This week of dark days and rainy weather here in the Northwest makes it a time for coziness and comfort food so I thought I’d share a few of our recent favorites.
It is also a time for counting our blessings, though I try to do that every day. Among the many things I am grateful for are all who take the time to read my posts. As my web site title suggestions, they wander over many topics, but I hope they add some interests, insights, knowledge or smiles to your life, if just for a moment. Thank you for following my wanderings!
Quinoa Sweet Potato Patties (30-45 mins. to prepare) incorporate several traditional winter holiday foods into one non-traditional dish. This simple recipe could be a peace maker at a holiday meal, meeting various dietary choices. It’s a good main dish protein source for vegetarians and vegans, yet can also be served along with meat or fish. And most people on a gluten-free diet can tolerate quinoa. These could be made without the quinoa, but they would not be as protein rich. (My photos did not turn out well of these, they actually are quite nice looking with the chopped cranberries in them!)
1/2 cup dry quinoa – cook separately while preparing other ingredients
1 small onion or white part of a medium size leek (my preference) chopped fine by hand or put in food processor
1 LARGE sweet potato
Peel and grate or chop fine in food processor. You could also bake a sweet potato then scoop it out to use. This adds to prep time. Sauté in water all the chopped ingredients (see options below) except nuts (if using them) in a skillet until the sweet potato is a soft, mushy consistency. Be sure not to use too much water or they might not hold together. Add salt and your favorite seasonal spices. Sweet potato is your binder so be sure to use a large one or a few medium size.
Options to add in with sweet potato and onion:
1/2 cup cranberries roughly chopped
4 large crimini mushrooms chopped fine
1/2 cup ground nuts (cashews and pecans work well, I mixed them)
good combinations are cranberries & mushrooms or cranberries & nuts. Be creative and add what you think would be good!
In a large bowl mix the cooked quinoa into the cooked sweet potato mixture and add chopped nuts. Make small, firm patties, lightly cook in a skillet using coconut or olive oil, turning once to brown both sides.
Mushroom “gravy” made with coconut milk and cashews (vegan)
Served with a green vegetable and cranberry sauce, you have a tasty, balanced, holiday meal, or an everyday easy meal! This recipe makes about 12 patties, they keep well in refrigerator for a day. Leftovers are good for breakfast or lunch!
(want to know more about quinoa, this ancient protein rich food of the Americas? Here’s a short history: Origin & History of Quinoa)
And for dessert…….
Pumpkin Tapioca Pudding combines two of my favorites, tapioca pudding and pumpkin pudding, into a gluten free, vegan dessert. It is easier and quicker to prepare than pie but gives you the warming, comforting seasonal spices everyone loves. I ONLY use Edward & Sons Trading Company Native Forest organic coconut milk and Lets Do Organic tapioca. Their “classic” coconut milk is rich and creamy, like cooking with cream.
Heat 1 1/2 cups full fat coconut milk
Add 1/4 cup tapioca granules
Cook a few minutes then add
1 1/2 c. puréed pumpkin made from a fresh pie pumpkin or a sweet winter squash.
Cook until it begins to thicken and tapioca is clear. It will thicken more when cooled so don’t worry it not very thick.
Remove from heat. Add maple syrup to taste, 1/2 t. cinnamon, 1/8 t. each of cloves and nutmeg.
Let cool in refrigerator briefly to set up, but it’s best (and a great comfort food!) served a bit warm.
Serve with a coconut/cashew “cream” made by combining 1/2 – 3/4 c. full fat coconut milk and 1/2 cup cashews (roasted unsalted or raw) in food processor or blender. Add a sweetener such as maple syrup and vanilla extract. Spoon on top. Obviously you could use whipped cream instead!
Other Thanksgiving posts: