cream of tomato soup #vegan

vegan cream of tomato soup

Ingredients for the cream of tomato soup:
2 tins of plum tomatoes
about a cup of water (rinse out tins with it)
1 onion
5 cloves of garlic
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 or 2 handfuls of cashew nuts
a few fresh sage leaves
seasalt to taste

Place the tomatoes and water in a pan and bring to the boil, adding the onion, sweet potato, sage and garlic as it heats. Once it boils, turn down to a simmer for 10-15 minutes, until potatoes are soft. Place soup in a blender and add the cashew nuts. Blend and taste for seasoning, add salt as desired.

If your blender is not very strong, try soaking the cashews in water overnight to soften them before using.

We had the cream of tomato soup with a cheese and onion pasty made in a similar manner to the basic pasties on frugal but using Kamut flour in the pastry and filled with chopped red onion, cubed potatoes and vegan cheese all cooked in a little soya milk first, also very good 🙂

vegan cheese and onion pasty

See all our soup recipes here

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Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake:

Ingredients:
300g Doves Farm Gluten Free Self Raising Flour
100g. caster sugar
100g of cocoa
2 large heaped tablespoons of coconut oil (it’s solid in this country)
1 small courgette or half a large one (yes you did read that right, it’s not a mix up with a pasta sauce recipe!)
2 tablespoons of golden linseeds
soya milk, rice milk or water to mix
a teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 tablespoons of golden syrup
100g walnuts (optional)
dash of vinegar

Mix your dry ingredients together. Melt your coconut oil (if in a cold climate!). In a blender combine the courgette and linseeds with a bit of soya milk until fairly smooth (doesn’t matter if some small lumps). Combine the coconut oil, linseed/courgette goop, golden syrup and vanilla and beat until nice and smooth adding as much soya/ricemilk or water as you need for a good batter. Add walnuts if using and finally a dash of vinegar, well mixed in, before going in the oven at 200C/400F for about half an hour or until a skewer comes out clean. Pictured cake is iced with chocolate fudge icing and decorated with whizzers chocolate beans.

Chocolate Fudge Icing or soft chocolate fudge:

Vegan smarties to go on gluten free chocolate cake

Ingredients:
A 100g. bar of chocolate of your choice
1 tablespoon of vegan margarine
a tablespoon of icing sugar
1 teaspoon of golden syrup
optional additions for fudge: chopped nuts, raisins, mint, vanilla or almond essence, crumbled biscuit pieces

Melt everything together slowly in a small saucepan. For icing: leave to cool, stirring occasionally. Once it reaches a good spreading consistency, ice the cake and leave to set completely. Vegan chocolate beans are go again – from health food shops or here on Amazon

For Fudge: Add your nuts etc. if using and pour melted mixture into a dish that leaves it at least 1cm. thick. Set in fridge and then cut into squares.

See our other cake recipes here.

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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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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

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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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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…

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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

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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…

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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

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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…

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Eating Vegan Trifle, Reading and Sunsets

vegan trifle

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.

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

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…

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Waterstones

Author website

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A Festive Soup: Carrot, Coriander and Ginger

A festive soup, colourful and delicious

This festive soup is such a bright and flavourful recipe, it would make a good addition to any Christmas meal!

Ingredients (for four):
a little olive oil
8 carrots, scraped and chopped
1 large onion, chopped
a stick of celery, chopped
1 small potato, diced small
2 inch square of fresh ginger, peeled and cut up
1 tablespoon of dried coriander (you could use fresh but it will make the soup go a bit green/brown in colour)
6 or 7 cloves of garlic, crushed or sliced (or even thrown in whole)
a handful of cashew nuts
water as needed
seasalt to taste

In a large pan, fry off the onion, carrot and celery until softened. Add the potato, ginger, coriander, garlic and nuts and cover with water. Bring to the boil and turn down to a simmer for about 20 minutes or until all vegetables are tender. Add salt to taste and then blend it all up! Delicious 🙂

If you liked this festive soup recipe, see all our Christmas and Yule fare here.

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