Recent Dishes: Vegan Cacciatore and More

I’ve been doing some pretty good cooking and eating lately, in spite of enduring the cold from hell for the last few days. Being sick has done nothing to reduce my appetite, even though at this point I can hardly taste a thing I put in my mouth. Okay, enough of the whining, let’s get on with the food.

For Valentine’s Day, I wanted to make something special, even though it was really the first day of my cold and I was feeling anything but romantic. I decided on “Chicken” Cacciatore, something I haven’t prepared since becoming a vegetarian. The irony of taking a dish called “Hunter’s Chicken” and making it vegan is not lost on me, but my memory was of a rich, thick, delicious sauce made my mouth water, so I decided to go for it.

I planned to use Gardein Chick’n Filets, but they weren’t available at the market, so I picked up the Herb Dijon Breasts instead (and put the sauce away for another use). Other than that, I used a recipe from my old Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook, with just a few minor changes, like substituting red wine for the white called for in the recipe (a preference of mine in cacciatore). I also didn’t have any rosemary (I know, I was shocked, too!), so I used Italian seasoning in place of the herbs called for in the recipe. If I’d been feeling better, I may have run out to pick it up, because rosemary in an important flavor in the dish, but it was still delicious. Definitely something I will prepare again.

vegan cacciatore

The next night, I wanted to use that herb dijon sauce, so I sauteed some tofu in it, adding some mushrooms, zucchini, yellow squash, and green onions. Served with a rice medley, it was really tasty, and, more important this week, easy.

On Thursday, I felt like a burger, but didn’t feel like having it the standard way, with bun, condiments, etc. Instead, I made this black bean patty, although I used the food processor instead of just “smushing” the beans, and added two tablespoons of ground flax seeds, hoping that it would hold together a little better. It didn’t, but it sure tasted great. I served it bun-less, with some sauteed zucchini, yellow squash, kale, and onions on the side.

Finally, last night, I went back to tofu. After marinating for a little while in soy sauce, veggie broth, mustard and a little olive oil, I dusted it with flour.  I put potatoes, carrots, onions, and yellow pepper in a baking dish and stirred it up with the marinade, then laid the tofu on top of the veggies. I poured some more vegetable broth over the top, then baked it for about 45 minutes in a 400 degree over, turning the tofu and basting it once.

If there was a theme to all these meals, it was that they were all really easy, even the cacciatore, which was really important in a week when I was feeling lousy but still hungry.

An finally, something that actually made me feel better! While I was shopping at Trader Joe’s yesterday, Alan was looking for something sweet and found this:

Oh, what a treat! I haven’t had an ice cream sandwich since I was a kid (well, almost). These were pretty tiny, which is probably a good thing, but they were just as remembered. Yummy. (They also make them with vanilla.)

Here’s to healthier days ahead. Cheers!

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  1. Molly Thorpe says

    Hey Deb,
    Reading this blog makes my mouth water. Have you ever thought about offering cooking classes? I’d sign up in a hot second!!! Hope you are feeling better.
    Molly 🙂

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