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.)
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
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)
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!).
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
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.
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.
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
couple of cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped
Jar of antipasto mushrooms, minus a tbsp mushrooms (make sure they are vegan), drain and reserve the oil.
big handful of chestnut mushrooms, sliced
a few dried mushrooms, soaked in hot water and then finely chopped
tsp dried oregano ( or fresh if you can)
fresh basil, sliced
1 cup defrosted vegemince or 1 cup rehydrated soya mince
remaining tbsp of mushrooms
enough sundried tomato puree to bind it together and some fresh basil
1 onion finely chopped,
1 cup oats
1/2 cup suet,
1 tsp mixed herbs and some salt and pepper.
Aprox. 500g./18oz of frozen, vegan puff pastry
Put some of the reserved mushroom oil in a pan and saute the onions and garlic until soft, add the rice and mix it all together. Add all the different mushrooms and the oregano if dried. Mix again and then gradually add the stock stirring constantly for that creamy risotto texture. More or less liquid may be needed. Add fresh herbs , mix and set aside.
Soya mince filling
In a blender mix together approx. 1 cup defrosted vegemince or 1 cup rehydrated soya mince, remaining tbsp of mushrooms, enough sundried tomato puree to bind it together and some fresh basil
Chop an onion finely and mix it with 1 cup oats to 1/2 cup suet,1 tsp mixed herbs and some salt and pepper. bind with a little water to form a sausage…be careful not to add too much water.
Have ready some defrosted vegan puff pastry rolled out into a rectangle.
Get the puff pastry and spread it lightly with sundried tomato paste and stick basil leaves on to this. Get the cooled mushroom risotto and spread it onto the pastry leaving room at all ends… you wont need all the risotto. On top of this place the soya mince filling and then place the stuffing sausage along the centre. Fold up the sides until they meet in the middle…hopefully!! If they are reluctant to stick down then brush with a little soya milk. Put on a baking tray. It is advisable, if possible, to raise the vegan mushroom parcel off the tray using a rack as I have found the bottom has a tendency to burn. You can now leave it until Christmas Day! To cook follow the temperature guide on the packet of puff pastry. Easy!
Mushrooms in a rich creamy sauce topped with flaky puff pastry. This Mushroom Puff is perfect for Christmas or just about anytime at all!
Mushroom Puff Ingredients
A third of a cup/60g/2oz of vegan margarine
4 tablespoons of plain white flour
4 cloves of garlic, crushed or very finely chopped (this can be reduced or left out if desired)
3 cups of mushrooms, sliced
half a litre/500ml of soya milk
1 glass of white wine (or stock)
handful of chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste
approx. 500g/18oz of frozen puff pastry (this even comes ready-rolled now for extra laziness!!!)
Melt the margarine and cook the onion and garlic in it for a few minutes and then add the sliced mushrooms and cook for a couple of minutes more. Add the flour and stir well. Gradually add the soya milk stirring all the time and then the wine and keep stirring on a low heat until the sauce thickens. Once thick remove from the heat and add your seasoning and the parsley.
Allow to cool slightly while you prepare the pastry. Roll out into 2 wide rectangular shapes reserving some pastry for decoration. Place one sheet of pastry on a greased baking tray. Heap the slightly cooled sauce onto it leaving a space round the edges. Place the top sheet on and seal up the edges with some soya milk or water (fold over if needed). Make some small slits on the top of the puff and let your artistic side shine with the reserved pastry! I usually make holly leaves to place on the top but do whatever you like. Glaze with soya milk and then bake in a medium hot oven for about half an hour or until the pastry seems cooked (no soggy bits and nicely puffed up!)
Nice served with gravy, roast potatoes, stuffing, vegan sausages, cranberry sauce and vegetables of your choice – a feast!
Melt the margarine in a large pan for mixing and cook the celery and leek in it for a few minutes. Mix the yeast extract into the hot water (alternatively you could use any stock you like) and add this to the leek and celery. Stir in the soya flour, nuts, herbs, breadcrumbs and salt and pepper and mix well. Allow to cool slightly while you grease a loaf tin.
Place half the nut roast mixture in the tin and press down well, then add the sage and onion stuffing (pressing down well again) and place the rest of the nut roast mixture on top. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes at 180/360 then turn out of the tin and slice. Nice served with all the traditional trimmings for a perfect vegan Christmas.
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.
Variations: you can substitute wine (red or white) or soya milk for the water and yeast extract. The sage and onion stuffing is optional – it works just as well without it and might actually slice up easier! A layer of sliced mushrooms and garlic is an alternative to the stuffing.
Pictured vegan nut roast is made with red onion and lots of fresh rosemary. Speaking of rosemary, an absolutely perfect accompaniment for any nut roast either hot or sliced up cold in sandwiches, is the rosemary and redcurrant jelly detailed here on the blog. If reading this in winter, sorry, it’s a bit late to go out and get redcurrants, but it’s a great one to make for next year. A jar of that would be a very nice vegan Christmas gift too.
This vegan sage and onion stuffing is easy to make and completely delicious!
6 slices of wholemeal bread (Orgran Rice Crumbs or gluten free vegan bread can be subbed for a gluten free version)
half a cup/85g/3oz of vegan margarine
4 teaspoons of dried sage or 8 of fresh, chopped sage
1 finely chopped large onion
salt to taste
Melt the margarine in a saucepan and then cook the onion in it until soft. Break up the wholemeal bread with your hands (into fairly small pieces) and mix into the onion and margarine with the sage and salt.
This can be pressed into an oven-proof bowl for baking, or if you like meat analogues it can be sandwiched between two Turkey Style Vegan Roasts (available from GreenBay Vegan Supermarket and health food shops), wrapped in foil and baked in the oven!
‘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 UK