Count Broccula's veg-head ramblings

My home experiments with vegetarian cooking. Focused on seasonal produce with some vegan stuff thrown in for good measure. I may include random other food-related stuff as I please.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Kentucky Fried Blog Entry

Actually, more like Southern baked or sauteed, but that doesn't have nearly the flair, does it?

Tonight for dinner I made red beans and rice, cornbread, rutabega fries, and collard greens with sausage. It was good. Sweetie said it was "divine."

The cornbread, though I would love to take credit for it, was a mix from Trader Joe's. I replaced the egg it called for with egg beaters, the milk it called for with soy milk, and the oil with oil replacer stuff (mostly prune puree). Normally I would probably just make cornbread from scratch, since it only involves like one more step than the mix (adding baking soda), but I was under time constraints today. And it was darn good.

Collard greens: I broke up some "Gimme Lean" sausage* into a medium pan and browned it over medium high heat. I cleaned the greens by cutting out the tough rib in the middle of each and rinsing and draining them. Then I threw them in the pan and sauteed them with the sausage until they were quite wilted. I served them with a splash of Tabasco.

Rutabega fries: I made them just like the other night, but I cut the pieces much thicker and kept a better eye on them. It was a big improvement.

Red beans and rice: You know, I haven't had these since I was really young (to give you a clue, it was when Sacramento had a Po' Folks restaurant), and I couldn't even exactly remember what they were like. I went through all my recipe books looking for a recipe**, and it was in the very last one, Jack Bishop's "A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen," that I finally found one. And even better, I had most of the ingredients.

His recipe is as follows:

2 Tablespoons canola oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 medium celery stalk, finely chopped
4 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
2 cups vegetable broth
2 15-ounce cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 bay leaf
Sticky White Rice

1 Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion, carrot, and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic, oregano, and Tabasco sauce and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

2 Add the broth, beans, tomatoes, bay leaf, and salt to taste and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until thickened but still somewhat brothy, about 15 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Adjust the seasonings, adding salt and Tabasco sauce to taste. Serve over the hot rice or refrigerate in an airtight container for several days and reheat.

Here's what I did differently -- I didn't have any celery, so I just left it out. I didn't have fresh oregano, so I substituted 1 teaspoon of dried oregano. I didn't have a can of diced tomatoes, so I used a can of tomato sauce. This made the mixture a little soupy, so I kept it simmering a little longer than suggested to thicken it up better. Finally, I didn't feel like making a new batch of rice, since I had a bunch of leftover rice that I made yesterday, so I used leftover rice instead of "Sticky White Rice." Oh, and you can nearly always assume I used cooking spray instead of oil to sautee stuff.

Anyway, this was one of the best thrown-together dinners in a long time. And I'm looking forward to leftovers.

*Fat free fake sausage. Pretty good.

** My large collection of vegetarian, vegan, and ethnic cokbooks can hook you up with Persian Chilau, Haitian Hot Pot, various kidney bean and coconut milk concoctions, probably three or four recipes that call for galanga root, but red beans and rice? Plain old red beans and rice, not crazy souped-up Thai version? Just one cookbook had a recipe. Funny, huh? I had my Betty Crocker and Better Homes nearby just in case, but I didn't actually crack them. Frankly, I consider them to be mostly for show.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Rutabega fries

This is another Jack Bishop recipe. I peeled the rutabega and cut it into wedges, in 16ths basically. Then I put the wedges into a baking pan, heated the oven to 425, threw the pan in, and cooked it for 25 minutes, as per the recipe. This might have been a little too long, especially for the wedges that came out thinner. Then I flipped them all over with tongs (strangely difficult, actually) and cooked them for another 20 minutes (again, just a little too long, as many of the edges got real crispy). I ate them with ketchup, because sweetie was all snacked out. They were okay, and I will probably use my remaining rutabega in the same manner (with shorter cooking times), but I'm not going to become a rutabega addict or anything.

Carrot soup

Well, I liked recipes in both Jack Bishop's Vegetables Every Day and Mollie Katzen's Moosewood Cookbook, so I read them both pretty thoroughly, then put them away and started cooking.

1 Tbs minced ginger
2 diced red onions
6 Medium carrots, washed, peeled if necessary, and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
4 cups water

4 Tbs plain yogurt
2 tsp minced cilantro

Sautee the ginger and onions in a medium saucepan until the onions are soft, then add the spices, carrots and water, and cook over medium high heat until carrots are tender, 45 minutes to an hour. Then process in batches in a blender or use an immersion blender to puree. I left mine a little on the chunky side. Salt and pepper to taste

Combine the yogurt and cilantro in a sandwich baggie, snip off one corner, and use the bag to decorate the top of the soup in the design of your choice.

Made about 3 servings. I served it with crusty walnut bread from Trader Joe's.

This was pretty good, and easy, although it took a lot longer than I expected for it to cook. I was just playing around with the yogurt, but I think it was a good call, because the soup was very mildly flavored on its own.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Linguine with Grilled Fennel and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

2 large fennel bulbs, stalks and fronds discarded, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices through the base.
4 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
10 sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil, drained and cut into think strips
1/4 cup minced fresh basil leaves
1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
1 pound linguine
parmesan cheese

1 Light the grill. Lay the fennel slices on a large baking sheet, brush with 2 Tbs of the oil, and season generously with the salt and pepper.
2. Grill the fennel, carefully turning the pieces once, over a medium hot fire until marked by dark stripes and tender, about 12 minutes.
3. Briefly cool the grilled fennel. Cut the fennel into thin strips. In a large bowl, toss the fennel with the sun-dried tomatoes, basil, remaining 2 Tbs oil, and vinegar. Adjust the seasonings, adding salt and pepper to taste. The vegetables can be covered and set aside for up to 1 hour.
4. Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot. Add 1 Tbs salt and the pasta and cook until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water and drain the pasta. Toss the pasta with the grilled fennerl sauce, moistening the pasta with the reserved cooking water as needed. Serve immediately, passing the grated cheese at the table.

That's Jack Bishop's recipe. As usual, I changed some stuff. First, I used sun-dried tomatoes that were dry, not packed in oil. I rehydrated them by putting them in a bowl and covering them with boiling water. Incidentally, I also used this water later instead of the pasta water to wet the pasta.

I about halved the recipe, too, although I used more sun-dried tomatoes, because I just like them. Also, "discard the stalks adn fronds"?!?!? Are you nuts? I minced some of the fronds and added them, then saved the rest for use in salads later this week.

Here's a biggie -- I didn't feel like lighting up the grill, so I used my grill pan. You could also broil or roast these with much the same effect.

I went light on the olive oil, (watching my weight, you know) but after tasting it I actually added a little more. It needed it.

What would I do differently next time? To be honest, I'm not sure I'd make this again. It wasn't super fennel-y, and I actually like fennel and didn't want to disguise its flavor. Also, it wasn't much of a sauce -- it was more like little chunks of veggies that I had to dig out from the bottom of the bowl. The pasta with greens and feta from a few weeks ago was much better.

One thing that ruled -- the bread. My Boompah gave me half a loaf of wonderful French bread and after I took the fennel off the grill, I grilled two slices of bread, and it was delicious.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Broccoli Romanesco

Okay, I finally tried it. Just for your information, it looks rather like a head of broccoli, but paler in color, with sort of pointy floret clusters. It's actually kind of cute. I was informed that it tastes more like cauliflower, which is true. I steamed it in the microwave (cue sweetie's disgusted look) for 3 minutes and dressed it with Soy Vay Chinese Marinade and chili-garlic sauce. It was quite tasty, and the low calories mean I can have Ben and Jerry's Phish Food fro-yo tonight. MMMMMM.

Monday, February 14, 2005

My Big Fat Persian Dinner

I decided to make Gormeh Sabzi, Khoresh Gheymeh, and a big pot of rice, as well as the traditional pita bread with feta, mint and basil to start. I might post the recipes later, but I'd like to simply describe the debacle first.

How I screwed up the Gormeh Sabzi: I usually buy bagged spinach at the store, but I happened to be at the natural food store, so I bought bunches of spinach. I started the onions and fake meat cooking, thinking I could chop the greens (spinach, green onions, parsley and dill) later. Yeah, it's been a LONG time since I bought bunched spinach. I forgot that it basically comes packed in mud, and that you could rinse it under the faucet in a strainer for ten years, then pull it out and still find big chunks of mud. You have two options -- fill a sink with cold water and wash it that way, or wash every damned leaf individually under running water. I had forgotten how indredibly long that took. Ultimately, it didn't affect the dish too badly (I think this was the best of the things I made), but it was a terrible pain in the butt and really took a lot of my time, which leads to . . .

How I screwed up the rice: To make Iranian rice, you actually boil it like pasta just until it is al dente, then drain it and put it back in the pot (with a bunch of melted butter) and steam it for a while until it develops a crust on the bottom. I, however, was so preoccupied that I completely ignored the rice, and it bypassed the "al dente" stage. It bypassed the "done" stage. It bypassed the "a little overdone" stage and turned into a big pot of rice paste. I threw it out and turned on the rice cooker.

How I screwed up the Khoresh Gheymeh: This one probably owes some of the problems to the recipe, which measures the yellow split peas in pounds. I don't have a kitchen scale, so I estimated. I figured 1/4 lb was about one cup. I must have been WAY off, because I cooked it with the water and tomato juice (1 cup each) for just a few minutes before the split peas had soaked up every trace of liquid and the legumes were still hard as rocks. Ultimately I ended up adding at least 2 1/2 more cups of liquid before I called the dish done, and even then the peas probably could have stood a tiny bit more cooking.

I did not screw up the pita bread, cheese, mint and basil (although I did forget to put out sliced red onion, my sweetie's favorite). To be honest, it wasn't bad, it just didn't go nearly as well as I'd hoped. Next time I try, I will either buy bagged spinach or the dried "sabzi" greens that you can find in Persian markets. I will vow to watch the rice better. And I will do a better job at estimating one pound, or just go ahead and take the recipe to the store and use the little scales by the bulk bins.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Roasted potatoes

So, I'm not sure what kind of potatoes were in my box, but I suspect Yukon Golds, because they're small, like baby potatoes, and have a yellowy flesh. They're really good, and I never thought I'd be able to tell the difference between a good potato and an average one, but these are really excellent. I didn't want to destroy their flavor too much, so I just kept it simple.

About 16 baby potatoes, quartered or halved, depending on size
2 tsp minced garlic
3 leeks, white parts chopped
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried basil
cooking spray
salt and pepper

I just mixed everything (but the cooking spray), poured them into a medium Pyrex dish (this is where the spray came in) and baked them at 425 for about 45 minutes. I sprinkled mine with Pepper Plant sauce, but you could as easily have used tabasco or ketchup.

Experiment: I took about 1/4 cup of these already-cooked potates and tried to re-create a potato salad I had at Biras Creek resort in the Virgin Islands last summer. I dressed the hot potatoes in about a tablespoon of plain yogurt with a squeeze of Beaver honey mustard. I didn't get it exactly (I think there were capers involved), but I'm on to something, I think, with the roasting, the yogurt, the good potatoes, and the dressing them while they're warm.

Okay, bye all!

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Uncle Allan's Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 cups old fashioned oatmeal (uncooked)
1 cup chopped nuts
1 12 oz package semi-sweet chocolate chips

Sift together first three ingredients. Cream butter, shortening and sugars. Add eggs, beat well. Add dry ingredients, then stir in nuts, oats and chocolate. If desired, chill dough. Roll dough into balls, using a rounded teaspoon for each. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 9-12 minutes.

My notes on this one: First of all, thanks for waiting so long. I promised I'd post this one the last time I made cookies! Second, I'm pretty sure the wording here is my mom's -- god bless my Uncle Allan, I doubt he ever wrote in his life "roll dough into balls, using a rounded teaspoon for each." The changes or variations I use are as follows -- I substitute 1/4 of the white flour with whole wheat flour. I use all butter, no shortening. I don't bother to chill the dough. Some other notes -- if you're stirring this one and wonder whether your arm is going to fall off and whether that could POSSIBLY be the right density -- it's perfect. The is an incredibly thick dough, and very hard to stir. I don't know why, but it comes out great. Use a kitchen-aid mixer if you have one, but if you make a double batch, you're going to have to mix it my hand, and it really does take some arm strength. They also don't spread out a heck of a lot. Finally, 9-12 minutes is a good estimate if you're using regular pans -- I use air-bake pans and they take longer. Expect 12-15 minutes if you use those.

Uncle Allan was an amazing cook, a natural. Not a gourmet, at least, not while I was around him, but instinctively a good cook. In fact, if I remember correctly (it's been a long time), he couldn't even write this recipe down because he never measured, just dumped things in. My mom had to watch him do it and measure as he went. For a short time, he owned the Over the Hill Bar and Grill, the logo an R. Crumb character I wouldn't recognize for years, although I had a shirt from the bar. And you know I've been a vegetarian for almost 16 years, but I can still remember that Allan made the best patty melt I ever tasted. He moved to Oregon when I was still relatively young, and there he worked mostly as a cook. For a time, in a kind of funny coincidence, he worked at a vegetarian restaurant a couple nights a week and a German place the other nights. He went from Keilbasa to kefir cheese. He was a good man, with good intentions. He died a couple years ago, and even though I didn't see much of him the last few years, I still think of him and still miss him. If you make these cookies (which are hands down the best oatmeal chocolate chip cookies you will ever eat), let me know. And if you pass on the recipe, please keep his name in the title. Thanks all,
Count Broccula

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Carnival Squash

This was a small squash, and I was having a hard time deciding what to do with it. Soup didn't really sound that good to me today, and risotto (which did sound good) was time- and labor-intensive, as well as too high on the fat scale. So I threw it in the oven to bake (450 degrees for about 45 minutes -- I put it in whole and scooped the seeds out later). Then I looked through my recipes, did some other stuff, and still hadn't decided when it was done. I said to sweetie "Risotto, soup, or plain with soy sauce?" He said he didn't care. I took half and just ate it, not with soy sauce but with Pepper Plant sauce. It was good. But when Sweetie wandered into the living room and said "is that what's for dinner?" he looked so disappointed I decided I'd actually make his something with the other half. So I prepared

Carnival Squash with an Asian Twist.

I cut up half of one baked Carnival Squash.
I diced one leek (white bits and a tiny bit of green)
I sauteed the leek in a mix of 1 tsp olive oil and 1 tsp sesame oil
I added about 1/2 tsp minced garlic and 1/2 tsp minced ginger
I sauteed those for about 2 minutes, then added the squash and about 2 Tbs of Soy Vey brand Chinese Marinade (which is mostly hoisin sauce), then heated everything through for another 2 minutes.

I served them with steamed vegetable gyoza (potstickers) from Trader Joe's. He said it was good.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Sort of Southern Greens

I call these "sort of" because I can't imagine any self-respecting Southerner would A) use butter-flavored cooking spray instead of butter, oil, or (shudder) bacon grease B) use Tofurkey sausage instead of actual meat or C) be real interested in red curly-leaf kale. Nevertheless, here goes.

1 bunch curly-leaf kale, about 2-3 cups coarsely chopped
1 Tofurkey sausage
cooking spray
red pepper flakes

Heat a medium saucepan on medium high, spray generously with cooking spray and add the garlic. Slice the Tofurkey and throw it in the pan, stirring occasionally until it just begins to brown. Then add the kale and red pepper flakes. Stir frequently, and keep an eye on it. After only about five minutes, the kale will have shrunk significantly, turned a darker color and softened. It's ready. I served it over rice with a splash of hot sauce (my favorite ever is the Pepper Plant. Seriously, I don't know why there aren't cults devoted to this stuff. I'd join.). It was quite tasty and filling. My sweetie liked them, too.

On the Tofurkey sausage, I used to say that I don't use a lot of meat substitutes, but that's not really true anymore. I almost always have some on hand, whether it's the Morningstar Farms bacon-like strips or fake sausages, ot the Yves Smart Dogs, or the Gardenburger meatless riblets. I like a lot of them, even though I don't have them on nearly a daily basis. I go through phases, sometimes eating a couple riblets a week or eating fake sausage with my breakfast every day until they're gone, and other times I won't have anything for ages. I haven't had any of the fake meat products in at least a couple months until we brought the Tofurkey home. It tastes pretty good. If you're a die-hard carnivore, it may not satisfy you, because it doesn't have that spurting-grease/chunks of unidentifiable white gristly bits that you're used to, but it's fairly meaty and will probably satisfy folks who are watching their cholesterol or weight and don't mind the occasional meat-free meal. Keep in mind, though, that this endorsement is coming from a woman who hasn't had a sausage in well over 16 years, and come to think of it, really never had many sausages before that. Here's a meat-eater's opinion: "They're not meat. I don't know. I was worried about them in the spaghetti sauce because I felt that they lost a little texture in there, but you know, for non-meat, they're okay."

Improvisational Thai curry

Okay, I have another box coming Wednesday, so I really need to start getting rid of the veggies I still have lying around. Which often, for me, results in a curry.

1 tbs olive oil
1 large carrot, sliced into thin rounds
6 baby potatoes, cut in half, then sliced (for half-moon shapes)
most of one giant head of Napa cabbage
one small red onion and about four green onions (I'll explain my wierd onions later)
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp minced ginger
1 Tbs Tom Yum paste (or Thai curry paste)
2 stalks celery
1 can coconut milk
1 Tbs chili-garlic paste
4 cups water

Basically I sauteed the onion, garlic, ginger, and celery in the olive oil for about five minutes, then added the potatoes and carrots and sauteed them for another five minutes. Then I added the Tom Yum paste, chili-garlic paste, the coconut milk and the water and let them cook on medium for about 30 minutes. It took that long for the potatoes and carrots to get nearly done. When I tasted a slice of potato and decided it was almost done (wasy to bite through, but I tiny bit of firmness still), I threw in all the sliced cabbage and green onions and let everything cook together for another 5 minutes. Then I salted and peppered it and served it over a mix of white and brown basmati rice.

It was pretty tasty (as evidenced by the fact that all that food got almost entirely devoured by two people). For my part, I could have stood a little more heat, but I've been trying to lay off the heat a little recently due to the various stomach problems of the Piggs-Mockula household. For a spicier curry, add more chili-garlic paste, some sriraca hot sauce (don't go crazy) or red chili flakes.

*On the wierd onions: They came in my veggie box. They were red, and kind of an elongated torpedo shape. They also came with about 12 inches of greens attached. I used the bulb part like a regular onion and chopped the greens like green onions. I didn't actually find them all that wierd, but my sweetie did.

**I made this Monday, by the way, I was just lazy about getting the blogging done. Well, not lazy, busy. I was painting the bedroom.

Friday, February 04, 2005

My sweetie made dinner!

Well, my darling decided to treat me on Thursday and made us dinner. He had picked up the fixings at Trader Joe's on Sunday. The following is his answer to "what was in it?" dictated faithfully.

frozen peppers
two Tofurkey sausages
weird onions
some Smoking Loon wine
Sweet N' Low
pasta sauce . . . um garlic one for Trader Joe's
tomato paste
stewed tomatoes with chili peppers
ummmm . . . garlic
black pepper

whole wheat rotini

I cooked the garlic and onions and sausage together. Then after a few minutes I added the peppers. And I cooked them in olive oil. And meanwhile I put all the tomato sauces together with the peas and after a few minutes I added the peppers to make it, make that kind of, je ne'est sais quois. Oh no I didn't. And I dumped wine in it immediately. And, oh! Chili flakes! Then I dumped it all together and cooked it for a while. Then I tasted it and added more salt and pepper and Sweet N' Low. I did chop all the stuff up, too, you know. It's not like I dumped giant chunks of Tofurkey in giant sausage form."

He would have probably done a better job typing it out himself, but I kind of like it this way. Anyway, it was divine! Yum yum yummy. I told him he can cook anytime he wants.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Mu-shu vegetables, sort of.

Well, I got my new veggie box today. Onions, broccoli, carrots, salad mix, kale, Napa cabbage, organic whole wheat flour, and oranges. I immediately thought of spring rolls or salad rolls, but since that required a trip to the grocery store and I’m not too skilled at handling rice noodles, and furthermore, since I got the flour, I thought crepes might be easier.

To make the crepes:

1 cup flour
1 1/4 cup milk (I used nonfat soy milk)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup egg beaters (or one egg)

Combine all ingredients and whisk for the rest of your life. No, just a lot. It’s hard to get the lumps out and you do want it smooth. Heat a nonstick saute pan on the stove over medium high heat. Pour 1/4 cup of the mix (it will be thin, not like pancake batter) into the pan and roll the pan around to spread out the batter. Cook for ten seconds (really) then flip it over and cook it ten seconds on the other side. It will be dry around the edges and you should be able to pick it up easily with a rubber spatula. You can stack these on top of one another to help keep them warm.

To make the filling:

I finely chopped (and I really mean finely, like unrecognizable) the following:

2 medium carrots
6 leaves napa cabbage
1/2 cup broccoli
1 red onion

It would have been pretty easy to stir-fry these with garlic, but I was lazy and steamed them instead, then mixed in miced garlic and ginger.

To assemble:

Put about 1/2 Tbs hoisin sauce on a crepe. Then put on about 1/3 cup veggie mixture. Then roll it up like a burrito and eat. I added a few drops of hot sauce to each and ate three. Yummy!

Dessert crepes!!

Later, for dessert, I was thinking about using some frozen berries to make a dessert crepe, but I also noticed that my bananas were getting pretty ripe, so I used the leftover crepes to make banana crepes.

Thinly slice one banana. Put banana slices on one half of two crepes. Drizzle chocolate sauce (I keep Hershey’s in the fridge) over bananas. Fold crepes in half. Heat the same pan you made the crepes in, and spray in butter flavored cooking spray. Put the crepes in and heat through. Eat.

The crepes were basically from Molly Katzen’s Moosewood Cookbook, which may have been my very first cookbook, which I have consulted for years and which contains several of my favorite recipes ever. (If you have the book, try the “Very Much Marinated Potatoes.” You’ll never go back to regular potato salad.) Anyway, all I changed was that I used the egg beaters instead of the egg, whole wheat flour instead of white, and soy milk instead of cow milk. I guess that’s 75% of the ingredients, but the basic idea was the same.

Good luck if you make them, and make sure you have plenty of hoisin -- I ran out!

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Haitian Hot Pot

Today's recipe was very much inspired by Jay Soloman's 150 Vegan Favorites. This is a great vegan cookbook, and I consult it regularly. In fact, it has such a great chili recipe that your carniverous Superbowl party buddies probably wouldn't know the difference.*

1 Tbs olive oil
1 cup chopped bell peppers
2 stalks celery
2 minced cloves garlic (or about 2 tsps minced garlic)
1/2 scotch bonnet pepper, 2 large jalapenos, or (like me) a bunch of red chili flakes and a dash of "pepper plant" hot sauce
8 cups water
2 cups peeled, diced butternut squash
1 large potato, diced
2 large carrots, diced
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1 can drained kidney beans

In large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the next 4 ingredients (peppers through peppers, basically). Stir them for 5-7 minutes. Add everything else except the kidney beans and bring to a simmer over high heat. Then reduce the heat to medium low and cook for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the beans and cook for about 5 minutes. To thicken, mash the squash and potatoes against the side of the pan with the back of a large spoon. Remove the soup from the heat and let stand for about ten minutes.

The recipe was "inspired" again because it called for turnips rather than carrots, canola oil rather than olive, 1 Tbs dried parsley (I didn't have any), and 1 diced yellow onion (I didn't have one).

It's soup, so you could just eat it on its own, but I decided to serve it over rice.

Ultimately, it was good, but could have used a little salt, and maybe something acidic, like a squeeze of lime or lemon juice. As recipes go, actually yesterday's curry (which I entirely made up) was probably better.

* I do not actually think that Monkeygirl and my mom, the only two people known to read this blog, actually have "carniverous Superbowl party buddies," or that either will host a Superbowl party at all. Nevertheless, the chili is excellent.