Monday, April 23, 2012

Rosemary-Scented Mashed Potatoes with Limas

Really, is there any vegetable that doesn't taste good stirred into mashed potatoes? The "Rosemary-Scented Mashed Potatoes with Limas" (page 374) is an excellent example of how mashed potatoes are the perfect launching point for almost any vegetable or bean you can think of. A very simple list of ingredients - Lima beans, Yukon gold potatoes, fresh rosemary, and salt and pepper. Technically, the recipe also calls for margarine, but I stopped using margarine on potatoes (and everything else for that matter) many years ago. Instead, I use veggie broth, soymilk, or potato cooking water to moisten and mash the spuds, and sometimes throw in a little nutritional yeast for a richer flavor. (This time I just used veggie broth.) These delicious potatoes would make a great accompaniment to any meal!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Curried Chickpea Patties

Veggie burgers of all kinds rank high on my list of favorite foods. This book has 11 burger recipes, and the "Curried Chickpea Patties" is the 6th one I've tried so far. Who knew that eating burgers could be so fun and healthy, and with seemingly endless varieties? These burgers are a blend of sautéed onion, chickpeas, bread crumbs, vital wheat gluten (giving it both chewiness and acting as a binder), and spices. The curry is incorporated into the patties, and also into vegan mayonnaise that is spread on the buns. The amount of curry isn't overwhelming, and even my husband who isn't overly fond of curry found the amount to his liking. To keep these oil free, simply omit the oil when sautéing the onions, and use a non-stick skillet to brown the patties (again, omitting the oil called for in this step). Find (or make) an oil-free mayonnaise, use whole grain burger buns, and you will not find a healthier burger meal anywhere! (Note: I had to add a little veggie broth when combining the burger ingredients in the food processor as the mixture was a tad dry. Also, I got six burgers from this instead of four, but this is probably personal preference - I prefer a thinner burger.)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Asian Slaw

One of nine slaw recipes in this book, the "Asian Slaw" (page 74) incorporates daikon radish, green onions, parsley, and fresh ginger into the standard mix of shredded cabbage and carrots. The dressing calls for a small amount of sesame oil to further enhance the Asian flavors of this salad, in addition to 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil, along with rice vinegar, soy sauce, sugar and mustard. I will normally omit all oil in recipes, and look for tasty substitutions to replace it with. In this case I did omit the grapeseed oil, but for the unique flavor provided by sesame oil, I used ½ teaspoon - it is so flavorful, a little really does go a long way! I added a splash of sherry for extra moisture and flavor. The recipe lists chopped peanuts as an optional topping (which I decided to skip this time). This is a very tasty salad that would make a great accompaniment to any Asian-themed meal.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Spiced Oven-Roasted Potato Sticks

"Spiced Oven-Roasted Potato Sticks" (page 375) is a simple combination of sliced russet potatoes and sweet potatoes, seasoned to taste, and baked up into a delicious and healthy side dish of oven baked fries. These are easy to make without oil by lining the baking sheet with parchment paper, a natural non-stick alternative. Old Bay seasoning is the suggested flavoring in the recipe, giving the fries a spicy finish. You can season these any way you want, or even stop with just a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Since I omitted the oil, I found that rinsing the potatoes just before slicing them left them just moist enough to allow the seasoning to stick. These make a great side for veggie burgers!