This vegan bread sauce is a beautiful accompaniment to Christmas dinner and easy to prepare (in advance too). Below is a wonderful recipe from Oatly, though we do have a dear friend who makes bread sauce by simply putting all the ingredients in an oven dish and cooking it in the oven with everything else, just giving it a stir now and again. Experimentation required!
Vegan Bread Sauce Ingredients (Makes approximately 1 litre)
600ml Oatly Oat drink
1 onion, halved & studded with approx 12 cloves
1 bay leaf
5 pepper corns
150g fresh white breadcrumbs
50g vegetable margarine, optional
Put the onion, bay leaf and peppercorns into a medium saucepan and pour in the Oatly oat drink. Bring the liquid up to just below boiling and take off the heat. Leave for 2 hours to allow the aromatic flavours to infuse the Oatly.
Remove the onion, bay & pepper and keep them to one side. Add the breadcrumbs, put the pan back on and cook gently over a low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the bread crumbs have swelled.
Season with salt and pepper and stir in the marg, if using. You can use this immediately or chill and reheat it. If you are going to keep it for any time, pop the onion and aromatics back in to continue adding flavour.
Recipe credit This recipe was made using Oatly Oat drink – a great dairy free, healthy alternative to milk. For more delicious recipes and further information about the Oatly way of life, visit www.facebook.com/OatlyUK
Looking for something easy to go with your vegan bread sauce? See all the ready made roast options at vegan supermarket GreenBay! They also sell a variety of gourmet vegan products that would be great for Christmas treats such as cheeses (including Camembert), steak and bacon etc.
Now to the lucky truffles. Winter Solstice 2018. Lucy made these:
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!
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.
And a lovely festive book…
‘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
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. Look at the Back to the Future one!
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)
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
‘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!
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
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.
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).
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.
Our vegan toad in the hole turned out soft and light and delicious and filling and tasty. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
Partly cook sausages in oven at 200C for about 10 minutes:
Batter made thus: mix 5 tablespoons of self raising flour with 3 tablespoons of gram (chick pea) flour, a pinch of salt and a pinch of bicarb. Beat in enough soya milk to make a creamy pouring batter. This quantity was to cover 12 sausages, adjust as needed. It would be far less ‘spongy’ if you used plain flour, but we like it like this 🙂
Pour over hot sausages:
Then it’s back in the oven for another 20-30 minutes until nice and solid:
Serve with gravy, roast potatoes and veg. Yum, yum, yum.
Set in a fictional castle in Aberdeenshire, Ailish Sinclair’s debut novel, THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR, blends an often overlooked period of history, the Scottish witchcraft accusations, in particular the 1597 Aberdeen panic, with a love story.
This roasted beetroot cream sauce is earthy and easy, and so delicious and vibrant in colour.
We roasted a bunch of beets the night before when the oven was on for another meal, and then popped them in the fridge until needed. We used beautiful stripey Chioggia beetroot from the garden but any beets will do.
Beetroot Cream Sauce
Pour the beets and roasting oil into a saucepan.
Add: 1 chopped onion, a few cloves of garlic, a small bunch of parsley and a little chopped celery.
Fry up for a few minutes until the veg is softened.
Pop into a blender with a small box of vegan cream and a little salt. We used Oatly.
Stir into pasta of your choice. It worked very well with spaghetti, coating a 500g packet perfectly.
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 UK
Active in many countries across the world, Olio is an app that you can download to your phone to share food in your local area. It does have a desktop version too. People share things that they can’t use up in time from their fridge, or cupboard items that they no longer want. Food Waste Heroes (which you can volunteer to be) collect yellow stickered or surplus food from businesses and then share it for free on the app.