When the 8th-grader and I get home on weeknights, our evening routine is pretty simple; we do homework - rather, SHE does homework, and I pretend I know how to help her. Sometimes I catch up on MY homework, or pay bills, or plan supper, or Tweet or blog too....
...Then I make supper while the 8th-grader assists me by sitting on the counter talking to me, OR doing whatever other important things 8th-graders find necessary with iPods, tablets, Kindles, phones and laptops...
After supper, and sometimes a walk if the weather cooperates, and (sorta) cleaning the kitchen and (sorta) taking a stab at whatever other housework or yardwork has magically appeared over night (it always happens, somehow), THEN, finally... we curl up on the couch in our jammies with cocoa and tea and treat ourselves to the day's DVR'd episode of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show".
Yes, with a million other shows out there, this is my all-time favorite. It's nice to end a hectic, stressful, sometimes downright UGLY day on a positive, upbeat and usually VERY funny, note.
Not only is Ellen one of my favorite celebrities for her humor and her big heart, but also for her support of veganism and animal activism.
I also admire her for wearing her age SO WELL! She makes 55 look really, really good!
She's written several books and I could quote her thoughts on beauty, aging and life all night (go read them for yourself!); but here is one that rings so true for me...
- - “Find out who you are and figure out what you believe in. Even if it's different from what your neighbors believe in and different from what your parents believe in. Stay true to yourself. Have your own opinion. Don't worry about what people say about you or think about you. Let the naysayers nay. They will eventually grow tired of naying.”This is my thought for tonight's installment of Vegan Month of Food Blogging and my theme of "This Is What 50 Looks Like". Take the above quote to heart. Before you hit 50. Or 40. Or 30.
― Ellen DeGeneres, Seriously...I'm Kidding
As I mentioned above, and most people probably know, Ellen is "almost" vegan and often features celebrity chefs and vegan recipes on her show.
The following mashed potato recipe is now one of my go-to comfort-foods.
These particular mashed potatoes take a couple extra steps, but are oh, SOOOO worth it.
Though I've modified it quite a bit, I still give Ellen (or her chef or whoever) credit for introducing me to the idea...
- 6 - 8 (I use a whole head) roasted garlic cloves
- 1/2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup raw cashews (for cashew cream)
- 2 Tbsp powdered vegan "chicken-flavor" broth or bullion
- 5 large baking/russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 2 cups kale, (I use the flatter Lacinato kale) chopped fine
- 3 Tbsp melted vegan margarine
- ½ cup chopped chives
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375º
Make Roasted Garlic:
Put a double layer square of foil on counter.
Place garlic in the center & coat with olive oil.
Hold foil with garlic in the palm of your hand, crimp the foil around the garlic to form a "purse" with a "chimney/small vent" in the center top. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes. When the garlic is cool enough to handle, smash it up in a small bowl with a fork, and reserve.
Make Cashew Cream:
Soak cashews in boiling water for at least 10 minutes.
Rinse the nuts and puree them in a blender/food processor with 2 cups of water.
Let the blender run for 5 minutes.
If your blender isn't all high-powered and fancy, strain the cream through a fine mesh strainer (if desired, though I usually don't bother) and set aside.
Peel and cut the potatoes in quarters. Rinse the potatoes in cold water and place them in a large pot filled with water 3" above the potatoes.Add powdered vegan broth/bullion and stir.
Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer for 20 min. Add chopped kale and continue to cook until the potatoes are soft.
Strain the potatoes/kale and spread out in a shallow baking dish and bake them for 5-10 minutes to remove excess moisture.
Return to cooking pot, and working quickly to not lose heat, mash potato-kale mixture.
Add the margarine, cashew cream, chives, and garlic and stir until well incorporated. If too dry, add a splash of soy or other plant milk.
Season well with salt and pepper.
Serves 8 (maybe)
Spoon up a big bowl of these, curl up on the couch and watch Ellen with the people you love. Best comfort food for your belly and your heart, EVER.