Category Archives: woods

Enjoying…

the near witch

We are enjoying the gentle magic and mystery of The Near Witch. And hot chocolate. And the spring sunshine.

woodland bowl of pizza

Then there’s beautiful bowls and easy meals. Goodfella’s have a new vegan pizza:

spicy vegan pizza

But, our best place to be? Or one of them ūüôā The wild and wonderful woods…

Truffles and Trees

vegan truffles

These are from a Tesco Finest Free From Salted Caramel Easter Egg, which is a bit of a mouthful, but a delicious one! A bit of a jump too,  from what was available in supermarkets last year, with those white chocolate truffles.

Despite what the blog might suggest, we haven’t just been living on Easter chocolate and trying to claim it as ‘seasonal eating’. Soup is such a staple just now as we come to the end of winter. See our page of soups here.

vegan cream of tomato soup (no soya)

Winter is ending. We are convinced of it. Sunsets are later, and sunrises, like the one through the trees below, are earlier and earlier!

woodland sunrise


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Christmas Donut, Winter Trees

From the Co-op ūüôā

We’re¬†eating lots of carrot soup¬†and reading The Telling.

And enjoying the beautiful low winter sun as it lights the trees…



Summer?

It’s summer! Well, summery… sometimes. Along with the start of barefoot beach walks this means The Last Bus Canteen (totally vegan caf√© near New Pitsligo, Aberdeenshire) is open again at weekends:

Also of interest to local people: The Davron Hotel in Rosehearty has a new extensive vegan menu which boasts starters, mains and various puddings.

Book-wise we’ve been enjoying:

Philippa Gregory’s The Taming of the Queen and Deliciously Ella with Friends,¬†a¬†plant¬†based¬†cook¬†book¬†with¬†lots¬†of¬†full¬†colour¬†photos.

And rainbows, we’ve been enjoying rainbows…

frozen day, frozen pizza

Goodfella's Vegan Pizza

Yes. Frozen vegan pizza from GoodFella’s. It’ll be on supermarket shelves in April, retailing at ¬£2.50, Vegan Society trademarked, and we can verify that it is delicious!

It was perfect on a day like this, when there had been some trudging through snowdrifts.

snowdrifts

Then the courier made it through with our pizzas!

Vegan Pizza!

The crumbled falafel topping makes the pizza dense and satisfying and goes so well with the spinach, always a sturdy inclusion to Italian food. The hummus drizzle is garlic-y and cheese-y and perfect too.

pizza slices

We paired it with leek and potato soup, and with each pizza serving two, that made a big and filling meal.

This will be a great dish to have on standby in the freezer for busy (or lazy!) days.

Okay snow, we’re ready for you again!

snowy path


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ice cream and doughnuts

Three¬†exciting new vegan ice cream flavours from Ben and Jerry’s, though not cheap at ¬£5.50 per tub (Tesco), so¬†they’re being kept for Christmas!

Also new on the pudding/cake front from supermarkets are Morrison’s Salted Caramel Donuts, confirmed as suitable for vegans, and, in direct contrast to the above ice cream, only 50p per pack ūüôā

Current view:



Eating, Reading, Looking

Eating:¬†a simple trifle made of bananas in vegan jelly, topped with thick custard and this rather nice provamel cream¬†(we were lucky enough to find a few of these cheaply¬†on Approved Food recently). There’s a more detailed trifle recipe on the¬† Vegan Christmas¬†page.

Reading: Manda Scott’s Boudica series.

Looking at: wintry sunsets.


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blue skies, purple smoothie

clouds

Wonderful skies just now. Especially on the coldest of days. Wonderful smoothies too, made possible by the wonder of frozen fruit. The combination of pecan nuts and tart purple berries such as brambles (blackberries) or blackcurrants creates a delicious and rich sweetness reminiscent of the best brown sugar.

bright skies

Recipe:
(For four people, big servings, adjust as needed)
1 bag of frozen blackberries or blackcurrants
4 bananas
1 cup of pecan nuts
orange juice to cover in blender (probably about 1 litre)
If you like a thicker smoothie add an avocado or some linseeds.
Blend! Enjoy the brown sugary wonder! Go for a walk among the trees!

trees

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Snow, Soup and Books

snow

It’s bright. It’s snowy. It’s cold.

So… soup. And maybe Easter eggs.

And definitely books! Recent reads here include:

Room by Emma Donoghue. You’re best going into this knowing only that a five year old boy and his mother live in a¬† tiny room and that the child, the voice of the novel,¬†has never left it. So intriguing.¬†Scary and thought provoking too.
Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

The Bones of You by Debbie Howells is a chilling and gripping murder mystery and a good exploration of narcissism.
Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

And if you need to laugh after those, The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion should have you doing that from the opening pages as obviously autistic Don Tillman sets out to solve ‘the wife problem’.
Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

snowdrops



Oh, Sweet Freedom!

chocolate syrups

Porridge on a cold day with Sweet Freedom‘s Choc Shot and natural sweetness syrup.

These products are a great alternative to refined sugar, the sweetness being sourced from fruit and carob. And they’re delicious! The chocolate porridge is creamy and rich, perfect for a day that ended up like this:

snow in spring

The chocolate orange syrup makes a wonderfully warming hot chocolate; it’s¬†slightly spicy, reminiscent of Maya Gold chocolate, and maybe needless to say, but they’re all good on ice cream…

vegan ice cream

We adjusted our Banana Muffin recipe and it worked out very well.
Ingredients:
200g./7 oz/1 and a half cups of self raising flour
1 large tablespoon of Sweet Freedom syrup
3 fl oz/100ml of orange juice
3 fl.oz/100ml of sunflower oil
2 mashed bananas (over ripe is best)
some soya milk as required
vanilla essence
dash of vinegar

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix the wet ingredients ‚Äď but not the vinegar ‚Äď in a jug or bowl. Mix the two together and then stir in enough soya milk to make a smooth mixture and add the bananas, Finally add the dash of vinegar to get that lovely chemical reaction and mix well. This should make enough to fill 12 cake cases. It‚Äôs a good idea to put them in a muffin or patty tin to help them keep their shape but not totally essential. Bake for 10 ‚Äď 15 minutes at 190 degrees and then cool.

choc shotsSweet Freedom and Choc Shots are available from many supermarkets such as Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Co-op and Ocado. Also from Amazon here.