Category Archives: vegan products

a casserole and a cookbook

casserole

We will have been married 20 years this year… which causes me to reflect how far we’ve come, how much the world has changed in that time and to note the two items above. They were given to us as a wedding present by friends who I used to babysit for and here they are still with us, I don’t think any other dish we own has survived that long! The Cranks Recipe Book sparked my interest at once, as I had eaten in their restaurant in London while a student, and it called to mind lovely brick walls and earthenware plates of hearty soup (they now have one restaurant in Devon).

It really taught me to cook, being the only cookery title I had at the time (bit of a change there then) in our first flat that we loved so much. I was fairly clueless when it came to the culinary arts. I remember phoning my mum at times with questions such as ‘how do you cook a neep? I can’t even seem to cut it up’. With the book I learned to bake bread, make cakes and the wonderfully frugal crecy plate pie, prepare soups and casseroles got put in the dish 🙂 It influenced me in more subtle ways too. Being the one and only it got thoroughly read and I absorbed the health oriented nature of the pages, reading for example, how much adding fresh herbs enhanced the nutritional value of the food. I remember the excitement of planting up a small herb garden and reading more deeply into these subjects. Looking at it now I notice all the cheesy recipes but you could just use any one of the many vegan cheeses available now or leave it out altogether.

Bit different when we first went vegan – a vegan cookbook obtained from the library that shall remain nameless (mainly as I can’t remember it’s name, I think it was somewhat generic, but also I do not want to slander it as it may have had other redeeming recipes) was responsible for me making a vegan cheese out of marg and yeast extract 13 years ago – absolutely disgusting, totally foul!!

So, my cranks book, heavily marked with food, water and childrens crayons. It is now available in a swanky new asparagus covered edition but you can still pick up the original for a penny 😀

book

As for the dish, it still gets used though not as much anymore. The odd apple/rhubarb crumble is popped in it. I now favour my big Le Creuset that you can cook on the hob and in the oven with – very handy for making a sheperdess/red dragon pie base in and just putting mashed tatties on top and then into the oven it goes. I am very lucky to also have two similar cast iron AGA pans/casseroles given to us by another friend who had them sitting unwanted and unused in his garage, and these are my 3 usual dinner cooking pans now.

aga

We’ve always been blessed with friendship 🙂 I am currently reading Walking to Greenham sent to me by a wonderful woman and friend… a fascinating book and I find myself contemplating the larger worldwide changing of the times. What will the next 20 years bring?

MULU Raw Chocolate

Wow. This is the best raw chocolate weve ever tasted. It’s totally smooth in texture which weve never experienced with raw choc before. Some of us girls sampled it together and it even went down well with one lady who usually prefers milk chocolate 🙂 The rich taste and heady smell enable this product to easily compete with expensive roasted brands. Go see MULU’s website for more details and ordering 😀

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off to add it to the chocolate page

curry noodles

Sounds like junk food but these are raw and healthy and very tasty, just had them for lunch 🙂

1 courgette spiralised into noodles with  a spiralizer (available from Amazon.co.uk or Kleeneze)

1 red pepper, cut into thin slices

a tablespoon of sunflower seeds

a tablespoon of nori sprinkle (Goodness Direct should have)

a tablespoon of olive oil

about half a teaspoon of curry powder or spices of your choice

mix and eat 😀

leaf

mint squares, white chocolate mousse and a flower

mint cakes

Chocolate mint layer cake made by a clever friend who is generally good at making things 🙂 (recipe now in the comments below)

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White chocolate mousse with red berries. Melt about 100g of cocoa butter and blend into a block of silken tofu with some icing sugar and vanilla…

…and a flower:

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vegan millionaires shortbread

These and many other gorgeous vegan and wheat free goodies from Lazy Day Foods here in Scotland. Some National Trust places, such as Culloden, had them in their cafes last year – hope they still do 🙂 Also available at Amazon.co.uk

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MuLondon

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A quick mention for these absolutely gorgeous new vegan organic moisturisers, no preservatives and no water so they’re concentrated making them nice and frugal too. Very pure ingredients. I am favouring the lavender one after a bath – I need all the help I can get to look less haggard this time of year ;) Charlotte is very taken with the white chocolate truffle one and it’s nice and gentle for her skin too. Still time to order for Christmas as they send them out the same day  🙂