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 taste.com.au 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
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.