Thursday, February 17, 2011

Vegetable Dumplings

My grandma always used to make this dish when we visited. It was one of her many dishes I loved, and always asked for it over the venison steaks my grandpa hunted or fish freshly caught. I realize now the error of my ways and that I should have heartily enjoyed fresh, local, more humanely treated meat growing up. Alas, I was a picky child somewhat. But man she made the best chili, salsa, canned applesauce, and many other goodies like jam. I had one jar of her applesauce this summer and shared it with the hubs, he said it was the best applesauce he ever had. I had better pick her brain for the recipe soon.

Originally, this was obviously Chicken and Dumplings. I have tried it adding faux chicken (blech) as well as beans (to me it ruins the texture) and ended up sticking with the basics: veggies and dumplings. I have also experimented with various dumplings from homemade to Bisquick (grandma's original biscuit recipe). Today's version is my fail-safe, easy-peasy recipe. Feel free to substitute your favorite biscuit recipe, use almond milk to make it vegan, and use your own combination of frozen veggies (grandma uses canned but I prefer to avoid the added salt).

I also love to add fried onions or shredded cheddar cheese to the biscuit batter, onions or garlic would be nice flavorful additions, as well as probably 1 tsp or so of thyme or rosemary or sage. This is comfort food. And the best on cold winter nights. And good for mildly picky eaters as the flavor overall is quite bland and highlights the key ingredients while leaving room for improvement/experimentation. 

Veggie Dumplings
3 T olive oil or butter
3 T flour
1 pkg frozen mixed veggies (i generally use a succotash mix)
4-6 c vegetable broth
1 batch mixed but not baked all-purpose mix biscuits
salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil over medium high heat, adding frozen vegetables once heated. Saute for 1-2 minutes, then add flour and mix well. Once incorportated and cooked for 1-2 minutes, add vegetable broth (enough to cover veggies by about 1 inch). Bring to a boil and drop biscuit mix on top of vegetable mix. Cover with lid and reduce heat to low until most of liquid is absorbed (25-35 minutes).

That's it. Easy-peasy. Growing up we boiled chicken on the side, shredded it and added it with the veggies. Beans are helpful for protein but I am not a fan of the texture for this, I think it is a personal thing. Enjoy!

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