Coo’s Lunch

Source: The Parkdale Potluck Cookbook
Made: September 30, 2013
Yield: 2 servings
Time to make: 15 minutes

Since I prefer not to use the canned food the recipe calls for, I took a little more time to make this, but still under 30 minutes.  Rather than canned cream of mushroom soup, I made up a white sauce flavoured with fresh mushrooms, onion and nutmeg.  And instead of opening a can of mixed vegetables, I steamed some fresh vegetables I had on hand: carrots, green beans and celery. I also had some leftover mashed potatoes from a previous meal to use as a base.

The recipe is subtitled “Shepherd’s Pie” but it is not baked.  It is really a meat sauce to serve over potatoes, rice or noodles. Perfect for a quick meal on a busy day.

Coo’s Lunch

Coo’s Lunch (Shepherd’s Pie)
1 lb. ground beef
1 10 oz. can cream of mushroom soup
1 14 oz. can of mixed vegetables, drained
Boiled potatoes (may be mashed)
Butter or margarine

Empty the undiluted soup into a saucepan and warm through.
In a skillet or large pot, melt butter or margarine over medium heat.
Brown the ground beef in the butter until it is fully cooked.
Add the soup and vegetables and mix well.
Let simmer a few minutes to heat through.
Serve over warm boiled or mashed potatoes.

Note: The contributor of this recipe was Bonnie Briggs, one of my first acquaintances when I moved to Parkdale. She was a woman who had known poverty first-hand and a powerful and dedicated advocate for affordable housing.  It was with sorrow I learned of her passing a few weeks ago.  RIP Bonnie. (October 6, 2017)

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Creamed Asparagus or Spinach (with Popovers)

Source: Simply in Season
Date tried: January 4, 2017
Yield: Serves 2 as a main dish or 3-4 as a side dish
Time needed: 30-40 minutes for popover version. 20 minutes for omelet version

This is actually three recipes in one. First you make the creamed vegetable (asparagus or spinach) which you can serve as a side dish on its own, or on toast. Or you can try the omelet or popover versions below.

The quantities given for the cream sauce make a thin sauce. My preference is for a medium sauce. That would call for either 1/2 the milk or double the butter and flour.

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Boiled Egg in Lentil Sauce

Source: The Recipe of Love
Date tried: July 6, 2014
Yield: 6 servings
Time needed: 30 minutes

Prior Preparation Needed
Hardboil eggs
Prepare Berbere Mixture

A surprisingly quick dish to make and suitable for lunch. It cries out for injera.  If you don’t have any on hand, serve with a soft bread that will absorb the sauce, as it is quite spicy. The picture shows potato bread.

Boiled Egg in Lentil Sauce

Boiled Egg in Lentil Sauce

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Sweet Yogurt Curry

Source: Indian Recipes Under 30 Minutes
Made: February 3, 2014
Yield: 4-6 servings
Time to make: 20 minutes.

An interestingly different way to make a curry sauce based on yogurt, and, of course, a panorama of Indian spices.  Definitely worth a try.  I used it on green beans and macaroni.

Sweet Yogurt Curry

Sweet Yogurt Curry

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Mushrooms in Parmesan Cheese Sauce for Toast

Source: Recipes for a Small Planet
Made: August 8, 2012
Yield: 4 servings
Time to prepare: 20 minutes

Prepare as a quick and simple lunch, or use the sauce alone over rice or pasta.  This is absolutely scrumptious!

Mushrooms in Parmesan Cheese Sauce on Toast

Mushrooms in Parmesan Cheese Sauce on Toast

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Cashew Cheddar Cheeze Sauce or Spread

Source: Ecological Cooking
Date tried: June 9, 2012
Yield: 3 cups
Time needed:  About 5 minutes

Today I am making the Spread version of this recipe.

A word about this recipe.  I LOVE cheese.  Probably the single reason I have not adopted a 100% vegan diet myself is my love of cheese.  And I love good cheese.  I have tried substitutes and always found them wanting.

This is the one and only “cheeze” sauce I have ever tried that I really like!  It’s great! I love it! It really does have a cheesy flavour without the cheese.  The spread doesn’t quite come off as cheese spread.  The tahini taste is too distinctive.  Nevertheless, it is a really, really good spread.  So try either as needed, even if you too are a cheese lover who never thought any sort of substitute could satisfy.

Cheeze Spread

Cashew Cheddar Cheeze Sauce or Spread
½ cup raw cashews
1 cup water

2 whole pimientos, drained and cut into large pieces (about 1 cup)
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. Vegesal
2 ½ tsp. onion powder
4 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
1 cup vegetable oil or 2 cups tahini
1/3 to ¾ cup lemon juice to taste

For sauce: Blend together all ingredients except oil and lemon juice.
When mix is very smooth, begin adding oil VERY SLOWLY while processing to thicken.
Add lemon juice and blend briefly.

For spread: Blend together the same ingredients as for sauce.
Then remove mix to a bowl and add tahini in by hand.
Add just enough to get the consistency you like.

Both sauce and spread keep well in fridge and may be frozen for long-term storage.

Split Pea Rarebit

Source: Recipes for a Small Planet
Date tried: April 13, 2014
Yield: 5 servings
Time needed: 45 minutes

Time saver
Use leftover rice and peas and take only 15-20 minutes to prepare sauce and serve.

I am not a beer drinker. My father was, as were his friends, and I remember many a Saturday morning they spent around the kitchen table with a case of beer as they played endless hands of cribbage. So I had plenty of opportunity to acquire a taste for beer as I grew up, but I never did. (I can still play a mean hand of cribbage, though.) Wine is my choice of alcoholic beverage. I only buy beer when I need it for cooking.

According to this recipe, the beer is optional. But don’t omit it. I found the sauce quite unpalatable without it. An even better choice is to make a more traditional rarebit. I did follow the tradition of using toast rather than rice as the base for the sauce.

Did you know that “rarebit”is a made-up culinary term to replace “rabbit”? The original name, “Welsh rabbit”, was an English slur against the Welsh, implying such poor hunting skills that a Welsh hunter had only bread and cheese to eat after a day hunting rabbits, while an English hunter, of course, had rabbit stew. As the dish made its way into cookbooks, “rabbit” became the more genteel “rarebit”.

Split pea rarebit

Split-Pea Rarebit
1/2 cup split peas or other small bean
1 small onion
11/2 cups brown rice
1 recipe cheese sauce

Cheese Sauce Ingredients
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
11/2 cups water
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
dash nutmeg
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
pinch dried chili peppers
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup beer (optional)

Cook the rice (45 minutes)
Cook the peas until tender (20-30 minutes)
Sauté the onion

Make the cheese sauce:
Heat oil
Stir in flour and cook until bubbly (about 2 minutes)
Add water and simmer until thick (about 15 minutes)
As the sauce is thickening, add the salt, tomato paste,nutmeg, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and dried chili peppers.
When the sauce is thick, stir in the shredded cheese until it is melted and the sauce is smooth.

Add the cooked peas and onions to the sauce, and the beer if you wish.
Pour over servings of the cooked rice.

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