Our vegan toad in the hole turned out soft and light and delicious and filling and tasty. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
Partly cook sausages in oven at 200C for about 10 minutes:
Batter made thus: mix 5 tablespoons of self raising flour with 3 tablespoons of gram (chick pea) flour, a pinch of salt and a pinch of bicarb. Beat in enough soya milk to make a creamy pouring batter. This quantity was to cover 12 sausages, adjust as needed. It would be far less ‘spongy’ if you used plain flour, but we like it like this 🙂
Pour over hot sausages:
Then it’s back in the oven for another 20-30 minutes until nice and solid:
Serve with gravy, roast potatoes and veg. Yum, yum, yum.
This roasted beetroot cream sauce is earthy and easy, and so delicious and vibrant in colour.
We roasted a bunch of beets the night before when the oven was on for another meal, and then popped them in the fridge until needed. We used beautiful stripey Chioggia beetroot from the garden but any beets will do.
Beetroot Cream Sauce
Pour the beets and roasting oil into a saucepan.
Add: 1 chopped onion, a few cloves of garlic, a small bunch of parsley and a little chopped celery.
Fry up for a few minutes until the veg is softened.
Pop into a blender with a small box of vegan cream and a little salt. We used Oatly.
Stir into pasta of your choice. It worked very well with spaghetti, coating a 500g packet perfectly.
Creating a Forest Garden: Forest gardening is a novel way of growing edible crops – with nature doing most of the work for you. A forest garden is modelled on young natural woodland, with a wide range of crops growing in different vertical layers. Unlike in a conventional garden, there is little need for digging, weeding or pest control. Buy UK
Active in many countries across the world, Olio is an app that you can download to your phone to share food in your local area. It does have a desktop version too. People share things that they can’t use up in time from their fridge, or cupboard items that they no longer want. Food Waste Heroes (which you can volunteer to be) collect yellow stickered or surplus food from businesses and then share it for free on the app.
couple of cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped
Jar of antipasto mushrooms, minus a tbsp mushrooms (make sure they are vegan), drain and reserve the oil.
big handful of chestnut mushrooms, sliced
a few dried mushrooms, soaked in hot water and then finely chopped
tsp dried oregano ( or fresh if you can)
fresh basil, sliced
1 cup defrosted vegemince or 1 cup rehydrated soya mince
remaining tbsp of mushrooms
enough sundried tomato puree to bind it together and some fresh basil
1 onion finely chopped,
1 cup oats
1/2 cup suet,
1 tsp mixed herbs and some salt and pepper.
Aprox. 500g./18oz of frozen, vegan puff pastry
Put some of the reserved mushroom oil in a pan and saute the onions and garlic until soft, add the rice and mix it all together. Add all the different mushrooms and the oregano if dried. Mix again and then gradually add the stock stirring constantly for that creamy risotto texture. More or less liquid may be needed. Add fresh herbs , mix and set aside.
Soya mince filling
In a blender mix together approx. 1 cup defrosted vegemince or 1 cup rehydrated soya mince, remaining tbsp of mushrooms, enough sundried tomato puree to bind it together and some fresh basil
Chop an onion finely and mix it with 1 cup oats to 1/2 cup suet,1 tsp mixed herbs and some salt and pepper. bind with a little water to form a sausage…be careful not to add too much water.
Have ready some defrosted vegan puff pastry rolled out into a rectangle.
Get the puff pastry and spread it lightly with sundried tomato paste and stick basil leaves on to this. Get the cooled mushroom risotto and spread it onto the pastry leaving room at all ends… you wont need all the risotto. On top of this place the soya mince filling and then place the stuffing sausage along the centre. Fold up the sides until they meet in the middle…hopefully!! If they are reluctant to stick down then brush with a little soya milk. Put on a baking tray. It is advisable, if possible, to raise the vegan mushroom parcel off the tray using a rack as I have found the bottom has a tendency to burn. You can now leave it until Christmas Day! To cook follow the temperature guide on the packet of puff pastry. Easy!
Vegan lentil loaf is not the most photogenic of dishes. Its brown whole-foody visage summons vegetarian magazines from the 1980s to mind, with their equally brown grainy photos.
But it’s delicious. And good for you. And pretty easy to make.
Ingredients, quantities serve six, adjust as required:
250g of green lentils (other types will work too)
2 carrots, diced
2 sticks of celery, diced
1 onion, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
a teaspoon of dried rosemary or sage
water for cooking
3 slices of wholemeal bread
a handful of porridge oats
salt and black pepper to taste (it really doesn’t need much salt)
sliced tomatoes for topping
Place the lentils in a large saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Turn down to simmer for about 15 minutes then add the carrots, celery, onion, bay leaf and herbs. Cook until the lentils and vegetables are all tender, adding more water to keep covered if needed. Once the veg and lentils are ready, discard any excess water. You want it wet but not swimming in liquid else the loaf will be soggy. Transfer half the mixture (including the bay leaf) to a blender and give a quick blitz. It does not need to be smooth. Tip it back into the pan with the rest of the mix. Crumble the bread into it. Add the oats. Season and stir thoroughly.
Place it all in a greased baking dish. Top with sliced tomatoes and bake in an oven pre-heated to 200C/400F for half an hour.
Great in a roast dinner, or paired with macaroni cheese, or as part of a lighter meal with a baked potato, this lentil loaf also slices really well when cold for sandwiches and salads.
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… See our whole review here
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‘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 from Amazon UK
There’s nothing quite like a vegan roast dinner, is there? Pictured above is a very delicious Mheat fillet from Sgaia’s Vegan Meats, stuffed with mushroom risotto and wrapped in puff pastry. Everybody loved it. Everybody wanted more. Served with baby broad beans, asparagus and a garlic and rosemary roast tomato, it made a very good meal and would be a good festive choice.
The fillet itself is really meaty, being made with wheat gluten, though less dense and solid than some seitan products we’ve tried, making it simple to stuff and wrap. Unlike tofu, mheat is flavoursome to begin with, savoury and salty. It’s also a good size, easily feeding four people. If you need a mushroom risotto recipe there’s one on the Yule page in the midst of Cat’s ‘Now that’s what I call a Christmas dinner’ mushroom parcel.