Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Southern Comfort Food


I absolutely love comfort food! A few nights ago, we whipped up a batch of mac 'n' cheese with some garlic collard greens, sweet potato mash, vegetarian chicken fingers (store bought) and some tasty biscuits.
We've made mac 'n' cheese many times, however the recipe below is are go-to. It's rich and creamy, and really easy to make. As for the collard greens, the trick, as we've found, is to steam them, then quickly sautée in warm oil with garlic.
This meal is perfect for when you're having a craving for southern dinner food. All the goodness, but without all the animal products and butter! Yum!


Mac 'n' Cheese

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients


1 pound or 450g of pasta, cooked al dente

1 1/2 cup water
3/4 cup plain soy milk, or dairy-free milk
3/4 cup nutritional yeast
3 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt + more to taste
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp onion powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
ground black pepper to taste


Preparation


Put all ingredients in the blender and pulse until smooth.
Taste for seasoning.
In a large pan, on medium heat, add all the cooked pasta to the cheesey-cheeseless mixture.
Cook for 5 to 10 minutes until the mixture has thickened.
Serve immediately with fresh ground pepper and salt if needed.
Add the remaining uncooked sauce to any leftovers so that tomorrow's leftovers will be as creamy as tonight's.


Garlic Collard Greens

Serves: 3-4

Ingredients


1 large bunch of collard greens
olive oil, about 1/8 to 1/4cup, enough to well coat the bottom of your pan
4-5 cloves of garlic, minced or sliced
pinch of red chili flakes
salt to taste
1 tsp lemon juice

Preparation


In a large skillet, heat olive oil with the garlic and chili peppers on low heat for 10-15min.
Wash the collard greens and cut into 1" strips.
Steam all the collards in a steamer basket in a covered pot with an inch of water at the bottom.
Steam for about 5 minutes, until bright green then drain, trying to remove as much water as possible.
Toss the collards in the warm olive oil mixture and sautée on low for 3 minutes. 
Mix the collards with the lemon juice and serve.


Sweet Potato Mash

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients


4 medium-large sweet potatoes or garnite yams
3 cloves of garlic
water
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup molasses, or to taste
pinch of allspice or asian 5-spice
1/2 tbsp paprika
scant 1/4 cup margarine
salt and pepper to taste

Preparation


In a large covered pot, bring salted water to a boil. 
Wash the sweet potatoes and cut into 1" chunks. Husk and remove the ends of the garlic, keeping the cloves whole. Add the garlic and the sweet potatoes to the boiling water.
Boil for about 10 minutes or until the potatoes are soft enough to mash.
Reserve about a cup of the cooking liquid, and drain the rest.
In the pot, mash the sweet potatoes adding the spices, and the margarine and cooking water until a smooth texture is obtained. You may also use an immersion blender to quicken the process.
Season with salt and pepper and serve along side your mac'n'cheese, collards and biscuits.