Our Latest Vegan Newsletter – favourite recipes

vegan newsletter: mint squares

Our latest vegan newsletter. We don’t usually post them here, but thought it might be nice for people to see what they’re like!

Vegan Newsletter

vegan newsletter: pallets

We’ve been building things with discarded pallets again! Above is our new corner seating unit, just awaiting facings. You can read more about our recent garden and polytunnel exploits here on Frugal Living and don’t miss the most popular post over there: the 25p meal

vegan newsletter: Lion's Mane mushrooms

There’s a new post about some of the vegan companies we’ve received goodies from recently up here. Above are medicinal Lion’s Mane Mushrooms served in a noodle bowl.

mint squares

Favourite and Seasonal Recipes
Redcurrant Jelly
Cream of Tomato Soup
The Best Nut Roast
Toad in the Hole
Chocolate Mint Squares

Star of Bethlehem: vegan newsletter

Over on Ailish Sinclair there’s been Crying While Writing, a Hanging Stone and news of a new book.

It’s pouring with rain today, but hopefully the sun will shine on us all again soon!

Davie, Lucy, Daniel and Charlotte
https://veganfamily.co.uk

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Vegan Companies: candles, cakes, mushrooms…

vegan companies: Tilly's Candle Shop

We’re giving some shout outs to the wonderful vegan companies that have sent us goodies and been featured on our Insta in recent weeks.

The Vegan Companies

Pictured above is a beautiful soy wax candle, no dyes, from Tilly’s Candle Shop.

Vegan Companies: Creative Nature

Then there’s the wonderful Creative Nature for gluten-free, nut-free, vegan cake mixes, bars and the Malteser-esque Gnawbles pictured. Use code VEGANFAMILYHOUSE10 at the checkout for a 10% discount.

Vegan Companies: Magic Tree Superfoods

Magic Tree Superfoods sent us medicinal Lion’s Mane Mushrooms. They were meaty and delicious and full of anti-inflammatory goodness. We cooked them with noodles and pak choi.

In the Garden

And it’s summer.

And it’s actually really warm here in Scotland.

So we sit out and drink juice (apple, red pepper and celery) by the lavender:

Apple, celery and red pepper juice

And enjoy our latest pallet project, a corner seating unit, just in need of facings:

See our post on upcycling pallets over on Frugal Living in the UK

Book of the moment

Food for Free is a great guide to Britain’s wild foods. Many superfoods are all around us for the taking. This small volume is a favourite of ours, detailing wild herbs, berries, greens sea vegetables and fungi.
Buy from Amazon.co.uk

Lucy’s Books

Historical novels by Ailish Sinclair

Set in an Aberdeenshire castle, THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR features the Scottish witchcraft accusations, a handsome Laird, an ancient stone circle and a love story.

FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE was inspired by the 18th century kidnapped children of Aberdeen and is set in both Scotland and Colonial Pennsylvania.

Paperbacks and kindle: Amazon UK or Amazon Worldwide

“Filled with excitement and suspense…” Historical Novel Society


Living in a Forest Garden

summer garden camping
Forest Gardening by Robert Hart

In Forest Gardening by Robert A de J Hart, the vegan author details his garden – a miniature forest filled with an abundance of things to eat. This is low maintenance gardening once established with trees, bushes and perennial plants which provide both shelter and food. Included are recommended plants for different regions of the world – this book is a huge resource of information and inspiration.
Amazon UK

It’s certainly inspired us over the years. We live among the trees and love to eat the garden!

Below are more pictures and recipes from the food forest.

Courgettes and lettuce growing all wild and mixed up together:

Courgettes and lettuce in the forest garden
tattie and broad bean soup
Tattie and broad bean soup, all from the garden

Daisies are edible, pictured on top of a wild garlic pesto.

We transplanted some wild garlic from the woods to a shady spot under trees in the garden and it’s thriving and spreading further every year.

wild garlic

A rabbit relaxes on the grass…

rabbit in the forest garden

We grow quite a few annuals too…

carrots from the forest garden

Apple and bramble (blackberry) juice from trees and bushes:

juice from the forest garden
berries from the forest garden

Fruit bushes there are aplenty. White chocolate mousse above, topped with redcurrants and raspberries. Chocolate cheesecake below with mint and currants.

Mint is a wonderful herb to spread and grow wild. Minted noodle soup is a simple summer favourite:

Homemade ketchup by the barbecue:

Blend up:
3 tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 small onion also roughly chopped
1 clove of garlic
2 teaspoons of sugar
2 heaped tablespoons of tomato puree
3 tablespoons of vinegar (apple cider best)
a little salt to taste
herbs make a very nice addition – to the pictured sauce we added a bunch of fresh dill. This variety grows huge.

Sage, lovage, thyme and oregano are all great perennials too, and nice and hardy for Scotland!

Don’t miss our latest post over on Frugal Living in the UK:

Sourdough Bread for Pennies

sourdough olive bread with rice and tomato soup

A courgette flower in the forest garden:

courgette flower in the forest garden

Ailish Sinclair's novels

Set in a castle, THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR features the Scottish witchcraft accusations and a love story.

FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE was inspired by the 18th century kidnapped children of Aberdeen.

Paperbacks and kindle:

Amazon UK

Amazon worldwide


Be rewarded the Web's Premiere Rewards Site

Burns Night: vegan haggis and Scottish recipes

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.

Vegan Haggis on Burns Night

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; a 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.

The perfect Burns Night pudding: Cranachan

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

Whatever you do, have an honest, sonsie time this Burns Night 😀

low sun

Experience a perfect Scottish escape with THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR! Exchange 21st century lockdowns for 16th century witchcraft accusations! Live in a castle, visit the stone circle and taste the Twelfth Night Cake…

Amazon UK

Amazon worldwide

Waterstones

Author website

See more recommendations for vegan books from us here.

Fireflies and Chocolate and Benjamin Lay

Benjamin Lay
Painting by William Williams (1750)/National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, via Art Resource, N.Y.

Fireflies and Chocolate, Lucy’s latest novel, written under the pen name of Ailish Sinclair, is out today. And this one features a real vegan from history: Benjamin Lay.

He’s not a main character but he shows up a few times in the story and his appearance is always profound and helpful to Elizabeth, the protagonist. Benjamin Lay lived from 1677-1759 and did not eat, wear or use anything that came from slavery, human or animal. He campaigned against the slave trade, particularly among his fellow Quakers, often in rather dramatic fashion as is shown in this quote from the book:

Mr Lay did stand out in the snow in his bare feet and stab a bible that was filled with some red juice to look like blood. He did this in front of the congregation as a message about slavery.

Fireflies and Chocolate by Ailish Sinclair

FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE was inspired by the 600 children and young people who were kidnapped from Aberdeen during the 1740s and sold into indentured servitude in the American Colonies. The story follows the adventures of Elizabeth Manteith and her determined efforts to get back home. There’s love. There’s derring-dos on the high seas… and there’s chocolate!

Available in paperback and on kindle.

Amazon: kindle and paperback

Waterstones 

Author Website

Fireflies and Chocolate

Vegan Christmas Recipes and Lucky Truffles

vegan christmas recipes

Vegan Christmas Recipes

We have built a large collection of vegan Christmas recipes over the years for you to see here. Soups. Starters. Mains. Sweet recipes. Some of our absolute favourites are the golden soup above, the best nut roast ever and chocolate Yule log cakes.

vegan christmas recipes: chocolate yule log

Advent

Don’t forget those half price advent calendars. Go see!

vegan advent calendar, half price

Lucky Truffles

Now to the lucky truffles. Winter Solstice 2018. Lucy made these:

vegan Christmas recipes: raw chocolate truffles

You can see the recipe here. They’re delicious and quite healthy. And lucky. Within an hour of making them a book publishing contract was received. Obviously it was the truffles. Not the years of researching and writing and polishing… So make these. You never know what will happen!

The book in question was THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR.

Aberdeen’s 1597 witchcraft panic (mermaid) and 18th century kidnappings (fireflies) combine with love and hope in Lucy’s traditionally published novels THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR & FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE. Christmas features in both books!

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide

Waterstones

See the Historical Novel Society review of Fireflies here and a post on the real vegan historical character contained within here.

The Mermaid and the Bear, the perfect read for Christmas!

A vegan Supermarket for those Christmas goodies!

The UK vegan supermarket GreenBay sell a variety of gourmet vegan products that would be great for Christmas treats such as roasts, chocolate, cheeses (including Camembert), steak and bacon etc.

Camembert for Vegan Christmas

And a lovely festive book…

vcre

‘Vegetarian Christmas’ by Rose Elliot. Not exclusively vegan but there is a plethora of vegan delights included and most of the lacto-ovo recipes are easily ‘veganisable’. Our favourite Christmas dinner of Chestnut and Red wine pate en croute is one of many included here along with lots of advice on taking the work out of Christmas catering. This book is full of ideas for lots of special touches which can be prepared early and frozen – a firm favourite. Now out of print but the hardcover is available cheaply from both UK and USA Amazons below and has lots of lovely photos throughout 🙂 We love this book so much we even wrote a blog post on it!
Buy UK 

Vegan Chilli and Cornbread, winter food

egan chilli and cornbread

This vegan chilli and cornbread was perfect on a stormy day when trees had blown down and power had gone out. It was warming and fortifying and super tasty! We made it with brown lentils, adjusting the simple chilli recipe here. The cornbread was made with a mix from Creative Nature – use code VEGANFAMILYHOUSE10 at the checkout for a 10% discount. It was soft and filling and lovely. Don’t forget their delectable little Gnawbles either… like a Malteser and a Munchie had a vegan baby, pictured below on the chocolate cake mix.

vegan chocolate cake mix from Creative Narure makes a wonderful cake!

Montezuma’s vegan Advent calendars are now half price! Go see them all here.

advent

Trees that survived the storm:

snowy trees on a day of vegan chilli and cornbread

Aberdeen’s 1597 witchcraft panic (mermaid) and 18th century kidnappings (fireflies) combine with love and hope in Lucy’s traditionally published novels THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR & FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE. Christmas features in both books !

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide

Waterstones

See the Historical Novel Society review here

books for christmas with vegan chilli and cornbread!

If you liked this vegan chilli and cornbread, check out our other recipes here and our Vegan Christmas section here, for lots of festive food like the nut roast below.

nut roast

Everything5Pounds sell unsold stock from top High st. brands, all detagged, and all £5. Some bargains to be had across clothing, footwear and homewares!

Vegan Meals Delivered and Big Breakfasts

vegan porridge with chocolate and blueberries

Vegan meals delivered? Yes, read on. But we have to show you our breakfasts first!

Breakfast at home (on our pallet table!) above and the Vegan Fry at Food Story in Aberdeen below:

vegan breakfast from Food Story

It’s great to eat a really good meal prepared by someone else sometimes, isn’t it? So now we come to those vegan meals for delivery! allplants deliver 100% vegan meals directly to your door.

The details: customers can select six dishes from their menu of amazing meals, sides, breakfasts, treats and smoothies such as:

vegan meals delivered from allplants!

CHOOSE YOUR DISHES

Build your box of six meals – there’s over 30 to choose from

VEGAN MEALS DELIVERED TO YOU

Flexible options throughout the week – whenever works

YOU’RE IN CONTROL

Change, pause or cancel your subscription anytime

See all our recipes here and don’t miss Vegan Christmas for lots of recipes and gift ideas!

Aberdeen’s 1597 witchcraft panic (mermaid) and 18th century kidnappings (fireflies) combine with love and hope in THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR & FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE. Christmas features in both books !

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide

Waterstones

See the Historical Novel Society review here

Vegan Udon Noodle Soup with Meatballs

vegan udon noodle soup with meatballs

This vegan udon noodle soup is spicy and richly flavoured and perfectly paired with plant-based meatballs. We used the Birds Eye ones that are made of pea protein but any would do. Alternatively pan fried tofu pieces work well.

Vegan Udon Noodle Soup Ingredients

  • three small packs of thick udon noodles, or one per person, straight to wok or dried
  • a tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • an onion, chopped into thin strips
  • 1 red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 green chilli, prepared likewise
  • a thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and minced or finely chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced or finely chopped
  • 1 courgette, cut into small strips
  • a bunch of fresh parsley, minced
  • a head of broccoli, broken into florets
  • water as needed
  • soy sauce to taste
  • salt if needed
  • vegan meatballs, prepared according to pack instructions (fry or bake)

Method

  • In a large saucepan, fry the onion, chillis, ginger and garlic in the oil for a few minutes
  • add the courgette and udon noodles and fry for a few more minutes
  • add the broccoli and parsley, stirring to coat in the oil
  • cover well with water and bring to the boil
  • once the broccoli and noodles are tender, add the soy sauce.
  • add salt if needed
  • plate up and top with the meatballs
vcre

‘Vegetarian Christmas’ by Rose Elliot. This title is not exclusively vegan but there is a plethora of vegan delights included and most of the lacto-ovo recipes are easily ‘veganisable’. Our favourite Christmas dinner of Chestnut and Red wine pate en croute is in here along with lots of advice on taking the work out of Christmas catering. This book is full of ideas for lots of special touches which can be prepared early and frozen. Now out of print but the hardcover is available cheaply from Amazon and has lots of lovely photos throughout 🙂 We love this book so much we even wrote a blog post on it!

GreenBay 100% vegan supermarket

A Very Simple Vegan Chilli Recipe

n chilli recipe
Soya mince based chilli 🌶 rice, tortilla chips, olive and jalapeño sourdough, courgette ribbons.

A very simple and very good vegan chilli recipe.

Method and Ingredients

  • Fry off some finely chopped onion and garlic and add a selection of roughly chopped – chunky – vegetables. We used: courgettes; red, green and yellow peppers and celery.  Mushrooms would be great too.
  • Add chilli of choice, either finely chopped fresh chillis, dried chilli or a chilli powder mix, or maybe a mixture of these.
  • Stir well.
  • Bung in a box of passata or chopped tomatoes and add a little water to the mix.
  • Bring to boil and turn down to simmer.
  • Once veg is tender add a tin or two of cooked red kidney beans and salt to taste.
  • Nice served with rice, a baked potato or quinoa or, if you’re feeling a bit trashy, chips.
  • Cucumber is a good cooling accompaniment. Other optional additions: a teaspoon of sugar stirred into the sauce really brings out the flavours in a different, sweet, way; a few squares of dark chocolate melted through it turn the dish into a darker, richer mole.
  • Pictured above is a soya mince based chilli, below a vegetable one.
vegan chilli recipe
Vegetable based chilli

Don’t eat  when you’ve been talked into watching a scary fast moving zombie film that will make you consume the hot chilli far too fast and overheat in a bad way.

Books

Unconnected, book related advice: reading Very British Problems: Making Life Awkward for Ourselves, One Rainy Day at a Time will stave off the depression caused by reading certain parts of the new Bridget Jones book.

And, books again: now is the time to get a copy of Rose Elliot’s Vegetarian Christmas for 1 pence or 1 cent. The price will inflate hugely through November and December and it’s a lovely collection of recipes. See our review here or visit Amazon in the UK

The Works is a fantastic sources of discounted books, often selling sets of books for the price you normally pay for one. The Works also has great deals on stationery, toys & games, and art & craft supplies.

The Works - Britain's Leading Discount Book Store

If you liked this vegan chilli recipe, be sure to check out our other vegan fare!

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