Monday, February 28, 2011

Not Osso Bucco

Right, so 'osso bucco' in Italian means 'bone with a hole' (according to Wikipedia) - and there are no bones or bones with holes in this here recipe. However, I based it on a few traditional osso bucco recipes, and the inspiration for putting it together was seeing a celebrity chef serve up a steaming dish of *almost* loveliness (besides the big meat chunks of course). So here is my veg version of Not Osso Bucco.

What you need;
2 small zuchinnis
1 brown onion
4 celery stalks
2 large carrots
5 tomatoes
2 or 3 tbsp of tomato paste (to taste)
400g canned crushed tomatoes
fresh thyme
handful fresh parsley
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup stock (I use veggie)
semi-dried tomatoes
40 grams vegan alternative to butter (Nuttelex works well)
3 cloves garlic
olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon rind
kalamata olives
What you do;

1) Melt the butter in a large saucepan and cook the garlic and onion for a few minutes. Add the carrot and celery and cook until just soft.

2) Add the roughly chopped fresh tomatoes, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, semi-dried tomatoes, wine, stock and a bit of fresh thyme. Let it boil then reduce to a simmer and leave covered for about an hour (stirring occasionally).

** While that's cooking, prep. the eggplant by slicing it thickly and sprinkling salt onto each side. Leave it in a colander over a plate for about 30 mins. **

3) In a separate pan, cut the prepared eggplant and zucchini into chunks and fry in olive oil until just browned.

4) Add eggplant, zucchini, olives, parsley, lemon rind and juice to main saucepan and cover for another 30 mins or until eggplant and zucchini are tender.

That's about it! - I like to serve it on brown rice with gremolita on top (lemon rind, garlic and parsley). You might like to add a bit of quinoa or cous cous rather that serving it on rice.



Just a side note, I found the most amazing olives the other day. They're called Mount Zero and are grown locally in Victoria, Australia near the Grampians. You have to pit them yourself but it's definitely worth it and so easy - and there's the added bonus that you can eat a few while you're doing it (when I say 'a few' I mean 'half the jar' of course).

Trying new things

I made a yummy dinner tonight - so yummy I didn't get a chance to take a photo of it before it was devoured - I'm sure I'll be making it again though.

Three things on the plate;

This awesome mushroom recipe I found on

To accompany the mushrooms I made cous cous in Massel chicken stock (vegan) with crushed peanuts, fresh parsley and Parmazano (vegan parmesan cheese substitute). The third thing on the plate was grilled asparagus covered in olive oil, lemon juice and sea salt.

Speaking of cheese substitutes, I generally don't love 'em, but Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese is a really nice spread.

I usually eat Helga's bread but was getting a bit bored with it so picked up something new today. Lawson's Traditional Bread is so delicious!

I hadn't tried it before. I got the seed and grain one and put the Tofutti on it with sliced tomato and a bit of salt. So simple and so yummy. I'm hoping it freezes well because the loaf is pretty big. A great new find. Yay for Lawson's! 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Riceroni Rolls

I thought I'd start with the recipe I get asked for the most - especially from non-veg friends. These are best eaten on the day but I always end up making heaps and they're just fine the day after (and even the day after that). I put the sauce IN the roll so the next day they've really soaked through and are super-tasty.

You'll need;

round rice paper sheets
red and green capsicum
vietnamese mint
traditional mint
dried shallots

and for the sauce;

1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
1 tbsp lemon juice

What you do;

1) Prep. your stuff; cut the capsicums, cucumber and carrot into strips. Wash and tear the mint leaves off the stalks and cut the stems from the coriander. Put the vermicelli in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Once soft, rinse and drain under cold water.

2) Make the sauce; add the soy, sweet chilli sauce and lemon juice together. Crush up as many unsalted peanuts as you like and put them in the sauce. I tend to use quite a lot because I love the peanuty crunch - but each to their own.

3) Set everything out on the table, including a large heatproof bowl with warm water to soak the rice paper sheets. Some people soak four or five rice paper sheets at once but I just put one in at a time and leave it to soak while I'm making each one - it takes no extra time and ensures no sticking.

4) Construct the riceroni roll! Put a bit of the vermicelli near one edge of the rice paper sheet. Sprinkle some fried shallots on the vermicelli (this means they'll be covered and stops them from piercing the sheet later). Then put one or two of each of the veggies lengthways. Pour a spoon full of the sauce over the stuffing so far. Top with coriander, vietnamese mint and mint.

It should look something like this;

5) Roll the sheet tightly over the mix from the edge nearest you, then fold the ends over and roll tightly to the end. Make sure you're not too violent with this as the veggies and herb stems can pierce the sheet.

It should look something like this;

6) You can eat them straight away but I like to refrigerate them for about an hour so the sauce can soak through.


Well hello there

Right, so, here is my food blog. There are a whole lot of food blogs on the net but I decided to start this one for my friends and I to share vegan/vego recipes and food ideas.

Whenever I cook something yummy I get friends asking for the recipe and I have to write it out - this blog makes things easier and hopefully some other people will stumble across it too. I also want to use it as a place to keep track of products and free recipes that I've found that I want to remember.

I usually try to cook something new each week. Sometimes it's something I've created from scratch, other times it's a mish-mash of other recipes or a vegan twist on a traditional meat dish. I'm not a chef, I just like cooking and seem to be okay at it. I'm not the best photographer in the world either - so we'll see how we go.

Anyway, welcome to Vegestation Degustation. I hope you'll find something you like.

- Oh, and I'm hoping my lovely vegan and vegetarian friends will want to add their creations here too. It's tough being vegan in a meat-loving world. I'm not a vegan purist, as in, sometimes I'm hit and miss with hidden ingredients in products - but I'll endeavor to check everything or make a note of it in the recipe.

Cheers, M