Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Down home cookin'!

A sick day at home, you want comfort food with no effort.
So the sick day menu included:
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Brown Onion Gravy
Sauteed Garlic Mushrooms

Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Boil some chopped potatoes until they easily break when pierced with a fork (about 8-10 min). I keep the skin on.
Drain, put in a large bowl with freshly minced garlic (garlic powder for minimal work), a couple shakes of mixed dry herbs, pinch of thyme, and splash of soy milk. Mash!! You do not need to add salt because the gravy will take care of that!

Brown Onion Gravy
Very loosely based on this wonderful recipe. I was only cooking for myself so I just "eyed" the ingredients. If you do the same, make sure you have enough "milk" on hand, it thickens amazingly!

Sauteed Garlic Mushrooms
A staple at our "down-home dinners" growing up.
Get some mushrooms, any type (slice "button"-type mushrooms though), throw them in a pan with preheated olive oil and garlic powder (or if you have left over fresh garlic, put it in with the mushrooms! putting it in hot oil for too long gives it a bitter flavor). Sautee until desired consistancy.

I don't know why, but I wanted toast. With the garlic oil and mushrooms and gravy and potatoes... it was a great idea on my stomach's part. I just used some fresh baguette slices.

With a cup of OJ! Hey.. I was sick...
Not much to look at, but sooo satisfying. The garlic oil of the mushrooms soaked into the toast for some yummy garlic bread! I went back for seconds!!

I would do nothing different. It was perfect.

Baked Tomatoes

A co-worker generously gave me a bunch of tomatoes. I knew I couldn't finish them off before they went bad so I decided to try my hand a baked 'maters. I have no idea what they are supposed to taste like, but in a way that let's me play with it more.

First thing:
Cut the top off the tomatoes and hollow them out. sprinkle salt on the inside and turn upside down to drain. After an hour, pat the inside of the tomato with a paper towel. Now they are ready for stuffin'!

I sauteed some finely chopped veggies (onion, pepper, mushroom, carrot) and split them into 3 different piles.

Mix 1/3 with precooked rice (I use brown).
Mix 1/3 with cornmeal mixed with hot water (corn mush)
Mix 1/3 with panko (Japanese bread crumbs)


I covered them with foil and put in the toaster oven about 350F/175C for 15 minutes-ish. I took the foil off and continued cooking for about 5-10 min to get a crunchy top.

Left: Cornmeal
Right: Rice
Back: Panko

Verdict: I didn't like the rice one, very plain. The Cornmeal one was the best, very flavorful.. the panko followed with a very close second.

Veggie Pizza


Veg (fresh & chunky!):
green pepper
avocado (oh yes!!)

Marinade those veggies with some dressing. I used an Onion dressing. Give it a light toss and let it sit for 5 minutes while you assemble the crust and sauce.

Pre-made pizza crust

DIY Sauce: I used ketchup, oregano, garlic and a little basil.

Cook according to premade crust instructions.

This is probably the best non-homemade crust pizza I've ever thrown together. I will be giving my veggies a light marinade from now on! Wow! Try it for yourself!

Light Tofu in Broth

This soup is super quick and easy! It's also nice and light, but the broth keeps you from being hungry afterwards!

Boil water and wakame (or other sea veggies),cubed firm tofu and finely chopped onion.
(Maybe add some garlic powder and a hint of soy sauce if you want more flavor)

Once boiling, add dumpling dough (see previous post: Split Pea Soup) and mushrooms.
Boil until dumplings are cooked through.

I used wakame in this soup because I have a large ration of it once I found out it helps you lose weight. I had no idea how great of a flavorer it would be! I have made this quite a few times, definitely a keeper!!

Split Pea Soup with dumplings

Simmer dried peas with
mix frozen veg (carrot, pes, corn)

parsley topper

You can make dumplings by combining a biscuit mix with soymilk so the dough is not so sticky & throw them in the boiling soup.
Play with this recipe from :

(I personally use olive oil for the fat and no spices)


1 1/2 cups white flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 tb chopped parsley
1/2-1 tsp finely chopped thyme
60g vegan margarine
soymilk to mix

Process ingredients in food processor or rub in margarine with fingers to produce a fine crumb. Add sufficient soymilk to produce a wettish dough. Spoon tablespoonfuls on top of the simmering casserole. Cover and cook for 20 minutes."

Verdict: Could have used more spices, and a reaffirmation that I only like whole peas.