a green book giveaway

eatgreen

We have a beautiful paperback copy of Lynne Rickard’s new book , I Do Not Eat the Colour Green to give away. A lovely title which encourages healthy eating for kids. See our review of it up here

To enter just comment on this post and tell us what your favourite green thing is. Interpret the word green in any way you like 🙂 We only have one copy so Charlotte will pick the entry that appeals most to her this time – the names will be removed before she judges so feel free to enter if we know you personally or if you’ve never set eyes on this blog before – it won’t affect your chances 😀

Competition now closed: Congratulations to Wendy 😀

Vegetarian Christmas

Vegetarian Christmas

Rose Elliot’s Vegetarian Christmas is an older book, now out of print, but I don’t think anything has come along to best it as a veggie festive title (do comment if you know otherwise!). I got the hardback out of the library something like 18/19 years ago and it impacted me. The gorgeousness of Christmas food, the hints on preparing and freezing taking the hard work away from the day itself, the photos all through it. In fact looking through the pristine copy I now own (thank you Amazon marketplace, used condition, 1 pence!) I see obvious influences there for some of the recipes on our Yule page from puff pastry mushroom trees:

a peek into Vegetarian Christmas

to little Santa pizzas:

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and parsley potato stars:

potato stars from Vegetarian Christmas

There are five complete Christmas dinner menus in Vegetarian Christmas, sections on preparation, party food, puddings and cakes, lighter festive lunches and so many cute sides. There’s also a craft bit about making your own gifts. As with all Rose Elliot books there are vegan adjustments added in where appropriate.

Amazon links: Buy UK or Buy US

Whooper swans flew over as I was taking the photographs:

swans

THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR (a historical novel by Lucy, written under her pen name), has six whole chapters of medieval Christmas, romance, witches, and a Scottish castle and stone circle… 

On Amazon and Waterstones or visit Author website

the mermaid and the bear

Millennium

I love it when I have a book that I’m enjoying so much I resent all other activities that take me away from it .  Things like housework, cooking, sleeping… ugh… website work, long walks and lovely trips out with friends are still good 🙂 I did/do/will manipulate any conversation to a discussion about the books in question and the author though 😀

Halfway through the second title in the Millennium trilogy with the aspergian character Lisbeth Salander. Long term readers of the blog will know that I do like writers who are saying stuff that needs to be said. Exposing the rot in the hope of helping clear it away. Here we have institutional abuse, sadistic bullying, violence against women and children and the compliance and ignorance of those around the situations against a very thrilling murder plot with corruption and political comment aplenty. Wonderfully recognised individuals. So exciting, I have to go…

Wiki on author Stieg Larsson

Scotch Broth

broth

Autumn. Cold winds. Rain. Hail. Even a few moments of snow yesterday between bursts of hot sunshine. Walking on the South side of the hill in the woods it is suddenly no longer autumn but the end of summer. Off with jackets, faces to the sun then round the corner into the North and winter, now walking against horizontal hailstones. It is confusing… we need soup 🙂

Method: soak a cup of broth mix overnight, then cook up for an hour or so before adding chopped potato, carrot and onion. Cook until veg is tender, add some kale or other leafy greens and either a teaspoon of Vecon Concentrated Vegetable Stock or a few sloshes of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (like soy sauce but with less salt and all the protein).  Simmer a few minutes longer then dish up and garnish with parsley or chervil. Be warm.

The Mermaid and the Bear

Set in a fictional castle in Aberdeenshire, Ailish Sinclair’s debut novel, THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR, blends an often overlooked period of history, the Scottish witchcraft accusations, in particular the 1597 Aberdeen witchcraft panic, with a love story.

Amazon

Waterstones

Author website

Tomato, lentil and vegetable soup

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Ingredients:
1 cup of red lentils, rinsed
1 tin of plum tomatoes
1 onion, choppped
2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
1 sweet potato (or carrot) diced
2 sticks of celery, chopped
a handful of pasta
10 fresh sage leaves (or 1/2 a teaspoon of dried)
1 teaspoon of Vecon Stock or other stock of choice
handful of greens, chopped (we used kale)
black pepper
salt to taste

Place the lentils in a large pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and turn down to simmer. Prepare the vegetables and add to the pan with the tomatoes, pasta, stock and herbs – add more water if you need, if too thick. Cook at a low simmer until veg and pasta are tender, (probably about 20 minutes). Add the greens for the last couple of minutes of cooking time and season to taste.

a blackcurrant smoothie

blackcurrant smoothie

Very blackcurranty and lovely, makes a big jug (about 3 and a half pints, good for 4 people, quantities very adjustable):

lots of blackcurrants, about a quarter blender jugful

lots of borage flowers (optional)

huge bunch of parsley

a handful of brazil nuts

1 banana

1 avocado

1 apple

1 litre of orange juice

Blitz it all in a blender…

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More blender recipes here

fox in the snow

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cheap

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a frugal recipe again, basic pasties 🙂

and always bargains to be had from the book people

Scottish macaroons

If you’re looking for a Scottish dish to make for Burns night other than haggis*, these are very good – nothing like the English item of the same name and containing the somewhat surprising ingredient of potato (undetectable, is lovely fondant).

Basically you boil a small peeled potato, mash it and mix in as much icing sugar as it can take, which will be a lot. Roll out the fondant, cut into rectangles and leave to dry out for a few hours. Coat in melted chocolate, dip in dessicated coconut, toasted or not, and let set. There is a more detailed write up by Cat over on Modern Housewife

*note: do not serve the macaroons with neeps and tatties 😉

Scottish coconut macaroons

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?

GreenBay 100% vegan supermarket