Yesterday when I posted I was sick I joked that I might post a recipe for picadillo today. I wasn't actually planning on doing that, but I was in the process writing about it for a friend of a friend who is new to vegetarianism so I had it on my mind. I fully intended to find something in my outfit photo files, maybe an outake. But, today I feel soooooo crappy that I am going to post the recipe since it's written and ready to go. Chalk this up to the "matters beyond my wardrobe" clause stated clearly on the right over there :D
This was the main dish requested by DH for his recent B-day. It's simple, homey and true comfort food filled with childhood memories.
As a vegetarian pretty much any recipe can easily be “veg-ified”…case in point, this traditional favorite from DH’s youth. He is half Cuban and has fond memories of his grandfather making picadillo for the whole family, often along with plantanos fritos, (fried bananas). Picadillo is one of those pervasive recipes that every Latin family seemed to have a slightly different version of, not to mention regional differences between various Spanish speaking cultures around the world...so if there’s something you’d like to leave out or add, go for it, make it your own.
If you are unfamiliar with vegetarian protein sources (in this case a ground meat substitute)…I urge you to try it – it completely takes on the flavors of the other ingredients in the dish and adds the perfect texture. It’s also much healthier, still high in protein but low in fat with a really nice dose of fiber to boot.
If you did decide to make this with a non-vegetarian protein source, note that you will need to change the preparation to compensate since most vegetarian meat analogs are already cooked and therefore you are essentially just flavoring and heating it.
1 large onion, diced
1 large green bell pepper, diced
1 small stalk celery, diced
1 small carrot, diced
4 (minimum) garlic cloves, smashed & minced (I use about 6-8!)
24oz (2pkgs) Lightlife Smartground (may sub other similar product)
8 or 9 plum or Roma tomatoes, seeded & chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. oregano
1 6oz jar pimento stuffed green olives, drained & sliced
1/2 cup of raisins, lightly packed
½ cup white rum, vodka or wine (may replace w/vegetable broth)
1 14oz can diced tomatoes
vegetable broth, as needed
oil for misting or brushing the pan
Salt liberally throughout to taste
In a very large frying pan brushed or misted well with oil, sauté on low/med heat the onion, carrot, celery, & green pepper until softened, using splashes of vegetable broth to deglaze if needed.
Add the plum tomatoes, garlic, alcohol, spices, olives & raisins and continue to saute till everything is totally cooked thru and all the veggies are completely soft.
Finally add the Smartground and the canned diced tomatoes. Reduce heat to very low, simmer for about 15 minutes until all the flavors marry.
makes six servings w/318 calories, 26 gm protein, 3 gm fat, 9 gm fiber
This is great to prepare in the summer since tomatoes and peppers are in season. You can cook in the morning and reheat for dinner – keeps the kitchen cool too. Paired with a simple salad dressed with lime juice, some sliced avocado and a side dish of grilled corn you have a really super summer feast. While you’re grilling that corn, try grilling some mangoes and pineapple for dessert and serve them with a tropical fruit sorbet.
In the colder months when tomatoes aren’t at there best you can use all canned for the recipe. For a hearty winter meal try serving this with black beans & rice, which is traditional, or you could even top baked white or sweet potatoes with the picadillo for something a little different. Pair with a side of steamed greens to round out the meal. A banana pudding makes for a nice, and easy, dessert.
I doubt there will be an outfit pic tomorrow, but hopefully Friday -- see ya then!