These days I am trying to eat less cheese… And it’s difficult because I truly love cheese. I believe the tag cloud on the right is a testament to the amount of recipes I make with cheese. But the thing is that I should not eat as much cheese as I do.
Ever since I was 21, I was diagnosed with a chronic IBS (Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome) condition. Most people react to different things… my main culprit is stress. So when I am stressed and on top of that, eat too many dairy products, things get ugly. I promise I won’t go into the details.
My condition was partly why I became a vegetarian… I started noticing that by eating healthier I could manage my condition without the need of traditional chemical medication. I would focus on eating as naturally as possible and see what effects that would have on my condition… the results were positive, to say the least.
April was designated IBS Awareness Month… so in an effort to educate my palate to think outside the boundaries of cheese-laden dishes and to raise awareness of IBS, but more in particular, the fact you CAN BE a vegetarian and thru diet manage your IBS condition you’ll see more and more recipes without using cheese.
2 potatoes, washed well and cut into quarters or eights ½ cup of hummus - it can be home-made or store-bought Juice of ½ a lemon 5-6 grape tomatoes 1 tbs butter or canola margarine 1 tbs olive oil Garlic salt and Pepper to taste 2 tbs slivered or sliced almonds
- In a medium saucepan, boil the potatoes. I cover the potatoes only half way with salted water. I find they cook faster this way.
- While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the hummus filling. You can use my recipe for hummus here or buy it from the store. If you’re using the store-bought kind, I like to “revive it” by adding a drizzle of olive oil and the juice of ½ a lemon. I like the tangy lemony taste in hummus. Set aside.
- When the potatoes are done, drain them and return to the same pot. Drizzle a bit of olive oil, add the butter, buttermilk and mash to desired consistency. It can be as chunky or as smooth as you prefer it. Season with a bit of garlic salt and pepper to taste.
- Now we assemble the pastelón… in a medium casserole dish spread ½ the mashed potatoes creating the bottom layer of the pastelón. Spread the hummus layer as evenly as possible. Place the cut grape tomatoes on a layer on top of the hummus. Add the remaining mashed potato layer and smooth out the top. Sprinkle the almonds on top.
- Place in 350 degree F oven for about 20-30 minutes, basically to brown the top a bit and for all the flavors to combine and meld.
This dish, with its great flavors and all, turned out a bit monochromatic for me… so next time I will make sure and include something that will impart some added color to the hummus filling… stay tuned.