DDD #162 – Vegan Bubble & Squeak (Potato & Cabbage)

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Watching Downton Abbey, I heard Mrs. Hughes tell Carson that she was serving him Bubble & Squeak. Intrigued, I Googled it & discovered that it is a humble dish of leftover mashed potatoes & cabbage – an English version of the Irish Colcannon. The Scottish have Rumbledethumps. Bubble & Squeak is also not too dissimilar from the Irish Boxty. A side dish – it is traditionally served at breakfast with a fried egg (if you are not vegan) on top or as a side dish for anything that might like potatoes with it.

Click the image below to watch the video.

 

There are no real measurements to this recipe.

Ingredients – very simply – are:

Mashed potatoes

Cooked, chopped cabbage (roughly in half the amount you have of potatoes – so – 2 cups potato to one cup chopped cabbage but this is a very loose suggestion)

Salt & pepper

Coconut oil

Flour (if your potatoes are too creamy)

Optional substitution for cabbage include but are not limited to: kale, Brussels Sprouts or any other leftover vegetables.

You might like to also add: chopped parsley, sauted onion, minced fresh dill, or mustard.

Optional – mustard to serve with it or fresh parsley or dill as garnish

Directions

Take your mashed potatoes & chopped cabbage & blend together in a bowl. Season with salt & pepper. Add any of the optional ingredients (I liked dill & mustard).

Create patties as shown from the mix. If the patties are not holding together well, add flour in small increments until the patties can be picked up easily without breaking apart. The video will help if this is too vague. Heat the coconut oil & fry them about 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden & warmed through.

Alternately – place in a pie dish & bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until warmed through.

Serve with mustard. Or not.

Enjoy!

DDD #135 – Vegan Shepherd’s Pie with Mashed Cauliflower

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2019

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Click the image above to watch the video.

Vegan Shepherd’s Pie with Mashed Cauliflower

Feeds 6

INGREDIENTS

12 ounces soyrizo (or other faux meat)

14 ounces Beyond Sausage (or other faux meat)

4 cups mixed veggies (I used a combination of frozen corn, peas, lima beans)

1 med-large head cauliflower – cut into florets

2 medium red potatoes (optional)

8 oz mushrooms – sliced

1 leek – white part sliced

1/4 onion – diced

vegan butter (2-4 TBS)

vegan milk (1/4 cup or more)

S&P

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Boil the cauliflower & potatoes (if using) until soft.  Drain & set aside.

Heat a TBS or so of vegan butter (or other oil) and saute mushrooms & onion until both are browned & soft.  Set aside.

Melt a TBS or so of vegan butter (or other oil) and saute the leek until soft.  Set aside.

Saute the faux meats together until heated all the way through (primarily to cook the Beyond Sausage & drain some grease).  If you are using other meats than Beyond sausage – there is no reason to precook them.

Mix the faux meat with the mushrooms & onion.

Mash the cauliflower & potato mix with the leeks & about 1/4 cup of vegan milk & 2 TBS or more of vegan butter.  Season with S&P.

Assemble the shepherd’s pie by putting the faux meat mix on the bottom of a casserole pan (I divided mine between two smaller pans (see above).  Top with whatever veggies you are using & then top with the mashed cauliflower.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until heated through.  Serve!  I plated mine as double-decker stacks so it looked prettier & more substantial.

 

 

DDD #132 – Hearty Vegan Beef & Vegetable Stew

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2019

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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To watch the video – click the image above.

There are about an infinity of ingredients in this stew – most of which can be eliminated without a negative impact on this dish.  I happened to have all but mushrooms, an onion & carrots on hand.  If you are missing an ingredient or two (or three) – I think you will still like the results.

I used those vegetarian bouillon cubes above but I am going to stop buying them.  They contain palm oil & an obscene sodium content so – I will be moving on to Better Than Bouillon, when my supply of these runs out.

I served my stew over mashed cauliflower.   When I was done eating – I mixed the leftover mashed cauliflower directly into the stew.  This had the effect of making it seem thicker & denser – but it is just cauliflower – so it actually lightens the dish up.

**NOTE – I made this in a slow cooker (on high) while I hiked.  It was pretty much done when I returned 2 1/2 hours later.  You could make this just as easily stove top – maybe in less time.  Just bring to a boil & simmer until the veggies are cooked.  To thicken it – return it to a boil.  Whisk 1/4 cup cornstarch into some hot water & add to the boiling stew.  It should thicken nicely.  If not – do it again.  Add water if it gets too thick.

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Hearty Vegan Beef & Vegetable Stew for the Slow Cooker

Serves 6 or more

INGREDIENTS (VERY flexible – both in what you use & quantity)

Olive oil (or the cooking oil of your choice)

1 (9 oz) vegan ground beef (or more) – I recommend Beyond Meat

1 package (or more) of Gardein Beefless Tips (or your favorite vegan cubed steak)

1 onion – diced

2 Portobello mushroom – cut up (or whatever mushrooms you prefer)

4 carrots – sliced

2 jalapenos – diced (optional)

1-2 cups cubed white-fleshed potato of any variety (I don’t peel my potatoes)

1 small sweet potato – cubed (I don’t peel my potatoes)

2 celery stalks – chopped

4 radishes – cubed (I only used them because I had them so they are very optional)

2 tomatoes – diced (or a cup of canned diced tomatoes)

2-6 garlic cloves – minced

5 cups vegetable stock

1 cup dry red wine (optional) – or another cup of stock

6 oz lima beans (I used frozen)

1-2 cups peas (I used frozen)

1 cup corn (I used frozen)

1/4 cup pasta sauce (I used Rao’s but you can use your favorite or omit it)

1 TBS Bragg’s liquid aminos OR soy sauce OR tamari

1 TBS dry mustard

1 TBS vegan Worcestershire sauce

1 TBS Kitchen Bouquet (seasoning available in the spice aisle or near gravy ingredients)

Few squirts Maggi  (seasoning available in the spice aisle or near gravy ingredients)

1 tsp smoked (or regular) paprika

2 bay leaves

6 whole coves

1 tsp agave nectar (or sugar)

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional)

1/4 cup corn starch (or more)

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

I really prefer slow cooker recipes that require ZERO prep.  Recipes where you just dump the shit into the cooker & go away.  But – I really wanted a stew-like flavor here so – I thought cooking the onions & bringing their flavor – & the flavor of the sauteed mushrooms were important.  Also – browning the steak cubes assists in the visual presentation.  You could certainly just dump it all in & would probably be just as happy with the result.  Your call.

So – heat 2 TBS or so of oil & saute the onions & the beef cubes.  When the onions start to brown.  Add the garlic & saute one minute.  Add the wine (or stock) and quickly deglaze the pan.  Put this into the slow cooker.

In the same pan, add another TBS or so of oil & saute the mushrooms until they begin to sear.  Deglaze the pan with a tiny bit of water & add the mushrooms to the slow cooker.

If you are going stove top – do the steps above & then put those things & the rest of the ingredients (EXCEPT THE CORNSTARCH) into a huge stock pot, bring to a boil & simmer until the vegetables are tender – not more than 1/2 hour.  To thicken it – return it to a boil.  Whisk 1/4 cup cornstarch into some hot water & add to the boiling stew.  It should thicken nicely.  If not – do it again.  Add water if it gets too thick.  Season with S&P.

If you are slow cooking it – dump the rest of the ingredients (EXCEPT THE CORNSTARCH) into the slow cooker & leave it covered & on high for 3 hours or so.   To thicken it – remove the lid. Whisk 1/4 cup cornstarch into some hot water & add to the boiling stew.  It should thicken nicely.  If not – do it again.  Leave the top off until it thickens.  Add water if it gets too thick.  Season with S&P.

If you have am Instant Pot or pressure cooker – Cook for 15 minutes.

Serve over rice or mashed potatoes or – as I did – over mashed cauliflower.   When I was done eating – I mixed the leftover mashed cauliflower directly into the stew.  This had the effect of making it seem thicker & denser – but it is just cauliflower – so it actually lightens the dish up.

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DDD #64 – My “You Are Not Vegan Enough” Rant & Holiday Leftovers Shepherd’s Pie & 14 Other Ideas

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Ok – so I posted my Vegan Whole Turkey (seen above) – and the vegans on Facebook lost their collective shit.  Despite knowing it was a vegan item – I got blocked & banned & verbally assaulted SAVAGELY.  This video below is my response to the “You are not the right kind of vegan” attacks I got from the most self-righteous douchebags ever.  I also show you how I reinvented a bunch of random leftovers into and epic Shepherd’s Pie.

Below the video here are the 14 recipes I suggest as potential uses for your holiday leftovers.

Click the image to watch the video.

Thanksgiving Vegan Torta Rustica with Creamed Spinach and Chicken, Scalloped Potatoes & Sweet Potato-Butternut Squash Puree

Vegan Chicken & Mixed Vegetable Pot Pie

Vegan Spicy Chicken Enchilada Soup with Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce

Vegan Marinated Chicken Banh Mi Sandwich

Vegan Horseradish Chicken Salad with Pecans and Jalapeno Potato Salad in Baked Wonton Cups

Vegan Chicken Salad Wraps

Cool Vegan Cashew & Cranberry Chicken Salad Tacos with Avocado

Sweet & Spicy Vegan Island Chicken with Pineapple

10-Minute Spicy Vegan Sriracha Chicken & Broccoli Bowl

Healthy Vegan Chicken Fricassee with Tarragon

Healthy Vegan Chinese Chicken Salad with Spicy Asian Dressing

Vegan Cold Chicken Piccata Pasta Salad with Asparagus & Spinach

Vegan Firecracker Chicken

Vegan Beef and Vegetable (Shepherd’s Pie) Empanadas

DDD #30 – Spicy Vegan Chicken Fried Cauliflower with Smashed Baked Potatoes and White Gravy & Delta Dipping Sauce

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

 

 

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I am reposting an updated version of my original post for these dished from July 30, 2013.  Originally, this was posted as vegetarian recipes.  I updated them to be vegan & there is a video on my channel to accompany it.  Click the image below to watch & see how easy this stuff is to make.


From July 30, 2013:

In my hunt for other recipes meant to provide a cauliflower version of fried chicken, I ran into THIS post about Popeye’s Fried Chicken.  Here is a picture from that site:

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I have never eaten at Popeye’s or any other fried chicken joint (except KFC & Dinah’s here in Glendale) and I haven’t tasted ANY fried chicken in over 25 years – but my boyfriend Miles eats it all the time.  In fact, he eats it weekly now that the famous Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken opened a few blocks away from him in downtown Little Rock.  Miles is always sending me (at my request) pictures of the food he eats & I find myself looking at fried chicken so much – I have developed an undeniable craving for it.  And – that blogger that spoke of an incredible meal at Popeye’s didn’t help.  And that Delta sauce?  I liked the sound of it & a few clicks here & there revealed that Popeye’s discontinued it.  In fact, there seems to be quite a bit of hand-wringing going on about the now-unavailable Delta Sauce and that piqued my curiosity.  Fortunately, the blogger who loved the Delta sauce posted a copycat recipe for it & I could not resist.  So – I made it & I include that recipe here.  It is like a spicy Thousand Island dressing & it is INCREDIBLE on my – wait for it – Southern Fried Cauliflower!

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Doesn’t that look just like a fried chicken plate?  I was so Goddamn happy with myself yesterday – you have no idea.  If you make any of my zillions of cauliflower recipes – I have to say – it should be THIS one!  So easy & so delicious!  And if, like me, you don’t eat meat but the reasons for that do not include any distaste for meat products – this might really satisfy any existing fried chicken craving you might be in denial about.

That plate above includes the recipe for Vegan Buffalo Mac & Pepper Jack Cheese  – served traditionally or as cupcakes!

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It also includes some smashed baked potatoes & a vegan white gravy.

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This is quite a decadent meal & the perfect fix on those days when the hole in your heart is bigger than your ass & you just don’t give a fuck.  You wanna eat & you wanna eat something bad.  This is as Paula Deen as I am likely to get but even with this dish – the fried chicken is really cauliflower & there is no bacon (or other meat) fat in any of it (excepting egg & milk) & the potatoes were made with a minimum of butter & WATER – because I’d run out of milk.  So – seriously – AT LEAST try the southern fried cauliflower & Delta dipping sauce.  I am certain you will enjoy!

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Spicy Southern Fried Cauliflower and Delta Dipping Sauce with Smashed Baked Potatoes and White Gravy and Buffalo Mac & Cheese (All Vegan)

(This feeds about two (very well) so increase the recipes if you are feeding more.  The mac & cheese recipe feeds at least 4.)

INGREDIENTS

For the Southern Fried Cauliflower

(depending on the size of your cauliflower – you may need more or less of the other ingredients – so maybe have extra on hand)

1 head cauliflower

2 eggs worth of egg replacer (optional)

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup Frank’s Hot Sauce

2 cups flour

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp each of S&P

1 tsp chipotle chili powder (or smoked or regular paprika)

1 tsp garlic powder

Lots of vegetable oil for frying

1 gallon zip lock baggy (not necessary but it makes life easier)

For the Delta dipping sauce

1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise

1 tsp lemon juice

1/8 cup vegetable oil

1/8 cup sambal oelek (or other chili sauce)

1/8 cup ketchup

1/4 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp mustard

1/2 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce

2-3 dashes hot pepper sauce (Tabasco or another brand)

1 garlic clove – minced

For the smashed baked potatoes

2 large potatoes

olive oil

2 TBS vegan butter

S&P

For the white gravy

2 TBS vegan butter

1 large shallot – minced

1/4 cup flour

1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk

1 vegetable bouillon cube

1/2 tsp dry sage

1 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp salt

For the Vegan Buffalo Mac & Cheese (or Mac & Cheese Cupcakes)

See HERE

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DIRECTIONS

For the Delta dipping sauce

Whisk the ingredients together & chill.

For the Smashed Baked Potatoes

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Rub olive oil on the potatoes & sprinkle with salt.  Bake them – DIRECTLY on the oven rack – for about 45 minutes.  Remove from the oven & allow to cool a bit.  Peel the potatoes (I left bits of skin & browned spots for some color) & mash them up with the butter & some salt & pepper and as much milk or water (I used water as I was out of milk) as you need to get to a texture you like.  I used an old school hand masher & left them chunky & on the drier side.  I smashed them a bit more at the end with an immersion blender.  You do it however you like.

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For the white gravy

Heat the butter in a sauce pan & add the bouillon cube & the shallots.  Cook a minute or two until the shallots soften & the bouillon cube is dissolved.  Add the flour, sage & salt and pepper & stir constantly for about 2 minutes.  It should be quite dry.  Add the milk 1/2 cup at a time & allow it to thicken.  Continue until all the milk is incorporated and heat until the gravy is at your desired thickness.  Add milk if it is too thick.

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For the Southern Fried Cauliflower

In a bowl – whisk together the egg replacer, water & hot sauce.  I think you can omit the egg replacer with no real effect on the recipe.

In a zip lock bag or in a deep bowl – blend the flour with the rest of the dry ingredients.

Cut the cauliflower into the largest “drummettes” possible so they resemble chicken thighs & a few wings.  I sprayed my cauliflower with water so the flour mix would stick.

Put the cauliflower in the flour mix & toss to coat.  Dunk into the egg mix until covered & then back into the flour.  Coat again with the flour.

I do not have a thermometer to measure oil temp but I think 350 is the correct temperature for frying.  I just let it get hot, put one drummette in there & once that started bubbling pretty rapidly – I added a few more pieces

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Turn a few times & fry until they are a golden brown all over.  Drain on a paper towel.  Repeat until all the cauliflower is cooked.  Now – just divvy up the goodness & fill up that whole in your heart with some old school home cooking!

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Deconstructed Vegan Shepherd’s Pie or Broccoli & Mashed Potato Casserole

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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This dish takes a few steps but all are easy.   I adapted this recipe from One Green Planet’s MASHED POTATO CASSEROLE WITH BROCCOLI AND A CAULIFLOWER GRAVY.  I already had gravy in the freezer – leftover from my effort at poutine – seen just below.  It was a leek & sage brown gravy & the recipe is HERE.  When I end up with more of something than I need for a recipe – I often freeze the extra in Ziplock bags that I store flat – so they take up very little space in my freezer – as seen just below the poutine here.  Just squeeze the air out & place it on top of a frozen pizza or some other flat item (a cookie sheet) until it freezes.  It thawed quickly in the bag when placed under hot running water.  You can use this gravy recipe or your own favorite one or the easiest one ever – HERE.

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I wanted to use one of the vegan cheeses I recently bought from Soledad Goat Sanctuary…seen just above.  It is creamy & has a tang sort of like sour cream & I thought it would add a nice layer of flavor & some richness to the potato level.  You can use any soft cheese you like (cream cheese or whatever) or eliminate that ingredient with no real negative impact on this dish.

The nice thing about this dish is that it combines potato, broccoli & gravy in one decadent dish & it is easy to transport to a family or friend’s house as your vegan contribution to an otherwise potentially non-vegan meal.  Meat eaters will love it & vegans could really get away with eating only this & not feeling too ripped off.

I used fresh broccoli but frozen will do – if you prefer it.

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Deconstructed Vegan Shepherd’s Pie or Broccoli & Mashed Potato Casserole

INGREDIENTS

2 large heads of broccoli – cut into florets

10 small red potatoes – cut into large chunks (I left skins on)

1 (14 oz) can of white beans – drained & rinsed

2 cups gravy of choice (two recipes are linked above)

4 oz soft vegan cheese (optional) OR 2-4 TBS vegan butter (or both if you are feeling decadent!)

2 garlic cloves

1 cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)

1/4 cup parsley

1 large rosemary sprig – leaves removed

small handful of fresh oregano

few sprigs of fresh thyme

2 TBS olive oil

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Make your gravy.  Set aside.

Prepare the broccoli (try very hard not to overcook it).   Steam or boil it for 2-3 minutes & drain it under cold water   When cool enough to handle – chop it pretty small.  (I take the steamed stalks & blend them into wet food for my dogs.)  Chop the thyme & oregano & toss with the broccoli & 1 or 2 TBS olive oil.  Season with S&P.  Set aside.

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Puree the beans and 1/2 cup almond milk in a high power (or regular) blender until smooth.  (I REALLY love my Magic Bullet that I recently bought at Bed Bath & Beyond for $30 & I recommend them.)  Add the rosemary & parsley & puree them into the bean mixture.  Set aside.

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Boil the potatoes and the garlic cloves until the potatoes are very soft.  Drain.  Return to the pan.  Add the bean puree, soft cheese or butter (or both) & blend with a hand mixer or immersion blender.  Add as much additional milk as you need to make them thick but creamy.  Season with S&P.

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I sprayed my casserole pan with cooking spray but that probably is not necessary.

Spread the potatoes on the bottom.  Top with as much gravy as you like (I used about 2 cups – which was A LOT (though not too much for ME) – so add as much as feels right to you) & then the broccoli.

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Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes.  Let it rest a few minutes & serve!

If you have extra gravy, either put it on the table or freeze it.

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Southwestern Vegan Beef & Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie with Chipotle Sweet Potato Mash

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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I am all about Beyond Meat!    Click HERE to get a coupon to try some yourself & to use their store locator.  This brand is the absolute best vegan meat on the market – in my opinion.  These beefy crumbles are so delicious that even unapologetic carnivore & hyper-finicky eater, the badass Miles Miller, ate this shepherd’s pie & declared it delicious.  He even went on to rave that he would eat this fake ground beef in pasta or in tacos etc etc.  This is a man that takes the TEENSIEST nibble of remotely questionable foods (like any vegetable or dish that is new to him or anything vegetarian) & often even indulges in a sour expression of distaste to make his displeasure clear.  But not in response to this stuff.  I am convinced that you need not even tell a meat eater that this stuff is fake.  They would be very unlikely to guess.

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That said – shepherd’s pie is pretty hard to photograph.  I even Googled an image search to see how others had pulled it off.  Pretty much everyone leaves it in the pan it was cooked in – because, when plated, it spills out & can just look like chunky mush.  In the interest of full disclosure, I stacked two servings on top of each other to create that deep, lasagna look.  You can do this, too, when serving it – otherwise a single serving looks sorta anemic.

This came together in an hour – start to finish – and is really, really easy.   I would use more sweet potato, in the future, to create a deeper pie but it is full of flavor & has a bit of a kick.  Used random vegetables I had in the house from my Farm Fresh to You delivery but you can use whatever floats your boat.

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Southwestern Vegan Beef & Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie with Chipotle Sweet Potato Mash

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

for the chipotle sweet potato mash

6+ medium sweet potatoes – peeled & cubed

2 chipotle peppers – minced

1 TBS adobo sauce (from the can of chipotle peppers)

4 TBS vegan butter

1/3 cup or more almond or soy or rice milk

S&P

for the shepherd’s pie

18 oz vegan ground beef

6 small carrots – chopped

2 sunburst or pattypan squash (or zucchini) – chopped

1 bell pepper – chopped

1 serrano pepper – chopped (seeds removed for less heat)

1 small red onion – chopped

2 celery stalks – chopped

2 garlic cloves – chopped

1 chipotle pepper – minced (or more for more heat)

2 TBS olive oil

1 TBS canned or fresh jalapeno – chopped

1 TBS cumin

1 TBS garlic powder

1 TBS onion powder

Handful of cilantro – chopped (and extra for garnish)

Cayenne or chili powder

Extra vegan butter

(other vegetables you could use might be corn, peas, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli)

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Boil the sweet potatoes until very soft.

In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil and, basically, heat all the shepherd’s pie ingredients until the vegetables are soft.  Season with S&P.  Add more canned jalapeno or chipotle or adobo for more spice.

Mash the sweet potatoes with the milk, butter, chipotle peppers & some S&P.  Taste & season with more chipotle peppers or adobo sauce or S&P.

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I treated a casserole pan with cooking oil & put the meat & veggies in there & then spread the sweet potatoes on top.  Sprinkle some cayenne or chili powder on top & drop a few butter cubes on there, too.

Bake for 30 minutes or until it begins to brown a bit.

Serve with cilantro.

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Baked Leftover Mashed Potato Cakes

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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OK – I made those Shepherd’s Pie Empanadas for Easter but I had a shit ton of the mashed potato filling left over.  So – I made these potato cakes.

You can use the recipe from the empanadas for the mash mixture or make up your own.  I have a food mold – so I used it but you can make these by hand, the way you would make a hamburger patty.  You can pan fry these but I chose to bake them.  I added grated cheese – mainly to make them prettier.  I added bread crumbs but I don’t think I would in the future as they just add calories & not much else.  I did not mix anything extra in but you could add cheese to the potatoes themselves or additional cooked vegetables or, if you are a meat eater – add some chopped ham or bacon.

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Baked Leftover Mashed Potato Cakes

INGREDIENTS

Mashed potatoes – either from my Shepherd’s Pie Empanadas or your own recipe – just make them thick.

Breadcrumbs – optional

Grated cheese – optional (I used Parmesan & a mixed Mexican blend)

Additional vegetables, cheeses or meats – optional

Garnish – sour cream, chives

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350.

Add whatever you want to add to your mashed potatoes.

Assemble your cakes by hand or with a food ring.  Press some breadcrumbs in – if you are using them.  Place on a cooking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Top with cheese.

Bake 15-30 minutes or until the cheese is melted to your liking – or just until they are heated through.

That’s it!  Yummy leftover mashed potato cakes!

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Super Ultra Easy and Guiltless Vegan Mashed Cauliflower with Chives and Scallions

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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It doesn’t get a whole lot easier than this.  Guiltless mashed “potatoes” –made from cauliflower.  I have posted many variations on this theme.  This is only the latest.  You can really add anything to these that you might add to a mashed potato.  I have been regrowing scallions from the white rooted ends of scallions I bought & used.    All you do is put the ends in some water as instructed HERE & in about a week – once they get going – transplant them in some dirt.   Brilliant!  Anyway – I have lots of homegrown scallions now & wanted to use some – hence this recipe.

(Photo from www.TheKitchn.com)

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Super Ultra Easy and Guiltless Vegan Mashed Cauliflower with Chives and Scallions

INGREDIENTS

1 head cauliflower cut up into large florets

1/4 cup chopped scallions and/or chives

1 TBS vegan (or other) butter

Homemade (or other) almond milk to taste (I used none)

Salt & pepper to taste (use a lotta salt)

Extra chives and/or scallions as garnish

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DIRECTIONS

Boil the cauliflower about 10-12 minutes or until soft.  Drain & return to the pan.  Mash with salt, herbs & butter.  I used an immersion blender.  A potato masher or a food processor would both work, too.  I added no almond milk because I like these guys on the thicker side but you can add as much as you need to get the texture you prefer.  Season with S&P & garnish with more chopped herbs!

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The top video there is trailer for my novel.  The second is me reading from it a while back – at Vroman’s.

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Vegan Sriracha Mashed Potatoes

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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This hardly counts as a recipe but I am posting it as a companion to my next post.

Here is the recipe:

Make your favorite mashed potatoes – vegan or otherwise – and swirl some sriracha on them and use a knife to marble the sriracha into the potatoes.

What I actually used was about 7-8 Yukon gold potatoes.  I cut them up & boiled them until they were soft.  I mashed them with about 1-2 TBS vegan butter & a splash of almond milk.  I added S&P to taste.

I garnished them with the sriracha and some chopped scallions.  Voila!

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Check out how to use them on vegan meatloaf cupcakes!

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Vegan Mashed Garlic Cauliflower with Caramelized Leeks

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Enter to win one of five free copies of my book!!!

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Mashed cauliflower is even easier than mashed potatoes & can be varied just as many ways.  This is a simple side dish with lots of flavor.  And better yet – you can regrow fresh leeks with just the end you were going to throw away & a little water.  Find out how HERE.

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Vegan Mashed Garlic Cauliflower with Caramelized Leeks

INGREDIENTS

3 leeks – tough green part cut away & the rest chopped & WASHED (leeks are dirty) and drained well

RESERVE THE END TO REGROW!  See how HERE.

2 TBS olive oil

1 tsp brown sugar

Pinch of salt

1 head cauliflower – stem & leafy part cut away

2 cloves chopped garlic

S&P

Stock or vegetable bouillon

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the olive oil in a saute pan.  If your leeks are really wet, dry them a bit in a kitchen towel then saute them in the oil over med-low heat.  Add the sugar & salt & saute for about 20 minutes or so.  Stir them a lot & be sure they do not burn.  They are done when they look about like this:

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Meanwhile – boil the cauliflower in enough stock (or water with some bouillon) until very soft – maybe 15 minutes.  You might want to saute the garlic for about 30 seconds to a minute in olive oil or butter but I used it raw.

Reserve about a cup of the cauliflower water & drain the cauliflower well.  Using a manual masher or a mixer puree the cauliflower like you would with potatoes.  Add the garlic and S&P to taste.  You may or may not need the reserved cauliflower water.  This depends on the moisture already in the cauliflower & your particular preference as to texture.  If you want them to be richer, blend in some butter, cream or cream cheese (or vegan alternatives).

Top with the caramelized leeks & devour!

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Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie with Brussels Sprouts, Carrots & Jalapeno Mashed Potatoes

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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This is another creation inspired by existing ingredients, my own laziness & the reality of produce & its shelf life.  That doesn’t mean it is not DELICIOUS.  Delightful.  And even – dare I say it?  Delovely!

I have expressed some frustration recently with my photography but I bought a new $17 toy (a light) & the world has opened up just a bit.  I was beginning to feel a tad sorry for myself as I cannot really compete with folks that are getting paid to blog.  I know they had to work their way there from where I am – but – it is still a bit like me trying to compete for roles with Diane Lane or Julia Roberts.  These folks have their shit together & skills, experience, equipment, financing, maybe even a team – etc.  Here I am – trying to keep my monthly grocery bill down & think of new, affordable things to make and then photograph them using my i-phone & a $4 clamp light.  And I have to photograph them alone – as in – with nobody to hold the fork just “that way” or assist me at all.  Framing a photo & trying to hit the screen (on my i-phone, remember) to focus the image where I want the focus & then adjust to hit the shutter without effecting the focus, all with my NON-dominant left hand while I try to hold the subject matter in place with my right hand – can get really frustrating, lemme tell you!   Then I have to eat the food.  All of it.  I cannot afford to waste it – as it COSTS.  And I live alone & eat 99% of my meals alone.  Then I end up eating some Goddamn lasagna for 6 days & letting the blog lag behind – while my Super King produce wilts & guilts me from the confines of the fridge.  It has begun to feel oppressive & I have been comparing myself very unkindly to the vastly superior food bloggers out there (you know who you are – THUG KITCHEN).

Then – I met Piglet.  I didn’t actually meet her.  I saw her on my friend, Nikki Dogfather’s, Facebook page.  Nikki is a full-time rescuer & she posted Piglet – immediately after she’d been pulled from the shelter – looking like this (photos stolen from Nikki):

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She had terribly advanced mange – which is not contagious & HIGHLY curable – and the cure is not expensive.   But these victims of mange look so scary – it is a rare person that dares even investigate.  Nikki is practically a mange fetishist!  I jest, of course, but she is the go-to gal in LA if someone spots a mangy baby in a local shelter.  No case of mange will scare Nikki away!  So – after a single mange dip & twice-daily garlic water baths (and some antibiotics)  – Piglet began to recover.  I am currently fostering her while she completes her recovery.  Here she is two days ago in my house.

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Just for some reference – here are two pugs I adopted from Nikki a few years ago.

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That is Ella & Grisbi.  Here is how they looked a few months later.

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See?  CRAZY transformation.  Tragically, Ella died of a bee sting at 11 months old & Grisbi died last August 16th 2012 – in his sleep – at four years, old for no known reason.  Great, big, gaping scars on my heart.  😦

So, anyway, I fell in love with Piglet ON SIGHT.  I look at lots of rescues – every day.  Facebook is rife with them.  They all give me heart twinges but Piglet was special to me.  I don’t know why.  It was like a recognized her from somewhere.  And now – I am care-taking gorgeous Piglet.  And she is a gift & an amazing example of gratitude & resilience & of living in the moment.  One can never have too many examples of THAT around.

So – a new $17 light for my photography & a new little sprite jumping around the house & a much needed PROFESSIONAL hair salon appointment on Friday (a gal can only self-Feria her color so many times in a row) – and I am feeling rather hopeful.  Plus – the greatest loss I endured last week – RIGHTED itself!  Yay!  No longer broken & sad & no longer riding the scary pot-truffle train I got on last week (read about that HERE) and nice hair right around the corner?  That’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout!

And the $17 light?  It is so great – I want to buy 5 more.  That is irrational – because I only NEED the one.  But it has improved my life SO much and for so little.  It reminds me of the time my plumber told me I needed a whole new kitchen tap set thing (and nice ones cost a lot) because the drip was not fixable.  I used a fucking ShamWow for two years behind the sink, under the tap, to catch the dripping & water STILL leaked out – warping my cabinets & damaging the finish.  Then a new plumber suggested I go buy a cheap washer (that the first plumber had declared no longer available) at a local hardware store.  “You might need to buy a whole box – but they shouldn’t cost much,” he said.  I went to my local mom & pop True Value & inquired.  Yes.  They had them.  They were a dollar seventy each.  A FUCKING DOLLAR SEVENTY!  I bought ten – even though I only needed one.  I was so fucking excited that this $1.70 thing was gonna change my life.  I had to have enough to roll around on the bed with – as if they were thousand dollar bills.  And THAT is how I feel about by $17 lamp.

Whew!

Now – onto food.   I have long made the Sunday’s at Moosewood version of veggie shepherd’s pie – and it is very good.  In fact, I am going to suggest their tofu version of “meat” in this recipe as I cannot begin to tell you (other than Super King!) where you might find the faux meat I used.   Here it is.

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It is like weightless Grapenuts.  I am not sure if they are just re-purposing some failed attempt at a new packing material – but I took the bait.  While it says who distributes this shit, it does not say what is in it.  No ingredients list at all.  No calorie count.  Nada.  Could be the scabs from accident-prone paper dolls or the stuffing from padded toilet seats.  I don’t know.  I bought it.  I cooked it.  And I ate it.  And I am here to tell you about it so – well – there.

If you can find it, I recommend using it.  I used half that container in this decent-sized recipe so it is worth its weight in Hamburger Helper.  If you cannot – or would rather not eat mystery food – substitute any faux meat thing of your choice – whether seitan or some pre-made soy version of meat or soyrizo or the stuffing from an old padded toilet seat.  Or – EGADS!  Use ground beef!   Just know that I added over a cup of water to the 4 oz of cardboard scabs to reconstitute them into something more substantial.  So – use closer to 10-12 ounces of your fake meat selection – or more.

OR – use the Sundays at Moosewood version – which is pretty great.  It requires that you freeze tofu (I use two blocks), thaw it, squeeze it completely dry & then shred it into a crumble.

Copied & pasted from elsewhere – I present –

Sundays at Moosewood Shepherd’s Pie Filling

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 block of extra firm tofu that has been frozen, then thawed, and shredded to the appearance of ground meat
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon of thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground coriander seeds
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup of walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce

DIRECTIONS

Sauté the chopped onion in oil with thyme, coriander, and black pepper until onions are translucent.  Add chopped walnuts and shredded tofu.  When heated through, stir in lemon juice and soy sauce.  Remove from heat.

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I used Brussels sprouts & carrots and, unexpectedly, a fennel bulb because – yes, you guessed it – I had them.  You could use corn or peas or any other vegetables you like.  I know this one screams out for corn because I made the mashed potatoes with roasted jalapenos – but – am I the only one that gets tired of the traditional pairings?  Like anything pumpkin has to have butter & sage on it?  Or – redheads must wear green?  Or anything with jalapeno needs corn and/or black beans?  This wasn’t a Mexican-themed shepherd’s pie.  It was a “what’s-in-my-fridge-inspired” shepherd’s pie.  You can do it, too!  Do not be intimidated.

Hey!  Did you notice all my photos of this look WAY alike?  Me, too.  Shepherd’s pie can be hard to photograph because it tends to fall apart.  I got a good angle & exploited it.  Apologies for the lack of imagination.  I told you I was a hack.   🙂

One last note – this is genuinely spicy – so keep that in mind when you decide how much jalapeno to add!  And yes – there are several steps to assemble this but all are EASY & this is worth the effort.  DO NOT BE SCARED!

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Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie with Brussels Sprouts, Carrots & Jalapeno Mashed Potatoes

INGREDIENTS

For the jalapeno mashed potatoes

2 large Russet potatoes

3 jalapeno peppers (or to taste)

4 TBS butter

4 oz cream cheese

S&P to taste

More butter for browning

Parsley – chopped as grnish

For the “meat” filling

4 oz of freeze dried soy protein plus 1 1/3 cup water (or 8-10 oz or more of another meat substitute)

1 small onion – diced

4 garlic cloves – minced

1/3 cup soy sauce

1 cup walnuts – chopped

olive oil

S&P to taste

OR use the Sundays at Moosewood tofu version noted above for the “meat” filling.

For the vegetable layer

3 carrots – diced

10 Brussels sprouts – chopped

1 fennel bulb – chopped (very optional)

1 jalapeno – seeded & diced (very optional)

olive oil

S&P to taste

For the gravy

3 TBS butter

1/4 cup flour

1 1/2 cup vegetable stock

2 TBS soy sauce

1/2 tsp peper

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

For the roasted jalapeno mashed potatoes

Char the outside of the jalapenos until they blacken.  You can do this directly on the burners or by broiling in the oven.  Once blackened, seal them in Tupperware or wrap them in foil for about 15 minutes.  This will sweat the skin off.  Then, under cool running water, roll the blackened skin away & squeeze off the tops & remove the seeds.  Then – chop the jalapenos finely.

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Chop & boil the potatoes.  When tender, drain & puree (I used an immersion blender but any mashing or pureeing device would work) with the roasted jalapeno, butter, cream cheese & some salt & pepper.

I added water to thin mine a bit.  I didn’t want them to dry out in the oven.  Set aside.

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For the “meat” filling

See the Sundays at Moosewood tofu recipe in the body of text above.  OR-

Heat 2 TBS olive oil in a large frying pan.  Saute the onions until softened.  If using REAL meat – add it here & cook it through.  Add the garlic, walnuts & soy sauce & stir to bend.  Add your faux meat.  If using the kooky stuff I used (freeze dried mystery flakes) – add about one to one & a half cups water.  Heat through.  Add S& P to taste.  Set aside.

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For the vegetable layer

Use the faux meat pan & add 1 TBS olive oil.  Saute the fennel (if using), Brussels sprouts & carrots & saute 5 minutes or so – or until tender.  No science here as they will cook more in the oven.

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Melt the butter over med-high heat & add the flour.  Whisk for about 30 seconds.  The butter should absorb that flour very quickly & become a paste.  Add the soy sauce & then whisk in the stock in increments until you have a gravy.  Thin with water if it gets too thick.  Add pepper.  Set aside.

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ASSEMBLY!

Spray a casserole pan with cooking spray – or grease it with butter or olive oil.  Layer your “meat” then gravy then veggies & then potatoes.   Apologies – but I actually forgot to get a shot of the veggie layer.  I think you will manage.

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Then bake that sucker for a while.  I baked this at 350 for 30 minutes – COVERED.  It came out like this.

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As you can see – the back of my oven is far hotter than the front.  At any rate – I did not like the look of this.  So – I swirled the potato all up & added some butter and chopped parsley & baked it at 400 for another 10-15 minutes.  It came out like this.

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That is a vast improvement – no?  Despite my unevenly heated oven.

Then just bust out the wine, get a pot holder, use it as a placemat & sit right in front of this casserole dish – hotter than fuck – and eat as much as you possibly can.  Drink too much, too.  Life is short.  And so are hangovers.  Relative to life, that is.

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Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes” with Dill & Cheddar

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Another in what must seem like an endless chain of cauliflower recipes.  This is so delicious – I ate the entire thing myself last night.  The amount of cheese is up to you.  I went light to save calories but more would have been a lot better.  This takes a total of 10-15 minutes once you have boiling water.  Try it at least once!

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Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes” with Dill & Cheddar

INGREDIENTS

1 head cauliflower

1/8-1/4 cup fresh dill plus more for garnish

1/4 cup grated cheddar plus more for garnish

1 TBS butter

S&P to taste

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DIRECTIONS

Cut the cauliflower in half or quarters & add to boiling water.  Boil about ten minutes.  Leave it in the hot water until you are ready to serve it because it comes together fast but gets cold fast, too.   When ready to serve it – simply puree everything in the bowl of your food processor.  Garnish with a little extra cheese, dill sprigs & some freshly ground pepper.  Hover over it like a fucking prison inmate & shovel it in your face with zero dignity.  Grunting sounds optional.

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Guilt-Free Vegan Wasabi Mashed Cauliflower

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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I adore mashed cauliflower.  It is virtually without calories & absolutely as satisfying as mashed potatoes & it is SO easy to make.  You can flavor the cauliflower any way you would potatoes.  Here I used wasabi to accompany a seared ahi I will post later.

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Guilt-Free Wasabi Mashed Cauliflower

1 large head cauliflower – leaves & core removed

1 TBS prepared wasabi

1 TBS butter (or vegan alternative)

S&P to taste

DIRECTIONS

Boil water.  Quarter the cauliflower & boil about ten minutes.  Drain & puree with remaining ingredients – adding a LITTLE water if they are too thick.  Eat the whole Goddamn thing defiantly.

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Mashed Cauliflower with Broccoli Rabe Pesto, Seared Mushrooms & Vegan Gravy

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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This is comfort food at its finest.  Each of these components can be used individually of the others.  The gravy can be used any way you would use gravy.  The pesto would be great over pasta, as a base on pizza or on crostini – or any other way you might be inspired to use pesto.  It is a tad bitter – as broccoli rabe is wont to be – but I think that is its appeal.  The mashed cauliflower is a genius, light substitute for mashed potatoes & even the seared mushrooms could be used in pasta or risotto, on pizza or on crostini with some lovely meltable cheese – like goat or mozzarella or a bit of a blue cheese.

The mashed cauliflower can be made vegan (though it is not here) by simply using your vegan version of heavy cream or by replacing the cream entirely with a little veggie stock & vegan butter or just the veggie stock.   Roasted garlic could be added or cheese or anything you might like to add to your traditional mashed potato recipe.  It is as customizable as its potato counterpart.

My presentation here is not as I imagined.  I wanted to present it in a more sturdy tower like my Brown Rice & Quinoa Risotto with Arrabiata & Shrimp or my No Carb & 120 Calorie Shirataki Pasta Alla Checca – seen below respectively.

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Despite trying to limit the amount of heavy cream in the recipe, thereby keeping the texture of the mashed cauliflower pretty firm, I failed & my cauliflower wasn’t resilient enough to stand upright.  It didn’t effect how delicious this side dish is, though.   You can elect to reduce the cream in it if you want a less creamy, less mushy result.  Ramekins (or narrow bowls) can be used to tier the ingredients & then just flip the cauliflower-pesto layers onto a plate & top with mushrooms & gravy.  This can be eaten alone or as a side dish with a nice piece of grilled fish or other meat.  If the entire dish overwhelms you (there are many steps but all are SUPER simple) – please try at least one of the elements – the mashed cauliflower or the pesto or the vegan gravy – on their own.

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Mashed Cauliflower with Broccoli Rabe Pesto, Seared Mushrooms & Vegan Gravy

INGREDIENTS

For the mashed cauliflower

2 heads cauliflower – boiled soft

2/3 cups (or less) heavy cream (or vegan substitute)

S&P to taste

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For the broccoli rabe pesto

1 head of broccoli rabe

1 cup pistachios (or other nut) – toasted

1 heaping cup grated Parmesan

4 garlic cloves

3/4 cup olive oil

S&P to taste

For the seared mushrooms

8 large mushrooms – sliced thin

8 garlic cloves – chopped

1 TBS Marsala (optional)

Olive oil

S&P to taste

For the vegan gravy

7 medium shallots – whole & unpeeled

10 (or to taste) garlic cloves – whole

olive oil

5 large mushrooms – sliced thin

1 tsp fresh thyme

3 TBS flour

1/2 cup Marsala (optional)

2 TBS low sodium soy sauce

3 cups vegetable stock

1/2 tsp dry sage

1 tsp Dijon mustard

S&P to taste

Chopped fresh parsley for garnish

DIRECTIONS

For the mashed cauliflower

Maybe do this step LAST just before serving – so mashed cauliflower maintains its heat.  Also – skip down to the gravy recipe below & roast the shallots & garlic first so they are ready when you need them.

Boil the cauliflower until very tender.  Puree in a food processor with heavy cream and S&P.

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For the broccoli rabe pesto

Toast the pistachios in a dry pan, being careful not to burn them, until just fragrant.  Set aside.

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Trim the rough stems from the broccoli rabe & immerse in boiling water for 3-5 minutes – until tender.  Drain & rinse in cold water.  Squeeze out all the excess fluid.

In a food processor, pulse the cheese & garlic & nuts until they are a fine dice.  Then simply add the rest of the ingredients & pulse until pureed.  If it is too thick – add a small amount of water (or more olive oil).  Set aside.

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For the seared mushrooms

Heat 1-2 TBS olive oil in a saute pan.  Add the mushrooms & garlic (and 1/2 tsp salt) & stir over high heat until the mushrooms begin to brown.  Add the Marsala (if using) & cook it off.  Add S&P, remove from heat  & set aside.

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For the vegan gravy

Toss the unpeeled shallots & whole garlic cloves in 1 tsp olive oil & wrap in foil.  Roast in an oven heated to 350 for 45 minutes.  Remove from heat & allow to cool.  When cool enough to handle, squeeze the shallots out of their skins into a food processor.  Add the garlic & puree until smooth.  Set aside.

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In the same pan you used for the seared mushrooms, heat another 2 TBS olive oil & heat the mushrooms & thyme & cook over high heat for about 5 minutes.  Add the flour & stir to coat.  Add the Marsala (if using) & cook it off & then add the stock 1/2 cup at a time, allowing the gravy to thicken a bit after each addition.  When all the stock is incorporated, add the pureed shallots & garlic, soy sauce, sage, Dijon and S&P to taste.  Allow to simmer about 15 minutes.

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To assemble, either use a culinary ring like THIS or use a ramekin or narrow bowl.  Simply layer some mashed cauliflower, then some pesto & then more cauliflower & flip onto a plate.  Top with seared mushrooms & gravy & some chopped parsley serve.

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Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes” with Caramelized Fennel & Spicy Orange-Glazed Albacore

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Holy crap!  I could live on this mashed cauliflower dish!  I added 1/2 cup heavy cream to this but I do not think that is necessary.  Butter or a little milk (even plain soy milk) would likely be cool.  And wowza!  Are they easy.  I added caramelized fennel just to get fancy & it added a really nice flavor but caramelized onions or roasted garlic or goat cheese or any number of additions could take this dish in a multitude of directions.

As to the albacore – I buy it like this at Trader Joe’s.

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Two decent sized slabs of tuna for just over $5.  Can’t beat that!  The problem is, I find this to sometimes be a tad fishy so I intentionally cook the bejesus out of it.  I cook it until the fat bubbles out of it.  At that point – it is virtually indistinguishable from some dry chicken breast.  At least – for me – it is because I haven’t eaten actual chicken breast in like 25 years.  Dry chicken might not sound appealing to you but I gave up meat to avoid giving my money to factory farms (and savage, MASS cruelty), not because I don’t like it.  I miss things like the awesome hotdogs at Costco, chicken piccata, rare steak and bacon.  So – I eat veggie dogs and Bacos in a jar & I try to make chicken piccata from this overcooked fish thing.  I used it here to simulate a glazed chicken dish & it works for me.  You might want to use actual chicken or salmon, if this albacore isn’t available to you – or if my description above was a bit on the soft sell side.

These flavors worked really well together & it was a very filling while still pretty healthy dinner.  But, whether you make the funky chicken albacore or not – TRY THE MASHED CAULIFLOWER!

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Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes” with Caramelized Fennel & Spicy Orange-Glazed Albacore

INGREDIENTS

For the spicy orange-glazed albacore

2 pieces of albacore (or chicken breasts or salmon)

2 TBS butter

juice & zest of 2 oranges

2 TBS honey

2 TBS Dijon

2 tsp (or to taste) crushed red pepper

S&P to taste

For the cauliflower mashed potatoes with caramelized fennel

1 head cauliflower – cut into florets

1 bulb fennel – shaved very thin

2 TBS butter

1/2 cup heavy cream (or milk or soy milk)

1 TBS horseradish (optional)

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DIRECTIONS

For the Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes” with Caramelized Fennel 

Boil water & add the cauliflower & cook until soft.  Maybe 15 minutes.  Turn off heat & let cauliflower sit in the hot water.

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Slice the fennel very thinly – reserving the dilly tops for garnish.  Melt the butter in a saute pan.  Saute the fennel, stirring constantly over medium heat – just until it begins to brown.  Remove from heat.

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Drain the cauliflower & put it, the heavy cream, horseradish, and 1/2 of the caramelized fennel in a food processor & puree until smooth.  Add a little water to thin them if you desire.  Reserve some caramelized fennel for garnish.

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Taste & add S&P to taste.

For the spicy orange-glazed albacore

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Melt the butter in a saute pan.  Add the orange juice & zest, honey, Dijon & crushed red pepper & saute over medium heat until it thickens enough to coat a wooden spoon.  Add S&P to taste.

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Coat the top of the fish with the glaze – reserving a little extra for garnish.  Bake the fish for about 20 minutes or until done.  I then turned the broiler on & put the fish near the flame for several seconds, watching VERY closely, until the glaze bubbled & boiled.

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To serve – put a generous helping of the cauliflower puree on two plates.  Top with the cooked fish & then garnish with the reserved orange glaze, caramelized fennel and maybe some of the chopped dilly tops of the fennel and lots of freshly cracked pepper.

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