Tag Archives: festive

Chestnut Roast for Christmas or Thanksgiving

chestnut roast, vegan and gluten free

A very nice chestnut roast, the sweet spiciness of the nuts making it quite different in flavour to our cashew and walnut ones. Serves four generously.

Fry off 2 large red onions and 4 sticks of celery, both roughly chopped. Add in seven cloves (or less, up to you) of finely chopped garlic and a good bunch of fresh rosemary, scissored in.

Once the above has softened add a jar or tin of chestnut puree and stir until dissolved. Add a little water (about half a cupful) before mixing in a cup of Orgran Rice Crumbs (or other bread crumbs) and a couple of tablespoonfuls of gluten-free flour. Salt to taste.

Place in an oiled loaf tin and bake at 200C for at least half an hour or until firm. Yum. Slices well cold the next day for chestnut roast sandwiches or salads too.

For more roast recipes, see Vegan Christmas or Yule

The tree picture is dark and creepy today, but still brighter than the weather.

dark and creepy trees by a loch
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Lentil Walnut Roast – gluten free

lentil walnut roast

This lentil walnut roast is delicious, nutrient dense and slices very well cold the next day for sandwiches too. Quantities are for a large loaf serving four generous roast dinner portions with leftovers:

Ingredients:

a cupful of lentils. For some reason organic ones cook much faster and just seem generally nicer. Buying the 3kg bags makes them cost about the same as the harder darker orange supermarket ones.
4 sticks of celery, finely diced
1 red and 1 green pepper, also diced
a 200g bag of walnuts, blitzed in blender or food processor
half a pack of Orgran Rice Crumbs (so 150g)
a tablespoon of fresh chopped herbs, I used rosemary and sage
2 tablespoons of gluten-free flour
small handful of sunflower seeds and some for sprinkling on top
seasalt to taste

Method:

Place lentils in a pan, cover with water and bring to boil. Turn down to a simmer and add the vegetables until everything is cooked. Mix in the walnuts and crumbs, add more water if the mixture is too stiff but you don’t want it runny at all. Add the  herbs, flour, seeds and salt and mix well. Press the mixture into a greased loaf tin, sprinkle more seeds on top and bake in the oven at 200C/400F for about an hour.

For more roast recipes, see Vegan Christmas or Yule

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…

Amazon UK

Amazon worldwide

Waterstones

Author website

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A Mheaty Vegan Roast!

vegan roast dinner

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.

vegan roast en croute

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.

You can read more about the artisan made, small batch Mheat products on Sgaia’s website here

roast dinner

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The Mermaid and the Bear

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

Vegan Advent 2020: toys, traditional and chocolate

Chrismas nuts

The shops are full of vegan festive products now, including Vegan Advent Calendars. Long gone are the days when we excitedly told other vegans about the one and only dairy free calendar that you got by ordering online and paying twice what the dairy ones cost… and it always arrived with all the chocolate having fallen out 😀

There are still some that are worthy of a wee mention here though…

playmobil dragon

Playmobil do a lovely range of toy calendars with great scenes to build up day by day from traditional Nativity to dragons, unicorns, pirates and Santa’s workshop. We loved these when the kids were, well, kids, and frankly wish we still had an excuse to buy them.

Then there’s this White Chocolate Moo Free Vegan Advent Calendar available from Ethical Superstore (see all the Vegan Festive Food at Ethical Superstore here). This calendar and others are also online at GreenBay Vegan Supermarket here.

White Chocolate Vegan Advent Calendar from Moo Free

Lego also have a nice selection, some sweet and Christmassy, others less so!

Lego Star Wars Advent

You can also go traditional with little pictures or fill your own own reusable calendar with pockets!

Traditional Advent Calendar with pictures

The picture below is of mini gluten free chocolate logs, recipe here

gluten free mini chocolate logs
chocolated
nutroast

Don’t miss our main Christmas section with lots of recipes and gift ideas here

#vegan bread sauce – perfect for Christmas!

Oatly Bread Sauce

This vegan bread sauce is a beautiful accompaniment to Christmas dinner and easy to prepare (in advance too). Below is a wonderful recipe from Oatly, though we do have a dear friend who makes bread sauce by simply putting all the ingredients in an oven dish and cooking it in the oven with everything else, just giving it a stir now and again. Experimentation required!

Oatly Bread sauce (Makes approximately 1 litre)
Ingredients:
600ml Oatly Oat drink
1 onion, halved & studded with approx 12 cloves
1 bay leaf
5 pepper corns
150g fresh white breadcrumbs
50g vegetable margarine, optional

Method
1. Put the onion, bay leaf and peppercorns into a medium saucepan and pour in the Oatly oat drink. Bring the liquid up to just below boiling and take off the heat. Leave for 2 hours to allow the aromatic flavours to infuse the Oatly.
2. Remove the onion, bay & pepper and keep them to one side. Add the breadcrumbs, put the pan back on and cook gently over a low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the bread crumbs have swelled.
3. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the marg, if using. You can use this immediately or chill and reheat it. If you are going to keep it for any time, pop the onion and aromatics back in to continue adding flavour.

Recipe credit
This recipe was made using Oatly Oat drink – a great dairy free, healthy alternative to milk. For more delicious recipes and further information about the Oatly way of life, visit www.facebook.com/OatlyUK 

Looking for something easy to go with your vegan bread sauce? See all the options at vegan supermarket GreenBay!

GreenBay also sell a variety of gourmet vegan products that would be great for Christmas treats such as cheeses (including Camembert), steak and bacon etc.

And don’t miss all the other festive recipes on Vegan Christmas or Yule!

Sign up to our occasional mailing list to be sent new recipes as we put them up!

The Mermaid and the BearTHE 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

 

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Ethical Christmas Shopping: relish and straws!

Facon Relish from Janda Food and a burger!

We absolutely loved this gorgeous Facon Relish from Janda Food. It’s smokey. It’s bacon-y. It’s delicious in burgers, sandwiches and even as a condiment to dip crudities or chips in. It was sent to us by the equally wonderful Mettalife, an E-commerce Ethical and Vegan Marketplace and a fantastic place to do your festive shopping this year.

Janda Food make other lovely vegan things such as burger relish, mayo and salt caramel spread. See the range here at Mettalife where you can use code FAMILY10 to get a 10% discount on any purchases.

tomato rice soup, vegan

We paired the relished up burger with one of our favourite soups, rice and tomato (recipe here) and a gluten free bun. Yum.

gluten free bun

But back to the ethical shopping! And onto the straws 🙂

These reusable bamboo straws from Panda Packaging come in a pack of 5 with a coconut fibre straw cleaner & cotton straw bag included and would make a great gift or stocking filler. See all the bamboo products here at Mettalife, some of which can be personalised, from bowls and combs to brushes and lunch boxes, and, again, don’t forget your 10% discount code FAMILY10!

We like how Instagram made the straw look like a painting.

reusable bamboo straw

Don’t miss our Vegan Christmas section for lots of recipes and more gift ideas.

starry starry plate

There’s still a little autumn left in those woods…

autumn woods in Scotland

Nessie in the Noodles

Nessie in the noodles

Noodles are cheapo ramen (3 packets), beloved of students the world over, flavouring sachet discarded and replaced with: teaspoon turmeric, teaspoon cumin, teaspoon Vecon stock. Add chopped kale, a tin of cannelloni beans and a chopped red onion and simmer in plenty water for a few minutes. Serve with dash of soy sauce, a little sesame oil and chopped fresh parsley.

Works well with rice noodles too.

Nessie is part of the Nessie Family of kitchen toys utensils 😀

The Nessie Family kitchen utensil set

See all our recipes here and our Vegan Christmas section here.

Loch Ness
A wee boat on Loch Ness


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Ethical Christmas Shopping: spices and recipes

spices from The Teaspoon Club

These totally gorgeous spices were sent to us by Mettalife, an E-commerce Ethical and Vegan Marketplace, the perfect place to shop this Christmas and to support small business. The spices make up part of a Vegan Spices Recipe Gift Box from The Teaspoon Club. It comes complete with various recipes and all the spices and spice mixes needed to make them.

The Teaspoon Club’s ethically sourced spices are exceptionally high quality, the flavours that come through are rich and strong and far superior to the wee jars obtained in supermarkets. They also arrive in compostable packaging.

Vegan Recipes Spice Gift Box

Mettalife have given us a code for you to use for purchases from their site. Just use FAMILY10 for a 10% discount.

The Butternut Squash Curry with Coconut recipe that came with the kit sounded absolutely delicious, but as we’re not the best recipe followers, we made our own inspired by it and will leave theirs to purchasers or receivers of the gift box 🙂 Here’s our Butternut Squash Curry, using the provided spice mix:

Ingredients:

  • Coconut oil, 1 tablespoon
  • spice mix of coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and yellow mustard seeds, 1 tablespoon
  • nigella seeds, 1 teaspoon
  • ground cumin, 1 teaspoon
  • ground turmeric, 1 teaspoon
  • ground fenugreek, 1 teaspoon
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored, diced
  • 1 yellow pepper, diced
  • 1 bag of frozen butternut squash, 500g, or a fresh one, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tin of coconut milk
  • water as needed
  • 1 and a half cups of frozen peas
  • salt to taste

Method: pound the seeds up in a pestle and mortar if you have, otherwise skip this step. Fry the seeds, spices, onion, garlic, apple and pepper in the oil for a few minutes before adding the squash and the coconut milk. Bring to the boil and turn down to simmer until almost cooked (about 20 minutes). Add the peas for a further 10 minutes of cooking and salt to taste.

butternust squash curry #vegan

This was so delicious we’re really looking forward to using the Chilli Spice Mix next!

See all our recipes here and our Vegan Christmas section here.

Ethical Christmas Shopping: #Vegan Beauty Products

Butterwhips pure apricot body butter, perfect for ethical christmas shopping

Ethical Christmas Shopping: not handing all over all your money to the likes of Jeff Bezos and Tesco 🙂 And supporting small businesses, many of which have suffered huge losses during this strange time on the planet.

We’re going to be showcasing a few really lovely vegan products from small businesses that would make good stocking fillers or gifts. These were sent to us by Mettalife, an E-commerce Ethical and Vegan Marketplace which is a veritable treasure trove of planet-friendly, animal-kind, healthy goodies.

First up is the utterly wonderful Botanical Whipped Body Butter – Perfectly Pure Apricot from Butterwhips. Formulated for sensitive skin, bump care and for babies from one month up, this arrived in our household at a most opportune time. One of us had just spent some time in hospital with various areas bandaged up. The skin under those bandages was in a sorry state and this stuff worked wonders on it. The fact that apricot kernel oil is anti-inflammatory was fortuitous too. Even the nurses, who happily applied the product when changing the dressings, commented on what a nice cream it was. We’ve ordered another large pot!

Mettalife have given us a code for you to use for purchases from their site. Just use FAMILY10 for a 10% discount.

Look at that purity. Only three ingredients. No perfume.

butterwhips body butter; ethical Christmas shopping

The next product was also great to come home and freshen up with after hospital. A luxurious, frothy, creamy soap from Zuzka Soap, completely cruelty-free and handmade in the UK, and blasting you with the gorgeous scent of honeysuckle.

Zuzka soap - ethical christmas shopping

It’s stunningly packaged too, with ribbons, making it perfect for under the ethical Christmas tree! See all the Bath and Beauty products available at Mettalife. Don’t forget code FAMILY10 for your 10% discount.

Zuzka honeysuckle soap - vegan

Next up on our Ethical Christmas Shopping tour will be some foodie ideas…

Till then, enjoy the last of the autumn sunshine!

autumn sunshine in Scotland

And don’t miss our Vegan Christmas section for lots of recipes and more gift ideas.

Gourmet Vegan Cheese!

Vegan cheese: Camembert!

Vegan cheese. There’s a lot of it out there these days, from the cheaper supermarket own brands, to old trusty steadfasts made by vegan companies like VBites and Scheese. But sometimes you need something a little bit different, a little bit special.

From Vegan Supermarket GreenBay (online and in store), vegan Camembert and Herbes de Provence! They have many other gourmet and hard to find vegan products… go see!

These were absolutely fabulous on Christmas Day, the cheeseboard being the star of the show. The Camembert was particularly impressive, being a truly pure product with only four ingredients, and so authentic and real tasting. You have to try it. You really really do 😀 Vegan cheese FTW!

Don’t miss our Vegan Christmas section for LOTS of recipe and gift ideas!

Ailish Sinclair‘s debut novel, THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR, set in a fictional castle in Aberdeenshire, and featuring the 1597 Aberdeen witchcraft panic, is out Autumn 2019. From Amazon UK or Amazon Worldwide or Waterstones

See Author website for more details.

the mermaid and the bear