In my family, meat wasn’t often tender. Memories of lamb roasts that were so tough I couldn’t chew it probably have to do with my general distaste for meat that helped with deciding to become vegetarian (the vegan choice was made later for mostly ethical reasons). But one thing that was cooked well was chicken cacciatore.
It’s funny, I despised the tomato-ey sauce, while loving the slow cooked chicken. Only later in life when Ash’s Mum cooked it for me, did I discover that the sauce is the best part!
And only now did it cross my mind to veganise it. Better than ever, I swear. Mushrooms and potatoes simmered in an extremely tasty tangy tomato sauce, easily made fat free, and served with a mung bean salad. I served it to Ash and his Mum and we all really enjoyed it.
On the topic of veganism, I recently discovered that our favourite toothpaste, White Glo, is vegan. On top of that, I just got email confirmation from L’Occitane that all of their haircare products are vegan too! Two products that I can continue to use with a clear conscience. It just goes to show that a quick email is all it takes to find out the origins of the products we like to use, and in many cases the company is delighted to confirm that their products meet your requirements. As I’m sure they’re aware, it’s this sort of information that will get passed on, and word-of-mouth is the best form of advertising! I also think that in asking the question, we can help build awareness about veganism. L’Occitane may have had vegan products by chance, but if they know that there are consumers who will be deciding whether or not to use their products based on veganism, they may be less inclined to introduce animal-derived ingredients to their products. One can only hope.
Now, onto the cacciatore!
Mushroom and potato cacciatore (serves 4)
Adapted from The Australian Women’s Weekly Cooking School – one of my favourite staple cookbooks. AWW is foolproof!
- 1 cup water with 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
- 300g cup mushrooms, sliced thickly
- 3 medium potatoes, chopped
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup chicken-style stock
- 400g can diced tomatoes
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 2 tbsp capers, chopped and smashed with the flat side of a knife
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives, chopped (optional)
- 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- Saute onion, garlic and mushrooms in water mix until onion softens.
- Stir in the potatoes, vinegar, stock, tomatoes, tomato paste, capers and olives. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Otherwise you can pop it in the oven for an hour and a half on a low heat, about 120C.
- Uncover and simmer until the sauce has reduced right down – about 20 more minutes.
- Stir through the parsley and serve with salad.
It’s the best thing to eat when the weather is sitting around zero degrees, you go outdoors to explore an iconic Blue Mountains park, and as a result freeze your tootsies off.