Have you ever had one of those days where you come home from work and your brain is just completely fizzled out? Yeah, that happened to me yesterday. All throughout the day I had grandiose visions of pumpkin risotto, but then I couldn't think what protein to put with it. Then I thought I'd make the pumpkin ziti thing from Vcon, but the second I looked at the recipe, my mind went blank. So I looked at other recipes...same thing happened. Nothing looked good. And I was getting cranky.
I attribute this to the fact that I skipped breakfast and my afternoon snack. Wasn't in the mood for breakfast...ate a decent sized lunch. Then came home and went for a nice longish walk, and by the time I realized I was starving, I felt it was too late to snack and not ruin my dinner. And when I don't eat enough during the day, I am the crankiest, crabbiest, unhappy girl ever. I get this trait from my dad. Thanks, Dad! It's ok though, I just have to remember to eat often. Which I failed at miserably yesterday.
I knew I wanted something comforting. Pasta is sounding good at this point. I also knew I needed something that would be good without a recipe, as my brain was turned off. Pasta keeps sounding better and better. So off I traipsed into the kitchen to create something probably even more complicated than any recipe I had looked at that evening, but by my own rules, so whatever. I give you: Herby Tomato Mac N Cheeze.
i started to get all into it and made garlic bread crumbs to go on top
I can give you a recipe here, if you want. It was mostly me just pouring crap into a pot and hoping for the best, though. Ok, fine. I'll type it out.
1 box whole wheat pasta (short and chunky..i used rotini)
1 cup TVP, soaked in a 'beef' broth for about 10 minutes (you could use crumblers of some type here, but i was out)
2 cans condensed tomato soup
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup of some sort of cheezy sauce (whatever is your favorite)
2 Tbsp vegan sour cream
couple handfuls of fresh spinach
1 shallot, thinly sliced
3-4 scallions, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 heaping Tbsp fresh sage, chopped
1 heaping Tbsp fresh thyme
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried sage
4 slices whole wheat bread
(see? that's a lot of stuff, for me just throwing crap into a pot.) Anyway, cook the pasta and drain it, and preheat the oven to 375F. While you're doing that, saute the scallions, garlic, and shallot in some olive oil (med-low heat). Once they start to smell nice, throw in the fresh herbs and cook for another minute. Then toss in the diced tomatoes. Cook until they don't smell like canned diced tomatoes any longer (about 3-5 minutes). Add spinach, cook until wilted (like 30 seconds). Dump in the tomato soups, cheezey sauce, and sour cream. Raise heat a little, until it starts to bubble, stirring often. Add tvp or crumblers, stir. Now you want to add the dried herbs, garlic powder, and onion powder (gives it an extra kick). Turn heat to very low, and remember to stir occasionally (the bottom will stick) while you make the bread crumbs.
For the bread crumbs, just tear the slices of bread into smallish chunks (about 1-2 inch pieces), place them on a cookie sheet, spray with cooking spray, sprinkle on garlic salt, and pop into the oven for 20 minutes. They'll be done when they're brown and yummy smelling.
Put your pasta in a 9x13 baking dish, pour the sauce on top, and stir well until everything seems even. Take the bread crumbs and crush them over the top with your hands (big chunks are still ok, but try to cover most of it with some breading). Bake 30 minutes, uncovered.
So yeah, that's a lot of steps, but I was just throwing all kinds of stuff in there. This is pretty versatile and you can add or subtract whatever you like. Take out the crumblers and spinach, add some peas and another can of tomatoes. Or whatever. The herbiness of the sauce goes nicely with the tomatoes, and the cheezey sauce lends it that creamy texture that I miss from time to time.
dinner for a lazy, frazzled vegan
I mean lazy in that I can't follow a recipe when I'm frazzled. I actually spent like an hour in the kitchen doing all that stuff. It doesn't have to take that long, by the way, I was just kind of dragging. I wanted to be cooking, but I didn't want to be reading and double checking myself along the way.
And nicely finished off with the end of the pear tart (which, in case you didn't notice, did not even get a mention on katie's blog!...sad, sad me).
I probably will not blog tomorrow, as my dad is coming to town for the evening. I will, however, post my dinner tonight on Thursday. Gimme a break, I've only been blogging for over 2 weeks straight now!