Textured Protein

Normally I find quorn too expensive, so I prefer to get a big chunk of tofu from the Chinese or Korean supermarket a couple of miles away whenever I crave a different protein texture! But a local supermarket had the tasty detoxified mould on special offer, so I got a couple of packets to diversify my current food intake with some futuristic fungal fun! I got a packet of ‘chicken style pieces’ and some sausages. I first wanted to make a sausage casserole with peppers and tomato, but then opted for making ‘veggie chicken’ with pepper sauce. Pepper sauce is nice if you want a break from tomatoes. Even if you use a tin of tomatoes to beef up (a bad veggie joke) the sauce, you will still mostly taste the peppers. This recipe is good for using the cheap, hard, nasty peppers, as you boil them soft over quite a long time (I actually fell asleep during cooking, so mine were super soft. Note to self: don’t cook when too exhausted!). For the sauce you need:

Peppers from the red-yellow spectrum
Optional: a tin of tomatoes, chillies
Salt & pepper

Gently simmer everything until soft. Then blend part of it – or all – until smooth.
I had it with brown rice, fried mushrooms and the quorn pieces. The rest of the quorn I used on a pizza and cold as a snack. Quorn pieces are also nice in pasta bakes e.g. with feta cheese!

As you can see, the next dish I made was super-quick sausage and mash with onion gravy. I was so hungry after a long day of benevolent brain and body abuse that I could not be bothered to boil potatoes. Instead, I used instant mash from a box that a friend had given me when she moved to Australia. I originally wanted to use the stuff to make burgers (watch this space – I’ve got some more of the stuff!), but then it found its way into this dish. I literally made the dish in five minutes:

1st minute: Boil kettle with enough water for mash & gravy, put pan on hob with oil. Slice onion/shallot.
2nd minute: Mix hot water with milk and stir in instant mash powder until thick. Put sausages into hot pan.
3rd minute: Add butter to mash. Put on a plate. Put onions into same pan as sausages.
4th minute: Take out sausages (it’s quorn, no need to wait until meat is done, so just toast the outside) and put them onto plate. Dissolve stock cube in remaining hot water. Add mixed herbs. Search cupboard frantically for cornflour.
5th minute: Pour herbed stock into pan. Mix a teaspoon of cornflour with cold water and stir the resulting white liquid bit by bit into the gravy-to-be. Stop when desired texture is reached and pour gravy around the sausages and mash!

Despite the strange texture and taste of the instant mash, the whole meal was actually quite pleasant and was also much enhanced by my housemate’s impromptu reenactment of the 1970’s Smash Mash commercial.


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