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


Potato Milk: the new #plantbased milk

potato milk from a humble potato

We love the humble potato, or tattie, here in Scotland. We eat mince with tatties. Haggis, neeps and tatties. Baked potatoes. Chips. We even put them in our sweet treats such as coconut macaroons. So when Scotty Brand, one of Scotland’s leading food producers, asked if we’d be interested in developing a potato milk recipe for them, we happily said yes.

Some Potato Facts

  • Potato milk is the most sustainable of the plant based milks.
  • Potatoes are a land efficient crop.
  • They use up to 56 times less water than other plant milk crops.
  • One medium potato gives you 30mg of Vitamin C, as much as a glass of tomato juice.
  • Scotland’s weather, climate and rich soil are perfect for growing potatoes.
  • Scotty Brand potatoes are all grown on a selection of farms across Scotland.
Potato Milk and Scotty Brand Potatoes

Potato Milk Recipe, makes 5 cups

You could, essentially, leave out the almonds/oats, dates/sweetener, vanilla and salt but they do improve the texture and taste considerably. However this option would be excellent for those on specific dietary regimes or with food intolerances.

Potato Milk Ingredients

  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 large potato, peeled and boiled. We used 3 Scotty Brand baby potatoes
  • 1 heaped tablespoon of ground almonds (makes it creamy) or a tablespoon of ground up porridge oats (also creamy, slightly less so).
  • dates. For a sweet milk use 3 medjool dates or 6 small dates. For unsweetened milk use 1 medjool or 2 small. Alternatively you could use agave nectar or sugar (a tablespoon for sweet, a teaspoon for unsweetened).
  • half a teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • a pinch of salt

Method

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Strain through a nut milk bag, or a sieve lined with cheesecloth or even a new nylon stocking (rinsed out first). Chill in the fridge. Like most plant milks, it’s best to shake or stir before use.

We tried it by itself, in cereal and in tea. All worked well, but, as is typical in this family, it was the next option that was the favourite!

Potato Milk Chocolate Shake

For a chocolate shake use 1 cup of potato milk per person with 1 banana each and 1 teaspoon of cocoa. Blend. Delicious…

Scotty Brand offers the finest seasonal produce including potatoes, Ayrshire new potatoes, seasonal berries, fresh soups, frozen chips and prepared vegetables.

Vegan Chocolate Nests with Mini Eggs

vegan chocolate nests

Vegan chocolate nests. Perfect for Easter. Perfect anytime really.

Vegan Chocolate Nest Ingredients (makes 12)

  • 5 Weetabix style cereal biscuits
  • 150g of dark chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon of golden syrup
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable margarine
  • mini eggs (we used Doisy & Dam ones, found in Asda). You could also use other sweets or make little eggs with marzipan.
  • paper cake cases

Method

Crumble the biscuits into a bowl and melt the chocolate, syrup and margarine together in a Bain Marie until well combined. Mix it all up. Divide the mixture between the cases and top with the eggs or sweets. Cool until set. Enjoy!

A chocolatey read to go with your vegan chocolate nests:

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 from the castle and her determined efforts to get back home. There’s love. There’s proper derring-dos on the high seas… And there’s chocolate!

Paperback and Kindle and on Kindle Unlimited:

Amazon UK
Amazon Worldwide
Waterstones
Author website

From the publisher’s press release: “Fiery and forthright, Elizabeth isn’t someone to be argued with. She knows her own mind, and isn’t afraid to speak it. Through her experiences, the reader sees her grow from a girl, into a woman with a powerful voice… a woman of her time, but very much of ours too.”

Also at the library.

Low FODMAP Sauces, vegan and gluten free

low fodmap sauces: Bolognese
Vegetable Bolognese

We were sent a wonderful selection of low FODMAP, vegan and gluten free sauces from Slightly Different Foods. None of us follow a low FODMAP diet so our finished creations do not necessarily fit that term, but the sauces, as they come, do. Above is a delicious vegetable pasta we made with the Smooth Bolognese sauce.

Here’s the products we were sent:

MAP sauces from Slightly Different Foods
Slightly Different Foods

These sauces are all fully flavoured and delicious. You do not miss the onion and garlic at all. The sweet and sour was a particular favourite:

sweet and sour low fodmap sauce
Sweet and Sour

And then we had a curry feast! We added chick peas to the Tikka Masala sauce, and cauliflower to the Tropical Curry which is mild and creamy. The Thai Red Curry, we stirred into some straight to wok style noodles. All these combinations were lovely. Sometimes when you try several curry sauces or blends from the same company you notice that they all taste pretty much the same, or at least similar to each other. This was not the case here at all. Each dish was utterly unique in flavour.

curry feast!
Curry, curry, curry….

We’re very impressed with these sauces and highly recommend them regardless of whether you’re following a low FODMAP plan or not. We used the Mexican Fajita sauce on some stir fry vegetables and it made them smokey and spicy. Again, this was really good. We intend doing something similar with the sweet chilli. Unless it gets used as a dipping sauce for spring rolls… decisions, decisions!

Visit Slightly Different Foods main site here and read the story of how they came into being here.

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Improve Your Insta Food Pics with a Bag!

Improve your Insta food pics: here's our noodles...
Noodles. Love this background!

We were sent The Instagram Bag, a bag choc full of amazing items designed to help you improve your Insta food pics, from The Paper Bag Co. They produce this and many other paper bags too.

The Instagram Bag

Included in the large zip-up bag are a 5 in 1 pop up reflector:

Imrove your Insta food pics with these reflectors from the Paper Bag Co.
Reflectors

8 postcards with tips from a professional photographer on aspects like composition and lighting:

Photographic tips

… and 4 wonderful backgrounds. We used the gold reflector to good effect in the top noodle bowl photo. It was a really dull day. One of the frequently occurring storms was ongoing and the reflector really helped light the food.

And here’s a chocolate smoothie on the white marble background:

You’ll see us using the backgrounds over on Instagram from now on. We love them, and highly recommend this bag as a great way to improve your Insta food pics!

Subscribe to our occasional mailing list here for new recipes, product reviews, books, photos and more.

Sassy Vegan Clothes and Snowdrops

Sometimes lighthearted, sometimes provocative, the range of vegan clothes from Vegan Outfitters is designed to help keep you smiling through meat-heavy family dinners, and maybe even start a discussion or two…

The small but perfectly formed company is on a mission to spread compassion, one tee at a time.

Get 5% off when you spend £50 with code VEGANFAMILY5

And down at the bottom of the garden: snowdrops! Spring will be here any day…

snowdrops and sassy vegan clothes

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.

Turmeric Macaroni Recipe, vegan, anti-inflammatory

turmeric macaroni

This turmeric macaroni is flavourful and nutritious, high in protein and also, thanks to the turmeric, has anti-inflammatory properties. It’s important to use a high quality turmeric: we like this one.

We used Tesco’s free from macaroni as it’s one of the nicest we’ve found. It does have a tendency to stick together in the pan so stir frequently for the first few minutes of cooking if using this one.

Turmeric Macaroni Ingredients

  • Pasta of your choice, cooked to pack instructions. The sauce is enough for 500g.
  • half a cup of quinoa grain
  • half a cup of cashew nuts
  • a medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 2 carrots, scraped and chopped
  • 7 cloves of garlic
  • 3 sticks of celery, chopped
  • 3 cardamon pods
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of cumin
  • and another heaped one of ground fenugreek
  • water to cover
  • salt if you like, but it really doesn’t need it

Method

While your pasta is cooking, place all the other ingredients in a medium saucepan and cover well with water. Bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer until the quinoa is cooked and sprouted and the vegetables are soft. Blend well until smooth then stir into the cooked, drained, pasta. Yum.

If you liked this recipe try some of our others here

Jerusalem artichokes or sunchokes, perfect with turmeric pasta!

Over on Frugal Living today: Frugal Living Basics and Jerusalem Artichokes


THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR features the 1597 Aberdeen witchcraft panic while FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE was inspired by the kidnapped children of Aberdeen.

The blend of dark events and romance in these stories is perfect for wintry nights in front of the fire!

Paperback & kindle: http://author.to/mermaid

Ailish Sinclair's novels

#vegan bread sauce – perfect for Christmas!

Vegan Bread Sauce

This vegan bread sauce is a beautiful accompaniment to Christmas dinner and easy to prepare (in advance too). Below is a wonderful recipe from Oatly, though we do have a dear friend who makes bread sauce by simply putting all the ingredients in an oven dish and cooking it in the oven with everything else, just giving it a stir now and again. Experimentation required!

Vegan Bread Sauce Ingredients (Makes approximately 1 litre)

  • 600ml Oatly Oat drink
  • 1 onion, halved & studded with approx 12 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 pepper corns
  • 150g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 50g vegetable margarine, optional

Method

  • Put the onion, bay leaf and peppercorns into a medium saucepan and pour in the Oatly oat drink. Bring the liquid up to just below boiling and take off the heat. Leave for 2 hours to allow the aromatic flavours to infuse the Oatly.
  • Remove the onion, bay & pepper and keep them to one side. Add the breadcrumbs, put the pan back on and cook gently over a low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the bread crumbs have swelled.
  • Season with salt and pepper and stir in the marg, if using. You can use this immediately or chill and reheat it. If you are going to keep it for any time, pop the onion and aromatics back in to continue adding flavour.

Recipe credit
This recipe was made using Oatly Oat drink – a great dairy free, healthy alternative to milk. For more delicious recipes and further information about the Oatly way of life, visit www.facebook.com/OatlyUK 

vegan roast

Looking for something easy to go with your vegan bread sauce? See all the ready made roast options at vegan supermarket GreenBay! They also sell a variety of gourmet vegan products that would be great for Christmas treats such as cheeses (including Camembert), steak and bacon etc.

vegan bread sauce and cheese

Don’t miss all the other festive recipes on Vegan Christmas or Yule!

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The Mermaid and the Bear

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…

Amazon UK

Amazon worldwide

Waterstones

Author website