Daily Vegan Lunch for 27 November, 2013: Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, and Cranberry-Apple Compote

vegan mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry-apple compote

Oh how I love mashed potatoes.  Who doesn’t, right?  Actually, when I was a kid, I thought they were gross.

PERFECT MASHED POTATOES:

6 – 8  red or russet potatoes, peeled and chopped OR 12 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled.  Yukon gold are smaller in general and you need more of them, however they cook much faster than red or russet potatoes.
Enough water to cover
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon salt
up to 2 cups almond milk

DIRECTIONS:

Peel and chop potatoes into small pieces.  Have a colander at the ready next to the sink.  Put in a large pot and then put that pot on the stove and turn the heat to high.  Pour in enough water to cover the potatoes.  Bring the potatoes to a boil and then turn down the heat to medium-high and allow them to cook for anywhere from 10 – 25 minutes depending on type of potato and how large or small you cut your potato chunks.  When the largest potato chunk reaches the fork-tender stage, immediately take them off the heat and drain them in the colander.  Add the potatoes back to the pot you cooked them in.  DO NOT allow the potatoes to cool or they will get gummy, shiny, and weird.  They will still be tasty and perfectly safe to eat, however, they won’t be quite as good.  I have learned this lesson the hard way.  Add the oil and blend the potatoes with a beater or a potato masher if you have one.  I just use the electric beater.  Add about 1/2 cup of almond milk as you beat and keep adding 1/2 cup at a time until potatoes are fluffy and creamy.  Salt to taste and beat until salt is incorporated.

HEARTY SAGE GRAVY:

1/2 cup vegetable oil, I used canola
1/2 cup white flour, for gluten free version, use chickpea flour
1/2 teaspoon sage
3.5 cups vegetable broth

Prepare vegetable broth, mix it with sage, and set it by the stove.  In a pan, stir oil and flour together with a wooden spoon until they make a goopy, wet paste that is called a roux.  Turn the heat to medium or medium-high (I turn it to medium high because my stovetop is weak) and stir intermittently for about five minutes.  The flour mixture will start to darken.  Now you should stir it almost constantly until it becomes a caramel mocha latte color.  As soon as the color is sufficiently brown, add the sage broth.  If you’ve got a powerful stove, turn the heat off.  If your stove is like mine (wimpy) turn the heat to medium or low-medium.  Stir until the ingredients are thoroughly mixed and take off the heat.

CROCKPOT CRANBERRY APPLE COMPOTE:

You could add lots of cinnamon, cloves, or nutmeg to this recipe, however I’m more a fan of very simple fruit compotes with not much going on, so I saved the spices for the pumpkin pie and apple-cherry pie this Thanksliving.

1 bag cranberries, about 2 cups
2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
3/4 cup dark brown sugar or 3/4 cup white sugar plus 2 teaspoons molasses

Prepare apples.  Wash cranberries.  Add apples, cranberries, and sugar to a crock pot.  Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 18 February, 2013: Kale and Toasted Walnut Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

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INGREDIENTS:

10 cups curly kale, massaged
1 cup apple, chopped
2 Tablespoons julienned carrot
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup walnuts
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon sugar
3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar

DIRECTIONS:

Mix massaged kale with apple, carrot, and cranberries. Roast 1/2 cup walnuts in a dry pan on the stove on medium high heat. The walnuts will toast and become fragrant. Stir them around for about 1-2 minutes, turning the heat down a notch if they seem to be burning instead of roasting. Take roasted walnuts off heat. Add olive oil, sugar, and balsamic vinegar to the walnuts and stir until the sugar melts. Pour balsamic vinaigrette over kale salad and toss.