Posts Tagged With: potatoes

2015, a Recipe Odyssey: May Edition

Whatever stuff I want to say, followed by more stuff. [I put that as a text placeholder, and it amused me so much I decided to leave it. (Yes, I am very easily amused.)]

I was kind of on a lemon kick this month for some reason. I made two kinds of lemon cake, lemon cookies, and was all ready to make a lemon pie……. and then ran out of lemons and money.

See, I managed to completely exhaust my food budget just over halfway through the month, which kept me from trying a few of the things I wanted to make, but aside from the absence of LEMON PIE in my face, the main trouble was at that point I had only one stick of butterlike substance left in my fridge, and BARELY ANY CHOCOLATE. But we’re survivors, and there are only 2 more days in the month. We can do this.

In other news, walnut pollen has unleashed in fury upon our area, and I immediately proceeded to become ill with what I believe is a sinus infection. Woohoo. #notactually

And even though it’s a couple days to the end of the month, I’m posting this now because I’m not planning to make anything else new. Too tired and sick.

Here’s what I made! Grouped by source.

From Everyday Vegan Eats:

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1. Split Pea Soup – It’s impossible to take an appetising photo of split pea soup. It just is. It will always look like sludge or poop. However, this soup was very simple to make and very delicious.

From Vegan Diner:

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2. Blackeyed Peas – These were good, but not exciting enough that I think I’ll ever make them again. They were a nice protein addition, along with rice, to our salads that day.

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3. Noodle Soup – I did not like this, but could not lay my finger on why. It seemed so… I dunno, soupy… so I added a quart of canned green beans just to bulk it up a bit.

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4. Smoky Seitan Roast – This is super tasty.

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5. Pastrami-Style Seitan – This is just okay.

From Isa Does It:

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6. Sesame Slaw – OH YEAH.

7. Garlic Curry Fries – I’ve had these on a past menu plan at least once already and just didn’t actually get around to making them! My verdict: too spicy. I did two batches, one with the curry powder and one with just the salt and a teaspoon of garlic powder, and nobody really liked the curry ones much, but the plain ones were snarfed down with abandon. I’m not sure whether this method will be a regular in the future or not. Isa claims it becomes easier each time, and that may be true…

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8. Norah’s Lemon-Lemon Cookies – These were amazing!

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9. Wild Rice Soup – Both Mr Pine Nut and I LOVED this! It had a delicious, deep flavour that I loved.

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10. Lemon-Blueberry Loaf – Sans blueberries, because I had none! I simply could not get my icing sugar to un-lumpify, hence the unsightly blobs of sugar in the glaze, and I turned them upside down because they sank in the centre. They tasted fantastic though! Would definitely make again – I look forward to blueberry season!

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11. Dragon Noodle Salad – Delish dish, this. Lou Who couldn’t eat it because of the peanut butter, but I think she’d have liked it, so I may try it with almond butter next time. And we ate it with:

12. Sesame Baked Tofu – This was a hit with everyone! We love our tofu around here. 😉

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13. Cauliflower Pesto Pasta – This was SO GOOD! Even the kids loved it. I used spinach instead of basil for the pesto, because I like the taste better.

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14. Sinfully Wholesome Waffles – I think I have a new favourite waffle recipe! I was not sure if I’d like these, but I really really did. I topped them with crushed pineapple.

15. Scrambled Chickpeas – These did not win the approval of the junior Pine Nuts, but the senior Pine Nuts loved them!

From Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar:

16. Chai Spice Shortbread – I subbed dried cranberries for the chocolate, because I am very picky about combining chocolate with certain things, such as chocolate with pumpkin (blegh), and the spices in this are a combo that Does Not Go with chocolate in my mind.

From Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World:

17. Lemon Macadamia Cupcakes – I doubled this and did it as a 13×9. It was okay, but I think after three experiments with macadamias, I have come to the realisation that I really just don’t like them much! And I feel kind of guilty about this, because everyone is supposed to like macadamias!

From Vegan Brunch:

18. Chelsea Waffles – I’ve wanted to make these forever, but don’t have barley malt syrup. Someone pointed out that right there it says you can sub maple syrup (which I also don’t have, but I do have agave and maple extract, and what kind of vegan cook would I be if I didn’t wing things?) Anyway, they were super tasty!

19. Gingerbread Waffles – These were great; GooGoo wasn’t fond of the chunks of ginger but ate them nonetheless.

From Whole Grain Vegan Baking:

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20. Raisin Bannocks – I’ve been wanting to make these since I got the book last month, but was waiting for my discount grocery to get more vegan yogurt in. They finally did! These are so tasty and I will definitely make them again (but plan ahead a little more because there are a lot of steps I wasn’t prepared for. Note to self: READ RECIPE BEFORE STARTING.)

21. Carrot Cashew Loaf – I made this in my 8.5″ springform pan instead of a loaf pan, because I was skeptical of it actually being baked in 30-35 minutes in a loaf pan and I was in a hurry. I subbed agave for the maple syrup and more milk for the yogurt. Mr Pine Nut and I both enjoyed it. I ate mine with apple juice on it. Lou Who ate hers; GooGoo was not impressed.

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22. Double Cranberry Scones – I’m a doofus and set the oven for 350 instead of 375. I was so frustrated wondering why they were taking like half an hour instead of 15 minutes to bake, and then it hit me. That aside, these were SO SO SO SO SO SO GOOD. And also called for yogurt. Yay for 20 cent containers of Co Yo from Grocery Depot!

From Veganomicon:

23. Carrot Pineapple Sunshine Muffins – SO good. Ditto the yogurt comment above.

From the interwebs:

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24. Spiced Yogurt Muffins – And to use up the rest of my yogurt I made these, with a few changes. I used half white/half whole wheat flour, reduced sugar to 1/3 cup, used melted cocoanut oil for the butter, and 1/3 cup aquafaba for the eggs. These were so good. I will totally make these again when I have yogurt to use up.

Cookbooks [or other sources] represented in May: 9

Did I meet my goal? Yes!

See you next month, with June’s recipe report! (It’ll be an interesting month, because I’m not going to be home for various parts of it. But I think I can still hit my 20-recipe goal!)

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Categories: challenges, dairy-free, lunch, soup, vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

2015, a Recipe Odyssey: March Edition

So I mentioned in this post that I was going to try a monthly meal plan for March, sticking within my budget of $25/week for food. How did it go?

  • Week 1: I spent $19.47 on groceries.
  • Week 2: I spent $24.09 on groceries. Cutting it close! All necessites for my week’s plan.
  • Week 3: I spent $20.30 on groceries. Roughly $10 0f that was absolute necessities for my planned menu, and I got some extra goodies! (okay, it was mostly bell peppers and avocados.) I ended up not doing all the planned meals because I had lots more leftovers than previous weeks, plus I was sick.
  • Week 4: I spent $26.60 on groceries. This included what I needed for the little bit of overlap for the last couple days of March.
  • But I did end up using the rest of my money buying a couple staple/pantry items that I’ll use next month too.

Keep in mind, we do have loads of bulk stuff stored in buckets from More Prosperous (or simply more reckless?) Times of the Past, and we have a separate line item for bulk food (and I spent all but pennies of that $50 this month aside from the above), so the above is strictly fresh veggies and staples like oil and sugar.

Speaking of oil and sugar, I bought a regular bottle of veggie oil and a 4lb bag of sugar for Week 1. As of the end of week 3, the oil had been long gone and another bottle half-used, and the sugar is all but gone. I find this disturbing.

Here’s what I made! Grouped by source.

From More Peas, Thank You:

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1. Corn Chowda with Cornbread Croutons – GooGoo has been pestering me to make a potato soup for weeks now. I finally make one, and will she eat it? No. Sigh. She did like the cornbread croutons and the side of broccoli, though.

 From The Veg Feasting Cookbook:

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2. Carrots in the Raw – This salad was very easy, requiring few ingredients, and went great with the burgers we had for lunch. I left out the raisins and just added some extra pumpkin seeds instead, because fruit in a vegetable salad is just weird to me. The following day we had the leftovers on top of lettuce. Yum.

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3. Cumin Carrot Soup – This became steadily more disgusting the more of it that I ate. Mr Pine Nut thought it was good, but I heartily disagreed. I couldn’t taste cumin at all; even though I reduced the pepper it was way too peppery; worst of all the texture was just gross. Will never make again.

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4. Turkish Lentil Soup – SO good. I was a little concerned, because the cinnamon smelled really strong while it was cooking, but as far as taste went, I didn’t even notice it. The flavours were all blended perfectly with nothing overpowering anything else. I was pleased, and would definitely make this again. Way better than the vomitous carrot sludge.

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5. Spicy Yellow Dal – I didn’t have toor dal, but the book suggested subbing yellow split peas, so I used green split peas. It took a lot more than 2 cups of water to cook the peas, but this was overall quite a simple dish to assemble and it was very tasty. It was at the edge of my heat tolerance level, but very good. We ate it with rice and steamed broccoli.

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6. Mexican Black Bean Salad – This was fairly simple to throw together, and it was a meal for Mr Pine Nut and I (with the addition of lettuce, and some bread on the side). It had a good flavour, but the recipe called for no salt. I added a tiny bit, but more wouldn’t have hurt. I’m not sure I’ll make it again, but it was fine.

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7. Cabbage Curry – This was SO easy, and very tasty! I added the garbanzo beans to make it a meal, but the flavour was great and the heat level perfect (that is, not very hot. :-)) It’s a dry curry, and you could really use any veggie (or combination thereof) instead of the cabbage – cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, &c.

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8. Cream of Veg Soup – This was just okay. Mr Pine Nut and Lou Who loved it; GooGoo wouldn’t touch it, and I didn’t finish mine. It was better than cumin-carrot soup, but I found it just too salty even though I’d diluted it considerably.

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9. Chickpea Mash Stew – I really liked this, despite it being totally different from how I envisioned it would be. Lou Who loved it too!

10. Super Noodle Soup – Very basic. The special thing about it seemed to me just that all the veggies get cut up very tiny (1/8″ dice), and I had to add a lot of extra salt and some garlic powder because it just didn’t have much flavour without. It was good, but I don’t think I’ll rush to make it again.

11. Pulao Rice – This was pretty easy. I used brown rice so I changed the water proportion and cooking time, but it came out very nice and I liked it. I wasn’t super fond of the whole idea of having to pick out all the whole cloves, cardamom pods, and other such things though.

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12. Chickpea Curry – I was prepping my ingredients for this and it calls for a 4-oz piece of ginger, thinly sliced. I only have (frozen) grated ginger, so I got it out and the frozen glob I had weighed exactly four ounces. The problem is that four ounces of grated ginger is like… a CUP’S worth. So I called out into the twitterverse and got confirmation that for the amount of curry, that seemed like an awful lot. So I decided to do 2 ounces instead. The end result was a curry with a good flavour… under an intense heat. I burned my entire digestive tract raw and had steam coming out my ears from eating it. So yeah, I doubt I’ll be making this again.

13. Saffron Rice – I made this to go with the abovementioned curry as per the book’s suggestion. It was okay. I wasn’t overly thrilled with it.

From the interwebs:

14. Parmesan Muffins – A friend made these and raved about them, so I decided to try them, because I need to get more savoury muffins into my culinary repertoire. They were excellent! I used flax instead of eggs (so 2T ground flax and 6T warm water), and I was too tired/lazy to make my favourite almond parmesan so I just used some Daiya mozzarella shreds I had in my freezer. And I left out the sugar.

15. Brownie Coco-Nut-Butter Cups – !!!!!!! YUM !!!!!! So, I made these for a potluck and forgot to take them with me. Oops. What a tragedy. 😉

From Vegan Simplicity:

16. Vegan Red Beans and Rice – This was good, but not great, which seems to be (so far) my reaction to most of Mark Anthony’s recipes. I bought this cookbook when he came and did a presentation/cooking class at our church and really haven’t used it much yet, so I definitely want to give it more of a chance before passing judgement. At any rate, this called for 3/4 cup of vegan margarine. O_O It also didn’t *look* super appetising.

17. Sri Lankan Style Mixed-Bean Soup – No picture; it looked sludgy and not super appealing, kind of pooplike, so like the red beans above the visual appeal was nil. But it tasted pretty good.

From Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day:

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18. Green Monster Bread (made into bagels/rolls) – I used rye flour and caraway seeds in with this and like it a lot! It seems a tad on the sweet side, so I think I’d reduce the sugar next time, but aside from that this was a definite “something I’d make again”. Way to sneak some kale into my girls’ diets (and mine).

Ten Talents (1978 edition):

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19. Carrot Salad – I thought the combo of carrot/pecan/cocoanut seemed a bit odd, but decided to try it anyway, and it was really good! Also very simple. I served it on a bed of lettuce/cabbage just to give it more variety but I would totally make it again.

Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar:

20. Cornmeal Poppyseed Biscotti – I hate lemon poppyseed bread. That being said, these were really good! I was surprised. I don’t know that they’ll be something I’ll make really often, but I brought some home from a potluck and know I’ll eat them. 🙂

21. Rocky Roads – I’ve had these before but haven’t made them before, and my suspicion that I’d like them better without the almond extract was completely correct. They are addictive, amazing, and I think the dough would be the perfect chocolate cookie base for a whole bunch of mix-ins. I’d like to try it plain too.

Everyday Vegan Eats:

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22. Chickpeas and Dumplings – A bit too salty but it was really yummy anyway!

23. Black Bean Feijoada – Really, really good!

[ETA: 24. Macaroni Salad – I made this on a whim the last day of March, and it was GOOD]

Cookbooks [or other sources] represented in March: 8

Did I meet my goal? Barely! I was worried the last week or so that I wouldn’t hit 20, but I did.

See you next month, with April’s recipe report!

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Categories: bread, challenges, cookies, dairy-free, dessert, lunch, salads, side dish, soup, vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Vegan Month of Food, Day 19: Potato-Rosemary Lasagna

Seriously, people? Pasta, potatoes, and white sauce? INSTANT COMFORT FOOD.

But it’s also got some good nutrition for you, with the beans, onions, and kale.

lasagna

First, prep your mashed potatoes.
9 c diced potatoes, cooked until tender and drained
2 T vegan margarine or oil of choice
1 sprig rosemary, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic
1/2 c unsweetened soy milk
1 tsp salt

Use a masher or handmixer to blend together.

Then prep your veggies:
1 3/4 c red onion
3 cloves garlic
1 sprig rosemary, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 c bell peppers
2 T oil
2 c finely chopped kale or other leafy greens, packed

Sauté all but the greens until tender; add greens and stir until wilted, then remove from heat.

And finally, combine:
6 c garbanzo, lima, or white beans of choice, not thoroughly drained (I used limas the first try, garbanzos the second. I liked garbanzos better.)
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 c white sauce

You also need:
12 lasagna noodles, uncooked

Now layer it! Thusly:

3 lasagna noodles

Roughly 1/3 of the beans and liquid

Roughly 1/3 the veggies

A few blops of potatoes, scattered

Repeat twice, then completely cover top with a hefty layer of potatoes.

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

To be perfectly honest, this was a LOT of work. It was good, but I’m not sure it was good enough to spend a couple hours to prepare. Granted, I was running to and from the garden to pick stuff for it, and I was baking bread at the same time I was trying to make it, but it just still seemed labour-intensive.

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Categories: casseroles, challenges, entrees, recipes, vegan, vegan mofo, vegan mofo 2013 | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Vegan Month of Food, Day 14: Shepherd’s Pie

So, I’ve already posted a shepherd’s pie recipe that is more, oh, traditional. But since I twisted around tater-tot casserole yesterday, I decided to switch around shepherd’s pie today.

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Chop up 8 potatoes, which should come to about 8 cups. Leave skins on. Cook them until tender and then mash them with:
2 T margarine
Unsweetened soy milk to reach desired consistency
1 tsp tarragon
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black salt (optional; I grew up putting an egg in my shepherd’s pie topping and I like the extra depth of flavour there)

In a 13×9, combine:
3 cups cooked bulgur beef or beef sub of choice
1 c chopped red onion
4 cups frozen green beans
2 c frozen peas
1 c chopped fresh tomato
1 1/2 T fresh dill
1 1/2 tsp dried tarragon
1 1/4 c white sauce

Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes. You could drizzle cheeze sauce or sprinkle Daiya on top if you want. I just baked mine plain.

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Categories: casseroles, challenges, entrees, recipes, vegan, vegan mofo, vegan mofo 2013, vegetables | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Vegan Month of Food, Day 3: Company Stew

This stew, like many other recipes on this blog, is inspired by a favourite comfort food of my childhood.

One Sunday lunch we were at some friends’ to eat with them, and the lady of the house served us Company Stew. Later, whilst visiting, my mom wrote down the recipe, accidentally leaving out the “p” (she added it in afterwards) because she was busy talking while writing. So “Comany Stew” I used to always call it.

But Comany or Company, it was always a favourite. Except for the time my dad made it and put in a crazy amount of black pepper and that day it was Pepper Stew. And rather unpalatable. But usually it was amazing, and there is really nothing lovelier than coming home from church to the delicious aroma of cooking food.

My Boxcar Children stew was modelled closely after this recipe, but this time I’m trying to replicate the actual Company Stew instead of Jessie’s stew, so it’s a tad different. Because you layer the ingredients while it’s cooking, this TOTALLY COUNTS as a legit Layered Food. 🙂 While the original stew baked in the oven, I have chosen to go the crockpot route, and have found that the results are pretty good if not quite as browned as the oven method.

This took me about an hour to prepare, because I had to go pull up my own carrots and dig up my own potatoes and then scrub them down. And make my white sauce. But if you already have potatoes and carrots handy, it won’t take you near that long to prepare it.

companystew

You will need:
1 lb stew beef sub, cut in pieces (I used chopped-up beef flavoured gluten steaks)
4 large potatoes, cut in chunks
4 medium carrots, cut in chunks
1 small onion, chopped
1 tsp salt
1 T tapioca flour
1 1/4 c white sauce (your favourite, or you can try my white sauce)
1 1/4 c water

Put gluten in bottom of crockpot. Layer on potatoes, carrots, and onion, also raw.

Next, combine the salt and tapioca flour and sprinkle on.

Drizzle soup and water over top. Cover and cook in crockpot on high for 5 hours. Should be rich and brown when done.

Tomorrow: Mexican Lasagna!

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Categories: challenges, crockpot, entrees, lunch, recipes, soup, vegan, vegan mofo, vegan mofo 2013 | Tags: , , , , , | 8 Comments

Vegan Blog Challenge 2013, Week 10: The Vegan Cookbook Aficionado

Last October, during my first Vegan MoFo, I watched a lot of blogs, and bookmarked loads of recipes, but I can’t say any of them impressed me quite like Vegan Cookbook Aficionado. I loved the photos, and almost all of the recipes were ones that I thought, “Hey, I’d really really REALLY like to try that.”

I’ve already rhapsodised about Maggie’s Apple-Cranberry Bannock, but the sad thing is, that’s the only thing I’ve actually made in the year since then (albeit multiple times!) So, I was totally thrilled that this was blog #10 on the challenge, because it would motivate me to actually make some of those fantastic-looking recipes that I’ve wanted to try for so long. Of course several of the ones on my to-make list called for either cream cheeze or soy yogurt, which I didn’t have, so here are the ones I did have stuff handy to make.

bannockGarlic Herb Bannock

Since I liked the other bannock so much, I decided to try this savoury one. I did some whole wheat flour, some all-purpose, and some random gluten-free flour mix because I was kind of running out of everything at the time. I used the parsley fresh from our garden, and for my other herbs I picked some oregano, rosemary, and chives.

I accidentally deep-fried the thing because I dumped way more oil into my electric skillet than I intended to. But oh was it delicious. It was light, fluffy, flavourful, amazing.

sconeRaspberry Cocoanut Scones

I splurged on some cocoanut extract to make these, since it was only $2.48 for a bottle and I’ve wanted it a long time and hey, I can use it in all kinds of stuff! Again I used some whole wheat flour here. They were awesome.

tatoesSalt and Vinegar Potato Bites

As per usual, I subbed lemon juice for the vinegar. I used rosemary, oregano, and chives again as my herbs. Usually I like my potatoes sans any sort of sauce, but I decided I’d do half the amount of the dipping sauce and drizzle it on top. It was actually pretty good. GooGoo didn’t like it, and it’s not something I’ll do all the time, but I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. The potatoes themselves, of course – delightful. Mmm.

Chocolate-Strawberry Loaf

No picture of this one, but it was intensely chocolatey and the sweet tang of the strawberries was delicious. I did the variation for regular cocoa powder, and I left out the espresso powder because I had none and hate the taste of anything coffeelike anyway. I had a piece hot out of the oven and could hardly taste it trying to keep it from burning off all my tastebuds (I’m so impatient), but just now I had a cold piece and it was amazing.

Overall comments for this week? Nothing disappointed. I am more stoked than ever to try more!

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Categories: bread, challenges, dessert, lunch, scones, side dish, vegan, vegan blog challenge 2013 | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Virtual Vegan Potluck: Herbed Roasted Potatoes in Cheezy Sauce

For my contribution to this potluck, I chose to make a potato dish, because one Cannot Go Wrong with potatoes. And this is super easy to put together, and also very tasty.

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You can see I had a whole meal of sides when I tested these potatoes. 🙂 Yum.

Begin with:
5 cups red potatoes, skins on, diced into roughly 1″ cubes (you could use russets, but I tested both and the textural results were much better with the red potatoes)

Bring to boil and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat, drain, and set aside.

In a bowl, combine:
2 1/2 T white flour
2 T nutritional yeast
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp basil
1 tsp tarragon
1 tsp garlic powder

Stir in:
1 T veggie oil
1 1/4 c water

Whisk together until smooth and no lumps remain. Pour into a sprayed 2-qt casserole dish and stir in potatoes to coat.

Roast at 350 for 20-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes until golden brown and easily pierced with a butter knife.

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Return to previous dish * On to the next dish * Start over again at the beginning

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Categories: lunch, recipes, side dish, soy-free, vegan, virtual vegan potluck | Tags: , , , , , | 26 Comments

Vegan MoFo #4: Mashed Potatoes

potato

I really, really love potatoes. Just like our carrots, our potatoes have… character.

potato seal
When I was growing up, my favourite part of Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners was never the turkey, the cranberry sauce, the buns, or even the canned green beans that I adored and to this day will snarf down hot from the pan or cold from the can. My favourite part was the mashed potatoes.

Mashed potatoes are very simple to make vegan. Here we go.

This recipe was originally found on page 185 of the 1978 Betty Crocker cookbook.

2 lbs potatoes
1/3-1/2 c non-dairy milk (be sure to use UNSWEETENED, unless you like your mashed potatoes with essence de sucre et vanille)
2 T vegan margarine
1/2 tsp salt

First you want to take the eyes out of your potatoes. I use this thing:

snoopy dog

We call it the “snoopy dog”. It’s a little hard to find them these days. But my husband’s family all has them and we use them for potato-eyeing and fruit – it’s a breeze to take the seeds and bad spots out with this wonderful tool.

Anyway, back to potatoes. I don’t peel mine, but you can if that’s what you prefer. After eyeing and peeling, chop them up and put them in a pan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer until tender. When the potatoes are soft, drain them and return to pan

Mash them until no lumps remain (I use a handmixer). Beat in milk in small amounts until the potatoes reach desired smooth-and-fluffiness, then add the margarine and salt. You can garnish with a dash of paprika and/or a sprig of parsley or chopped chives if desired. Then snarf.

mashed potatoes

You’ll use these if you make the Northern Bean Soup that I’ll be posting about tomorrow!

Categories: challenges, gluten-free, holiday, lunch, recipes, side dish, vegan, vegan mofo, vegan mofo 2012, vegetables | Tags: , | 4 Comments

Here’s the Beef: Shepherd’s Pie

I’m a (relatively new) Seventh-day Adventist and therefore have only been introduced to the strange and ‘spensive world of Faux Meat, Adventist Style, in the last few years of my life. Worthington’s line of meatlike substances with fanciful names like “FriChik“, “Stripples” and “Big Franks” are common at potlucks and, for some families, regular use.

These fake meats are fairly tasty, I must admit, but they’re pricey and rather packed with sodium and odd, unpronounceable ingredients. So I’ve never been fond of using them. Occasionally I indulge in a Big Frank, if someone else pays for it, but that’s about it. The way I figure it, I am vegan because I don’t WANT to eat meat; generally I don’t want to eat imitation meat, either. (This excludes Frontier Organic Bac’uns. OMNOMNOM.)

When I got married, I had a lot of recipes that were favourites that involved meat, of course, and to please my husband I had to come up with some sort of substitutes so I could still make my favourite dishes and us both be happy.

Today I’m going to talk about ground beef, and I’ll include a recipe for good measure. Ground beef is a common, common thing. I grew up eating tons of it.

My ground beef substitute of choice: PINTO BEANS.

I happened upon it by chance one day while making a spaghetti sauce and that’s what I just happened to have a can of in the cupboard. They are tasty, take on a variety of flavours quite well, and add nutritious bulk to many recipes. Dry pinto beans are usually under $2 per pound, while ground beef might be $3 or more per pound. That adds up to quite a bit of savings over time.

Two examples:

  • Pinto beans + taco seasoning + sauteed onions/garlic: instant taco filling
  • Pinto beans + oregano + basil + tomato sauce + sauteed onions/garlic: spaghetti sauce

Okay, here’s a recipe: Shepherd’s Pie for Shepherds Who Love Their Animals Too Much to Eat Them, or People Who Maybe Aren’t Even Shepherds at All

3 cups cooked pinto beans (you can use canned as well)
1 c chopped onion
2 cans green beans, drained (or 4 cups frozen)
2 cans tomato sauce
6-8 potatoes, cooked and mashed with milk, butter, and 1 egg (vegans can skip the egg, use appropriate margarine, and unsweetened non-dairy milk OR blended oats OR blended cashews)
1 c grated cheddar cheese (vegans can use Daiya or homemade cheeselike substances, or skip altogether)

1. Get the potatoes going. I don’t peel my potatoes. I just wash them, eye them, and chop them up. If you prefer peeled, go ahead. Put them in water and start them cooking. It will usually take around 20-30 minutes until they come to a boil and are soft.

2. Saute onion. Put in the bottom of a 13×9 pan. Add pinto beans and stir together.

3. Spread green beans over pintos/onions, and tomato sauce over green beans. Just add enough tomato sauce to make it wet, not look like soup.

shepherd's pie

This is what it will look like, except don’t add quite this much tomato sauce. Oops. (Also, I was out of regular onions, so I just dumped some fresh chopped green onions in this particular batch.)

4. When your potatoes are cooked, drain them and mash them with the milk and other stuff. Spread this mashed potato mixture over the filling.

shepherd's pie

Before spreading, distribute blobs of smushed potato thusly all over the surface.

shepherd's pie

Then use a knife or other type of utensil to spread the smushed potato blobs all over the surface.

5. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes. For the last 15 minutes of baking, sprinkle cheese substance of choice on top if desired.

shepherd's pie

And here it is toasty brown and golden and ready to eat.

Categories: entrees, nut-free, recipes, soy-free, substitutions, vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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