The best vegan rabbit stew you’ve ever had

This was from our “watch the LOTR trilogy and eat like Hobbits marathon”. The original recipe uses rabbit or chicken, and is an homage to Samwise’s rabbit stew.

A plate with stew at the top, couscous on the leaft, and vegetable Tajine on the right

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Sorry for the bad pic…

Anyway, my friend made it with soy chunks and it was so good we had to make it again  a week later. It takes a lot of time, but not much work.


2 pounds of unseasoned soy chunks, the “like chicken” variety that is pretty dense. I wouldn’t use tofu here

2-3 onions, depending on size and your taste, cut to taste


1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon allspice

2 teaspoons sage or thyme

3 tbsp olive oil

2 teaspoons sugar

500 ml red wine

some red wine vinegar (I prefer crema de balsamico)

50g tomato paste

2 laurel leaves

salt and pepper to taste

  • rub the “meat” with herbs, pepper and allspice, set aside.

-use a cast iron pot, a dutch oven or anything that allows the stew to simmer nicely on the stove or go into the oven, heat the oil and gently brown the onions with the sugar for about 10 minutes. If you use the oven, preheat to 150°C now.

-add the garlic, fry for another minute. Add the “meat” and fry for five more minutes or so. Add wine, vinegar, tomato paste laurel and salt. Cover with a lid. Either put it into the oven or reduce the heat. Stir every 10 minutes or so for about 2 hours. I had to add some more wine and water because the soy chunks basically slurped up the sauce. Season again, garnish with parsley, and serve with po-ta-toes.

Just Bread

If you’re one of the three people globally who didn’t make their own sourdough bread during the first Covid lockdowns, this is for you.

Contrary to popular belief, sourdough is neither difficult or complicated, it’s just time intensive, because if you want to make it, you need to start at least a week before. Or you buy sourdough starter. Whatever. About once a year I get the strong urge to make sourdough bread. I start my sourdough, bake breads for a couple of weeks, and then at some point my starter dies. I feel zero remorse over this.

To start your sourdough, mix 50g of flour with 50 g of lukewarm water in a mason jar, and put it somewhere not too cold. Repeat every day for at least 6 days. Some recipes will tell you it’s fine after three days, but in my experience, it takes at least a week to get a really active sourdough.

Once you have a nice starter, you can make bread. Start the day before your want the bread, best around early in the afternoon. Take:

1kg of flour, 22 g of salt, 200 to 300 g of starter, 400-500ml of water. You can add nuts, grains, seeds to your liking.

I’m not telling you which flour to use, it should work with most gluten containing flours, but you’ll have to find our how much water you need.

If you want to give it a headstart, you can make a “poolish”: feed your sourdough well (at least a double amount), take off your 200-300 g, put those in a nicely warm place (30-35°C) for an hour. This step is optional, but probably wise if you only start late in the afternoon.

Back to the non optional parts: put everything into your kitchen machine and knead for about 10 minutes. You can watch internet tutorials that will tell you how to do it by hand, insisting that those very movements, turns and folding techniques are absolutely necessary, but in my opinion, that’s nonsense. Once it’s done, cover with a damp cloth. Every 1.5 to 2 hours, you wet your hands and stretch and fold it, right until you want to go to bed. Then you fold it a last time, shape it into a ball, and put it either in a special bread basket liberally coated with flour, or a bowl, cover again with a damp cloth, put it somewhere cool but not cold (I use our stairway as it is pretty much lways between 15and 20 °C)and go to bed.

In the morning, you bake it. There are several options here: you can just use your cookie sheet, a pizza stone (my preferred method) or a dutch oven (put in baking paper), but it’s very important that you preheat to 200°C, especially when using a stone or dutch oven. These need to be 200° as well, so I usuall preheat at least 30 minutes. Put the bread upside down on your stone/sheet, dutch oven and  cut the top. If you’re using a dutch oven, cover it for the first 30 minutes, if not pour some water on the bottom of your oven (or use ice cubes) to create steam. If you use the dutch oven, remove the lid after 30 minutes, bake for about 1 h. Let it cool and enjoy.

A sourdough bread with a golden brown crust, cut in half

©Giliell, all rights reserved

The Hobbits go plant based

I’ve long suffered from a bad conscience from leaving Charly to do all the work here, but I still couldn’t drag my butt in the metaphorical chair (no more real chair for me) to type something meaningful. I still don’t have the spoons to type anything politically interesting, but since I’ve been sharing more and more food on Mastodon I thought: why not write some lighthearted recipe posts? I think I can manage that.

The recipes will all be plant based. The Giliell family has significantly reduced their animal product consumption over the recent years anyway and a few weeks ago my eldest went fully vegan. Now, this is a disclaimer for all the posts here: I’m not vegan. I’m not trying to be and this is NOT and invitation to any vegans to try and convince me. You didn’t manage to do so the last 15 years and I doubt you will do so now. That’s why I’m using the label plant based as it describes my personal approach: creating delicious food while using plant based ingredients. This is about the joy of eating, not about discussing ideology or philosophy. Just yummy, no judgement.

Why Hobbits? Because during the easter week we hosted a Lotr movie marathon (actually 2 days, because eating took too much time) with mostly vegan food, mostly based on “things that fit the general middle earth theme” from an unofficial cookbook.

So, let’s get started with some hearty date and sesame bars that will give you lots of energy for walking to Orodruin or going to school

You need

150g of dried fruit: dates, apricots, raisins…, cut into small pieces. I wouldn’t use too much apples or mangos, because they’re lacking stickiness.

125g of flour

125g of oats

1 tsp baking powder

1-3 tbsp sesame seeds

Mix all dry ingredients

120-150 g margarine or vegan butter. Don’t try to reduce the fat or your mass will not stick

75 g brown sugar

1tbsp maple syrup or any other sugary syrup

Melt margarine, mix with sugar and syrup. Pour over dry ingredients and mash together. Put everything on a cookie sheet, push flat. Don’t try a dish. I did that the first time and they stayed nicely soft.

Bake at 180° C for about 20-25 minutes, cut while hot. They keep well. Or would if they weren’t gobbled up so fast. you can create your own favourite mix. Add sunflower seeds, leave out dates, your call.

rectangle bars in a plastic container and on a cookie sheet

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Moar Easter Gingerbreads

My mother made these on Sunday and only just now I got around to post them.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.