Wednesday, August 10, 2011

makes mouths happy

Mister loves mashed potatoes (well, potatoes in general, but he definitely loves mashed potatoes as a top three pick).  Actually, let me try that again:

Mister looooooooooves mashed potatoes.

He also loves broccoli and chickpeas and garlic.  It stands to reason, then, that Mister loved tonight's dinner: Forty-Clove Chickpeas and Broccoli from Appetite for Reduction.  Angst kind of liked it, too - he liked the little balls of "raw hummus" Mister kept giving him.

There's Mister's lunch tomorrow - one of the few times he will happily eat leftovers.  As he got up from the dinner table tonight, he proclaimed it one of the best dinners ever because it was made up of "so many favorite things!"  I must agree.  Also, in my own mindful eating of dinner, I made two discoveries - one sweet...the other less so.

I discovered the unbridled bliss of biting into a forkful of mashed potatoes to find a perfect chunk of roasted garlic inside.  Such a powerful flavor, especially because this particular chunk had a whole side that had been browned by the roasting, so it added a kind of darker, smoky aspect.

The second thing I discovered is actually more of a slow-dawning realization.  I do not have a "go to" mashed potatoes recipe.  I have recipes, and occasionally, I follow one - most of the time that is because it is directly linked to the other recipe I'm making and I feel bad making one without the other.  That was not the case tonight - tonight, I simply decided to serve the pile of roasted perfection on top of what I had hoped would be light, creamy mashed potatoes.

I have actually accomplished that, by the way - just wanted to clear that up.  I didn't quite get there tonight, though, which I'm choosing to blame on the lack of Earth Balance and soymilk for blending.  In their place, I added a fair sprinkling of kosher salt, a generous dab of olive oil, and a very rounded spoonful of hummus.  The hummus definitely helped and I can see myself using it again in that capacity, but what I'm getting to is this: I shop for my recipes, so if I have a recipe for something, I know exactly what to buy.  If I had made mashed potatoes from a recipe, I would have purchased soymilk and replenished the Earth Balance before it got down to the miserable little teaspoon currently hogging the whole tub.

Summer isn't a big time for mashed potatoes (or roasted things, for that matter), so I'm issuing myself a challenge this fall (which is creeping closer, believe it or not!).  This fall, I want to perfect my own awesome "go to" recipe for mashed potatoes so flavorful and creamy we'll forget any allegiance we ever paid to those [delightfully convenient] Country Crock mashed potatoes in a microwaveable tub.

I'm also hoping this will ward off the Baking Bug just long enough for me to protect my waistline through the winter months.  Except for two things that will probably interfere....

Celebrate Vegan, the new cookbook by Dynise Balcavage (The Urban Vegan), which I had the extraordinary fortune to be involved in through recipe-testing, will finally be released on October 18!

One short week later, Isa and Terry's new book, Vegan Pie in the Sky, will also be released on the unsuspecting public.

Stay tuned!  Every menu from now until Christmas will be made exclusively from Appetite for Reduction!


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