Welcome to the Vegan Family House

We’re Davie, Lucy, Daniel and Charlotte, a vegan family living in Northern Scotland.

00beach (250x188) 19003178354_9d2c13cd46_z snow in spring

The Vegan Family House has been online since 1998 so the recipe collection has grown quite large. There’s lots of soups, mains, cakes, smoothies and specific chocolate, Christmas and Easter pages. You’ll also find food related posts and extra recipes on the food category of the blog.

bb4 roast dinner  cake-mousse-025-550x413

We love books! See our recommendations for children and non-fiction titles for adults and we sometimes blog about fiction.

pink viva cover vcre

The latest blog posts are below. We hope you enjoy your visit!

Jujube!

raw bramble cheesecake

It’s a raw bramble (blackberry) cheesecake sweetened with red Chinese dates or Jujubes. It’s rich. It’s delicious. Everyone should try it! Read on for how…

Abakus Foods sent us three of their wonderful jujube products to try: the pitted dates, some powdered jujubes and some jujube crisps. The crisps are just like mini cookies, all crunchy and sweet and moreish.

Jujubes (loving that word) are less sweet and sticky than ordinary dates and are traditionally used in Chinese medicine to treat insomnia and anxiety.

jujube3

Here’s how we made our cheesecakes:

For the base: food process 40g (about a cup) of dried jujube fruit with a cup of pecan nuts until they resemble biscuit crumbs. Line a 12 piece muffin tin with cling film, pressing it carefully into each recess. Press your jujube/pecan mixture into each base.

For the creamy cheesecake topping: blend together a cup of brambles, a cup of macadamia nuts, half a cup of cashews, a tablespoon of coconut oil and 50g (about two tablespoons) of jujube powder. Once smooth, spread this onto the bases. Cover with more clingfilm and press each little cheesecake down to make sure it’s well stuck together.

Freeze for about two hours. Remove from tin and peel away the clingfilm. Decorate with jujube crisps and melted chocolate of your choice (really dark goes well).

Enjoy.

Love.

Say the word jujube a lot.

You can buy this range of jujube products online at Abakus Foods and, from September, at Wholefoods Markets and a number of independent health food and fine food stores.

jujube cheesecake tower

carroty soup, nasturtium optional

soup and nasturtium

The weather may be dull but the soup doesn’t have to be!

Carrot, Sweet Tattie and Pepper Soup
Ingredients:
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
5 large carrots, scraped and chopped
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped
2 large peppers, de-seeded and chopped, we used 1 red and 1 orange
about half a cup of quinoa
small bunch of fresh coriander or a tsp of dried cumin
5 cloves of garlic
water to cover
seasalt to taste

nasturtium

In a large pan, fry off the onion for a few minutes before adding the other veg. Stir until coated in oil and then add water (boiled in kettle makes cooking quicker). Add the quinoa, coriander/cumin and garlic and cook until the quinoa has sprouted and the vegetables are tender. Add salt. Blend until smooth, adding more water if too thick. If you like a creamy soup and have a strong blender throw a handful of cashew nuts in there too.

Enjoy in all and any weathers!

carrot soup

Beautiful Smoke

dragon

Sacred Elephant Incense is vegan and ethically produced and smells of peace and light and all the good stuff. The scent (in our case, Cedar) evokes Glastonbury and Findhorn and Iona, spiritual places, beautiful bookshops and clear skies.

incense sticks

Our dragon burner may not look so peaceful, but that’s just his way… The various scents: agar wood, cedar, cinnamon spice, gaura leela, Himalayan musk, myrrh, prema, rose, sandalwood, sayali jasmine, and vraja leela can be bought online here

To go with this we’ve dug back into the old archives of the Vegan Family House and found one of the first recipes to go online, back in 1998. It’s smokey too!

Smokey Seafood Rice
Don’t worry, the seafood here is Arame, a sea vegetable.

Ingredients:
a little sunflower oil
1 onion
2 or 3 cloves of garlic
1 block of smoked tofu
a good handful of dried arame
500g/18 oz/2 cups basmati rice (this makes a large potful to feed a family – reduce the amount of rice and water accordingly if you want)
a cupful of frozen peas
seasalt to taste
water to cover

Fry the onion and garlic in the oil for a few minutes. Chop the tofu into small cuboids and add to the onion and garlic. Add the rice and mix well then add enough water to well cover the rice. Add the arame (you may need to add more water as seaweeds vary in how absorbent they are) and the seasalt. Bring to the boil then turn down to simmer. A few minutes before the end of cooking time add the peas. Nice served with a green salad. Enjoy!

a little puff of smoke

This review has been organised by the VEGAN lifestyle ASSOCIATION and is our genuine and unbiased opinion of the product. Sacred Elephant Incense are listed with the VLA and you can see their listing here with an offer for members

Protein!

chocolate shake in the sun

That’s a raw vegan hemp chocolate shake from Purition, boasting 14.2g of protein and lots of healthy nuts and seeds. In fact that’s all it has; there’s no weird ingredients, no poly-whatsits or methyl-who-has, just hemp, sunflower kernels, chia and pumpkin seeds, nutritional yeast, linseeds: the good stuff.

That looks like the Tribest Personal Blender, one of our favourite products, in this short film:

They do a few vegan mixes and sent us some:

protein2

The shakes are marketed as being suitable for breakfast, lunch or post workout. Replacing a meal with a drink? There were sceptical faces here, but these drinks are filling! Really filling. And delicious. The words ‘just like a chocolate milkshake’ were spoken.

Here’s a vanilla one with a chocolate topping to which we added a banana. In retrospect we could have layered it up all stripy from the bottom if we’d known how thick and substantial they were.

chocolate topped shake

We also used them in our regular smoothies, replacing the usual avocado or nuts, which worked well.

The vegan sample box we had can be purchased from Purition or at Amazon.co.uk Shakes are also available singly in their 40g packs or in a large 500g size.

Easter Goodies and a Recipe Resurrected

First off, Holland & Barrett have a ‘Buy one, Get One Half Price’ offer on everything including their large vegan Easter Range. All available online too.

holland & barrett easter

And then, back from 2006, because we made it again last night (with parts of an Easter bunny!) and it’s lovely:

Chocolate Rice Pudding
This is a recipe from the book ‘French Women Don’t Get Fat’ that we veganised.

Ingredients:
500ml soya milk
50g. sugar
half teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
200g pudding rice
85g. dark chocolate (80% best), broken into small pieces

Method:
Bring milk, sugar and salt to the boil then add the rice. Stir occasionally while cooking for about 20 minutes – add more milk if too sticky. Stir in vanilla. Divide between 4 ramekins and insert the chocolate pieces into the middle and push down with a spoon. Leave at room temperature for a few minutes and the chocolate will go all melty like a rich sauce…

rice pudding

Snow, Soup and Books

snow

It’s bright. It’s snowy. It’s cold.

So… soup. And maybe Easter eggs.

And definitely books! Recent reads here include:

Room by Emma Donoghue. You’re best going into this knowing only that a five year old boy and his mother live in a  tiny room and that the child, the voice of the novel, has never left it. So intriguing. Scary and thought provoking too.
Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

The Bones of You by Debbie Howells is a chilling and gripping murder mystery and a good exploration of narcissism.
Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

And if you need to laugh after those, The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion should have you doing that from the opening pages as obviously autistic Don Tillman sets out to solve ‘the wife problem’.
Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

snowdrops

Literary gifts for book lovers, gorgeous gift ideas for readers, writers and literature fans

vegan recipes, books and festivities… Among the trees in Scotland.