Antonia Landi

Posts Tagged ‘vegan’

Egg Fried Rice – Better than Toast

In Food, Student life on February 1, 2012 at 11:16 am

Picture: Antonia Landi

There really isn’t much to say about today’s recipe, apart from that it’s quick, easy, and just delicious!



Fried rice is one of those treats that we all indulge in, but rarely think to do ourselves. A staple in any Asian restaurant and take away, fried rice is a very British way of having Chinese. It’s just foreign enough to tickle our taste buds with unusual flavours, but it’s still made up of ingredients that we know and love.


Today’s fried rice is supposed to be served as a main dish, but it can very easily be transformed into a side by halving the amounts. If you’d prefer a more substantial meal, try adding some ham to the dish. And if you’d like to be a bit more fancy, I’ve got just the recipe for you! Just have a look at the links at the bottom of the article.


I often used to make egg fried rice with simple vegetable oil – it’s cheap and it works. But if you really want to take your dish that little bit further, do invest in a nice bottle of sesame oil. There are two kinds of sesame oil out there: light and dark. Dark sesame oil is made out of toasted sesame seeds and has a stronger and more complex flavour. Both work wonderfully with today’s dish, just keep in mind to use less oil if you choose the dark one, as you don’t want it to be overpowering. If you feel like it, try seasoning the dish with a dash of soy sauce.


Last but not least all I can tell you is to run with it. There are so many things that you can add to a simple egg fried rice to make it as complex or as simple as you like, from a grown up seafood version to a very simple side of fried rice with spring onions. Think of your favourite ingredients and then make them work together. You’d be surprised at how quickly you can invent new recipes!


Feeds 2:

100g uncooked long grain rice, cooked as per instructions

2 eggs

1 large carrot

1 packet baby sweetcorn (usually 175g)

1 handful frozen peas

4 spring onions

Sesame oil

Salt, pepper, soy sauce (optional)

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.


Nobody I’ve met has ever really been sure of how to properly cook rice. There are so many methods I won’t even get involved in it! If you are looking to achieve heavenly fluffy rice, follow this link.

Feeling fancy? Here is a great Thai version of fried rice, just begging to be teamed up with a glass of chilled white wine.

By far one of the most useful websites on the internet, Love Food Hate Waste has great tips on what to do with leftovers and how to make food go further.

Antonia Landi for the Useful Times.


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.

Thai inspired vegan stir fry – Better than Toast

In Food, Student life on October 19, 2011 at 5:39 pm


Well, winter is finally here. I have already turned my heating on and I don’t leave the house without a scarf anymore. I think it’s time for some comfort food!

As the temperature drops I have noticed myself grabbing far too easily for those naughty snacks we all know too well. Admittedly, a baked potato is far more appealing in this kind of weather than a salad, and hoarding food reserves (in your belly!) to survive the winter months is just a natural reaction to the cold. But why does comfort food have to be so bad for you? A dish doesn’t automatically have to be bad for your waistline in order to be comforting. That’s what I thought when I came up with today’s recipe. A hot, fragrant and spicy stir-fry that is not only vegan, but gluten free too!

If you’ve never cooked with rice noodles before, you’ll be in for a treat. They work fantastically well with coconut milk and are ridiculously easy to prepare. There are two kinds of rice noodles available in supermarkets: dried ones, that come in a packet similar to that of spaghetti, and fresh, or pre-soaked ones. The latter you can use straight out of the pack – just add them to your pan, but the dried ones you will have to soak in water for a couple of minutes before you can cook with them. It’s super easy; just follow the instructions on the pack and you’ll be ready to go. Which thickness you go for in the end is completely up to you – I used ribbon noodles, but any other ones work just as well.
If you want to take your stir-fry further, add some fresh coriander to your dish and fry the ingredients in sesame oil. Do add some kaffir lime leaves if you can find them – I had no luck in my local supermarket, but I hear that they like to hide in the seasoning aisle!

Finally, if you’re really desperate for some flesh between your teeth there are a variety of ingredients you can add. I would suggest using prawns, but you could use chicken or pork if you wanted to.

Feeds 2:

1 can coconut milk

1 tin bamboo shoots & water chestnuts

100g shiitake mushrooms

1 pack rice noodles (equal to 300g)

2 sticks lemongrass

2 spring onions

1 piece fresh ginger, grated (about thumb-length)

2 garlic cloves

1 green chilli (careful, these are hot! Wash your hands immediately after chopping! De-seed for a milder experience)

Pinch of vegetable stock cube, crumbled (optional)

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.

The first time I ever attempted to cook a Thai dish, nobody told me what to do with the lemongrass. If you are still unsure about how to prepare it, have a look at this very helpful video! Sadly, our lemongrass isn’t nearly that tall.

In the mood for some more Thai food or just bought too many ingredients? Here is an easy recipe for green curry paste! You will have most of the ingredients already at hand, and don’t panic if you can’t find a particular spice/root/herb – just get whatever you can find and make the most of it.

If you are anything like me, you just can’t stay away from coconut milk. Its creamy goodness is so versatile and most of all, delicious! This website is packed with ideas for tasty coconut milk smoothies – can I hear a blender whizzing?


Antonia Landi for the Useful Times.

Vegan falafel – Better than Toast

In Food, Student life on June 28, 2011 at 12:26 pm

Picture: Useful Times

Falafel is like the Middle Eastern answer to fast food – they’re quick, they’re tasty, and they’re vegan too!

When I first encountered veganism I remember being slightly confused – did they mean vegetarianism or is this something completely different? For those of you still confused, the vegan diet excludes any animal products. So, like vegetarians, vegans don’t eat meat, but they also don’t eat any dairy or egg products. Now, this may sound like a very limited and complicated diet, but I can assure you that all of you have eaten a vegan dish without even realising it. Pasta with tomato sauce? Vegan. Jacket potato with beans? Vegan. Falafel in pitta bread? Vegan. Having tried veganism out of curiosity for a few months myself I can only recommend it. It doesn’t matter whether you do it for health or ethical reasons, what I love about veganism is that it really makes you think about food. If you ever feel like you’re stuck in a rut when it comes to your cooking, try veganism as a one-week challenge to yourself. Besides, with so many fruits and vegetables, veganism is about as healthy as you can get.

Now, I like to serve my falafel with some toasted pitta breads, some lettuce, peppers and hummus and make a big spread where everybody can help themselves, but you can always make them in advance and add them to a couscous meal or even an oriental lamb dish. If you’re not cooking for vegans feel free to add one egg to the mixture as this will bind the ingredients and lower the chances of your falafel falling apart when frying. If you, or one of your friends is vegan, add water to the mix if you feel that it’s too dry. Also make sure that you finely chop the onions – that way you can achieve a more homogenous mixture. And finally, if you’re lucky enough to own a food processor, simply whiz all the ingredients up! You’ll be able to make falafel in no time at all.

Feeds 2

1 can chickpeas

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 clove of garlic

1-2 tbsp breadcrumbs or flour

Salt and pepper to taste

– if you are feeling authentic, go for cumin and coriander!

Vegetable or sunflower oil for frying

To serve as a spread:

Lettuce leaves, torn

1 large pepper, sliced and quickly cooked

Pitta breads


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

Antonia Landi for the Useful Times.

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