August 6, 2010

Ultimate Comfort

I'm on a comfort food kick these days. This is probably partially due to me missing my mom back in Massachusetts and partially because I know I'll be back soon, so I'm making foods that remind me of home. Yesterday all I had on my mind was recreating Calabrese dishes that my nana makes. So, for dinner, while listening to Frank Sinatra and frantically peeling potatoes, I made something that is ultimate comfort food for me.

Patate e pepi al forno (potatoes and peppers in the oven)

- 2 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 3 bell peppers, cut into strips
- Marinara sauce (I adjusted my recipe by adding 1 tbsp red pepper flakes. Calabrese cooking typically uses them in everything, so don't be shy)
- Sprinkle of vegan parmesan cheese (combine equal parts nutritional yeast and sesame seeds with a pinch of sea salt and blend until combined)
- Sprinkle of oregano
- Basil, for garnish
- S&P, to taste

- Preheat oven to 400.
- Leave cubed potatoes in cool water until ready to use to reduce the starchiness.
- Put potatoes and peppers in a baking dish and toss with marinara sauce. Spread evenly on the bottom so the potatoes are mostly in one even layer, which ensures that they'll look evenly and at the same time. Sprinkle top with parmesan "cheese".
- Cook for 45-50 minutes, turning halfway through, or until potatoes are soft and dish is bubbly. Top with more marinara, "cheese" and basil. Mangia!

This is another dish that doesn't look very appetizing, but I promise it is so, so good. The sauce was spicy, the potatoes were crisp and the house smelled like an Italian trattoria. Maybe I'm just partial to it because eating it reminds me of home, but dishes like this are ultimate comfort to me. I was happy last night - eating my patate, listening to Old Blue Eyes and drinking red wine. To me, few things are better than that.

Speaking of ultimate, this morning I made the ultimate superfood SIAB using some goodies I bought yesterday

In the mix

- 1/2 frozen banana + 1/4 cup frozen raspberries + 4 ice cubes
- 1/2 cup soy milk + 1/2 cup water
- 1 handful kale
- 4 basil leaves
- 1 tbsp flax
- 1 tsp each irish moss, maca, spirulina and wheatgrass

Topped with
- 1/2 cup Cascadian Farms cinnamon crunch cereal + 1/4 cup granola
- 1 tsp chia seeds
- Sprinkle of goji berries
- Blob o' dark chocolate pb

Insane! Love the basil. :D

I see more comfort food in my future. And more wine.


  1. That dish looks fantastic. I love a good kick to my red sauce too. I sometimes have to remember that not everyone feels the same way about spice though when I serve it.

  2. If I'm making a spicy sauce I'll definitely warn those I'm serving, but if possible I like mine with a lot of kick! I don't add spice to my basic marinara, though.

  3. I felt like I was reading my own blog just now! Growing up, whenever I went to Nana's for dinner Frankie was playing, so now when I cook, I always listen to him... it's the ultimate sensory experience! I've also been spending the past year veganizing her classic dishes... she's still not too happy about me saying no to freshly grated parmesan cheese lol :) i love your blog!


  4. Thanks for stopping by, Jessica! The truth? It's kind of difficult for me to say no to cheese in Italian dishes. Maybe that doesn't make me a "perfect vegan" but the food definitely isn't the same without real, good quality cheese.

  5. I just signed up to your blogs rss feed. Will you post more on this subject?

  6. Sorry for my bad english. Thank you so much for your good post. Your post helped me in my college assignment, If you can provide me more details please email me.

  7. Hola,
    Todo dinŠ±mica y muy positiva! :)


  8. Wow this is a great resource.. I’m enjoying it.. good article