What the Hell — It’s Thanksgiving

What the hell. It’s Thanksgiving, so here are a couple of recipes. I don’t really follow recipes so I’m not going to tell you how much of each of thing exactly. It’s all to taste. I totally believe in tasting when you are cooking. I realize that if at this late date you are looking here, you are probably desperate and not much of a cook and need more help. Sorry. Here are three healthy, delicious things you can make. They all happen to be vegan (except one has honey but you could substitute maple syrup I guess) AND two out of three are gluten free. (The third could be gluten free with substitution.) So there you go:

Salad dressing — If you bring nothing else, you could still impress everyone with homemade dressing. Here’s how: add  1/3 cup Bragg’s apple cider vinegar, add about 1/3 of 1/3 cup of olive oil or more if want, take a tablespoon more or less of whole grain mustard, throw in a half teaspoon or so of honey — unless you someone won’t eat honey because of captive bees, in which case maple syrup. Mix it up real good. Voila. You just made the salad dressing. If there are a lot of people you may need more.

Cranberry Apple sauce — take some cranberries — maybe half cup per person or more in case it comes out good. Figure a half an apple for each cup of cranberries or more if you love apples. Don’t use those terrible apples either. New York state has awesome apples. Peel, core and chop up the apple pretty fine. Peel off some lemon zest and chop that up then squeeze the juice out of the lemon. Squeeze an orange or two. Take the juice stuff and lemon zest and start to heat it over a low heat. Throw in the apples. Throw in the cranberries. Use some cinnamon and maybe a little nutmeg too taste. Add some maple syrup. Stir things around. Taste it every couple of minutes to see if it’s too tart. If it looks like it’s going to burn, add a little more juice or water. If it’s too liquidy, skim some liquid off. Heat until it’s done. You’ll know. Maybe fifteen minutes. Something like that. It could be twenty. Just don’t let it burn. You can mash it a bit with a whisk. Ideally, it shouldn’t be too sweat or too tart. You could also maybe do a down and dirty version of this in the microwave if you don’t have to make a lot.

Kasha Varnishkes with Mushrooms — A lot of recipes will tell you that you need an egg. You don’t need an egg. But you know what’s good in this? Onion and garlic or maybe a nice shallot. How much? It depends who’s coming. Some people can’t stand garlic. Other people think too much is never enough. What are you going to do? Also don’t forget the mushrooms. Use like three or four different kinds of mushroom. The secret is never use water. Use vegetable broth preferably organic. Also a little SanJ Teriyaki Sauce is nice for the mushroom. You’ll also need black pepper. If you are using the teriyaki, you won’t need salt. And oh my God, I forgot the bowtie noodles!  So you put some olive oil in a large skillet. You throw in some chopped garlic and onion. Add the mushrooms and the soy sauce. Meantime, you should be cooking the bowties. The amount of dry kasha and the amount of bowties should be equal. The recipes will tell you to use two cups of broth for one cup of kasha, but with all the other ingredients you could add like 2/3 more water more or less, maybe. Heat up the broth in a saucepan. You can throw in some black pepper and maybe more teriyaki. Once the pasta is ready, drain and put it aside. Once the mushroom-onion-garlic mix is ready take it out of the skillet and put it aside. In the skillet you used for the mushroom add a little more oil and heat, then “toast” your uncooked kasha for a couple of minutes. Then throw in the mushroom mix and then the slowly pour in the heated liquid, then the pasta. Mix it all up while keep a low heat. Then cover and try not to look at it for at least ten minutes. Then see how it’s doing. You can always heat up and add more liquid if it’s already dry. Just keep cooking it a while. How long? I don’t know. Depends how much is in there. Ten minutes? 15?  If you need to make it gluten-free, you just have to substitute with a gluten free pasta. If you can’t find gluten-free bow ties, gluten-free elbows will do just fine.

Happy Thanksgiving!