Risi e Bisi

Risi e Bisi

Risi e Bisi

 (Rice and Peas)

Risi e Bisi (rice and peas) is a classic Venetian spring dish.  In the past it was prepared only on the feast days decreed by the Doge (Venice’s ruler).

One can of course now prepare Risi e Bisi at any time although the dish really shines with fresh spring peas.  It’s been some time since I last shelled peas – there is something rather soothing about it – although quite a few didn’t quite make it into the dish – its so very easy to pop them into your mouth – they are quite lovely fresh…

Risi e Bisi  is actually a variant of Risotto, although technically a soup and should be served with a spoon, not a fork. It is so thick and rich that it does indeed look like a risotto. However unlike risotto, where constant stirring is required there is only minimal stirring so far less labour intensive!

It is a simple dish with only a few ingredients – but the end result is delish!

Buon appetito!


Risi e Bisi

What you will need:


Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 6 – 8 cups vegetable stock
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium leeks, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 4 cups fresh peas or thawed frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf (continental) parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Nutritiional yeast, for topping


What to do:

In a medium saucepan, place the stock and bring to a gentle simmer.

In a large, heavy pot or fry pan heat oil over medium heat

Add leeks and cook until just softened; about five minutes (remove and set aside a few tablespoons of the leeks for topping if desired). Add garlic and rice, toss until rice is nicely coated, about 3 minutes.

Add in warm stock, one cup at a time, the stock should be bubbly. Stir often allowing the stock to be just absorbed. Add in another cup of stock, repeat.


Risi e Bisi

Add in peas, more stock and continue the process for another 15 minutes or so, or until the rice is al dente, tender but chewy.

The whole process should be about 25 – 30 minutes or so.

Add in more stock and stir.

Your rice and peas should be a little soupy. Remove from heat, taste for seasoning and stir in parsley.


Risi e Bisi

Serve topped with a nice dusting of nutritional yeast and freshly cracked pepper.




Risi e Bisi


Lentil and Vegetable Soup with Spiced Yoghurt


Lentil & Vegetable Soup

Winter has arrived in Melbourne! It’s been chilly, rainy and windy. The sun made an appearance today which was lovely but the air was still cold – perfect time for soup and this one will warm the cockles of your heart!

With all the lovely warming spices and the added burst of peppery Tabasco sauce this soup is warming from the inside out!


What you will need:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 teaspoons curry powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon garam masala

1 litre (4 cups vegetable stock)

250 ml (1 cup) water

1 bay leaf

185g (1 cup red lentils)

450g (1lb) butternut pumpkin (peeled and cut into 1 cm ½ inch) cubed

400g can chopped tomatoes

2 zucchini – but in half lengthways and sliced

200g broccoli, cut into small florets

1 small carrot, diced

80g (1/2 cup) peas – fresh or frozen

Spiced Yoghurt

250g (1cup) thick soy yoghurt

1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves

1 garlic clove – crushed

3-4 dashes Tabasco Sauce

Spiced Yoghurt

What to do:

Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 4-5 minutes or until soft and lightly golden. Add the curry powder, cumin and garam masala and cook for 1 minute or until spices are fragrant.


Add the stock, bay leaf, lentils and pumpkin. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the lentils are tender, Season well.

Add the tomatoes, zucchini, broccoli, carrot and 500 ml (2 cups) water and simmer for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add the peas and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

 Lentil and Vegetable Soup

Spiced Yoghurt:

To make the spiced yoghurt, place the yoghurt, coriander, garlic and Tabasco in a small bowl and stir until combined. Dollop a spoonful of the yoghurt on each serving of soup and garnish with a sprinkle of coriander leaves.

Serve with bread – crusty bread or maybe even naan bread – can’t go wrong really!

Enjoy! Xx

Lentil and Vegetable Soup




Tofu Scramble

Tofu Scramble

Lazy Sunday brunch would have to be one of my all-time favourite meals – what’s not to love – a sleep in on a chilly winter morning and then whipping up a yummy feast and Tofu Scramble fits the bill!

I’ve been reading about the benefits of adding turmeric to food – it has anti-inflammatory properties, is a powerful anti oxidant, helps indigestion and fights colds and flu among a number of claims – that’s one powerful little spice!

And with cooking magic at work here – you could throw in a side of mushrooms, avocado and some crusty bread – Yum!

What you will need:

1 Tablespoon Olive oil

1 small red onion – diced

250 g firm tofu, thinly sliced and then crumbled

1 ½ teaspoons turmeric

½ teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon coriander

Handful of pine nuts (toasted)

1 small tomato – diced

¼ red capsicum – diced

Handful of spinach leaves

Salt and pepper to taste

The ingredients

What to do:

 Place tofu on a plate lined with several layers of paper towel (to absorb moisture from the tofu)


Toast the pine nuts – just a light toasting in a pan works but watch them as they can overcook really quickly

Pine nuts

In the same frying pan add the olive oil and add the onion and sauté for about a minute or two.

Add the tofu and spices and salt and stir through to coat. Next add the tomato and capsicum and sauté another minute and finally add the spinach leaves.

Tofu Scramble

Plate up and add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with crusty bread

Enjoy! Xx

Tofu Scramble


Easy Indian Dhal Soup

Easy Indian Dahl Soup

Sometimes I really enjoy cooking a particular dish that has a long, slow cooking process, other times quick and easy but not skimping on flavour is the order of the day!

This Dahl Soup fits the quick, easy and flavoursome brief completely!  It really is delicious! And by adjusting the amount of vegetable stock you can decide if it’s more of a soup or the more traditional Dahl ‘stew’.

Having made a bit pot of this Dahl, I was then able to take it to work for lunch for the next couple of days and like most meals involving spices – it only got better!

Serve with warm Naan bread – delish!

Easy Indian Dahl Soup

What you will need:

  • 2 tablespoons vegan margarine
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • ¼ teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 kg tin of chopped tomatoes, drained
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable stock
  • 1 ¼ cups coconut milk
  • Coriander – chopped
  • Salt & pepper

Naan bread, to serve

Easy Indian Dahl Soup

What to do:

Melt the margarine in a large saucepan. Add the garlic and onion and sauté, stirring for 2-3 minutes.

Add the turmeric, garam masala, chilli powder and cumin and cook for a further 30 seconds.

Stir in the tomatoes, red lentils, lemon juice, vegetable stock and coconut milk and bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat to low and simmer the soup, uncovered, for about 25-30 minutes until the lentils are tender and cooked.

Season to taste with salt and pepper and ladle the soup into a warm tureen

Garnish with chopped coriander and serve with warm Nann bread.

Enjoy! xx

Easy Indian Dahl Soup

Squashed Cherry Tomato Spaghetti

Squashed Cherry Tomato Spaghetti

This is a scrummy Donna Hay recipe – the only ingredients that had to be changed for a vegan update was swapping butter for vegan margarine and using Nutritional Yeast rather than Parmesan cheese.

Ready in less than ½ hour – this is a super duper supper!

What you will need:

  • 200g spaghetti
  • 30g vegan margarine
  • 2 cloves garlic – crushed
  • Olive oil for drizzling
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 500g cherry tomatoes (pierce at least half with a knife)
  • 1 cup roughly torn basil tomatoes
  • Nutritional yeast (nooch) to serve

Squashed Cherry Tomato Spaghetti

What to do:

Cook spaghetti in a large pot of salted boiling water for approximately 10-12 minutes until al dente.

Drain. Drizzle with olive oil and set aside keeping warm.

Return the pot to the heat and cook the margarine, garlic, vinegar and tomatoes for approximately 4 minutes or until the tomatoes are heated through and slightly soft.

By piercing some of the tomatoes – this will help to give a slightly caramelised effect, especially combined with the balsamic vinegar.

Add the cooked spaghetti to the tomato mixture, stir through and then toss the basil leaves gently through.

Pile the spaghetti onto a serving plate. Sprinkle with the nutritional yeast if so desired.

Serves 2

Enjoy! xx

Squashed Cherry Tomato Spaghetti

Alexi’s Bruschetta


The taste of Summer  – tomatoes, basil, crusty Ciabatta bread, garlic, olive oil and balsamic vinegar… ah yes Bruschetta

This completely delicious little recipe comes from a dear friend Alexi who has very generously passed it onto me. The secret to creating such a wonderful mix of flavours is in the marinating.

You can choose to marinate overnight, however if you are short for time even a few hours before serving will do the trick. It really is such an explosion of flavours in your mouth and so so easy.


What you will need:

  • Tomatoes – colourful medley of tomatoes if you can get them otherwise some lovely cherry tomatoes will be just fine.
  • Fresh basil – small bunch
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Ciabatta or other crusty loaf of bread

What to do:

Either the night before or a few hours before….

Slice the tomatoes into thick rounds – pop these into a bowl

Roughly chop half the basil and place with the tomatoes

Slice garlic into thin slices

Cover with a mix of the balsamic vinegar and olive oil

Cover and leave to marinate – if the weather is hot it may be best to pop in the fridge overnight

If you do refrigerate overnight make sure you remove from the fridge a few hours before serving – better served at room temp…

Slice the Ciabatta into nice thick slices and lightly toast

Spoon a generous amount onto each slice of bread. Place a fresh sprig of basil on top and drizzle with the balsamic vinegar and olive oil marinade.

Et voila!

Enjoy! Xx


Easy Bean Nachos


I love nachos!

It’s one of the best combos ever – corn chips, avocado, tomatoes, lime, coriander… really it’s the dream combo.

And it has to be of the easiest of meals to put together – you can be sitting down with a scrummy supper in under ½ hour!

What’s not to love!


What you will need:

  • 2 x 410g can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup (85g) chunky tomato salsa
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh coriander
  • 220g corn chips
  • 2 cups (120g) finely shredded iceberg lettuce
  • Grated carrot
  • 1 tomato – chopped
  • 1 avocado – mashed
  • Little extra coriander
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • Vegan Cheese (nice but not necessary)


What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 220°C (200° fan-forced)
  2. Combine half the beans with the salsa and give it a good mash. Stir in the remaining beans and coriander
  3. Spread half the corn chips into a medium shallow baking dish – if you are using cheese you can sprinkle some (half) on now with half the bean mixture. Top with the remaining corn chips, remaining cheese and the remaining bean mixture. Pop into the oven and cook for 10 minutes.
  4. While that’s bubbling away combine the tomato and avocado in a medium bowl and add the lime juice.
  5. Remove the nachos from the oven.
  6. Plate up the nachos and top with the salad mix (lettuce and grated carrot) Sprinkle a little finely chopped coriander on top.

Hey presto! Super easy, super yummy! Perfect for a Friday, Saturday or any night supper!

Serves approx 6 or 4 very hungry folk!