hummus or houmous and variations

hummus

Hummus is a traditional Middle-Eastern dish – can be used as a dip or a spread for sandwiches (fantastic combined with avocado in a sandwich). For a raw dish you can use sprouted chick peas in place of cooked ones.

Ingredients:
1 can (approx. 400g)of cooked chick peas (or you can soak overnight and cook 1 cup of dried chick peas)
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
1 – 2 cloves of fresh garlic
2 Tablespoons of tahini (sesame paste)
the juice of 1 lemon
a little water to blend
salt and pepper (optional)

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until fairly smooth – you may need to keep adding water bit by bit until you get the consistency you want. The 3 pictured are plain, one with soaked sun dried tomatoes added and one with lots of herbs from the garden (sage, dill, coriander, lemon thyme, mint and parsley). Made triple quantity of plain then divided into 3 and blended in the extra ingredients.

Olive hummus is great too, just add chopped black olives.

And for a scary looking sandwich: add a small, peeled raw beetroot before blending (carrot works too and is less scary). It gives the hummus a lovely, light, somewhat fruity flavour.

The Mermaid and the Bear
Set in the late sixteenth century, at the height of the Scottish witchcraft accusations, THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR is a story of triumph over evil, hope through adversity, faith in humankind and – above all – love.
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Author website

Vegan Smoothie: figgy, pink and sweet

vegan smoothie

The sweetest vegan smoothie of them all.

For one:

  • 3 bananas
  • 2 medjool dates
  • 1 fresh fig
  • a little coconut water to get the blender blades going.
  • Blend and enjoy…
  • Then walk on the beach.

See more blender recipes here

walk on the beach

FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE, inspired by the kidnapped children of Aberdeen, is out on April 1st, just in time for Easter weekend, in paperback and on kindle.

Amazon (kindle pre-order)

Waterstones (paperback pre-order)

Goodreads

Fireflies and Chocolate

Choc Hotlate and The Contented Vegan

Choc Hotlate

Gorgeous Choc Hotlate, a recipe for hot chocolate topped with ice cream, from the equally gorgeous book The Contented Vegan. What could be better on a snowy day?

The book is a satisfyingly chunky hardback with lots of beautiful full page colour photos that reminded me of when my son was a toddler and used to like to look at recipe books. He would point at each picture and say ‘Nums!’ Well, there’s lots to say ‘nums’ about in this book.

Written by a chef who has been vegan for over 30 years, the pages are bursting with great advice for people starting off on the vegan journey and those who’ve been on it a while.

vegan guide

I enjoyed the section on raising vegan children and it also brought back memories. The author advises trying to make the food to be eaten with other children as ‘normal’ as possible. I recall planning such a meal and getting my daughter to check that her friend liked spaghetti, thinking a nice Bolognese style sauce would go down well. Indeed, the initial report came back positive. But I will never forget the look of sheer horror on the child’s face when presented with a bowl of spaghetti and sauce.

‘What is this?’ she asked.

‘Spaghetti,’ said I.

‘But spaghetti comes in orange juice.’

Luckily I did have a tin at the back of a cupboard, so all was well!

The Contented Vegan

Recipe sections include breakfast, snacks, lunch, suppers, family dinners and feasts and celebrations. We’ll be trying the Winter Solstice Pie and the Fennel and Pepper Presto has caught the eye too. In fact I can tell it’s a book of nums that will be dipped into often over many years.

It’s snowing again, may have to make more Choc Hotlate!

a snowy path, time for more Choc Hotlate?

See our main books section here, also books for kids and the book tag of the blog.

red dragon pie #vegan #plantbased

red dragon pie

This Red Dragon Pie recipe originated in Sarah Brown’s Vegetarian Kitchen (BBC cookery series). Topped with mash, the base is a rich mix of aduki beans – said to give you the strength of the dragon, this is where the dish gets its name – and brown rice in gravy.

Here’s how we do it:

Soak beans overnight if using dried ones. For the mammoth pie above which did dinner and lunch next day for four, we used 250g of dried beans. Place in a  large pan, cover well with water, bring to the boil and let simmer for a long time… (should be instructions on the bag). Throw in the rice (200g) about half way through cooking. Add more water if needed. Once it’s all nearly cooked add the vegetables. In this pie there were four carrots and one head of celery, all chopped. Onion is good too.

As that cooks up a bit, add a teaspoon of mixed herbs, a good  squidge of tomato puree and a teaspoon of yeast extract. Taste and add salt if needed. Stir well. Top with mashed potatoes – especially easy if using cookware that does hob and oven like our favourite Le Creuset Cast Iron Round Casserole – and bake in a hot oven until nicely browned.

Enjoy your Red Dragon Pie!

red dragon pie

See all our recipes here

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…

The Mermaid and the Bear

Amazon

Waterstones

Author website

banana raisin teabread (gluten and sugar free)

banana raisin teabread

Teabread Ingredients:
250g of Doves Farm Gluten free Self Raising flour
1/4 teaspoon of xanthan gum (flour already contains some)
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
4 mashed bananas
2 generous tablespoons of coconut oil (melted)
300g of raisins
juice of one lemon
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
unsweetened soya milk to mix (quite a lot, flour is very absorbent)

Mix dry ingredients and then beat in the wet ones and fruit. Bake at 200C/400F for at least half an hour or until a skewer comes out clean.

Lovely with Booja Booja Vanilla ice cream or just with a bit of marg and a cup of tea.

Chocolate variation!! Add 50g of cocoa powder to the flour and liquidise 100g of pitted dates into some soya milk instead of raisins… delish 🙂

Enjoy this teabread after an icy loch-side walk… and see all our cake recipes here.

loch

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The Mermaid and the Bear

Escape to 1596 with THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR! Exchange lockdowns for witchcraft accusations! Live in a castle, visit the stone circle and taste the Twelfth Night Cake…

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Amazon worldwide

Waterstones

Author website

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; 1 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:

Scotch Broth
Balmoral Pie can be found on the main courses page (scroll down a bit). It’s a lovely dish of beans and sausages topped with mash.
Scottish Macaroons are a feast of sugar and potato.

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.

Two Vegan Books! One Novel!

Fat Gay Vegan: a vegan book

The first vegan book is Fat Gay Vegan: Eat, Drink and Live Like You Give a Sh!t by Sean O’Callaghan of the well known Fat Gay Vegan blog.

We LOVE this book. It’s political but it’s also deeply personal, containing many stories from the lives of Sean and other contributors. The book is about how to be vegan, but it’s more about how to be a better vegan, and really it’s about how to be a better person. And we can all work on that.

It’s refreshing to read a vegan book that tackles how minorities and traditionally oppressed voices are treated, even within the vegan community. We have experienced and witnessed shocking able-ism and racism in our 21 years as vegans, and yes, sadly, sometimes from vegans. It weakens the movement. It weakens the world. It needs to end.

And we can all check our privilege. We can all watch our language. Some in this house have, upon occasion, described various unfortunate things as ‘crazy’. Not good, Vegan Family House, not good.

So it’s a challenging book, a personally challenging book, but it’s in no way downbeat or depressing. Although forthright, it’s written with a compassionate sense of humour. It’s empowering. Why should we shut up and put up about our veganism to please or appease non-vegan friends and relatives? At the end of each chapter there are little refuelling stops with delicious and simple recipes and food suggestions. And in the final chapter Sean predicts a world that continues to become more vegan, and perhaps more importantly, more kind.

Here it is on Amazon (out tomorrow Jan 4th).

And now, for a practical guide from Veganuary!

How to Go Vegan: a great vegan book

For those who don’t know, Veganuary is a charity that encourages people to go vegan for January and the rest of the year. And this is their compelling guide. It’s so persuasive that apparently the proof-reader went vegan!

The book has sections on why you should be vegan, with warnings of graphic content that you can choose to read or not, and then being vegan at home, when out, visiting friends, answering questions, and everyday foods you maybe didn’t know were vegan. It’s a very good starting point for anyone who is thinking of going vegan and wondering how to go about it and how hard/easy it will be.

And here it is on Amazon.

Enjoy your vegan reading!

And… not a vegan book, but it’s by a vegan:

The Mermaid and the Bear, a novel by Ailish Sinclair

Escape to 1596 with THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR! Exchange lockdowns for 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.



Christmas Frazzle: when things get too hectic

salt and vinegar twists

We’ve reached that Christmas frazzle time when, regardless of how simple your planned festivities are, everything becomes really hectic. So: frazzle style crisps on a plate. It is a festive plate though. And people are happily gobbling up their Tesco salt and vinegar twists as happily as they gobbled down the fancier snacks 🙂 Moral of the crisps on a plate? Don’t try too hard, don’t tire yourself out: enjoy Christmas.

Take a little walk on the beach. Breathe. Eat some crisps.

sunrise over the dunes

Today’s recipe: Gluten Free Mini Chocolate Yule Logs

See all Christmas Dish posts

See all Christmas recipes

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

Escape Christmas 2020 with THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR! Exchange lockdowns for witchcraft accusations! Live in a castle, visit the stone circle and taste the Twelfth Night Cake…

Amazon UK

Amazon worldwide

Waterstones

Author website

Solstice Pudding Truffles! #vegan #plantbased #raw

raw chocolate truffles
raw chocolate truffles

Chocolate Truffles (rawish): Blend or food process up two handfuls of mixed nuts and 2 handfuls of raisins with a heaped teaspoon of cocoa. Roll the mix into little balls. We then put them in the freezer for ten minutes while we melted the white and dark chocolate in Bain Maries. This meant the chocolate set really quickly when  spooned onto the cold puddings rather than running everywhere.

So: spoon the melted chocolate over the top and decorate with pumpkin seeds and chopped dried cranberry. Yum!

The truffles are now nestled happily in the Christmas Dish 🙂

vegan truffles

Recipe for today: mini pizza bites

See all Christmas Dish posts

See all Christmas recipes

The Mermaid and the Bear, historical fiction set in Scotland

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

Be rewarded the Web's Premiere Rewards Site


Fabulous Vegan Fudge and Chocolate Raisins!

Fabulous vegan fudge and chocolate raisins!

From the Fabulous Freedom Factory comes this fabulous vegan fudge and these Chocolate Covered Raisins. Incredibly delicious.

Festive recipe: Carrot, Coriander and Ginger Soup

See all Christmas Dish posts.

See all Christmas recipes.

Oh, and we’re on Instagram now!