Comfort food takes many forms. There are the comfort foods that have that texture, the one that makes you feel warm and squishy inside, like mashed potatoes and gravy or mac ‘n cheese. Recreations of childhood favorites are also comforting. I guess ultimately, most all food is comfort food in some way.
It’s been chilly around these parts, more chilly than I’m accustomed too, and I’ve been craving comfort food. For some ice cream is probably comfort food, but for me it has to be warm. Here are the comfort foods I’ve eaten this weekend.
The first meal started with these maple walnuts, which I raved about in this post. They’re a little bit sweet, a little bit spicy, and crunchier than any other walnuts I’ve ever had.
I just knew these would be fabulous with sweet potatoes. I was looking for them at Trader Joe’s and came across their baby sweet potatoes and yams, and they were so cute I had to buy them. My initial plan was to bake or roast them and sprinkle the walnuts on top, with brussels sprouts on the side, but when the comfort food craving hit I changed the dish for the better.
I boiled the sweet potatoes and yams then mashed them with rice milk, a bit of earth balance, coriander, salt and white pepper, and a dash of nutmeg. I shredded and sauteed the brussels then folded them in, and topped it all off with the chopped walnuts. The contrast between the crunchy nuts and the mashed veggies and the hearty flavor were so satisfying. And overall it was a very healthy dish. I like my comfort, but I also watch the calorie content.
Yesterday afternoon bf brought a borrowed grill to the house, and we reinstated the weekly tradition of grilling and watching football. We decided on burgers for ease, and off to the store I went. I’m not very familiar with the grocery stores in the area yet, and no matter where I searched, I could not find an egg-and-dairy-free-veggie burger. They had all sorts of Morningstar Farms products, but MF doesn’t seem to have received the memo that it’s notcool to put eggs in everything yet. Frustrated, I went back to the “specialty” refrigerated area where they keep tofu and veggie dogs. I knew there weren’t any veggie burgers there, but on second look I noticed tubes of Gimme Lean, both sausage and beef style. So the store kind of redeemed itself. With no burger patty making experience, I had bf form a patty for me before he moved onto his beef burgers. The patties were a little too sticky, and I was afraid they’d fall apart on the grill, so I put each one in a foil packet with a teeny bit of oil, and it worked perfectly. With all the fixins and a quick coleslaw, this was one fine burger platter. The only thing that could’ve possibly made it better would be a slice of soy cheese to melt on top.
This morning we made brunch in between football watching sessions. College and NFL seems to take up just about the whole weekend! I went with the standby tofu scramble, and VWAV Fronch Toast.
The tofu scramble was pretty standard. I cooked the mushrooms, peppers and onions first so bf could have some for his omelet, then added in the tofu, cooked for a while and shook on some turmeric and a load ot nutritional yeast. Then I took a tip from Vegan Dad’s recent post on tofu scramble, and added in a couple splashes of rice milk to keep it all moist. I never thought about adding liquid, but it does keep it nice and moist, and perhaps a little more “eggy”. Salt and pepper, and then upon taste testing it was a little flat. It was good, but this was the point where I might add a little lemon juice or vinegar to a different kind of recipe, for that acidic lift. Inspiration hit, and I added a few squirts of yellow mustard. Perfection! That little tang made all the difference.
For the Fronch Toast I thought I was all set. I had bread and rice milk, and I always have a fully stocked pantry. Except having just moved, my pantry is not all there, and I discovered halfway through I didn’t have any cornstarch. So I subbed 1 Tbs tapioca flour and 1 Tbs Ener-G egg replacer and crossed my fingers, and it worked! Maybe even better than cornstarch has worked for me in the past.
And finally, since we’re talking about comfort, here is how Jake the cat has spent this afternoon. I love how cats make themselves into a ball when they sleep.
Then the light became just too much for him.
Well, I’m all caught up with posting food I’ve made. I’ll probably be eating leftovers for the next few meals, so I’ll have to come up with some interesting topics to write about for VeganMoFo.