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19 July 2005 @ 02:07 pm
I borrowed a vegetarian cookery book from becs, because I don't really cook anything other than basic pasta sauces that's vegetarian. I've tried a couple of recipes, though one is only vegetarian if you miss out the oyster sauce! They were both nice, although I thought the stir-fry would be improved no end by the addition of some beef, but that would spoil the point a bit ;) And the stew would be improved if I'd remembered that chilli powder in this case probably doesn't mean cayenne pepper - it does in one of my cookery books - using actual chilli powder would stop it being quite as one-dimensional.

Combination Vegetable Stew


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 65ml tomato puree
  • ¼ teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 125ml tomato juice
  • 250ml vegetable stock
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes (optionally crushed)
  • 2 small carrots
  • 2 medium courgettes, cut into chunks
  • 20 green beans
  • 315g cauliflower, cut into small florets


  1. Heat oil in a large pan, add the onions, tomato pureee, chilli powder, cumin seeds and tomato juice
  2. Stir until well combined
  3. Add the stock and tinned tomatoes
  4. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat
  5. Add the remaining vegetables
  6. Simmer uncovered until soft

Mange Tout with Red Pepper


  • 1 large onion, peeled and cut into half-rings
  • 185g mange tout
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 red pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 small clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon water


  1. Heat the oil in a wok, add the onion, ginger and red pepper
  2. Stir-fry for 4-5 minutes
  3. Add the garlic and mange tout and stir-fry for ~2 minutes
  4. Add the oyster sauce, sugar, salt and water and mix through

Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
Current Music: U2 "The Best of 1990-2000"
Ruheruhe on July 19th, 2005 02:01 pm (UTC)
What's mange tout?

Also, my favorite vegetarian cookbook is this Moosewood one: http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0517884941/qid=1121781583/sr=8-4/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i4_xgl/202-7436982-8159063. I use it all the time (unfortunately, it's my roommate's but I'm going to buy my own eventually).
Margaretpling on July 19th, 2005 02:05 pm (UTC)
Mange tout = snow peas, I believe. The cookery book I was using actually said Snow Peas (Mange Tout), so I'm assuming they were translating out of American for us Brits ;)
contents under pressure / handle with care: whiskgraphxgrrl on July 19th, 2005 03:31 pm (UTC)
Yes, snow peas. :)

It cracks me up, that for a country that historically hates the French, you use all the French names for your vegetables... aubergines, courgettes, etc. ;)
Margaretpling on July 19th, 2005 03:37 pm (UTC)
But then we hate the French because first they conquered us, then we failed to stop them taking the bits of their country that we owned back. Nothing like hanging onto a grudge for centuries ;) We kept the bits of their language that we liked, though ;)
contents under pressure / handle with care: applegraphxgrrl on July 19th, 2005 03:47 pm (UTC)
It also makes me want to read some food histories to see when various vegetables were introduced various places that has led to England and Autralia using the words mange tout, aubergine, courgette, etc. while we use snow peas, eggplant and zucchini. I'm trying to remember in Canada which were used, and I do seem to recall seeing aubergine used by eastern Canadians on cooking shows.
kierangiant on July 19th, 2005 09:12 pm (UTC)
one certain way to demonstrate inependence is to start your own lingual form.
contents under pressure / handle with care: peachgraphxgrrl on July 19th, 2005 09:38 pm (UTC)
Certainly, but why those foods in particular? Why do we both call one thing cabbage, yet have two different words for another vegetable? That would be likely where the timing of the introduction of those foods to either culture would be more likely to come in to play. Did the Canadians originally always use the French forms, or is that localized to the Francophone spheres of influence in Quebec and New Brunswick? If it did change, at one point were the American forms more commonly used vs. English.

That's the level of detail to the information I'd be interested in reading about.
magidmagid on July 19th, 2005 02:29 pm (UTC)
Both sound yummy, but neither sounds whole dinner-ish to me, since they don't have protein.
Margaretpling on July 19th, 2005 02:58 pm (UTC)
I'd serve the stew with bread and the stir-fry with rice or noodles, which I think (having poked at the introduction of the cookery book for sources of protein) would go some way to addressing that.
magidmagid on July 19th, 2005 03:59 pm (UTC)

I tend to think of beans + grains being a complete protein, and not consider bread to be halfway there. Makes absolutely no sense, but there you are.

Somewhere in my memories section I've got a (vegan) Morroccan chickpea stew that's pretty excellent, if you're interested.
Margaretpling on July 19th, 2005 08:45 pm (UTC)
Ooh, I might go look at that when I next feel like experimenting with vegetarian stuff.
magidmagid on July 19th, 2005 09:25 pm (UTC)
The chickpea dish is here, and that section of memories is here (only posts that feel substantial enough; the rest is riddled with food stuff as it is...).
contents under pressure / handle with care: whiskgraphxgrrl on July 19th, 2005 03:41 pm (UTC)
My disjointed ruminations on fake meat and protein sources.
I usually like extra firm tofu in my stir-fry (though not the silken texture).

In a stew, seitan is nice--which is essentially wheat gluten and spices, its texture is similar to chicken in some ways and I've known vegetarian friends to make their own to get a favorite blend of spices for various applications.

Tempeh (another soy bean product) often comes in various types that have been marinated in different sauces--I've usually used it sliced in sandwich applications.

We've only started seeing Quorn in the stores over here recently, so I've not worked with it much, but I get the impression that it can be used in place of most of the various brands of TVP (texture vegetable protein) we get in the stores over here--so more faux chicken patties and faux ground beef.

To just add in protein a lot of the time in a stew/soup or a stir fry I'll just throw in soy beans themselves, which I find quite tasty as a rule. Mmm. Edamame.
Margaretpling on July 19th, 2005 09:44 pm (UTC)
Re: My disjointed ruminations on fake meat and protein sources.
I'm partly trying to find nice veggie stuff to cook a friend of mine (that I used to work with) who dislikes the taste of meat - so Quorn is out, she says it's too realistic for her.
contents under pressure / handle with care: cheesegraphxgrrl on July 19th, 2005 09:50 pm (UTC)
Re: My disjointed ruminations on fake meat and protein sources.
I would experiment with marinating tofu and tempeh then, and putting soy beans in various things. Ask her how she feels about seitan? It's not as overtly meaty to me as some of the TVP products, but it certainly all depends on the individual. :)
magidmagid on July 19th, 2005 09:51 pm (UTC)
Re: My disjointed ruminations on fake meat and protein sources.
What about quiches, or omelettes, or rice/bean/cheese burritos, or vegetarian chili?
J: cooking experimentsrethought on July 19th, 2005 09:16 pm (UTC)
I have loads and loads of vegetarian cookbooks. I really don't use them all that much (I just look at the pictures, honest!). I find them to be a better jumping off spot for my more mad culinary adventures.

If you want more veggie recipes anytime in future, I'll be glad to share. Or to cook for any northern adventurers... :)
Margaretpling on July 19th, 2005 09:42 pm (UTC)
I'm a cook who uses recipes - there are few dishes I feel totally confident with experimenting with (pasta sauce is about it, and maybe pizza toppings too).

We should come north sometime, though the way life is currently going we'll be booked up every weekend from now till eternity without ever realising it till a month before ;)
J: [half smile]rethought on July 19th, 2005 11:47 pm (UTC)
Overbooking does seem to be all the rage nowdays. :) I've already missed two weddings this summer because...well, I forgot. Thirteen this summer and another this Sunday. Whew.

I always stick to a recipe with cookies. Otherwise, I feel it's fair game for messing about. :)