Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Pizza and pie

Diet, Dessert & Dogs is a fantastic blog full of innovative recipes which has provided me with a few winning meals in recent times (thanks Ricki!). Cindy from where's the beef posted about Ricki's beetroot pepperoni last year which I bookmarked immediately as it sounded fascinating. K from In the Mood for Noodles had also given it the thumbs up so I was very keen to try it. 

It's simple to prepare although it takes a bit of time to cook as the thin slices of beetroot are baked in a marinade for about an hour to absorb the delicious salty, smoky flavours. I followed Cindy's advice about adding a bit more spice to the marinade by increasing the paprika and adding some cayenne pepper. I made the pizza fairly plain to accentuate the flavour of the beetroot pepperoni, topping it with a mixture of tomato paste and pesto, onions, mushrooms and cheezly. When the man discovered my plan to put beetroot on a pizza he wasn't enthused at all but he thoroughly enjoyed the pizza, as did the young man and I.  

Cottage pie was one of the first vegetarian recipes I ever prepared back when we were thinking about converting to vegetarianism. The original recipe I tried was sourced from which has a lentil, vegetable and tomato base. A variation of this recipe became a semi-regular meal for many years as the man and young man regard it highly and request it often.

It has never been a favourite meal of mine so when the young man began to grow tired of the old cottage pie, I decided it was time for a revamp. I couldn't resist using some faux ground meat made of cauliflower and nuts in the base, this is another wonderful recipe from Diet, Dessert and Dogs I have used in various ways several times before. This meal turned out to be another winner which is likely to be repeated in the future.

There is one other recipe of Ricki's which I would love to tell you about, alas I didn't take a photo at the time. This will have to wait for another post!

Beetroot pepperoni (Adapted from Diet, Dessert & Dogs and where's the beef)

2 medium sized beetroots
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon vegan beef stock powder
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon agave nectar
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1/8 teaspoon ground dried sage

Preheat oven to 170C. Peel the beetroots and slice thinly. Mix the remaining ingredients together in a baking tray then add the beetroot slices to the tray, ensuring they are coated with the marinade. Spread the beetroot slices in a single layer.

Bake for 20 minutes then flip the slices over, basting them in the marinade. Keep baking until the slices start to look dry and curl up at the edges, flipping and basting the slices in 10 minute intervals. The total baking time took mine almost an hour.

Cottage pie (Featuring ground "meat" from Diet, Dessert & Dogs)

1 kg potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon dairy-free margarine
soy milk
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium carrots, diced
1/2 quantity ground meat
1 1/2 cups vegan beef stock or vegetable stock
1 tablespoon vegan worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup frozen peas
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 180C. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add the potatoes to the pot and cook for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Drain the potatoes in a colander. Mash the potatoes with the dairy-free margarine and enough soy milk to create your desired consistency.

While the potatoes are cooking, heat olive oil in a large saucepan, add the onion and cook until softened. Stir through the garlic for a minute, then mix in the carrot. Cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally then add the ground meat, beef stock, worchestershire sauce and tomato paste. Simmer covered for 10-15 minutes until the carrots have softened then stir through the peas. Season with salt and pepper.

Spread the ground meat mixture in the bottom of a 20cm x 20cm casserole dish. Cover with the mashed potato and smooth it out to the edges so it entirely covers the filling. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes until the mashed potatoes are starting to brown.


  1. I must try the beetroot pepperoni - sounds great and it just looks so right! At first I had thought maybe you would have tofu bacon on your pizza. Wonder how some ground meat would go on pizza (I have tried veg haggis on pizza and it works with cheese so may be good with cheezly)

    And I love cottage pie - must try the ground meat in it some time

    1. The beetroot pepperoni is really tasty, you should give it a try one day! I have put tofu bacon on a pizza which we love but haven't tried one with the ground meat. Your veg haggis is fantastic on pizza, I made that again recently too.

  2. Both of these dishes look great. I smiled at cottage pie as my Mum used to make a lentil version regularly when I was growing up, but I'd completely forgotten about it. I must try it again now!

    1. I hope you get around to making your mum's lentil cottage pie soon, and post about it too! ;)

  3. The beetroot pepperoni sounds delightful! And I would give anything now for a slice of that cottage pie.

    1. Thanks Vaishali, the beetroot pepperoni was the definite winner for me!

  4. Ricki publishes some great recipes! I need to think of some new ways to use that beetroot. I've also been meaning to try that cauliflower mince for a long, long time - winter's coming up, so the perfect time for it I reckon.

    1. Ricki does come up with some great recipes. I can't think beyond pizza for the beetroot as it was so good this way. Winter is a perfect time to make a batch of the cauliflower mince when caulis are in season and you want the oven on for a long time.