Marfigs' Munchies

Adventures in vegan eats and feats

Risotto and cupcakes!


I spoke last time of a pirate party we went to – this is man-thing all dressed up! 😀 He looks sulky because of his outfit, but I think he was secretly pleased. We had matching head scarves to boot. *skips about*

Anyway! Earlier this week I foresaw an end to our daily evening vegetable and lentil soup supplies, so I decided to be wild and try out a new recipe from the book my doctor gave me – Versatile Vegetarian Recipes by Hilda Lategan. This book is awesome because it has clearly marked vegan recipes AND it also has comments at the end of normal vegetarian fare on how to veganize most of the recipes. Awesome! PLUS it also has the nutritional value of all the recipes (cholesterol, carbs, etc) and also indications of how much each portion is.

The recipe below is based on the scaffolding of a recipe I found in the book of loveliness.

Asparagus, mushroom and baby marrow risotto

(serves 6 (175ml/150g portions)


  • 1/2 cup grated marrows (I used three marrows)
  • 1 cup mushroom pieces
  • 10 spears steamed asparagus (steaming optional, it turns out, but so delicious)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 250ml/200g brown rice (I think the point here is that it is infinitely more healthy than the fluffy, squishy risotto rice one usually uses, and Tastic brown rice is officially low GI)
  • 500-750ml boiling water
  • mixed herbs
  • 1 cube knorr veg stock/10ml vegetable extract powder
  • Nutritional yeast (healthy splash…say 2 TBSP?)
  • 1/4 cup diced strawberries
  • 2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
  • 1 glass vegan white wine (200ml)

Admittedly I don’t remember what risotto is supposed to look like – more creamy? Either way, this is a healthy and delicious version.

The how-to:

1) (optional) Steam the asparagus for 2-3 minutes.

2) Dissolve cube of stock into 500ml boiling water. Stir & set aside. Open yer wine!

3) Heat a splash of oil in a large pot, and add in the onion and veggies. Fry for 5 minutes until the onion looks like it has become more translucent, or until your patience has run out (as mine did).

4) Add rice and water, and bring everything to the boil.

5) Reduce heat & simmer for 30 minutes, checking every now and again what’s what. Depending on how it looks, add splashes of white wine to the mix. In the last 15 minutes or so add your spices (I also added paprika, cayenne…the usuals). Don’t be surprised if you stand around longer than 30 minutes – it’s up to taste and patience, once again!

6) In the last 10 minutes add your strawberries and balsamic vinegar. The overall consistency of the dish should be juicy but not watery….if that makes sense.

7) Dish up and enjoy! I added 1/2 a cup of cannellini beans to this for protein purposes, as well as some cucumber for freshness.


The asparagus literally smushed apart with a fork, after being boiled and all that for how long. Lovely, stringy! NOM! Next time I’ll add beans, soy chunks (if I can ever find them again, weep!) or lentils.

Anyway! So it turns out today is Cupcake Day, and I just happened to make cupcakes so I could eat something at my little brother’s birthday. Oh yes, he turned 01! I don’t get to spend as much time with him as I did my little sister (now 04, turning 05) when she was growing up, but he’s such a charmer, what with the dimples and all that.

He’s so terribly fair-skinned that it’s difficult to not have him appear as one big mouth-shaped blur on all his photos!


I used Kristy’s recipe for the cupcakes, since her cake was such a delight – it made 10 decent treats in a muffin liner, and I most certainly used my nutty wheat flour now that the dietician I frantically visited assures me that gluten-free is not for me! *wheee!*


I also threw in a very scant 1/4 cup Woolworths dark chocolate chips into the mix so that I didn’t have to fool around with a frosting. Epic!

Anyway, here is my grandmother (who was also at the birthday party) with her own cake – a ginger tart.


I was desperate to try it but didn’t want to enquire too deeply because I suspected it had egg and all sorts in it – I’m hoping to get this recipe and veganize it, because I am a sucker for ginger!

My ouma truly made food a joy for me from a young age. I loved watching her bake her shaped sugar cookies from scratch, or receiving presents of saucy-beans in my first year at university when I was spending way too much money on cigarettes with little left over for proper food (bad habits of the past!). Her delicious pumpkin fritters/puffs….ah divine! The effortless way in which she goes about cooking is evident in all my aunts, and even my dad. I don’t think I’ll be quite the same, but that’s why I’m trying to get more into “dinner” recipes, and step clear of the desserts and other stuff. Alas!

Author: Marfigs

Ahoy, I’m Margaux! History teacher and freelance editor; wench to my Man-thing; volunteer at a cat shelter; and handmaiden to our kitsy cats, Gatsby, Freyja and Atlas. This blog is dedicated to vegan food, occasionally overthrown by pictures of foster kittens and other fluffy creatures. I love sharing ideas and recipes, so don't be shy: stop by and say hi!

2 thoughts on “Risotto and cupcakes!

  1. Great photos, and very well written blog. You are a true artist Marguax…


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