Caitlin Denton, 128 YinD
Do you ever have that moment after you take the first bite of food and somehow it just calms your soul? For a split second all is right in the world. Your anxieties disappear and that spoon transcends time and space. It sweeps you away into a memory of a person; a place. The familiarity of comfort foods has the ability to completely alter our mindset, or so it seems.
The familiarity of comfort foods has the ability to completely alter our mindset, or so it seems. Weekends at site when it’s pouring rain and I’m confined to my little blue house, I like to pass the time by experimenting in my kitchen. Most days I try to recreate those comfort foods. Eggplant parm, sushi, dahl, etc. Some dishes remind me of friends, some of time spent abroad. But the best always seem to remind me of family.
This past weekend, I decided to attempt a recipe I haven’t had for ages. One that swept me back to rainy winter days and coming home from elementary school to a giant pot of chicken and dumplings. Then, sneaking next door to my grandmother’s house for some post homework pudding.
It’s important to care for ourselves, especially when every day we spend so much time pouring our energy and time into others. I hope that these recipes, or your own, allow you (and that busy mind of yours) to be swept away into a calm and sacred place for even just a small amount of time.
Chicken & Dumplings (2-3 servings)
- 2.5 cups of water
- 1.5 cups shredded chicken breast (young jackfruit for veggie version)
- 1 cup of mushrooms chopped
- 2 tomatoes cut into wedges
- 1 large yellow onion chopped
- 1 carrot sliced in half lengthwise then chopped
- Sprigs of green onion chopped
- 3 large cloves of garlic minced
- 1 bullion cube (Chicken or mushroom for veggie version)
- 2 Tbsp. Soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp. Black pepper
- 1 Tbsp. Dried Rosemary (optional)
- 1 Tsp. Oregano
- 1 Tsp. Corriander
- ½ Tsp. Salt
Optional if available:
- 1 potato chopped
- – ½ cup green peas
- 2 Tbsp. Nutritional Yeast
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp. Oil (I used soybean oil)
- ⅓ cup milk (coconut milk works just fine)
- ½ Tsp. Baking powder
- ¼ Tsp. Salt
In pot bring water to a boil then add the bouillon cube and whisk with a fork until dissolved, turn heat down to medium. Pull ½ cup of broth into a cup and set aside. Add carrots, mushrooms, onions, and garlic. Add soy sauce and dried spices. Let it simmer for 10-15 minutes.
In a fry pan cook chicken (or jackfruit) using the ½ cup of broth, then add to pot with tomatoes. Let simmer 5 more minutes.
In a bowl combine dry ingredients and mix with a fork. Then pour in milk and oil and mix until smooth.
Turn soup heat up to high and with a spoon dollop in dumpling batter until it’s all gone. Let it cook 2-3 minutes then turn the heat off.
Ladle into a bowl and enjoy!
Dark Chocolate Pudding
- 1 Cup coconut milk
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- 2 Tbsp. Water
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 Tbsp. Cornstarch
- 1 Tsp. Vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
In a small pot on low heat dissolve sugar in water, stirring constantly to avoid burning. Add coconut milk, vanilla extract, and salt. Turn to medium heat. Let simmer 2-3 minutes or until milk begins to bubble. Sift in cocoa and cornstarch. Stir until 2-3 minutes on low heat then pour into a bowl (ceramic or glass is best) cover and let it cool and thicken for 20 minutes.
*For pudding toppings try crushed Oreo or fruit!
*Artwork by Pakou Khang, 128 TCCS. Check out Pakou’s blog Color Me Thailand.