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.

Vegan Chocolate Nests with Mini Eggs

vegan chocolate nests

Vegan chocolate nests. Perfect for Easter. Perfect anytime really.

Vegan Chocolate Nest Ingredients (makes 12)

  • 5 Weetabix style cereal biscuits
  • 150g of dark chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon of golden syrup
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable margarine
  • mini eggs (we used Doisy & Dam ones, found in Asda). You could also use other sweets or make little eggs with marzipan.
  • paper cake cases

Method

Crumble the biscuits into a bowl and melt the chocolate, syrup and margarine together in a Bain Marie until well combined. Mix it all up. Divide the mixture between the cases and top with the eggs or sweets. Cool until set. Enjoy!

A chocolatey read to go with your vegan chocolate nests:

Fireflies and Chocolate by Ailish Sinclair

FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE, was inspired by the 600 children and young people who were kidnapped from Aberdeen during the 1740s and sold into indentured servitude in the American Colonies. The story follows the adventures of Elizabeth Manteith from the castle and her determined efforts to get back home. There’s love. There’s proper derring-dos on the high seas… And there’s chocolate!

Paperback and Kindle and on Kindle Unlimited:

Amazon UK
Amazon Worldwide
Waterstones
Author website

From the publisher’s press release: “Fiery and forthright, Elizabeth isn’t someone to be argued with. She knows her own mind, and isn’t afraid to speak it. Through her experiences, the reader sees her grow from a girl, into a woman with a powerful voice… a woman of her time, but very much of ours too.”

Also at the library.

Vegan Ploughman’s and Eating Banana Peels!

vegan ploughman's lunch

Vegan Ploughman’s above. Self-explanatory we think!

Banana Peel Pasta Sauce below. Recipe here. It does not taste of bananas.

More new recipes coming soon… see the kitchen section here.

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 Christmas Dinner and Minty Snowmen

vegan Christmas dinner: nut roast!
nut roast

Vegan Christmas dinner. The best Christmas dinner. This year we intend having our favourite homemade nut roast stuffed into pepper halves along with:

vegan bread sauce
bread sauce
Sgaia roast for vegan Christmas Dinner
garlic and rosemary roast

We’re also going to be enjoying this delicious vegan Camembert:

Camembert for vegan Christmas dinner

And these gorgeous minty chocolate snowmen:

chocolate mint snowmen for vegan Christmas dinner

Whatever you’re doing this midwinter season we hope you are cosy and well fed and happy! For more vegan Christmas dinner recipes, including lots of puddings (we haven’t decided on that yet) GO HERE 🙂

Vegan Christmas Recipes and Lucky Truffles

vegan christmas recipes

Vegan Christmas Recipes

We have built a large collection of vegan Christmas recipes over the years for you to see here. Soups. Starters. Mains. Sweet recipes. Some of our absolute favourites are the golden soup above, the best nut roast ever and chocolate Yule log cakes.

vegan christmas recipes: chocolate yule log

Advent

Don’t forget those half price advent calendars. Go see!

vegan advent calendar, half price

Lucky Truffles

Now to the lucky truffles. Winter Solstice 2018. Lucy made these:

vegan Christmas recipes: raw chocolate truffles

You can see the recipe here. They’re delicious and quite healthy. And lucky. Within an hour of making them a book publishing contract was received. Obviously it was the truffles. Not the years of researching and writing and polishing… So make these. You never know what will happen!

The book in question was THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR.

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

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide

Waterstones

See the Historical Novel Society review of Fireflies here and a post on the real vegan historical character contained within here.

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

A vegan Supermarket for those Christmas goodies!

The UK vegan supermarket GreenBay sell a variety of gourmet vegan products that would be great for Christmas treats such as roasts, chocolate, cheeses (including Camembert), steak and bacon etc.

Camembert for Vegan Christmas

And a lovely festive book…

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 UK 

Vegan Chilli and Cornbread, winter food

egan chilli and cornbread

This vegan chilli and cornbread was perfect on a stormy day when trees had blown down and power had gone out. It was warming and fortifying and super tasty! We made it with brown lentils, adjusting the simple chilli recipe here. The cornbread was made with a mix from Creative Nature – use code VEGANFAMILYHOUSE10 at the checkout for a 10% discount. It was soft and filling and lovely. Don’t forget their delectable little Gnawbles either… like a Malteser and a Munchie had a vegan baby, pictured below on the chocolate cake mix.

vegan chocolate cake mix from Creative Narure makes a wonderful cake!

Montezuma’s vegan Advent calendars are now half price! Go see them all here.

advent

Trees that survived the storm:

snowy trees on a day of vegan chilli and cornbread

Aberdeen’s 1597 witchcraft panic (mermaid) and 18th century kidnappings (fireflies) combine with love and hope in Lucy’s traditionally published novels 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

books for christmas with vegan chilli and cornbread!

If you liked this vegan chilli and cornbread, check out our other recipes here and our Vegan Christmas section here, for lots of festive food like the nut roast below.

nut roast

Everything5Pounds sell unsold stock from top High st. brands, all detagged, and all £5. Some bargains to be had across clothing, footwear and homewares!

Vegan Udon Noodle Soup with Meatballs

vegan udon noodle soup with meatballs

This vegan udon noodle soup is spicy and richly flavoured and perfectly paired with plant-based meatballs. We used the Birds Eye ones that are made of pea protein but any would do. Alternatively pan fried tofu pieces work well.

Vegan Udon Noodle Soup Ingredients

  • three small packs of thick udon noodles, or one per person, straight to wok or dried
  • a tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • an onion, chopped into thin strips
  • 1 red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 green chilli, prepared likewise
  • a thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and minced or finely chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced or finely chopped
  • 1 courgette, cut into small strips
  • a bunch of fresh parsley, minced
  • a head of broccoli, broken into florets
  • water as needed
  • soy sauce to taste
  • salt if needed
  • vegan meatballs, prepared according to pack instructions (fry or bake)

Method

  • In a large saucepan, fry the onion, chillis, ginger and garlic in the oil for a few minutes
  • add the courgette and udon noodles and fry for a few more minutes
  • add the broccoli and parsley, stirring to coat in the oil
  • cover well with water and bring to the boil
  • once the broccoli and noodles are tender, add the soy sauce.
  • add salt if needed
  • plate up and top with the meatballs
vcre

‘Vegetarian Christmas’ by Rose Elliot. This title is 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 in 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. Now out of print but the hardcover is available cheaply from Amazon and has lots of lovely photos throughout 🙂 We love this book so much we even wrote a blog post on it!

GreenBay 100% vegan supermarket