Friday, December 12, 2008

Too Saccharine Sweet


Yes, that perennial favorite, Baked Veggie Stew with Biscuits on top.
Well, I had been trying to get my hands on some wine to use in this gravy (Bryanna suggests port/sherry/Marsala), for example I stopped at a liquor store on the way home from our cut your own tree expedition (St. Croix Valley Tree Farm is really nice), but just came home with a bottle of Merlot mixed with something that starts with "C". Black Opal. I have no idea. It didn't even have a cork in it!! It was a twist off!
But I digress, so we had this last night and this time I used the gravy recipe with nutritional yeast where you toast the flour and nutritional yeast and it came out lumpy and liquidy but that was okay. And I spiced up the veggies and Boca by adding some paprika, pepper, garlic and onion powder.
Next time I will add a T of Earth Balance to the gravy. Sorry Bryanna, but it's got to be done.

1 16 oz bag frozen mixed veg
1 pkt Boca 'ground beef'

2 1/2 C water
1/3 C flour
1/3 C nutritional yeast
2 T soy sauce
1/2 t salt
few shakes Kitchen Bouquet

1 C flour
2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1/2 C water

Oil a 9", round, covered casserole. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Nuke veg and Boca together in microwave safe bowl, covered, for 10m with 1/4 C water.
Prepare gravy; brown flour and nutritional yeast over high heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add water, soy sauce, salt and Kitchen Bouquet. Whisk well, return to high heat and whisk until thickening, reduce heat and simmer 5m.
Stir together dumpling ingredients with a fork to make a stiff dough.
Add a dash pepper, salt, paprika, onion and garlic powder to veg and mix well. Pour into casserole. Pour gravy over veg and then top with spoonfulls of biscuit.
Bake uncovered 15m, covered 15m. Yum!

Ain't it purdy.
Here is another repeat, pasta with lentils.
Very yummy, filling and cheap, cheap, CHEAP!!!
I spiced it up with some cumin because I can never leave a recipe alone and it was good. Also some onion and garlic powder, sensing a theme here?

Pasta with lentils

1/2 16 oz package pasta
1 C brown lentils
1 1/4 C water
1 T olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C tahini
1/4 C water
1 t cumin
1 t onion powder
1 t garlic powder
1 t salt
dash pepper

Boil pasta.
In a large pot, place lentils with 1 1/4 C water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer 30m or until lentils are tender.
Saute onions, garlic in skillet.
Add onions and garlic, tahini, water and spices to lentils in large pot.
Mix well.
Toss in pasta and mix well (it helps if you just spoon out the pasta with a slotted spoon right into the large pot because the extra pasta water makes it easier to mix).
Serve hot.

I made my bread recipe and added some potato flakes which I had read about somewheres. Yo, it was good!!! I get ridiculously excited when I can change a recipe for the better. Note, I also added more oil and sugar. The kind of potato flakes I got at the coop come in these little packs so all I have to do is rip one open and it's so easy! Whee!

My Bread Recipe, the newest incarnation;
4 heaping cups flour
1/3 C sugar
1 pkt potato flakes (about 1/2 C)
1/4 C vital wheat gluten
1 scant T salt
1 scant T yeast
1/4 C oil
2 1/2 C water

Mix it all up, oil a bowl, plop it in there and turn to cover with oil, cover with wet tea towel and place in low oven (170 degrees) turned off for 45m.
Plop onto flour covered countertop, knead a little (10m), cut in half, roll out into rectangle, roll up short side, tuck ends under, plop in greased loaf pans and place back in low oven, turned off, again with the wet tea towel 45m.
When risen, take off towel, turn oven to 400 (you're starting from a cold oven, here) and bake 40m.
If having a really dark top bugs you, cover with foil toward the end.

And here is another repeat (sensing yet another theme here, now I'm repeating my 'sensing a theme here' statements, gah I'm repetitive). Yes, this winter will be the winter of working through the classics, I believe. Quick Tofu Mutter.
Anyway, this time I used more potato and peas to balance out the tofu and more curry paste, soy sauce, garlic.
Make this today!

Quick Tofu Mutter (I think I found this on vegweb or somewheres, but I can't find it again)

1 pkt extra firm tofu, chopped
1 C frozen peas
3 potatoes, cubed
2 T Patak's curry paste
2 T soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced

Start rice.
Start water to boil for potatoes.
Dice tofu, place in 9x9" microwave safe dish and nuke 1 1/2 m.
In a small bowl, mix curry paste, soy sauce and garlic.
Pour over tofu and mix well.
Cook potatoes until tender (10m?), remove from heat, do not drain and add frozen peas to thaw.
Nuke tofu 1 1/2m, stir, then nuke another 1 1/2 m.
Pour tofu into serving bowl, drain potatoes and peas and add to tofu and mix well.
Serve over rice.

Reading "The Name of the Rose" or whatever that Umberto Eco book is called, man is it tedious. Sorry, literary people. There's a lot of talk and theology which is very interesting and all, but man is it slow!
So, to reassure myself that, yes, I can actually read quickly, I guess, somehow I ended up getting "Bridget Jones Diary" and and Elizabeth Berg book from the library yesterday and read them both in one day!!!! Bridget Jones Diary was fun in a fluffy way, the format got sort of ridiculous after a while. Then the Berg book I really super enjoyed, it was the third in a series, "True to Form". I liked what she had to say, her insights into life, didn't think it was too saccharine sweet etc. etc. Feel like I'm wildly vaccilating in my choices of reading material.

Oh, P.S. thanks for all the great feedback about the tater tot hot dish... was kind of embarrased to post it, but so pleased with the reaction!