Short Rib or Vegan Bolognese


It has been for a while since last Tatekitchen. I always cook for myself and family, but not Tatekitchen style for everyday meal scene. A dinner hang at home can be way more satisfying than a night out at a restaurant, but serving a specific diet in one's home takes effort. I invited my very close friend couple and one of them is a vegetarian. Even though she is ok with eggs and dairy, I made vegan dishes.

The holiday season is upon us, which means plenty of gatherings that revolve around food. This can create anxiety for hosts and attendees alike, as food sensitivities and special diets seem to be more prevalent than ever. As a health consultant, coach, nutritionist (you name it! BTW when I am not a fighter), I could be an individual who can understand one’s diet philosophy and lifestyle because of my education background. Also many of my friends know professional fighters are very particular about what they eat during a fight camp, so I totally understand people’s food preference/sensitivities besides allergies. With food sensitivities, mild intolerances, preferences or personal choices, things could get a bit murkier between host and guests. A good rule of thumb is the closer the relationship and the smaller the gathering, the more appropriate it is to bring up food preferences that aren’t allergies or otherwise essential. 

We started with a salad dish. I made weekly, bi weekly homemade sauerkraut. Red cabbage, which has a bright color are known to be rich in nutrients. Having a red pigment for example, indicates that red cabbage is high in two substances called lycopene and anthocyanins. Together, these powerful antioxidants help keep the heart healthy and prevent prostate cancer. Red cabbage also contains a number of other healthy nutrients, making this a must-have vegetable in your diet. Make sure add lots of EVOO, which boost lycopene absorption.

You know I like cheap cut because I know how to cook and make them tasty. Did you know that short rib ragù is so good? This day was a regular day, so I was busy and didn’t have a time to stay in front of my kitchen for a long time. Ragù is the classic Italian meat sauce and, while there are many different regional version. All I did a little bit preparation and leave ingredients in a slow cooker. Done!

As with most good Italian sauces, this one starts with an Italian soffritto, sauté the onion, carrot, and celery in the olive oil in slow cooker over medium-low heat until softened, reduced, and the onions are slightly caramelized for about 20 minutes. After removing soffritto, cook beef short ribs and make brown color on meat surface, and add the red wine and stir until most of the alcohol aroma evaporates, stirring to loosen and dissolve any bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Finally, add the chopped porcini and tomato purée and stir well to a slow cooker. Then left home, work, taught, trained and came back home. Ragù was ready! I did the same process for vegan version by switching from short ribs to soy meat. Taste like a regular rag!! Put this on anything such as rice, potatoes, polenta, pappardelle and rigatoni.

For the main dish, I did lamb chops. Garlic and herb crusted lamb chops are are a classic combo. This will be your go-to for years to come. Seasonal vegetables are all from sowa weekend open market. Sadly, it was the last one for this season. I miss their seasonal, nutritious and fresh fruits and vegetables. Simple garnishes are gourmet mushroom sautéed with butter and truffle salt, ginger carrot puree and cooked green beans. Substitute for vegan, I made an eggplant steak served with vegan cheese. Who doesn’t like steak and cheese in general? I will post vegan cheese recipe soon, but this was also an amazing dish.

We finished our dinner with healthy dessert. I make almond milk every week, so have lots of almond pulp in my fridge. baking needs flour… end of story, however, I substitute almond pulp and other gluten free flour, such as coconut, and cassava. Once completely eliminate conventional sugar from your diet, natural sweetness and better substitute from raw honey, stevia, and maple syrup satisfy my sweet teeth and I don’t need a large serving anymore. It was nice and quick Tatekitchen.

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