Comfort food for a different palate

Hello dear readers,  I am back. It has been a very topsy turvy few months and things aren’t settling down quite yet. I’ve decided to return to cooking. How often you will get a posting remains to be seen, but I do hope it is more than once in six months.

So. Comfort food. I’ve been turning to a lot of that lately. The ultimate comfort food for me is macaroni and cheese. However, I love the kind made from scratch. The KD kind will do in a pinch. The first of my two recipes is vegan.

If you’ve followed any of my previous entries, you will know I have a soft spot for avocados. So. Take two ripe avocados and mash them coarsely. Some pieces are good,  but you also want a creamy texture. To this add a half tsp of salt, a tsp of sugar, a tbsp lemon juice,  and a half tsp of chili pepper flakes. Once you mix this all together,  toss it with some pasta And olive oil. Enjoy warm. I promise it tastes delicious!

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The second recipe takes one package of ready made kraft dinner. To it, add some meat or faux meat of your choice,  vegetables,  and are you ready: a can of your favourite baked beans. A friend made this at one point and since then it has been my go to dish whenever I want comfort,  satisfaction,  and something cheap and quick to make.

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Vegan Palak Paneer

It waits to be seen if this is the last of my Indian recipes. Palak paneer is basically a firm cheese in a spinach curry.

Ingredients – serves 4

1 bunch spinach – I used a block of the frozen, chopped variety, so very easy
1 cup frozen peas or whatever other vegetables you have
1 block extra firm tofu
1 tbsp oil
2 tbsp chopped garlic
1 medium onion finely chopped
2 tsp each, chili powder and cumin 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 cup almond milk, or any other non dairy milk

First, squeeze all the water out of the tofu gently. Cut it into bite sized pieces. Marinate with half the spices. Remember, you can use more… Adjust the spice to your palate. Set aside for twenty minutes. Prepare the spinach, by chopping it finely in the meantime if you need to. If you’re using fresh spinach, remember to wash it well first.

Heat oil in the pan. Saute the tofu, again, taking care not to break it. Remove the tofu. Reserve the oil in the pan.

Add the onions and garlic. Once they soften, add the rest of the spices. Cook for two to three minutes. Add spinach, and frozen vegetables. Sprinkle salt to taste now, to release the water. Cook spinach and vegetables. In the “traditional” version of this dish, you may add peas or nothing. Real, add whatever you like and have at home. I added a mix of corn, carrots, and beans.

After about five minutes, add in the almond milk. Again, use the non dairy milk you like. The only rule is that it be unflavoured or vanilla. Also, avoid coconut milk as the flavours might be a bit strong and overpower the spinach. Simmer for five more minutes. Turn off heat, and add tofu. Stir gently. Let stand five minutes before serving. Enjoy!

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