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Stuffed Mashed Potatoes
3-4 large russet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 12 to 14 ounce block of the firmest tofu you can find, thoroughly drained, pressed, and crumbled.
1 12-ounce can tomato sauce
1 cup plant-milk, unsweetened, unflavored
1/4 cup low sodium tamari (vegan soy sauce)
McCormick’s (or other) Hamburger Seasoning Blend
Other herbs are up to you: onion powder, garlic powder, parsley, rosemary, thyme, basil, sage, black pepper, and even paprika. Read on for our favorite combinations.
STEAM the peeled & diced RUSSET potatoes. I put a sprig of fresh rosemary and a few leafs of sage from my garden in with the potatoes so they could absorb a little flavor while they cooked.
Oil-free sauté the diced onions. Get a high quality pan hot enough so a bead of water dances, and then pour in the onions. Do this with the heat setting not much higher than medium. Keep stirring! Motion and heat are the keys. Add the garlic when the onions begin to get translucent. Once the onions start to brown you can add a little veggie broth to deglaze the pan. Cook and stir until done.
In a separate pan, same method as above, cook some crumbled, seasoned tofu. Use the firmest tofu you can get. First: Press the liquid out of it for a half hour or so. (Towels on top and bottom, with something heavy on top.) Second: Spread the finger-shredded tofu in shallow dish and sprinkle some McCormick’s hamburger seasoning over it. Add 1/4 cup of low sodium tamari—just enough to dampen all pieces. Let that soak for 30 minutes, but stir every now and then to distribute the sauce.
Use a slotted spoon to transfer tofu into a hot pan. It should hiss when it hits. DO NOT STIR. Let it sit there and cook. It takes longer than you think it does. Let it go awhile before you try to stir. If it’s sticky, you stirred too soon.
Otherwise, stir it around just like you would hamburger. Cook and cook and cook. Some bits can even start to get a little crispy at the end, and at that point it’s done. Pour this tofu “burger” into the pan of cooked onion and garlic, add the tomato sauce and stir it all together.
Mash the potatoes with a masher. Heat the milk, but don’t boil. Stop heating before it boils, then into potatoes. I used almond milk, unsweetened, unflavored, as that’s what I had on hand. Obviously I don’t use any butter or margarine.
I decided to get creative with seasonings and looked up a few pros’ herbal suggestions for mashed potatoes. Then I split the potatoes into four servings in four separate bowls and began to experiment.
Season. Take a spoonful of potato, put it into a tiny dish, season it, and taste until you like it. Then add the same seasonings to the rest of the batch. I wound up with 4 different flavors as follows:
Smoked paprika and freshly ground peppercorns.
Rosemary, sage & thyme from a recipe site
Garlic powder and onion powder because I say so.
Parsley, basil, dill, which might’ve been a Martha Stewart suggestion.
After seasoning, shape the potatoes into balls, flatten the balls a little bit and make a well in the center. Surround each ball in parchment paper to keep them from sticking to the pan and each other, and place in a shallow baking pan.
Place, unstuffed, into a 400-degree oven for 20 minutes
Remove from oven. Fill each potato’s center well with the tofu topping and put them back into the oven for 15 or 20 minutes, until the filling starts to brown around its edges.
For a cheesy topping, sprinkle with nutritional yeast.
Serve and enjoy!
Notes: Hubs and I agreed the onion/garlic was the best flavor, followed by parsley, basil & dill, which was really excellent.
The rosemary, sage and thyme, wasn’t great, because I used too much thyme, I think, and the smoked paprika was not something I liked enough that I’d try it again.
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In one of the many other areas of my life…
I am celebrating 30 years since I published my first novel with a big giveaway and a pile of specials. We have 3 audiobooks at half price or less, an award-winning thriller for 99¢, and the first 3 complete Wings in the Night series novels in a kindle exclusive bundle for just $2.99. Also, you can pre-order Witchery, coming to all retailers Tuesday 9/26, 4 Witchy tales to thrill and chill you as All Hallows draws near, at a special 30th Anniversary price of just $2.99.
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