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.

Traditional Vegan Christmas Pudding

snowy woodland scene: vegan christmas pudding recipe

Vegan Christmas Pudding by Catriona

Ingredients

  • 12oz/350g sultanas
  • 4oz/120g glace cherries, halved
  • 10z/300g ground almonds
  • 4oz/120g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • half a tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • 8oz/230g dark brown molasses sugar
  • 4oz/120gsoft, fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs
  • 8oz/230g vegetable suet
  • grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp black treacle
  • 4 floz/125ml/half a cup soya milk
  • sherry
  • soak the sultanas in plenty sherry

Method

Grease a 2 pint pudding basin. Put the soaked fruit, cherries and ground almonds into a large bowl. Add the flour, salt, spices, sugar, breadcrumbs, suet, lemon zest and juice, treacle, soya milk and 4 tbsp sherry. Mix well to make a soft mixture. Spoon into the basin, cover with two layers of greased foil and tie down. Steam for 4 hours. Cool. Cover with a circle of greaseproof paper and two layers of tinfoil. To reheat steam for three hours as before. (I have to say that when I make it I prick the pudding and feed some more sherry or brandy into it…) and don’t forget that after it is reheated pour MORE brandy over it and set it on fire.

If you liked this vegan Christmas pudding, check out all our other festive recipes here

vcre

‘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 Amazon UK 

Mincemeat for Christmas Mince Pies #vegan

Mincemeat by Catriona

Mincemeat Ingredients

mincemeat pies for Vegan Christmas
  • 1lb/450g cooking apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • 8oz/225g shredded vegetable suet
  • 12 oz/350g sultanas
  • 16 oz/450g dried apricots
  • 12oz/350g soft dark brown sugar
  • grated rind and juice of 2 oranges
  • grated rind and juice of 2 lemons
  • 2oz/60g whole almonds, slivered
  • 4 tsp mixed spice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • half a nutmeg, grated
  • 6 tbsp vegan brandy

Method

Mix all ingredients ,except the brandy, together in a bowl then cover and leave for 12 hours. To prevent fermentation place the mincemeat in a 120C/ 225F oven for 3 hours. Then allow to cool, stir in brandy and put in clean jars and seal.

See all our festive recipes here

The Mermaid and the Bear, the perfect read for Christmas!

At Amazon UK  and Amazon worldwide, also Waterstones or see Author website for more details.

Vegan Trifle for Christmas or Anytime!

Vegan Trifle by Catriona.

vegan trifle for Vegan Christmas

I loved this so much before I was vegan that I veganised it one year and it is excellent… you can leave off the ‘cream’ layer if you like but I think it makes it!

Note: since this recipe was written in 1998, many ready made vegan creams have become available.

Vegan Trifle Method

Make a plain vegan sponge and sandwich it together with jam. Slice it up and put it on the bottom of a trifle dish ( or other suitable deep dish) drain a tin of fruit and put on top of the sponge (or use fresh fruit. I like raspberries).

Next make up a vegan jelly and pour on top of everything… leave to set. Make up custard with soya milk and pour that on top of the set jelly. Leave that to set. Now put on a thick soya cream made with…2 tbsp cornflour, 2 oz/60g vegan margarine, 1 oz/30g sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla essence and 1/2 pt/250ml/1 cup of soya milk… blend the cornflour with a little soya milk. Add the rest of the milk gradually and transfer to a saucepan. Bring to the boil gently and stir until the mixture thickens. Set aside to cool. Cream the margarine with the sugar until pale in colour. Beat in the cooled cornflour mixture a little at a time. Add the vanilla essence.

Put the cream layer on top of the chilled custard layer. Decorate with fresh fruit and then eat voraciously.

The cream can also be turned into brandy cream by adding a spoonful of brandy…serve with Christmas pudding.

Photo courtesy of The Fattest Vegan Ever blog

See all our festive recipes here

Easy Vegan Chocolate Rum Truffles

These chocolate rum truffles are super easy and completely delicious.

Chocolate Rum Truffles Ingredients

chocolate rum truffle
  • Some left over cake, crumbled – about 2 cups
  • 2 tablespoons of Apricot jam
  • 2 tablespoons of rum (or rum flavouring)
  • 1 teaspoon of cocoa
  • 50g./2oz (half a large bar) of vegan chocolate, melted
  • Coating of choice – cocoa, chopped nuts, coconut etc.
  • Optional: you can coat them in more melted chocolate if you like!

Method

Mix everything together and then squeeze into balls (about 5 cm. diameter) and roll in the coating. Place in petit four cases (or on a festive napkin as in slightly bizarre picture).

If you liked these chocolate rum truffles you might like more of our festive recipes here

vcre

‘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 Amazon UK 

Vegan Christmas Jewel Biscuits or Cookies

snowy scene: recipe is Christmas jewel biscuits

Vegan Christmas Jewel Biscuits are delicious, sparkly and colourful. The ‘jewels’ are optional but very bright and special – makes about 25 medium (3 inch/9cm) biscuits.

Christmas jewel biscuits ingredients

  • 150g/5oz/three quarter cup caster sugar
  • 150g/5 oz/three quarter cup vegan margarine
  • 5 tablespoons of plant based milk
  • 300g/10 oz/1and a half cups of plain flour
  • teaspoon vanilla extract (or according to pack instructions)
  • boiled sweets – different colours are good

Method

Preheat oven to 200C/400F and grease baking sheets. Cream together the sugar and marg. Mix in the soya milk and vanilla and then the flour. The mixing of the flour is best done with your hands. You should have a workable dough (add more flour if it’s too wet or more soya milk if too dry and doesn’t hold together well).

Roll out on a floured board (to just under 1 cm thick) and cut into shapes – cutters in festive shaped such as stars, trees and angels are lovely but plain round ones are effective too – you can use a drinking glass if you don’t have cutters. Lay on baking sheets. Make a hole in the middle of each biscuit – plain round, diamonds, stars – whatever you like, as long as it is big enough for your sweet! Place a sweet in each hole.

Bake for about 10 minutes for soft bake cookies or a little longer for dryer, crunchy ones. The sweets will melt down and fill the hole in the oven and then reset once cool.

f you want these for tree decoration ONLY you can prolong their life by replacing the sugar in the recipe with salt and adding a couple of tablespoons of PVA glue to the mix (do not eat after doing this option!!) Prior to baking make a small hole in the top with a drinking straw – once cooked and cooled you can thread ribbons through for hanging.

playmobil dragon

Playmobil do a lovely range of non-edible Advent Calendars, with great scenes to build from traditional Nativity to dragons, unicorns, pirates and Santa’s workshop.

Amazon.co.uk

Chocolate Yule Log Cakes: Big and Small

Large Chocolate Yule Log Cake

Chocolate Yule log cakes for people who can’t do swiss roll.

  • 1 chocolate cake baked in a loaf tin – basic chocolate cake recipe here  or gluten free one here. Or 1 chocolate swiss roll if you can do it!!
  • 1 batch of vegan chocolate ‘butter’ icing: Beat together half a cup/130g/4oz vegan margarine with 1 and a third cups/210g/7 oz sifted icing sugar and one tablespoon of cocoa (also sifted to avoid lumps). Beat in a few drops of natural vanilla extract.
  • 1 tablespoon of icing sugar for dusting
  • 1 festive cake board or large plate and decorations of your choice (fake flowers or berries, holly leaves, small baubles etc.)
Image146

Cake Assembly

Cut the corner off one end of the cake and turn it round to look like a branch (excuse rough drawing!) – arrange on the cake board or plate.
Secure the branch with some of the icing.

With a knife smooth off the corners of the log to make it rounded.
Cover the entire cake with the rest of the icing, then use a fork to make lines and knots like a log 🙂
Dust with icing sugar.
Decorate to your hearts content.

Little Chocolate logs

Ingredients

mini Yule logs for Vegan Christmas
  • 1 chocolate cake prepared in a large square tin so it will not be too deep ( visit the chocolate page if you need a recipe for this)
  • vegan marzipan
  • A bar of dark vegan chocolate
  • icing sugar for dusting
  • glace cherries and crystallised angelica for decoration or children might prefer D&D chocolate beans or other sweets – in the picture weve used pecan nuts

Cut the cake into small rectangles ( 10 cm. X 4 cm. and 2 or 3 cm. deep). Cut thin pieces of marzipan and place on top of the cakes. Pour melted chocolate over the top of each log, decorate to your hearts content and then dust with the icing sugar (snow!).

Also see a gluten free and ‘fudgey’ version of this recipe here


Skirlie: Traditional Scottish Oatmeal Stuffing

Skirlie is a salty and dense Scottish oatmeal stuffing. We love it!

Skirlie Ingredients

Skirlie, a traditional Scottish recipe
  • 1 cup of medium oatmeal
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons of sunflower oil
  • a little salt

Cook the onion in the oil until soft and then stir in the oatmeal and salt and cook for a few minutes longer, stirring frequently to prevent sticking – then use as a side for roast dinners or any other meal you fancy. Can be made the day before needed (eg. Christmas Eve!) and heated up in a dish in the oven,

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 Amazon UK

Sage and Onion Roast Potatoes

These Sage and Onion Roast Potatoes are a delicious twist on an old classic, and a great addition to any winter meal.

recipe for sage and onion roast potatoes
  • 4 teaspoons of dried sage or 8 teaspoons of freshly chopped sage
  • 4 tablespoons of sunflower oil
  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • 4 tablespoons of medium oatmeal
  • Potatoes, peeled and cut to desired size (this coating is enough for about 4 or 5 lbs/2 or 3 kilos.)
  • salt to taste

Par boil the potatoes then just when they are beginning to soften remove from heat and drain. Place in baking tray and rub the coating all over them (careful!) – roast in a hot oven until nice and crispy (30 minutes plus). You might want to baste with a little more oil half way through for extra crispiness!

Variation:
Sesame roast potatoes – coat the potatoes in sunflower oil and plenty sesame seeds before roasting – this has a lovely flavour too.

If you liked these sage and onion roast potatoes, try our other festive recipes!

Cheat’s nut roast rolls #vegan

nut roast rolls

Cheat’s nut roast rolls are very simple if you buy a nut roast mix and some frozen puff pastry! Simply make up the nut roast mix and place it in the puff pastry in roll shapes. Nice done like cocktail sausage rolls for serving with drinks. Bake in a medium oven for about 20 minutes.

Or you could make your own nut roast of course!

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