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.
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 🙂
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 🙂
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.
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:
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
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.
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 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.
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!