Antonia Landi

Posts Tagged ‘sauce’

Vegan Bolognese – Better than Toast

In Food, Student life on January 24, 2012 at 4:26 pm

Picture: Antonia Landi

I’m back and I can’t wait to get stuck in. Prepare yourselves for some delicious cooking coming your way, because I’ve got great things lined up for you!

After a lengthy winter break due to a minor injury I’m finally back doing videos. Having a break every so often is really good, as it gives you time to reflect on what you’ve achieved so far and also gives you the opportunity to plan ahead. And boy do I have some ideas! First of all I’d like to introduce you to TVP. If you are vegan or vegetarian you probably already know what I’m talking about. TVP is short for textured vegetable protein and comes in little granules as well as bigger chunks. It is an ideal substitute for mince and has so many advantages over meat. It’s cheap – especially if you buy it in bulk, it lasts forever, it’s low in calories, and it looks and tastes great. There’s really nothing TVP can’t do.

One of the reasons I’ve decided to make this video is because it’s January and most of us are dieting, or feel like we should. To compare: one serving of TVP has 125 calories, compared to the 350 calories of 200g extra lean beef mince. You can see where I’m going with this. Nowadays you can find TVP pretty much everywhere; check your local supermarket (it usually likes hang out with the stuffing mix…) or health food store. Health food stores will usually have TVP for cheaper and carry two kinds: light and dark TVP. There is absolutely no difference between them, except that the dark TVP has been coloured with caramel to make it look even more like mince. Honestly, once it’s on a plate, you really can’t tell the difference.

I must warn you now, since I’ve just recently gotten 15kg of the stuff there’s a good chance I will be cooking with it every now and then but don’t worry, if TVP is just not for you, simply replace it with some mince and follow the recipe as usual. And for the icing on the cake, or if you are indeed cooking for someone who is vegan, simply get some vegan parmesan to complete the dish.

Feeds 2:

200g short pasta

1 can chopped tomatoes

75g or 1 sachet TVP

1/2 diced onion

2 garlic cloves

1tbsp tomato concentrate

Olive oil

Basil to taste

Salt, pepper, other herbs & dried chilli to taste

Watch the video for instructions, and do get in touch if you have any questions, as silly as you think they might be!

And finally, have a look at these great links for inspiration and information.

For a more thorough explanation of what exactly TVP is click here.

If you’ve grown to like TVP and are wondering what else you could use it in, then why not start with a taco?

Last but not least here is a list of common veggie/vegan/raw foods and what they are. Very helpful if you feel a bit lost!

Antonia Landi for the Useful Times.


Polenta & sausages with seasonal mushrooms in a red wine sauce

In Food, Student life on October 5, 2011 at 11:42 am

Picture: Antonia Landi

The nights are getting longer and the days are getting colder and this can only mean one thing – it’s Mushroom season!

If you are a regular vegetable buyer you will have spotted them already – strange looking mushrooms in all shapes, sizes and colours. They are in supermarkets, local organic food stores, even in the park! The mushroom is taking over and I couldn’t be happier. The great thing about this season is that it really is unique – only from now until November we will have deliciously different mushrooms in abundance, and then they will all be gone again. I say to hell with the common closed-cap mushroom, let the (relatively short-lived) revolution begin!

Up here in Scotland we can definitely feel the cold coming to get us, and that got me thinking about comfort food. I love nothing more than a steaming plateful of something filling to really appreciate the season. The British are very good at making lovely comforting dishes, and I immediately thought about bangers and mash. But while there is absolutely nothing wrong with that dish, I wanted to make something a bit more special. I realise that even just the name of today’s recipe might be a bit intimidating, but I hope the video will show just how easy it is to prepare this meal. And besides, anything with the words ‘seasonal’ and ‘red wine sauce’ in its description is fancy enough to impress your date!

Now, for those who have never tried polenta before, the best way to describe it is ‘corn porridge’. That might not sound incredibly appetising, but polenta is a great substitute for mash, and stunningly versatile. It is made of ground cornmeal, and its preparation traditionally involves hours and hours of stirring. Luckily for us, there is something called ‘instant polenta’ which is just as tasty, and you needn’t stir for more than 5 minutes. Since polenta is in itself quite plain, it is a great vessel for other flavours. It is by far at its best with some Gorgonzola stirred in – the creamy, yet sharp taste of the Gorgonzola melted into polenta is simply divine. Last but not least choose a full-bodied red wine for your sauce as this will go wonderfully with your venison – and stay away from cooking wines!

Feeds 2:

100g polenta

6 coarse-cut sausages (I used venison sausages)

200g seasonal mushrooms (I used girolle, pied bleu and brown beech mushrooms)

1/3 sliced onion

1 glass of wine (approx 175ml)

1 handful grated hard cheese, such as parmiggiano reggiano

Knob of butter

Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the polenta for between 1-5 minutes, depending on whether you want it soft, like mash, or firm, so that you could cut it with a knife.

Watch the video for instructions, and do get in touch if you have any questions, as silly as you think they might be!

And finally, have a look at these great links for inspiration and information.

If you are a fan of polenta, make twice as much and then use the leftovers in some of these tasty recipes! From pan-frying it to sticking it in the oven, there is nothing polenta can’t handle.

Mushroom season is upon us but you can’t distinguish an oyster from a morel? Then this website should help! Not only does this site have a wonderful array of pictures of popular mushrooms, it also tells you what you can do with them.

And if you’re feeling especially brave, why not go into the woods yourself? This article tells you all about mushroom picking – just make sure you know what you’re cooking!


Antonia Landi for the Useful Times.

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