Thursday, September 22, 2016

Comfort Food




I'm a Midwestern Girl. I've spent the majority of my life living in the Midwest, and if there's anything we love the most, it's comfort food. Even though most of us aren't farmers, nor live on a farm, we grew up around them or were descended from them. Farm work, especially a few generations ago, is very hard work, and the womenfolk would make hearty, rib-sticking, meals for the hungry men who worked the fields. Even if you weren't a farmer, you grew up in little towns surrounded by farms, and had the benefit of homegrown food right at your doorstep.

I've been a City Girl for a long time now, and I love the food variety living in a city offers me. I love eating Indian food, authentic Mexican food, Asian foods, French food, fine-dining, and all the specialty food places to grab a bit to eat...you name it! Sometimes though, I really crave a good meal of hearty comfort food.

I've been a vegan for a year and a half now, but that doesn't mean I'm going to give up eating my favorite things. It just means that I've had to learn to "veganize" them all. One of my favorite comfort food meals is the Midwestern Full Monty, as I like to call it, consisting of a "meat", mashed potatoes with gravy, stuffing, and a veggie side, particularly "buttered" corn.

Last night was definitely a comfort food night, so I decided I *needed* the Midwestern Full Monty...vegan-style. I decided on a loaf (Like meatloaf, but without the meat. There are many vegan varieties out there.) using Isa Moskowitz's Double Chickpea Cutlets made into a loaf instead of cutlets and then I veganized my sides. I use margarine and almond milk in my mashed potatoes; I used a vegan stuffing (like Pepperidge Farm's Herb stuffing) made using margarine and veggie stock; gravy made with veggie stock, chickpea flour, and coconut oil; and then corn cooked in margarine.

It was just as amazingly delicious as it looks! Give it a try one night for a meatless meal.



Notes:

1. The chickpea cutlet recipe is amazeballs, seriously. The cutlets, all fried up crispy, is reminiscent of southern-fried steak, and is easy to make. The recipe is here. You can press it all into a loaf pan, however, and make it a loaf by baking it for 45 minutes or so.


2. For veggie stock, I stand by Better than Bouillon's Vegetable stock. This stuff is jam-packed with flavor and makes everything taste so good. It's much better than the veggie stock you buy in cans or hermetically sealed containers. 


3. For gravy, I've found the best combination to be:

2 T. coconut oil
1/3 c. chickpea flour (although any flour will work, chickpea is nice)
1.5-2 cups veggie stock (depending on how thick you like your gravy, I like mine thick)

Warm up the oil, add the flour and whisk until smooth. Whisk in veggie stock a bit at a time and keep whisking for a smooth consistency.


4. Do not be afraid to try this meal. It's delicious and you won't even miss the meat!


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