As promised, I did make dinner last night! Quinoa Kitchari with Boca burgers and Mushroom-Onion Gravy. I think Red would have helped, but I was snappish and frazzled and thought he was making fun of me when he said the gravy looked good. *hangs head shamefacedly* I apologized and he got me a Blue Moon and I felt better.
Kitchari simply means mixture, and that’s what it is. It’s quinoa and red lentils simmered to a mush—a very tasty mush that is reminiscent of mashed potatoes. It probably won’t win any beauty prizes, but neither will anything else I make, so it’s all good. It would probably taste fine with other lentils, but the red ones really bring the mushiness to the party. I know that shouldn’t sound appetizing, but it works. It really does. It’s warm and filling, even though despite the spices and tamari, it’s pretty bland and can be dry. (See: quinoa and lentils.) Then again, so can mashed potatoes until you dress them up. If I eat it plain, I add extra salt and pepper and finish it off with some soy butter.
Last night, of course, we were in the gravy groove. It was fairly basic: onions, garlic, and mushrooms with herbs, broth, and a spelt flour-vegetable oil roux. Easy and tasty. It added a nice touch to the kitchari and acquitted itself admirably when we poured it over Boca burgers. I foresee it also being ladled lovingly over biscuits in the near future.
I can’t say too much about the Boca burgers, other than that I splashed them with a little tamari as they cooked. They always taste blah to me, even with all the delicious toppings in the world. Yet, for some reason, they are an integral part of Dog Food Surprise. Maybe I OD’d on them during my early vegetarian days, when the worlds of soy and vegetables seemed so alien. They must have offered a familiar, processed comfort. Now I don’t even want to take them to a cookout because they look so sad sitting there on the grill.
Anyway, dinner was a success. An ugly, monochromatic success, because when you have brown food and pale golden food and you cover it all with light brown gravy, you get the opposite of food porn. Hence, there is no picture because even if there was, you would have had to squint to tell that it wasn’t cat puke.
I digress. Can anybody really tell the difference between soy sauce and tamari? Am I wasting my money on the latter?