Friday, May 1, 2009

Falafel Plate(can be veganized); TwoCheese Potato Casserole(non-vegan)

Good morning, welcome back. How was your week, did it go well for you? Mine was good, I actually had FOUR good days in a row at work, paid the rent and all the utilities in full, bought groceries, and paid the full 20% co-pay for a medical procedure yesterday, so I seem to be doing well.

Today is 43 days, 1274 cigarettes NOT smoked, $243.81 and 9 days, 7hours of my life saved. Not bad, eh? I love the way the calculator can do that, lol. I sure couldn't figure it out, even if I sat down for a couple hours with my own calculator!!!

The medical procedure yesterday was a renal ultrasound. As soon as my pc doctor gets the results, he'll call me, and then he'll refer me to a kidney specialist. I'm not to pleased about this, believe my. It's a weird sensation knowing that my kidneys may be shutting down, but hopefully my doctor has caught it in time that the specialist can do something to keep it from getting worse, and to keep me from having to have dialysis. My other medical problem is treatable with medication, and I started taking yet another drug this past Tuesday...this makes five prescriptions I'm on now. "The road to better living thru chemicals." I guess I should be grateful for the chemicals, they are probably keeping me alive, eh? Two are for high b/p, one is a pain pill, one is Zoloft(antidepressant), and the new one is for an underactive thyroid. Probably the specialist will prescribe another one, too, sigh. But, I don't know that for sure, so I'm just gonna keep it in the now. And ask you to keep me in your prayers, please. Thanks.

Ok, I've got some real recipes for you this week, well, sort of: one of them comes from a box mix, lol. The other one is real, tho, and very good, too. The first one is for a falafel plate, and it came from the May 5th, 2009, issue of Woman's Day.

Falafel Plate

1 box(6oz.)falafel mix[they used Near East, I used Fantastic Foods]
1 cup plain yogurt
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and shredded
2 tsp. white vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. each pepper, salt, and sugar
1 small red onion, thinly sliced, 1 cup green lettuce, 2 plum tomatoes, sliced thin
4 pita breads

1. Heat oven to 375ºF. Prepare falafel according to package directions for baking
2. In a medium bowl, combine yogurt, cucumber, vinegar garlic, pepper, salt, and sugar. Set aside.
3. Place onion in a glass bowl with water to cover. Microwave for 1 minute or ujntil onion softens. Drain.
4. Arrange falafel on a platter with cucumber sauce, lettuce, onions, tomatoes, and pitas. Serves four.

Ok, the Fantastic Foods box didn't give baking directions. The mix made seven flat patties, which I put in the oven for about ten minutes. They seemed to be done enough, and not too done, so I guess I judged the time ok.

I don't use dairy products, so instead of yogurt, I used the Tofutti brand of "sour cream" for the sauce, and quite frankly, the sauce turned out to be the best part of the whole thing!!! The next day, I diced up a tomato in the leftover sauce and ate it with some buttered sourdough bread, and it was great, absolutely great. Much better than the falalels, which I didn't really care for, and no, won't be making them again. I WILL made that sauce again, tho, and use it as a sort of side dish or even a sandwich spread. It's that good!!!! Oh, btw, using the Tofutti brand sour cream was what veganized it.

Two Cheese Potato Casserole[could possibly be veganized, by using vegan cheeses]
4 cups potatoes, peeled and cubed
8 oz. cream-style cottage cheese
8 oz. sour cream
1/2 green onion, chopped, or more to taste
1 Tbs. fresh parsley, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Lightly grease a 1 1/2 qt. casserole dish.
Boil potatoes in salted water until tender, about 15 minutes, and drain well.
In large bowl, combine next 6 ingredients, and mix well. Stir in the potatoes, and spoon all into the casserole. Bake for 25 minutes. Sprinkle the cheddar and paprika over the top, and bake 5 minutes, or until cheese has melted.

This was to die for, no kidding, even tho I had to make some substitutions along the way. First of all, I didn't have any cottage cheese, so I had to fake it: 8 ounces of firm silken tofu, crumbled up, salt and pepper and a teaspoon of cider vinegar, and let it sit a couple minutes, to sour it a little. It was a pretty good substitute. The sour cream, of course, was the Tofutti brand. Now, here's where I went off on my own, lol: I mixed in maybe two tablespoonsful of chevre goat cheese, flavored with dried tomatoes and basil, just to give the "dairy" base a little boost of flavor, as it was really pretty bland. I baked it in a ten inch glass pie plate, turning the oven 25º lower than the recipe called for. When it was time to sprinkle it with the cheddar, I just laid four slices of my beloved smoked provolone vegetarian cheese over the top, and put it back in the oven for about ten minutes, I guess. Totally forgot the paprika!!! Loved it, I really loved it, but don't imagine I'll make it often at all. It's one of those things that's just a "tad" too much work, lol. We all know I'm lazy, right?

I've discovered another good "meat" product, too, and ate it with the Cheese and Potato Casserole last night: Gardenburger brand "BBQ Riblets." Very, very good, and when I can afford them, I'll buy them again. The flavor is a wonderfully deep and rich smoky bbq sauce flavor, and the ribs are a very meaty texture, and actually taste sort of meaty, too. Wish I could figure out how to do that here at home. If you know how to do it, please email me and tell me, would you? My email is on the left side of the page, quite a ways down, btw.

This has made me hungry, so I'm going to go find something for breakfast. Until next time, Happy Eating!!!

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