How about a quick recipe to kick off November? Because as we barge straight into the holidays—when family members suddenly feel entitled to our attention—we’re going to need that extra time. Plus, this dish’s simplicity, wholesome ingredients, and surprisingly deep flavors makes it a perfect addition for potlucks, Friendsgivings, or light weekday dinners.

Before you click away because this recipe comes across as “bland vegan food,” let me tell you why this combination works. It all comes down to flavor profiles, which are explained with enlightening ease in a book called The Flavor Matrix, which takes complex flavor profiles and renders them immediately usable to home cooks. Side note: this is NOT a paid plug, I just find The Flavor Matrix to be the most valuable cookbook on the market.

OH RIGHT—this relates back to the recipe because we took careful consideration of asparagus’ flavor matrix whilst composing it, thus eliminating any unnecessary ingredients, resulting in a dish that’s complex without being clouded by any extraneous tastes. The roastiness of coffee, nuttiness of toasted walnuts, umami of mushrooms, aroma of cinnamon, and complexity of brown sugar elevate asparagus’ earthy nature.

We hope you guys enjoy this recipe, it’s:

  • Perfect for potlucks and light weeknight dinners!
  • Deep, complex, and toasty
  • Clean, sophisticated, and earthy
  • Tender, fluffy, and pleasantly crunchy
  • Plant-based & gluten-free

If you like what your eyes are tasting, then share this recipe with your friends on InstagramFacebook, or Pinterest at @noeggsorham! For more flame-emoji photos, geeky food talk, and mouth-watering dishes, subscribe to our email list. Tag us in a photo when you create one of our recipes at home so we can share it!

More geeky talk? A-spare-u-guys.

Toasted Mushroom Rice with Coffee Roasted Asparagus (plant-based & gluten-free)

  • Servings: Two
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

The roastiness of coffee, nuttiness of toasted walnuts, umami of mushrooms, aroma of cinnamon, and complexity of brown sugar elevate asparagus' earthy nature.


Toasted Mushroom Rice

  • 1 c rice, thoroughly rinsed
  • 1 1.5-inch cinnamon stick broken in half
  • 2 tbsps Melt Organic butter
  • 1 3/4 c mushroom broth


  • 7 oz asparagus spears
  • 1 1/2 tbsps melted vegan butter
  • 1 tbsp dark brown brown sugar
  • 1 tsp finely ground coffee medium & dark roasts work best
  • toasted walnuts lightly crushed


  1. Rice: Heat a medium pot over medium high heat. Once hot, add in butter, rinsed rice, cinnamon, and cook—stirring frequently—until fragrant and lightly browned; about 4 minutes.
  2. Add in mushroom broth, clamp on a lid, and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to low, cook for 18 minutes, then kill the heat and let it sit for another 10 minutes before serving.
  4. Asparagus: Pre-heat oven to 400° F and cut off the bottom thirds of asparagus.
  5. Note: that whole trick about “snapping the asparagus” is more trouble than it’s worth. Simply bundle them together and cut off the woody portion of the spears.
  6. In a small bowl, stir together melted butter, sugar, and coffee, then toss with asparagus until evenly coated.
  7. Spread out on a cookie sheet and roast until tender; about 7 minutes.
  8. Serve asparagus atop mushroom rice, garnish with some crushed walnuts pieces, and enjoy while fresh!

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