Three Quick Vegetarian Suppers

February 21, 2008 § 3 Comments

for Stephen Parrish

Thrice Baked Potatoes
4 russet potatoes, pricked with fork
1 bunch broccoli, cut into florets, stem peeled and sliced
2 T butter or olive oil
¾ cup plain yogurt
½ – ¾ cup Cheddar or other semi-soft English-y cheese, grated
salt & pepper to taste

Bake the potatoes at 400°F for an hour.
While they bake, saute the broccoli in butter, seasoning with salt and pepper. Combine yogurt, cheese, and broccoli in a large bowl, reserving a bit of cheese for the tops of the potatoes.
After the hour has passed, remove potatoes from oven and allow to cool ten minutes. Do a U-shaped cut out of the top of each, scoop the flesh into the yogurt mixture, then put potato skins back in the oven to crisp up for eight minutes or so.
Mash and mix the filling thoroughly, seasoning to taste, then fill the crisped shells. Mound it up like I do, or save some filling for brunch. Top with reserved cheese, then broil the potatoes for 8 more minutes.

Taco Filling/Nacho Topping
1 tub firm or extra firm tofu (about 12 ounces by weight), crumbled
2 tablespoons salt-free Mexican seasoning (or a mixture of cumin, cinnamon, oregano, and coriander to make 2 tablespoons)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons olive oil/mixture of olive oil and butter
1 28-oz can whole tomatoes
1 14-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1-1 ½ cups frozen corn
1 chipotle chili finely chopped, or a spoonful of adobo sauce
salt & pepper to taste

Start by toasting the spices on medium heat for 3 minutes or so, until they’re fragrant and faintly smoky, then add the oil and tofu, stirring to coat. Cook 5-6 minutes, adding salt to taste. Add minced garlic (with a little more fat if necessary— we cook mostly in cast iron or non-stick) and cook for one minute, then add tomatoes and , smooshing them in the pan. Bring to a simmer and allow to simmer for 10 more minutes. Stir in beans and corn, and serve when warmed through.
Serve alongside rice in taco shells with the usual variety of accompaniments: spinach or lettuce, salsa, cubed avocado, pickled jalapeños, etc. This goes very nicely with goat cheese, too.

Spinach Pilaf
1 block of firm tofu, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 tablespoons butter
3 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons ground coriander + a few scrapings of nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
2 fresh tomatoes, chopped
2 cups basmati rice
2 big handfuls spinach
½ lemon

In a medium saucepan, fry the tofu in the butter until golden brown on at least two sides. Add the garlic, coriander and nutmeg, saute until fragrant. Then add tomato, rice, stir for one minute. Add 2 ⅔ cups water* and salt, stir once, then cover and let simmer for 15 minutes. Remove cover, add spinach, then recover until spinach is wilted and rice is done (up to five minutes). Squeeze the lemon over just before serving.

*This is assuming you use white basmati. if you use brown, use 2 cups rice:4 cups water, and increase cooking time to 35-40 minutes, adding spinach a few minutes from the end.

This recipe lends itself to many variations… try it with cashews, almonds, raisins or chopped dried apricots, frozen peas, coconut milk, curry powder or garam masala, lemongrass, fennel seeds, green beans, lentils, potatoes… lots of possibilities.

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§ 3 Responses to Three Quick Vegetarian Suppers

  • Nancy Bond says:

    Wow, do these recipes ever sound delicious! I personally love tofu, but the S/O isn’t fond of it — he might give it another shot with these recipes though. Thanks for sharing them…even if they are for Stephen. 😉

  • These sound yummy. I will certainly try them. (Too bad I can’t get cheddar cheese over here. Nor cream of mushroom soup—which a lot of recipes call for.)

  • kristina says:

    Nancy— the tofu is easily left out of the pilaf… in fact I never make that the same way twice. It does make up the bulk of the taco filling, though, but it easily passes for ground turkey if that’s more his cup of tea.

    Stephen— I hope these do help. It’s just as easy to get into a rut with veg recipes as with carnivorous ones, I think. We sometimes eat pasta three times a week, I’m afraid.

    The cheddar can be replaced with just about any cheese, I expect. I use cheddar because our supermarket chain has a good, relatively inexpensive one in its own brand, but I expect there are lots of yummy German cheeses I’ve never heard of. Cheddar is just what we’ve got… I’d like to branch out more.

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