plants. If I can make plant-based meals look and taste delicious enough to replicate, that means I’ve done my job. Because plants are magical and they make you feel magical. That’s just all there is to it.

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The reason I cook gluten free is even simpler. Two important people in my life, one being my mom, have Celiac disease. There’s a distinct possibility that I’ll develop it later in life as well. I don’t necessarily think that eating gluten free is healthier, but I also think that experimenting in alternative grains never hurt anyone. The way that I see it, I’m just making food accessible for people I love while expanding my culinary horizons. I’m also preparing for a potential life change that would really rattle me if I didn’t know how to cook gluten free.

Eating vegan or gluten free doesn’t have to be restrictive, especially if you just enjoy a few vegan or gluten free meals every once in a while. In fact, it can be a ton of fun to experiment in the kitchen in an entirely new way. I love finding new vegan recipes because some of them are even more delicious than non-vegan food! And I also just really, really love vegetables. Like, a lot. So that’s what inspired this galette.

Mushrooms and onions are a match made in heaven. Mushroom haters, look away. (Also, you’re wrong.) I’m convinced that any self-proclaimed mushroom hater has just never had them prepared correctly. If you still don’t like them after they’ve been crisped up, cooked down in white wine, and wrapped in flaky pastry… Well then, I don’t have anything left to say to you. Other than that there’s also garlic and thyme involved. So, as the kids say, it’s lit. I suggest you gather up the ingredients as quickly as possible.

The end product looks and tastes fancy, but the process and ingredients are actually very simple. You start by cooking down some humble onions, low and slow, until they start to turn golden brown and get super sweet.

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Then you add in some mushrooms (THE BEST!) and cook ’em up with some garlic, thyme, salt ‘n peppa. Add in a little white wine, reduce it to a silky sauce, and then stir in some goat cheese and lemon zest (aka thyme’s best friend). I could eat this filling straight out of the pan with a fork, y’all.

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And then—THEN!—as if that weren’t enough, you take the whole shebang and wrap it up in some pastry dough. Can you tell I’m excited about this thing? I made mine gluten free so my mom could enjoy it too, and it was phenomenal.

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But the real best part of this recipe is getting to finish the bottle of wine that you opened for a single 1/4 cup. Even if it’s a weeknight. Go ahead, I won’t tell.

I’m not even lying to you when I say that this is one of the best things I’ve ever made, and I think it’s because it celebrates such humble ingredients. This is my favorite kind of cooking. It’s plant-based, it’s simple, and it uses ingredients that anyone has access to. And it’s wrapped in pastry. That’s the absolute dream, guys. What veg-friendly meals do you want to see next?

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Mushroom, Caramelized Onion & Goat Cheese Galette

Prep Time: 20 mins + 1 hour inactive   |   Cook Time: 45 mins   |   Serves: 4–6

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 8 Tbsp butter or shortening, chilled and cubed
  • 1/3 cup ice water + more if necessary
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
  • 8 oz crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 fat clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
  • 1/4 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 oz goat cheese, divided
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten or 2 Tbsp milk
  • Coarse salt, for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour and salt. With a pastry cutter or two forks, cut in butter until pea-sized crumbs are formed. Slowly add in ice water just until the dough comes together.
  2. Form the dough into a ball, flatten into a disk, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill for one hour.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until translucent and beginning to turn golden brown. This should take 15–20 minutes.
  4. Add mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 10–15 more minutes, or until mushrooms are golden brown and beginning to crisp at the edges.
  5. Add garlic and thyme. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 30 seconds, or until fragrant.
  6. Pour in the wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until completely reduced. Remove pan from heat, crumble in half of the goat cheese, and add the lemon zest. Stir together and set filling aside.
  7. Preheat oven to 375°F and position a rack in the bottom third of the oven.
  8. Roll out chilled dough to 1/8″ thick on a floured work surface. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and spread filling evenly in the center.
  9. Fold up the edges of the dough around the filling, removing excess where needed. Brush crust with beaten egg and sprinkle with coarse salt. Crumble remaining goat cheese over the exposed filling.
  10. Bake for 25–30 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. Remove from oven, allow to cool for 5 minutes, slice, and serve!

Notes

  • This would also be p good with gorgonzola, if you’re into that sort of thing. You could even slice some apples and throw ’em in there if you’re feeling sweet and savory.

 

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