Vegan Companies: candles, cakes, mushrooms…

vegan companies: Tilly's Candle Shop

We’re giving some shout outs to the wonderful vegan companies that have sent us goodies and been featured on our Insta in recent weeks.

The Vegan Companies

Pictured above is a beautiful soy wax candle, no dyes, from Tilly’s Candle Shop.

Vegan Companies: Creative Nature

Then there’s the wonderful Creative Nature for gluten-free, nut-free, vegan cake mixes, bars and the Malteser-esque Gnawbles pictured. Use code VEGANFAMILYHOUSE10 at the checkout for a 10% discount.

Vegan Companies: Magic Tree Superfoods

Magic Tree Superfoods sent us medicinal Lion’s Mane Mushrooms. They were meaty and delicious and full of anti-inflammatory goodness. We cooked them with noodles and pak choi.

In the Garden

And it’s summer.

And it’s actually really warm here in Scotland.

So we sit out and drink juice (apple, red pepper and celery) by the lavender:

Apple, celery and red pepper juice

And enjoy our latest pallet project, a corner seating unit, just in need of facings:

See our post on upcycling pallets over on Frugal Living in the UK

Book of the moment

Food for Free is a great guide to Britain’s wild foods. Many superfoods are all around us for the taking. This small volume is a favourite of ours, detailing wild herbs, berries, greens sea vegetables and fungi.
Buy from Amazon.co.uk

Lucy’s Books

Historical novels by Ailish Sinclair

Set in an Aberdeenshire castle, THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR features the Scottish witchcraft accusations, a handsome Laird, an ancient stone circle and a love story.

FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE was inspired by the 18th century kidnapped children of Aberdeen and is set in both Scotland and Colonial Pennsylvania.

Paperbacks and kindle: Amazon UK or Amazon Worldwide

“Filled with excitement and suspense…” Historical Novel Society


preserving: redcurrant jelly with rosemary

redcurrants ready for making redcurrant jelly

This redcurrant jelly is absolutely delicious, the addition of rosemary giving it a savoury tang that makes it the perfect accompaniment for roast dinners. Also great in a sausage sandwich! Ripe in summer, redcurrants are great to preserve for winter, given that they’re so nutrient rich and have immune boosting properties.

Here’s the basic recipe 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.

Ingredients

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.

Redcurrant Jelly Method

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).

redcurrant and rosemary jelly

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.

Ailish Sinclair's novels

Set in a castle, THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR features the Scottish witchcraft accusations and a love story.

FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE was inspired by the 18th century kidnapped children of Aberdeen.

Paperbacks and kindle:

Amazon UK

Amazon worldwide

Be rewarded the Web's Premiere Rewards Site

Potato Milk: the new #plantbased milk

potato milk from a humble potato

We love the humble potato, or tattie, here in Scotland. We eat mince with tatties. Haggis, neeps and tatties. Baked potatoes. Chips. We even put them in our sweet treats such as coconut macaroons. So when Scotty Brand, one of Scotland’s leading food producers, asked if we’d be interested in developing a potato milk recipe for them, we happily said yes.

Some Potato Facts

  • Potato milk is the most sustainable of the plant based milks.
  • Potatoes are a land efficient crop.
  • They use up to 56 times less water than other plant milk crops.
  • One medium potato gives you 30mg of Vitamin C, as much as a glass of tomato juice.
  • Scotland’s weather, climate and rich soil are perfect for growing potatoes.
  • Scotty Brand potatoes are all grown on a selection of farms across Scotland.
Potato Milk and Scotty Brand Potatoes

Potato Milk Recipe, makes 5 cups

You could, essentially, leave out the almonds/oats, dates/sweetener, vanilla and salt but they do improve the texture and taste considerably. However this option would be excellent for those on specific dietary regimes or with food intolerances.

Potato Milk Ingredients

  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 large potato, peeled and boiled. We used 3 Scotty Brand baby potatoes
  • 1 heaped tablespoon of ground almonds (makes it creamy) or a tablespoon of ground up porridge oats (also creamy, slightly less so).
  • dates. For a sweet milk use 3 medjool dates or 6 small dates. For unsweetened milk use 1 medjool or 2 small. Alternatively you could use agave nectar or sugar (a tablespoon for sweet, a teaspoon for unsweetened).
  • half a teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • a pinch of salt

Method

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Strain through a nut milk bag, or a sieve lined with cheesecloth or even a new nylon stocking (rinsed out first). Chill in the fridge. Like most plant milks, it’s best to shake or stir before use.

We tried it by itself, in cereal and in tea. All worked well, but, as is typical in this family, it was the next option that was the favourite!

Potato Milk Chocolate Shake

For a chocolate shake use 1 cup of potato milk per person with 1 banana each and 1 teaspoon of cocoa. Blend. Delicious…

Scotty Brand offers the finest seasonal produce including potatoes, Ayrshire new potatoes, seasonal berries, fresh soups, frozen chips and prepared vegetables.

Improve Your Insta Food Pics with a Bag!

Improve your Insta food pics: here's our noodles...
Noodles. Love this background!

We were sent The Instagram Bag, a bag choc full of amazing items designed to help you improve your Insta food pics, from The Paper Bag Co. They produce this and many other paper bags too.

The Instagram Bag

Included in the large zip-up bag are a 5 in 1 pop up reflector:

Imrove your Insta food pics with these reflectors from the Paper Bag Co.
Reflectors

8 postcards with tips from a professional photographer on aspects like composition and lighting:

Photographic tips

… and 4 wonderful backgrounds. We used the gold reflector to good effect in the top noodle bowl photo. It was a really dull day. One of the frequently occurring storms was ongoing and the reflector really helped light the food.

And here’s a chocolate smoothie on the white marble background:

You’ll see us using the backgrounds over on Instagram from now on. We love them, and highly recommend this bag as a great way to improve your Insta food pics!

Subscribe to our occasional mailing list here for new recipes, product reviews, books, photos and more.

Sassy Vegan Clothes and Snowdrops

Sometimes lighthearted, sometimes provocative, the range of vegan clothes from Vegan Outfitters is designed to help keep you smiling through meat-heavy family dinners, and maybe even start a discussion or two…

The small but perfectly formed company is on a mission to spread compassion, one tee at a time.

Get 5% off when you spend £50 with code VEGANFAMILY5

And down at the bottom of the garden: snowdrops! Spring will be here any day…

snowdrops and sassy vegan clothes

Vegetable Curry: a Simple Vegan Recipe

vegetable curry

A simple but truly delicious vegetable curry with onion bhajis from Lidl and some winter lettuce from the polytunnel.

Vegetable Curry Ingredients (serves four)

  • A little oil
  • one onion, chopped
  • a pepper, chopped
  • an apple, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons of curry powder or spices of your choosing (we like a combo of fenugreek, cumin, turmeric and chilli).
  • vegetables of your choice, chopped: we used an aubergine, some green beans, a few small potatoes and a diced carrot.
  • water to cover. We had some broccoli stock from earlier cooking and water saved from a tin of cannelloni beans.
  • a teaspoon or two of cornflour
  • salt to taste

Method

Fry off the onion, pepper and apple in the oil for a few minutes then add the spices. Stir well for a few minutes taking care not to burn the mixture. Add the vegetables and water, bring to the boil, turn down to a simmer until all veg is tender. Combine the cornflour with a little water and mix until smooth then add it to the curry, stirring all the time until it thickens. Add salt. We served it with some golden vegetable rice (add turmeric and a few peas/pepper/celery to rice as it cooks).

Check out these Potato Broccoli Croquettes, a no waste recipe over on Frugal Living in the UK.

vegan potato broccoli croquettes

And see more of our meals on Instagram!

vegan meals on Insta, including vegetable curry
Ailish Sinclair's novels

FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE was inspired by the 18th century kidnapped children of Aberdeen.

Set in an Aberdeenshire castle, THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR features the Scottish witchcraft accusations and a love story.

Paperbacks and kindle: Amazon UK or Amazon Worldwide

“Ailish Sinclair spins this Scottish tale filled with excitement and suspense…” Historical Novel Society

5% off when you spend £50 at Vegan Outfitters using code VEGANFAMILY5.

Turmeric Macaroni Recipe, vegan, anti-inflammatory

turmeric macaroni

This turmeric macaroni is flavourful and nutritious, high in protein and also, thanks to the turmeric, has anti-inflammatory properties. It’s important to use a high quality turmeric: we like this one.

We used Tesco’s free from macaroni as it’s one of the nicest we’ve found. It does have a tendency to stick together in the pan so stir frequently for the first few minutes of cooking if using this one.

Turmeric Macaroni Ingredients

  • Pasta of your choice, cooked to pack instructions. The sauce is enough for 500g.
  • half a cup of quinoa grain
  • half a cup of cashew nuts
  • a medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 2 carrots, scraped and chopped
  • 7 cloves of garlic
  • 3 sticks of celery, chopped
  • 3 cardamon pods
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of cumin
  • and another heaped one of ground fenugreek
  • water to cover
  • salt if you like, but it really doesn’t need it

Method

While your pasta is cooking, place all the other ingredients in a medium saucepan and cover well with water. Bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer until the quinoa is cooked and sprouted and the vegetables are soft. Blend well until smooth then stir into the cooked, drained, pasta. Yum.

If you liked this recipe try some of our others here

Jerusalem artichokes or sunchokes, perfect with turmeric pasta!

Over on Frugal Living today: Frugal Living Basics and Jerusalem Artichokes


THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR features the 1597 Aberdeen witchcraft panic while FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE was inspired by the kidnapped children of Aberdeen.

The blend of dark events and romance in these stories is perfect for wintry nights in front of the fire!

Paperback & kindle: http://author.to/mermaid

Ailish Sinclair's novels

Vegan Meals Delivered and Big Breakfasts

vegan porridge with chocolate and blueberries

Vegan meals delivered? Yes, read on. But we have to show you our breakfasts first!

Breakfast at home (on our pallet table!) above and the Vegan Fry at Food Story in Aberdeen below:

vegan breakfast from Food Story

It’s great to eat a really good meal prepared by someone else sometimes, isn’t it? So now we come to those vegan meals for delivery! allplants deliver 100% vegan meals directly to your door.

The details: customers can select six dishes from their menu of amazing meals, sides, breakfasts, treats and smoothies such as:

vegan meals delivered from allplants!

CHOOSE YOUR DISHES

Build your box of six meals – there’s over 30 to choose from

VEGAN MEALS DELIVERED TO YOU

Flexible options throughout the week – whenever works

YOU’RE IN CONTROL

Change, pause or cancel your subscription anytime

See all our recipes here and don’t miss Vegan Christmas for lots of recipes and gift ideas!

Aberdeen’s 1597 witchcraft panic (mermaid) and 18th century kidnappings (fireflies) combine with love and hope in THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR & FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE. Christmas features in both books !

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide

Waterstones

See the Historical Novel Society review here

Vegan Frittata with Mushrooms or Spanish Tortilla

vegan frittata

This vegan frittata recipe makes a large and delectable dish of food. If you use cooked potatoes in place of the mushrooms you’ll have a Spanish Tortilla!

Vegan Frittata Ingredients

  • 3 boxes of Silken Tofu
  • 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons of gram flour
  • Kala Namak (black salt, tastes sulfurous like egg) to taste
  • a little olive oil
  • a box of fresh mushrooms, washed and sliced (or tinned ones)
  • a chopped red pepper
  • one small tin of sweetcorn

Method

  • Preheat your oven to 200C/400F.
  • Grease a baking dish and place it in the oven to heat (frittata will cook more quickly).
  • Blend the tofu with the turmeric, gram flour and Kaka Namak.
  • Wash, slice and fry up the mushrooms and pepper in the olive oil.
  • Add the sweetcorn to the mix and stir until well heated through.
  • Combine the blended tofu mixture with the mushrooms and vegetables (in the cooking pan if big enough, or straight into the oven heated dish) and bake for at least half an hour or until the frittata/tortilla seems set through.

We served it with chips and salad above, but it is lovely on its own and also cold and sliced the next day.

If you liked this vegan frittata recipe try some of our other fare here!


Montezuma’s chunky chocolate snowmen are on offer just now!

vegan chocolate snowmen

THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR features the 1597 Aberdeen witchcraft panic while FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE was inspired by the kidnapped children of Aberdeen.

The blend of dark events and romance in these stories is perfect for wintry nights in front of the fire!

Paperback & kindle: http://author.to/mermaid

Spicy Sweet and Sour Pizza #vegan

Spicy Sweet and Sour Pizza. Vegan!
With a salad of lettuce, orange and pinto beans…

This is a totally delicious sweet and sour pizza, made spicy by the inclusion of a chilli in the sauce. And it’s all about the sauce. You can put it on any base you like. We used homemade sourdough (see how we do it here) but you could use ready made bases or even pitta breads.

The quantities below made enough for a large, full roasting tin size pizza, serving four.

Sweet and Sour Pizza Sauce Ingredients

  • a little olive oil
  • one onion, finely chopped
  • a few cloves of garlic, really finely chopped or crushed
  • one small sweet potato, peeled and finely diced
  • one chilli pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
  • about a quarter cup of pineapple juice (handy if putting tinned pineapple on pizza, as you can use the juice from the can)
  • about a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
  • half a tube or a small jar of tomato puree
  • a few sprigs of parsley, very finely chopped
  • salt to taste (doesn’t need much)
  • Toppings of choice: we used tinned pineapple, tinned mushrooms (they don’t dry up on a pizza like fresh) and Asda Free From Grated Mozzarella (Asda have the cheapest free from cheese we’ve seen).

Method

  • Prepare your base as desired. In our case, we made sourdough bread dough and left it rising in the tin all day!
  • Fry the onion, garlic, sweet potato and chilli in the oil for a few minutes.
  • Add the juice, vinegar, parsley and puree
  • Mix well, adding more juice if too thick.
  • Season with salt
  • Spread it over your pizza base and add toppings!
  • How long you need to bake depends on the base. Our thick homemade one needed half an hour at 200C/400F. Pittas would need much less as they’re already cooked. In fact you could just grill them.
vegan tattie soup

Other recent food and posts elsewhere from us:

Cocoa Loco have some gorgeous new organic and fairtrade Christmas chocolate in, see their large vegan range here.