Potato Croquettes

This is a nice way to use up leftover mashed potatoes. If you don’t have any, make some; with some spices and breadcrumbs, this makes for a nice addition to grilled vegetables and little burgers.

2 Russet potatoes
1 tbsp Earth Balance
1/2 cup almond or soy milk, unsweetened
1 tbsp Herbs de Provence
1 tsp salt
1 tsp lemony pepper
1/4 cup breadcrumbs

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place a couple of Russet potatoes in the microwave until soft, peel as much as you can or wish to, and mash with a fork, mixing up Earth Balance and unsweetened almond or soy milk to taste. Add spices. Roll into little balls and roll each in breadcrumbs. Place on baking sheet and bake until golden.

Chamin 2.0: Halloween Version

I really hope some of you got to make my four-color chamin recipe from a couple of weeks ago–it really rocked. I’m posting yet again about chamin because I’ve made some seasonal improvements to the recipe and it came out even more wonderful (and more nutritious!) than the previous installment.

Essentially, what I did was replace the white potatoes with a squash and more carrots, making the meal more orange and less white. I also did away with the rice and put in mung beans instead. It came out phenomenal, and I’m thrilled to have a hot meal for the rest of the week!

House Anniversary Dinner

On Friday night we celebrated one year since we closed on Casa Corazones, and were very happy to host our realtor, who is a classy, hardworking, wonderful person, for a nice colorful dinner. No pix remain, but here is what I cooked:

Inauthentic but Tasty Posole Soup (big pot, lots of leftovers):
– 1/2 pound dry hominy corn (I like the variety from Rancho Gordo)
– 1 can chickpeas
– 6 carrots
– 1 bunch dino kale
– 1 onion
– 4 garlic cloves
– stock/dried vegetables and water
– fresh parsley

Cook posole according to instructions. Then, add other ingredients, cover with water/stock and cook for 45 mins. I served the soup with freshly baked Bialys from a local bakery.

A fresh romaine lettuce with 1 avocado and 1 red grapefruit.

Steamed Asparagus
This one’s a no-brainer, of course, but consider steaming it above the soup, so you get two things done at once.

Greens, Mushrooms, and Tempeh
A nice stir-fry of chard, button mushrooms, and sliced tempeh. I happened to have a marinated variety on hand, but you can easily marinate your own in soy sauce or Bragg’s Aminos with some orange juice, garlic, ginger, spices, and hot sauce.

Caramelized Cherry Tomatoes
I found two tomato baskets for cheap at the grocery store, so I halved each of them, placed them with the sliced side up on a tray, drizzled them with olive oil and added fennel seeds, sumac, and nigella seeds. They were ready after about 20 mins, and I garnished them with fresh oregano before serving.

Tiny Bite-size Baked Potatoes
The little potatoes were cute and inexpensive, so I bought a lot of them and baked them whole with garlic, rosemary from the garden, some truffle salt, and a drizzle of olive oil.

Our guest brought fabulous cakes and I bought chocolate-mint vegan cookies. All the desserts were served with a big tray full of berries of all kinds, which I drizzled with juice from one tangerine and sprinkled with lavender tips.

This was a fun lesson in serving an entirely vegan meal without advertising it as such.

Mashed Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes

Have you had any of those horrible nights, when, say, you break up with your partner, or someone does something horrible to you, or you have the flu and feel miserable? Some folks lose their appetite when confronted with such miseries; that has never been the case with me. When I’m upset, I really like to eat – and preferrably something nice and creamy and comforting. My top choice, in my twentysomethings, for situations like this – mashed potatoes.

In these days of crazy carb counting, folks tend to look down on the humble potato, and see it as a blob of carbs out there to get us and live in our thighs. Well, potatoes themselves are not extremely calorie-rich, and while they do consist of starch, there’s also good quality fiber in them. However, we do need to think of the relatively recent (and sound) nutritional recommendation to eat foods whose glycemic index is low; that is, foods that become sugars in a slower process and thus do not make our blood sugar level rise and crash like crazy. Potatoes happen to have quite a high glycemic index. My solution? Mix them up with sweet potatoes, and have a beautiful and tasty light-orange colored mash.

6 large potatoes
3 large sweet potatoes
2 cups vegetable broth
3-4 spoons of olive oil, or butter
onions, fried (optional)

Wash and scrub potatoes and sweet potatoes (do not peel! mash with peels is good stuff), put in a large pot, and cover with water. Add vegetable broth. Cook for about forty minutes, or until all roots are soft and can easily be pierced with a fork. Transfer to a bowl, and then mash them with a masher, or with any other handy tool. As you mash, add in the oil or butter (if you’re using butter – I prefer goat butter). Also, gradually pour in up to one cup of the cooking liquid, which tastes “brothey” and nice. The additional liquids work just as well as heavy cream or milk, and will make the mash fluffy and complex-tasting. When done, add black pepper to taste, and if you like fried onions, you can decorate the mash with some of these on top.

No pic, today, I’m afraid – that’s the problem with mash: it gets eaten before anyone has a chance at whipping out a camera!