A great dinner idea for a Friday night.
Life isn’t just about watching calories. Especially after working for the whole week and watching what you eat every day, right?
Friday night it’s time to lay back and relax.
An easy and quick meal, but that is also nutritious and delicious. That’s my motto. Well, one of them 😉
Sure, you want to avoid starch, carbs, sugar etc etc.
But can you actually live every single day watching what you eat? I can’t.
Food is one of my biggest pleasures and I like to enjoy it, carefree, stress-free, happily. I already feel that my diet is limited enough because I don’t digest well gluten nor dairy anymore. I do try to eat as healthy as I can every day by cooking my own meals, buying fresh vegetables and fruit from local farmers market and staying away from canned and processed food. But sometimes you can’t do that, right? So, what are you going to do? Get frustrated, upset and starve?
Stress, my friends, has a huge influence on weight gain.
So, stress less by allowing yourself a little break from counting calories and have fun cooking (or watching someone cook) some of your favorite dishes every now and then!
I also feel that it’s crucial for my mental health and anxiety to allow myself one of my favorite, although not that nutritious, produce: POTATOES!
Friday night is the night 🙂
Ahhh. The love for potatoes. I can eat potatoes in all of its forms.
One day I’ll tell you about my near-overdose on potato chips. Funny story.
Today, however, I am writing about a classic dish (at least it’s been a classic in my family) while I was growing up: Mince and mashed potatoes.
My mom would cook the mince in tomato sauce (not ketchup, New Zealanders! Real tomato sauce, like pasta sauce) with onions, green capsicum, bay leaves and garlic.
Mom makes mashed potatoes with eggs and milk.
So, here I post the recipe of this rather simple and easy dish, but incredibly delicious and nostalgic to me. Vegan, of course!
For the “mince”, I use:
- 1 cup of TVP (textured vegetable protein) mince – there are several flake sizes. I use the mince size for this recipe.
- 250 ml of tomato/pasta sauce (or you can make your own tomato sauce)
- 2 tomatoes
- 2 small onions (or one large onion)
- chopped mixed vegetables
- 5 garlic cloves
- 1 large bay leaf
- black papper
- Himalayan salt
For the mashed potatoes:
- 4 medium-sized potatoes, pealed and cut in halves for easier and faster cooking
- 2 table spoons of nutritional yeast
- Himalayan salt
- 2 table spoons of vegan spread.
HOW TO PREPARE THE MINCE
First, soak the TVP mince in a bowl with the tomato sauce and about 200 ml of water (to dilute the sauce a little and give more moisture to the TVP). While the TVP is soaking, you can start cooking the potatoes and chopping the onions, the capsicum, the tomatoes and garlic cloves. Put them aside.
Fry the chopped onion and capsicum in a medium size pot with some oil of you preference (I use grape seed oil) on medium heat. Once the onion edges turn golden, you can throw in the salt, pepper and crushed (or powdered) bay leaf (I crush the leaf in my hand because I don’t mind the little bits of leaf in the dish. But if you don’t like to chew on bay leaves, you can use the powder. In this case, I’d recommend no more than half teaspoon of powdered bay leaf).
Cook the ingredients on a medium to low heat for 3 minutes, then add the chopped tomatoes, mixed vegetables and the crushed and chopped garlic cloves. Cover the pot with a lid and allow the ingredients to cook for another three minutes. If necessary, add 100 ml of water to prevent any burnt ingredient, and stir the mix thoroughly but gently every so often.
Now, pour the TVP+tomato/pasta sauce into the pot with the vegetables, mix all the ingredients with a spoon, making sure that nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot. Add a bit more oil if necessary. Cover the pot with a lid and let the ingredients cook for 5 minutes on medium heat.
At the last two minutes, add some spinach leaves too, if you want. Mix everything just enough time for the spinach leaves to wilt.
Serve it hot with the mashed potato and hot sauce (if you like).
The entire process takes no more than 40-45 minutes to prepare, including peeling and cooking the potatoes and soaking the TVP mince.