Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hello Again

A few of you may have noticed that I have not blogged in quite some time. My mother passed away last May, and I have not been in a blogging mood since. I haven't been in a cooking mood, either. There's been a lot of frozen prepared food, canned soup, and frozen vegetables with frozen rice going on around here. So between not wanting to blog, and not having anything to blog about except prepared veggie burgers and potato chips, several months have flown by.

However, for reasons of emotional as well as physical health, this cannot go on. Also, I'm wasting tons of money on all this prepared stuff. So tonight I made my favorite vegetable casserole. Easy to make, and so good. I could feel the vitamins seeping into my cells.

I made this tonight with the vegetables listed below, but you can use broccoli, sweet potato, or anything you like. I got the basic recipe from a generic vegetarian cookbook I was given years ago. It has a green cover and is called something original like 'Vegetarian Cookbook'. I am a lover of condiments and seasonings, so was therefore skeptical of this casserole the first time I made it because paprika, onion, and garlic didn't seem like enough seasoning. It's very good, though, and you can really taste all the vegetables when they're not hiding under lots of hot sauce, mustard, and whatever else I always slather on my food.

Jeff the hand model with Vegetable Casserole
Vegetable Casserole with Herbed Dumplings

1 Onion
2 cloves of garlic
2 tsp. sweet paprika
2 potatoes (I used Russet)
3 Carrots
1 can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cup water or veg. stock
2 zucchini
A bunch of frozen green beans (I didn't measure)

for dumplings
1 cup flour (I used a mix of millet and spelt)
pinch of salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 Tbsp. margarine or olive oil
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
1/3 cup soymilk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Saute onion in a little olive oil till soft, then add paprika and garlic and saute for another minute. Add the tomatoes, water or stock, potatoes, and carrots. Bring to simmer and cook, covered, for 5 minutes. Add the rest of the vegetables and continue simmering until vegetables are tender. Add salt to taste. Transfer to a large casserole dish.

Meanwhile, mix the flour, baking soda, and salt in a small mixing bowl. Add the margarine or oil and work into the flour with your fingers until it resembles very fine bread crumbs. (I also add a little flax meal 'cause it's good for you) Mix in the herbs. Stir in the soymilk until the mixture just comes together. (You may have to add a bit more flour depending on the kind you use) Divide into 8 pieces, and roll into balls.

Distribute the dumplings evenly over the top of the casserole. You'll want them to absorb the juicy goodness, so get them nestled down in the casserole a bit. Bake for 20 minutes or until a knife comes out clean when you stab a dumpling. I spoon a little juice over the dumplings a couple of times while it's baking to help keep them from getting too dry on top. Throw on some more parsley and eat it up.

Ready to eat with baby greens and herbs

Nutmeg is doing well and wants to say hello. She was so excited to be blogging again that she rushed the camera. I'll get some better pictures when she has calmed down from all the excitement.