Tag Archives: festive

Viva! Cookbook

viva cover

The beautiful new cookbook from Viva! by Jane Easton (see her delicious beanburger recipe over on frugal).

The organisational structure of the book is exceptionally user-friendly. First there’s the main sections: Vegan Basics; Souperb; A bit on the side; Back to the sauce; The main event and Sweet thing. Then there’s a range of indexes based on the codes found on the recipe pages: budget dishes, fast feeds, Gluten & wheat free, cooking for one, kid-friendly, freezable, low fat/diabetic-friendly.

The recipes themselves are diverse and gorgeous and there’s a stunning colour photo beside each one. It’s hard to know where to start with describing them as there as so many, so we’ll give you a favourite: Speedy Chocolate Pudding. You can click the photo to see a bigger version.

viva recipe

The book is a wonderful mix of simple advice for beginner cooks and those new to veganism through to advanced ideas such as Christmas Stuffed Squash with Two-rice, Cranberry and Porcini Mushroom Filling. Rose Elliot’s Chestnut and Red Wine Pate en croute that we’ve loved for years is also included.

There’s Scrambled Tofu; Socca Pizza with Cream Cheese, Sundried Tomatoes and Artichoke Hearts; Perfect Pancakes; Vegetable Tempura; Smokey Black Bean Cakes & Sausages; cakes, muffins, slices… we could go on and on. Really we could, there’s 145 recipes!

The beautiful photos make it an excellent coffee table title, so much better for inspiration than tucking it away on a shelf…

To buy or read more visit Viva!

Also available from Amazon.co.uk


Be rewarded the Web's Premiere Rewards Site

just pointing you to Vegan Easter…

bunniest-dark-button-eggHere it is

There’s bunnies and eggs. Online stock always sells out fast. Go get.

 

snowdrops

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 in many shops now 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 😀

low sun

mini pizza bites

pizza bites 013 (550x413)

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.

See Vegan Supermarket GreenBay for lots of vegan cheeses!

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 🙂

tree 022 (550x413)

marble cake pretty

marblecake

Marble cake good. And easy, very easy. Simply mix up a vanilla cake batter (you’ll find a recipe here), then stir some cocoa into half of it. Combine the two mixes/colours by little more than a figure eight stir and plop into a baking tin and bake. We used the I Love Cake Mould which means the cake can be cut into big heart shaped slices, but marble cake is actually better sliced thin so you can see all the wonderful cake art you’ve made 😀

Don’t miss Vegan Christmas or Yule, because that’s happening. Lots of recipes, books and gift ideas over there.

redleaves

wintry chocolatey fairy cakes – gluten free

wintcakes

Rich. Soft. Gorgeous. Simple.

Mix together: 2 (heaped) tablespoons of Doves Farm Gluten Free Self Raising flour, 2 (heaped) tablespoons of ground almonds, 2 (heaped) tablespoons of cocoa, a pinch of xanthan gum and a pinch of bicarb. Add 2 tablespoons (not heaped) of golden syrup  and the same of melted coconut oil. Use soya milk to mix (add until good thick batter is achieved, was about half a cup). Spoon into twelve cake cases. Bake at 200C/400F for about 10 minutes. Cool (instruction, not observation).

Fudgey topping: melt 70g of good quality dark chocolate with a teaspoon of golden syrup and a teaspoon of marg. Plop onto cooled cakes and decorate for the season.



paprika pumpkin soup

pumpkinsoup

This made a LOT of soup (serving at least 6), but quantity all depends on the size of the pumpkin.

Ingredients:
flesh of one pumpkin
3 red peppers
4 carrots
water and soya milk to cook up in (does not have to cover veg, will be too runny)
handful of cashew nuts
seasalt and paprika to taste

Peel and de-seed the pumpkin and chop into chunks. Place in a pan with chopped peppers, carrots and liquids. Bring to boil and simmer until veg is tender. Add salt and paprika – I used about a teaspoon for a big pan but you could go hotter. Blend up with the cashews, check for seasoning and serve with paprika sprinkle.


Be rewarded the Web's Premiere Rewards Site

moo free Easter egg

egg22

Open the box and it hits you: that exciting, sugary Easter Egg scent from childhood. I don’t know why chocolate should smell different when formed into an egg shape, but it does.  Dark chocolate eggs are of course gorgeous, but altogether more grown up. This is the one for children and those who don’t like high cocoa content chocolate. The moo free egg is sweet and mild and could easily be mistaken for a milk chocolate product.

It’s a good 100g size and the bunny, butterfly and flower packaging is a nice change from dark eggs which are usually aimed at very mature people…

Available from Amazon.co.uk and larger Waitrose stores. Moo Free Chocolates have full details of all stockists on their website

See Vegan Easter for our full updated listings.

Glazed Parsnips and Carrots with Pistachio

dinner

Everyone agreed that this side dish was the best 🙂

8 medium parsnips (you can of course use bigger/smaller and adjust quantities)
8 medium carrots
a little sunflower oil to rub
a couple of teaspoons of maple or golden syrup
a teaspoon of rough seasalt
a handful of natural pistachios (not salted or roasted)

Peel/scrape the vegetables and cut into quarters, once lengthways and once across the middle. Rub them with oil and place in roasting tin. Drizzle syrup. Sprinkle salt and pistachios. Roast in a hot oven for about half an hour.

For more festive recipes see our Vegan Christmas or Yule page

Solstice Chocolate Refrigerator Christmas Cake

the sun sets on the Solstice
the sun sets on the Solstice

1 square cake tin,  greased
2 100g bars of good chocolate
1 tablespoon of margarine
1 tablespoon of golden syrup
1 200g pack of bourbon biscuits (other biscuits will do), bashed up
and here’s the Christmassy part… a crumbled slice of  Christmas cake including bits of marzipan and icing
a handful of raisins

Method:
Melt 1 bar of  chocolate in a Bain Marie (bowl over pan of hot water) along with the marg and syrup. Once nice and smooth, stir in your other ingredients and press mixture into tin.  Melt the other bar and spread on top. We topped with sugar stars… chill in fridge until set and cut into squares.

It’s gorgeous… quite different with the Christmas cake but very, very good and dangerously moreish 🙂

image

See more festive recipes


Be rewarded the Web's Premiere Rewards Site