Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Vegetarian Poutine

Oh, poutine! Such a disturbing and delicious dish. Although the idea of cheese curds atop a mountain of fries smothered in gravy is enough to give you a heart attack (literally) it is oh so delicious. It used to be one of my favorite things to get every year or so until I became a vegetarian. Then I had to say farewell to the poutine, as it is impossible to find a vegetarian version that is close to the original. The only vegetarian poutine I've ever found was made with roasted yams, feta, and sesame gray. Still a really good dish, and probably a lot healthier- but sometimes you just want something that tastes damn good and that's it. Turn off that little voice in your head that's babbling on and on about fat, calories and sodium and just enjoy the deliciousness. Which is what you should do when you dig in to poutine.

This was also my first time making gravy, and it turned out pretty decent for a first try. Although I think I added too much flour, as it was pretty thick and I prefer my gray runny. Oh well. At least the taste was there.

vegetarian poutine

Miso gravy:

2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 white onion, diced
1 small clove of garlic, minced
1 tbsp of flour
1/2 cup of water
2-3 tbsp miso paste
2-3 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp herbs of your choice (i used a blend)
salt, pepper

Head the oil over medium heat and add the onion and garlic until soft. Next add the flour until it forms a rue. Slowly add the water while stirring constantly, then add the rest of the ingridients until dissolved. Add salt and pepper to taste. If you need to thicken it, add more flour.

Roasted potatoes

1 small russest potato
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp seasonings (i used mrs.dash and black pepper)

Preheat oven to 400. Wash, peel and chop the potato then coat in olive oil and seasoning. Roast for 15-20 mins.

Then to make the poutine just dice some mozzarella cheese over the potatoes, then top with miso gravy. Dig in to the cheesy salty deliciousness and try not to think to much about what you are eating.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Soup is souper!

Judging by my last post, it seems like soup is the only exciting thing i've made as of late. And since all I have to post about right now is soup, I guess that still holds true.

I find that soups are the one meal where it's possible to make a single serving. Since I live alone and begin to resent leftovers the third night in a row, I try to make one person meals whenever possible. However, it's something still find difficult. Whenever I begin a meal I always add too much of an ingredient, because it looks so scant-but then I have to up the quantity of other ingredients so that it all balances out, which sticks me with lots of leftovers and the same boring meal all week long!

Now I know these photos are dark and dingy, and the soups may seem a bit passe, but they've been nice meals to me when I am at a loss of what to eat and have 3 boxes of vegetable stock that is going to expire in two weeks. The looming expiration of my veg. stock was a good motivation to try out a soup i'd never had before-french onion. Since it's traditionally made with beef stock i've had to stay away from it-even though the cheesy goodness looked so appetizing. I just so happened to have an onion around at the right time and as fate would have it, I had my first bowl of onion soup.

Onion Soup

onion soup

This is really too easy for words. Basically just slice up an onion, sautee at bit in a saucepan for about 15 mins. Throw in some salt and pepper and some dried herbs of your liking. Next add about 1 cup or so of vegetable stock and let simmer for as long as your hunger will allow. For me this was about 15 mins. Throw it in an oven safe dish and top with some homemade croutons and swiss cheese, then stick it under the broiler until the cheese is nice and melty.

No nutrition, but oh so yummy and warming.

Broccoli Cheese Soup
This one at least will give you some vitamins, but is just as easy as the onion soup!

broccoli cheese soup

Saute a small bunch of broccoli with 1/2 an onion and a clove of garlic in some olive oil until tender. Feel free to add salt, pepper, or whatever herbs or seasonings you like. Next, add your veg. stock and simmer about 20 mins. When you are ready to eat puree the soup with an immersion blender and top with cheese.

Really these are incredibly simple easy dinners to fall back on. Especially on cold rainy February nights when it's dark out and need a warm cup of comfort.