Festive recipe: Carrot, Coriander and Ginger Soup
Oh, and we’re on Instagram now!
There’s nothing quite like a vegan roast dinner, is there? Pictured above is a very delicious Mheat fillet from Sgaia’s Vegan Meats, stuffed with mushroom risotto and wrapped in puff pastry. Everybody loved it. Everybody wanted more. Served with baby broad beans, asparagus and a garlic and rosemary roast tomato, it made a very good meal and would be a good festive choice.
The fillet itself is really meaty, being made with wheat gluten, though less dense and solid than some seitan products we’ve tried, making it simple to stuff and wrap. Unlike tofu, mheat is flavoursome to begin with, savoury and salty. It’s also a good size, easily feeding four people. If you need a mushroom risotto recipe there’s one on the Yule page in the midst of Cat’s ‘Now that’s what I call a Christmas dinner’ mushroom parcel.
You can read more about the artisan made, small batch Mheat products on Sgaia’s website here
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THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR (a novel by Lucy, written under her pen name), has six whole chapters of medieval Christmas, making it the perfect festive gift! Also: romance, witches, and a Scottish castle…
We absolutely loved this gorgeous Facon Relish from Janda Food. It’s smokey. It’s bacon-y. It’s delicious in burgers, sandwiches and even as a condiment to dip crudities or chips in. It was sent to us by the equally wonderful Mettalife, an E-commerce Ethical and Vegan Marketplace and a fantastic place to do your festive shopping this year.
Janda Food make other lovely vegan things such as burger relish, mayo and salt caramel spread. See the range here at Mettalife where you can use code FAMILY10 to get a 10% discount on any purchases.
We paired the relished up burger with one of our favourite soups, rice and tomato (recipe here) and a gluten free bun. Yum.
But back to the ethical shopping! And onto the straws 🙂
These reusable bamboo straws from Panda Packaging come in a pack of 5 with a coconut fibre straw cleaner & cotton straw bag included and would make a great gift or stocking filler. See all the bamboo products here at Mettalife, some of which can be personalised, from bowls and combs to brushes and lunch boxes, and, again, don’t forget your 10% discount code FAMILY10!
We like how Instagram made the straw look like a painting.
Don’t miss our Vegan Christmas section for lots of recipes and more gift ideas.
There’s still a little autumn left in those woods…
These totally gorgeous spices were sent to us by Mettalife, an E-commerce Ethical and Vegan Marketplace, the perfect place to shop this Christmas and to support small business. The spices make up part of a Vegan Spices Recipe Gift Box from The Teaspoon Club. It comes complete with various recipes and all the spices and spice mixes needed to make them.
The Teaspoon Club’s ethically sourced spices are exceptionally high quality, the flavours that come through are rich and strong and far superior to the wee jars obtained in supermarkets. They also arrive in compostable packaging.
Mettalife have given us a code for you to use for purchases from their site. Just use FAMILY10 for a 10% discount.
The Butternut Squash Curry with Coconut recipe that came with the kit sounded absolutely delicious, but as we’re not the best recipe followers, we made our own inspired by it and will leave theirs to purchasers or receivers of the gift box 🙂 Here’s our Butternut Squash Curry, using the provided spice mix:
Method: pound the seeds up in a pestle and mortar if you have, otherwise skip this step. Fry the seeds, spices, onion, garlic, apple and pepper in the oil for a few minutes before adding the squash and the coconut milk. Bring to the boil and turn down to simmer until almost cooked (about 20 minutes). Add the peas for a further 10 minutes of cooking and salt to taste.
This was so delicious we’re really looking forward to using the Chilli Spice Mix next!
Ethical Christmas Shopping: not handing all over all your money to the likes of Jeff Bezos and Tesco 🙂 And supporting small businesses, many of which have suffered huge losses during this strange time on the planet.
We’re going to be showcasing a few really lovely vegan products from small businesses that would make good stocking fillers or gifts. These were sent to us by Mettalife, an E-commerce Ethical and Vegan Marketplace which is a veritable treasure trove of planet-friendly, animal-kind, healthy goodies.
First up is the utterly wonderful Botanical Whipped Body Butter – Perfectly Pure Apricot from Butterwhips. Formulated for sensitive skin, bump care and for babies from one month up, this arrived in our household at a most opportune time. One of us had just spent some time in hospital with various areas bandaged up. The skin under those bandages was in a sorry state and this stuff worked wonders on it. The fact that apricot kernel oil is anti-inflammatory was fortuitous too. Even the nurses, who happily applied the product when changing the dressings, commented on what a nice cream it was. We’ve ordered another large pot!
Mettalife have given us a code for you to use for purchases from their site. Just use FAMILY10 for a 10% discount.
Look at that purity. Only three ingredients. No perfume.
The next product was also great to come home and freshen up with after hospital. A luxurious, frothy, creamy soap from Zuzka Soap, completely cruelty-free and handmade in the UK, and blasting you with the gorgeous scent of honeysuckle.
It’s stunningly packaged too, with ribbons, making it perfect for under the ethical Christmas tree! See all the Bath and Beauty products available at Mettalife. Don’t forget code FAMILY10 for your 10% discount.
Next up on our Ethical Christmas Shopping tour will be some foodie ideas…
Till then, enjoy the last of the autumn sunshine!
And don’t miss our Vegan Christmas section for lots of recipes and more gift ideas.
Vegan cheese. There’s a lot of it out there these days, from the cheaper supermarket own brands, to old trusty steadfasts made by vegan companies like VBites and Scheese. But sometimes you need something a little bit different, a little bit special.
These were absolutely fabulous on Christmas Day, the cheeseboard being the star of the show. The Camembert was particularly impressive, being a truly pure product with only four ingredients, and so authentic and real tasting. You have to try it. You really really do 😀 Vegan cheese FTW!
Don’t miss our Vegan Christmas section for LOTS of recipe and gift ideas!
Ailish Sinclair‘s debut novel, THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR, set in a fictional castle in Aberdeenshire, and featuring the 1597 Aberdeen witchcraft panic, is out Autumn 2019. From Amazon UK or Amazon Worldwide or Waterstones
See Author website for more details.
Just launched at M&S, with the aim of getting people eating more plants, this range of pickles and kimchi from Vadasz Pickles and Ferments is absolutely delicious.
Our favourite were the fresh pickle with garlic and dill. They were magnificent in a sandwich which went thus: green lettuce from garden, layer of braised tofu, sprinkle of nori flakes, thick layer of pickle (pictured are the red onion, also great here), red lettuce from garden (or shop of course). Yum.
The kimchi is also lovely; we found it great as a component of a salad. From Vadasz: “Importantly, Vadasz Raw Kimchi is live culture, a result of the magical process of lactic acid fermentation, meaning it contains probiotics which are beneficial to the gut and are not found in many existing products that are preserved using vinegar. Similarly, Vadasz Red Onion Pickles, and Vadasz Garlic and Dill Pickles use a traditional cold brine process, keeping them unpasteurised and retaining their crunchiness and fresh flavour. Together, they offer anti-inflammatory and immune boosting properties, at a time when awareness is growing regarding the link between gut health and overall wellness.”
Try them. You won’t regret it 🙂
Meanwhile, Autumn is well and truly underway, in fact it may be almost over. Soup season is definitely upon us though: do explore our many many recipes…
A creepy and romantic read for October, Lucy’s novel THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR blends an often overlooked historical event, the 1597 Aberdeen witchcraft panic, with a love story. Available in paperback and kindle and free on Kindle Unlimited (Amazon offer a free trial of KU).
Squeaky Bean sent us some delicious, ready-to-eat, vegan products to try. And so we did! Above is a simple salad made of their Sweet Smokey BBQ chicken-style pieces, cucumber and yoghurt.
The Kick of Tikka style pieces were amazing in sandwiches with hummus and some lettuce from the garden. They were also great thrown into a curry. The ready-to-eat element of these products makes them so very easy to use. You can just eat them right out of the box (and some of that went on here; they are really tasty on their own). The chicken-style pieces pack quite a protein punch, coming in at over 20% protein.
There’s also a delicious vegan tortilla, which can be eaten hot or cold.
We had it cold on top of a savoury rice dish.
Squeaky Bean products are available widely in UK supermarkets. You can read more about the full product range on their website.
Meanwhile in the garden… there’s just enough summer left to make some more redcurrant and rosemary jelly!
Those are gorgeous vegan cakes and biscuits from local business Veg Oot. Do check them out if you’re in the UK, they’re amazing!
We hope you’re managing to spend some time in the sun, soaking up that Vitamin D, and doing/eating other wonderful things to boost your immune system.
Here, we’re reading Terry Tyler’s Wasteland and highly recommend it.
Look after yourselves. Stay safe. Stay well. Stay informed. Eat the odd cake 🙂
Lucy’s novel, written under her pen name of Ailish Sinclair is now free on Kindle Unlimited! Amazon do offer a free trial of KU. Also available in paperback.
Set in a fictional castle in Aberdeenshire, the book features the Aberdeen witchcraft panic of 1597 and a love story.
Autumn is well and truly underway. High winds. Flooding. Beautiful trees. Log fires. And lovely roast dinners. Above is a quarter marrow (peeled, deseeded) stuffed with the simplest of nut roasts made by blending/processing walnuts, almonds, sweet potato, celery, parsley, sage and some Vecon stock. Roast for about 45 minutes at 200c/400F. YUM.
Holly Bourne’s new YA novel, The Places I’ve Cried in Public is too important a title for us not to mention. It’s a book about abuse. It could help prevent abuse and even lessen the lasting negative impact on the targets of abusive behaviour.
We follow Amelie as she revisits the places she cried during her relationship with Reese, a relationship that she thought was loving. Through this story the author deftly points out many of the red flags that are hallmarks of abuse and which are often ignored or not noticed by young people (or people of any age). This can be because when you’ve grown up in an atmosphere of abuse and control, these behaviours seem normal, but it can also be because they are new and unknown, or because they are perpetuated as acceptable, as in one conversation we were party to recently where an abusive individual was described as merely having a ‘strong personality’. No. A world of big bad no.
Two of the strongest early indicators of whether you’re dealing with an abusive or narcissistic personality, in any relationship type, are that person’s reactions to both your failures and your successes. A toxic person will revel in your failures, your heartbreaks and, in fact, anything that goes wrong for you at all. They will patronise rather than empathise, and sometimes try to convince you that an event that was simply unfortunate was actually your failure.
And success? Well, you’re not allowed to have any. They will chip away at it, pointing out others who’ve had more success, or are ‘better than you’. You may actually learn never to speak of your own achievements, understanding that it makes this person feel bad. They will attempt, and quite possibly manage, to sabotage you too.
No. Walk away. Read this book!
That was all rather more serious than we usually do here now… so do have some cake. Morrison’s chocolate vegan cupcakes and Aldi’s Raspberry Tarts.
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