A vegetarian substitute for bacon – Revised recipe…

I’ve re-posted this as I have substantially rewritten the marinade and also made a change in the preparation of the tofu

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One of the high-lights of my previous veggie incarnation (20-odd years from 1985 – I can’t be more exact because it fizzled out over a couple of years rather than stopping abruptly), was the creation of a bacon substitute.

Not like the meat analogues you get today, which blatantly try to emulate, visually and texturally (but with wildly varying degrees of success), the food they otherwise go to great lengths not to be – what on earth is the point? – but something that gives you the intense savoury, salty, crisp, hit of bacon while quite clearly NOT Continue reading

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A vegetarian substitute for bacon…

This recipe has been substantially rewritten. Please go to https://ronsrants.wordpress.com/2013/10/17/a-vegetarian-substitute-for-bacon-revised-recipe/

for the new version.

One of the high-lights of my previous veggie incarnation (20-odd years from 1985 – I can’t be more exact because it fizzled out over a couple of years rather than stopping abruptly), was the creation of a bacon substitute.

Not like the meat analogues you get today, which blatantly try to emulate, visually and texturally (but with wildly varying degrees of success), the food they otherwise go to great lengths not to be – what on earth is the point? – but something that gives you the intense savoury, salty, crisp, hit of bacon while quite clearly NOT pretending to be bacon!

And it’s based on that most unpromising of raw materials that – justifiably in my view – in its natural state inspires widespread revulsion in the West – tofu!

The Tofu:- Continue reading

Pea soup, vegetarian sausages, and other animals…

I made a pot of rather good pea soup a couple of days ago and while, of late, I’ve got into the habit of making notes as I go along, I reverted to type and this one was just thrown together on the fly. This is how I’ve cooked for most of my life. Not saying it has any particular merit, other than it works for me and has the virtue that I’m not going to cock something up while distracted with note-taking.

Anyway, I like pea soup, but green split peas – and this seems to be a world-wide problem based on admittedly limited feedback to my blog post on the subject – simply will not cook properly these days, becoming a gritty, green, sludge instead of a smooth purée. So I thought I’d use frozen peas instead.

There are many recipes for such soup, embracing entire spectra of complexity and pretentiousness, but I wanted simplicity and flavour – that’s all a good soup needs. This is mine; Continue reading

Vegetarian in the kitchen…

Part 2 of an ongoing series…                                                                    Part 1 here…

Which, really, is pretty much the same as anyone else in the kitchen, but without animal and fish bits. Basically, about equipment…

There was a time when I would have eschewed all electrical equipment in a domestic kitchen, with the possible exception of a blender, and maybe not even that.

Buy good knives, keep them sharp, and they’ll do pretty much everything you need (with the addition of a Rex peeler). As some knives are pretty much specific to meat or fish prep (boning knives, for example, or a razor-sharp carver for slicing liver (Sainsbury’s please note, and stop hacking the bloody stuff!), or actually carving; or filleting/skinning knives for fish), a veggie can get by with Continue reading

Vegetarianism – its own worst enemy?

I was a vegetarian for maybe 15 years (still am for short spells), and then, as now, one question annoyed and baffled me in almost equal measure. Why are veggies – not all, admittedly, but way too many – such tedious, proselytising buggers? Especially in the Observer Food Monthly this weekend.

And, while they resent being tagged as “herbivores”, and quite rightly, why is it they have no hesitation, when it comes to branding meat-eaters as Continue reading

Some thoughts on vegetarian food…

Tony Naylor, discussing vegetarian restaurants in the Guardian disparages meat analogues (fair enough, they are mostly crap), then spoils it all by opining that veggies should refrain from making “pointless mimic pies”. Sorry, mate, you’re way off beam there.

I was a veggie for about 12-15 years (hard to be precise as it fizzled out rather than stopped dead), and I’ve made some cracking pies in my time. There’s no Continue reading

Pregnant vegetarians should eat meat – discuss.

It’s some while since I was anything more than an occasional vegetarian, but I’m still staggered by the amount of garbage churned out by ignorant meat-eaters.

Yesterday, Jeremy Vine, on Radio 2, was – just as I was going out, and thus leaving him to bore an empty room – banging on about the need for pregnant veggies to eat “just a little” meat, to ensure they get adequate supplies of vitamin B12. This despite the fact that vegetarians have no more difficulty reproducing that anyone else.

In fact, there is no evidence Continue reading