Fry off some finely chopped onion and garlic and add a selection of roughly chopped – chunky – vegetables. We used: courgettes; red, green and yellow peppers and celery. Mushrooms would be great too.
Add chilli of choice, either finely chopped fresh chillis, dried chilli or a chilli powder mix, or maybe a mixture of these.
Bung in a box of passata or chopped tomatoes and add a little water to the mix.
Bring to boil and turn down to simmer.
Once veg is tender add a tin or two of cooked red kidney beans and salt to taste.
Nice served with rice, a baked potato or quinoa or, if you’re feeling a bit trashy, chips.
Cucumber is a good cooling accompaniment. Other optional additions: a teaspoon of sugar stirred into the sauce really brings out the flavours in a different, sweet, way; a few squares of dark chocolate melted through it turn the dish into a darker, richer mole.
Pictured above is a soya mince based chilli, below a vegetable one.
Don’t eat when you’ve been talked into watching a scary fast moving zombie film that will make you consume the hot chilli far too fast and overheat in a bad way.
And, books again: now is the time to get a copy of Rose Elliot’s Vegetarian Christmas for 1 pence or 1 cent. The price will inflate hugely through November and December and it’s a lovely collection of recipes. See our review here or visit Amazon in the UK
The Works is a fantastic sources of discounted books, often selling sets of books for the price you normally pay for one. The Works also has great deals on stationery, toys & games, and art & craft supplies.
Halve the butternut squash and scoop out the seeds using a large spoon. Place the halves on a large baking sheet with flech side up. Drizzle over the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the squash is tender.
Heat a large pot over a medium high heat and add the oil. Add the onions, chilli, ginger and apple and cook gently until soft.
Using a large spoon, scoop out the flesh from the butternut squash and add it with the thyme to the pot.
Pour over the vegetable stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove from the heat and blend using a hand-blender to desired consistency.
Add the Oatly Organic Creamy Oat and squeeze over lemon. Let it simmer for another 10 minutes and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Serve with toasted pumpkin seeds. We didn’t have those but we did have homemade potato wedges which made up for it.
Recipe credit: this recipe was made with Oatly Creamy Oat – a great dairy free, healthy alternative to single cream. For more delicious recipes and further information about the Oatly way of life, visit facebook.com/oatlyab
Creamy Oat is also great with puddings such as apple pie, it comes out of the fridge with the consistency of double cream. Pie recipe over on frugal.org uk
This carrot and turmeric soup is rich and nutritious and golden, perfect for the start of Autumn! Turmeric is rich in iron and also anti-inflammatory. The olive oil and black pepper in the recipe are there to make the most of these properties.
Carrot Turmeric Soup Ingredients
1 thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled
4 or 5 small new potatoes, skins on, chopped small
5 large carrots or equivalent, scraped and chopped
about 1 teaspoon of black pepper, freshly ground if possible
1 tablespoon of olive oil
water to cover ingredients well
seasalt to taste
Place the ginger, potatoes, carrots and onion in a large pan and cover well with boiling water. Bring back to boil and add the cashew nuts and garlic. While the vegetables are cooking mix the turmeric in the olive oil with the black pepper and leave to stand.
Once the vegetables are tender, add salt to taste and place everything – veg, liquid, nuts, turmeric/oil mix – into a blender and blitz until smooth.
Pour into bowls and squeeze some lime juice over the top. Yum!
‘Vegetarian Christmas’ by Rose Elliot. Not exclusively vegan but there is a plethora of vegan delights included and most of the lacto-ovo recipes are easily ‘veganisable’. Our favourite Christmas dinner of Chestnut and Red wine pate en croute is one of many included here along with lots of advice on taking the work out of Christmas catering. This book is full of ideas for lots of special touches which can be prepared early and frozen – a firm favourite.
Now out of print but the hardcover is available cheaply from both UK and USA Amazons below and has lots of lovely photos throughout 🙂 We love this book so much we even wrote a blog post on it! Buy Amazon UK
1 batch of vegan chocolate ‘butter’ icing: Beat together half a cup/130g/4oz vegan margarine with 1 and a third cups/210g/7 oz sifted icing sugar and one tablespoon of cocoa (also sifted to avoid lumps). Beat in a few drops of natural vanilla extract.
1 tablespoon of icing sugar for dusting
1 festive cake board or large plate and decorations of your choice (fake flowers or berries, holly leaves, small baubles etc.)
Cut the corner off one end of the cake and turn it round to look like a branch (excuse rough drawing!) – arrange on the cake board or plate. Secure the branch with some of the icing.
With a knife smooth off the corners of the log to make it rounded. Cover the entire cake with the rest of the icing, then use a fork to make lines and knots like a log 🙂 Dust with icing sugar. Decorate to your hearts content.
Little Chocolate logs
1 chocolate cake prepared in a large square tin so it will not be too deep ( visit the chocolate page if you need a recipe for this)
A bar of dark vegan chocolate
icing sugar for dusting
glace cherries and crystallised angelica for decoration or children might prefer D&D chocolate beans or other sweets – in the picture weve used pecan nuts
Cut the cake into small rectangles ( 10 cm. X 4 cm. and 2 or 3 cm. deep). Cut thin pieces of marzipan and place on top of the cakes. Pour melted chocolate over the top of each log, decorate to your hearts content and then dust with the icing sugar (snow!).
The cake above was made with the cacao rich vegan cake mix from Creative Nature. The little round sweets are their Gnawbles which are basically vegan Maltesers!
The mix makes a gorgeous, sweet and luxurious cake – you just add oil and milk of your choice – and the Gnawbles are delightfully crunchy and delicious.
Creative Nature also make snack bars which are great too. See the whole range here. It includes many different types of vegan cake mix and numerous varieties of Gnawbles and bars. Particularly innovative is the Hazelnot flavour, containing no nuts.
Use code VEGANFAMILYHOUSE10 at the checkout for a 10% discount.
Everything is gluten free, vegan and nut free too.
Vegan moussaka. Rich and delicious and good for you!
The most basic of recipes: layer up four roasted aubergines (thinly sliced length-ways prior to rubbing with olive oil and roasting until soft, about 30 mins) with green lentil ragu (simple pasta sauce recipe here, just add two small diced sweet potatoes and a chopped red pepper to it along with cooked green lentils, either two tins or 250g dried then cooked) and top with a thick white sauce (recipe here, leave out the vegetables).
Our quantities served six, or three eating it cold for lunch the next day too, which was very very good.
FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE, inspired by the kidnapped children of Aberdeen, and featuring a historical vegan character (see post here), is out now. The story follows the adventures of Elizabeth Manteith and her determined efforts to get back home. There’s love. There’s derring-dos on the high seas… and there’s chocolate!
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 🙂
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:
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.
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.