Creamy Vegetable Pie and a train…

River, trees and snowy mountains from a steam train window (it’ll make sense later).

Creamy Vegetable Pie is an old recipe that wasn’t included in the site update, but we’ve had requests for it so here it is :)

Ingredients:ACER
1 tablespoon vegan marg (we used Pure sunflower)
1 leek, chopped
5 sticks of celery, roughly chopped
6 carrots, chopped
about a cupful of frozen peas
1 vegan stock cube (we used kallo organic vegetable)
2 tablespoons white flour
3/4 of  litre of soya milk (approx)
seasalt to taste
2 kg potatoes, peeled
a little soya milk, marg and salt and pepper to mash into the tatties
large bunch of chives to mash into the tatties – easiest chopped up with scissors, straight into pan.

Peel and roughly chop the potatoes, place in a pan and cover with water and bring to boil. Once boiling turn down to simmer until soft. While that’s happening, prepare the veg and sauce. Melt the marg in a pan and add the veg and stock cube, cooking until slightly softened (5-10 min), stirring regularly. Add the flour and mix well. Gradually add the soya milk, stirring all the time until a nice thick sauce is formed round the veggies (you can add more soya milk or water if too thick). Season with salt and pepper and place in a large oven proof dish (we used a lasagne one).

Once the tatties are cooked, mash with the marg, s. milk, salt, pepper, and chives and spread this evenly on top of your veg sauce. Place in oven at 200c/400F for about 20 minutes or until browned as much as you like :) Delicious with fresh salad…

Back to the train. The Strathspey Steam Railway  does lunches on board and with at least 24 hours notice they can cater for any dietary requirement. The three course Sunday lunch they gave us was lovely, and the first class compartment an added treat.

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some London eating

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In beautiful, colourful Neal’s Yard, in the former home of Monty Python, resides the Wild Food Café. We enjoyed our raw pizza and salad (it is ‘raw-centric’).

raw food from the wild food cafe

Also in Covent Garden is LabOrganic, which we visited more than once for their fresh green juices and raw chocolate mousse.

We loved The Coach and Horses vegetarian pub with its timeless rickety stairs, twenties music and somehow Dickensian mantelpiece:

mantle piece

The ‘tofush’ and chips was excellent:

vegan fish and chips

and the flowers in a teapot, pretty:

flowers on the table

Though we didn’t eat in them, Food for Thought in Neal St. had a savoury and delicious smell wafting out its door and the dishes visible through the window of totally vegan Vantra Vitao looked very good.

Useful resource: Vegan London

chestnut roast

chestnut roast, vegan and gluten free

A very nice roast, the sweet spiciness of the chestnuts making it quite different in flavour to our cashew and walnut ones. Serves four generously.

Fry off 2 large red onions and 4 sticks of celery, both roughly chopped. Add in seven cloves (or less, up to you) of finely chopped garlic and a good bunch of fresh rosemary, scissored in.

Once the above has softened add a jar or tin of puréed chestnuts and stir until dissolved. Add a little water (about half a cupful) before mixing in a cup of rice crumbs (or other bread crumbs) and a couple of tablespoonfuls of gluten free flour. Salt to taste.

Place in an oiled loaf tin and bake at 200C for at least half an hour or until firm. Yum. Slices well cold the next day for sandwiches or salads too.

The tree picture is dark and creepy today, but still brighter than the weather.

dark and creepy trees by a loch

Burns Night approaches

FAIR fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o’ the pudding-race!

So said Robert Burns of the haggis. Good word ‘sonsie’, it really should be used more. You can get a sonsie vegan haggis here to serve with neeps and tatties.

burns1

You could make some sonsie Cranachan for afters, recipe taken from our cakes and puddings page:

Cranachan
This is often served at Burn’s Suppers in Scotland.
Ingredients: half a cup of porridge oats; 1 small box of soya cream; 1 tablespoon of agave nectar; 1 tablespoon of whisky (or whisky flavouring if you don’t take alcohol); 1 punnet of fresh raspberries

Lightly toast the oats in a frying pan on the stove. Remove from heat and pour in the cream – it will bubble and thicken a bit with the heat. Stir well and add the agave and whiskey, and mix in. Add most of the rasps, keeping a few back for garnish. Place in dishes and chill in the fridge until pudding time.

burns2

Other Scottish recipes that might be of use or preferable to haggis:

Scotch Broth
Balmoral Pie can be found on the main courses page (scroll down a bit). It’s a lovely dish of beans and sausages topped with mash.
Scottish Macaroons are a feast of sugar and potato.

Whatever you do, have an honest, sonsie time :D

low sun

mini pizza bites

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Delicious and fresh after the rich food of Yule, the courgette bases are juicy and flavoursome. Nice as canapés or a starter.

Brush a baking tray with olive oil . We used three courgettes, sliced to just under a cm thick, to cover a full size oven tray. Top with pizza sauce of your choice: ours consisted of passata mixed with a little olive oil, finely chopped onion, dried oregano and seasalt. We topped off with some Redwood’s melting cheese, but half an olive would be nice too. Bake for about 20 minutes at 200C/400F.

And as we seem to have developed a food/tree rhythm in recent posts, here is a woodpecker hole in a Scots Pine, which happens to be roughly the same shape and size as a mini pizza bite :)

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cheesey sage and onion potato cakes

sagenonioncakes

A simple supper or a filling breakfast using up leftover mashed potato. We had one very heaped soup bowl of mash, but the recipe is versatile :)

Fry off 2 red onions and a couple of good sprigs of sage (chopped or scissored in). Mix into the potatoes with a block of grated cheezly and a tablespoon of flour. Squishing it all up with your hands is best. Press into fairly thin pancakes and dip each side in crumbs of some sort, we used rice ones. Shallow fry, turning once, until crispy.

Was very nice with Brussels sprouts and salad.

sun through the trees

sun through the trees

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

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