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.
Set in a fictional castle in Aberdeenshire, Ailish Sinclair’s debut novel, THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR, blends an often overlooked period of history, the Scottish witchcraft accusations, in particular the 1597 Aberdeen panic, with a love story.
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.
3 green onions (scallions), including green part, sliced thinly
8 ounces/230g (more or less) white button mushrooms, chopped in big chunks
PASTA: 1 package large manicotti tubes
SAUCE: About 28 ounces/750g of your favorite pasta sauce, homemade or prepackaged.
Plop tofu into a medium-sized mixing bowl and mash/crumble with your hands. Add spinach and fold into tofu with a fork, using fork to break up strands of spinach and mix evenly with the crumbled tofu. Stir in Italian seasoning, onions, and mushrooms.
Boil about 10 manicotti tubes just shy of al dente (they won’t fall apart this way when you’re stuffing them) and drain. Use your fingers to push clumps of filling into the manicotti tubes till each one is plump and full. Lay them in a covered casserole dish (more than one layer is O.K.) and pour your favorite tomato-based pasta sauce (homemade or bottled) over the whole thing. Cover and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour, maybe a little less (say, 45 minutes) if you have the manicotti spread out in a single layer. Remove from oven and give it a few minutes to cool off before attempting to eat.
Note: I have to keep my sodium intake low, so I don’t add salt to anything I make from scratch (except some baked goods), so some of you might prefer to add a. 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the filling.
If you liked this spinach tofu manicotti try some of our other festive recipes
Ripe just now, redcurrants are great to preserve for winter, given that they’re so nutrient rich and have immune boosting properties.
What a bumper year it’s been for the currants, both red and black. We’re having berried up green smoothies daily; there are lots in freezer which will extend the berry smoothie season and it’s looking to be a very abundant bramble year too. Last year we gathered quite a lot of those for the freezer as well as smoothie-ing them fresh. At least I thought we’d gathered a lot until I met a man in the woods with 3 huge bucket loads of brambles. He must have spent all day picking. Maybe for jam? I really want to try preserving in different ways this year so we can eat the home grown stuff in winter too. So we made strawberry jam as mentioned, and then moved onto redcurrant and rosemary jelly for savoury things.
Here’s the basic method for the Redcurrant and Rosemary Jelly. It makes a cloudy jelly. If you want a sparkling clear one, other, more time consuming, recipes will come up on a Google search. This pairing of flavours is amazing; the rosemary gives the jelly a slightly savoury edge, making it perfectly suited as an accompaniment to roast dinners. Also great in a sausage sandwich!
We picked 1.5 lbs/0.75kg of redcurrants and put them in a pan, stalks and all, with a few sprigs of rosemary. Then we added 1lb/500g of sugar, half a cup of water and the juice of half a lemon.
Bring to the boil, turn down and simmer for half an hour, stirring quite frequently. Allow the mixture to cool a little, though not until the jelly sets, and squash it through a sieve into a bowl. This is the hard work phase of the recipe! Press and rub it with a spoon until you’re left with mainly stalks and seeds in the sieve. Pour into jars of your choice. Cool completely before sealing/adding lids. Yum. This amount filled two medium jam jars, and should keep in the cupboard for months (if not years).
Cooking on the stove this morning is Apple and Ginger Chutney from the Cranks recipe book with the apples gathered on a bike ride, heavily supplemented with ones from our trees and our own onions too 🙂 Adapted recipe on the sauces page.