We’ve reached that Christmas frazzle time when, regardless of how simple your planned festivities are, everything becomes really hectic. So: frazzle style crisps on a plate. It is a festive plate though. And people are happily gobbling up their Tesco salt and vinegar twists as happily as they gobbled down the fancier snacks 🙂 Moral of the crisps on a plate? Don’t try too hard, don’t tire yourself out: enjoy Christmas.
Take a little walk on the beach. Breathe. Eat some crisps.
This festive soup is such a bright and flavourful recipe, it would make a good addition to any Christmas meal!
Ingredients (for four): a little olive oil 8 carrots, scraped and chopped 1 large onion, chopped a stick of celery, chopped 1 small potato, diced small 2 inch square of fresh ginger, peeled and cut up 1 tablespoon of dried coriander (you could use fresh but it will make the soup go a bit green/brown in colour) 6 or 7 cloves of garlic, crushed or sliced (or even thrown in whole) a handful of cashew nuts water as needed seasalt to taste
In a large pan, fry off the onion, carrot and celery until softened. Add the potato, ginger, coriander, garlic and nuts and cover with water. Bring to the boil and turn down to a simmer for about 20 minutes or until all vegetables are tender. Add salt to taste and then blend it all up! Delicious 🙂
A very nice chestnut roast, the sweet spiciness of the nuts making it quite different in flavour to our cashew and walnut ones. Serves four generously.
Fry off 2 large red onions and 4 sticks of celery, both roughly chopped. Add in seven cloves (or less, up to you) of finely chopped garlic and a good bunch of fresh rosemary, scissored in.
Once the above has softened add a jar or tin of chestnut puree and stir until dissolved. Add a little water (about half a cupful) before mixing in a cup of Orgran Rice Crumbs (or other bread crumbs) and a couple of tablespoonfuls of gluten-free flour. Salt to taste.
Place in an oiled loaf tin and bake at 200C for at least half an hour or until firm. Yum. Slices well cold the next day for chestnut roast sandwiches or salads too.
This lentil walnut roast is delicious, nutrient dense and slices very well cold the next day for sandwiches too. Quantities are for a large loaf serving four generous roast dinner portions with leftovers:
a cupful of lentils. For some reason organic ones cook much faster and just seem generally nicer. Buying the 3kg bags makes them cost about the same as the harder darker orange supermarket ones. 4 sticks of celery, finely diced 1 red and 1 green pepper, also diced a 200g bag of walnuts, blitzed in blender or food processor half a pack of Orgran Rice Crumbs (so 150g) a tablespoon of fresh chopped herbs, I used rosemary and sage 2 tablespoons of gluten-free flour small handful of sunflower seeds and some for sprinkling on top seasalt to taste
Place lentils in a pan, cover with water and bring to boil. Turn down to a simmer and add the vegetables until everything is cooked. Mix in the walnuts and crumbs, add more water if the mixture is too stiff but you don’t want it runny at all. Add the herbs, flour, seeds and salt and mix well. Press the mixture into a greased loaf tin, sprinkle more seeds on top and bake in the oven at 200C/400F for about an hour.
There’s nothing quite like a vegan roast dinner, is there? Pictured above is a very delicious Mheat fillet from Sgaia’s Vegan Meats, stuffed with mushroom risotto and wrapped in puff pastry. Everybody loved it. Everybody wanted more. Served with baby broad beans, asparagus and a garlic and rosemary roast tomato, it made a very good meal and would be a good festive choice.
The fillet itself is really meaty, being made with wheat gluten, though less dense and solid than some seitan products we’ve tried, making it simple to stuff and wrap. Unlike tofu, mheat is flavoursome to begin with, savoury and salty. It’s also a good size, easily feeding four people. If you need a mushroom risotto recipe there’s one on the Yule page in the midst of Cat’s ‘Now that’s what I call a Christmas dinner’ mushroom parcel.
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.
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!
Oatly Bread sauce (Makes approximately 1 litre) Ingredients: 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
Method 1. 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. 2. 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. 3. 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
We absolutely loved this gorgeous Facon Relish from Janda Food. It’s smokey. It’s bacon-y. It’s delicious in burgers, sandwiches and even as a condiment to dip crudities or chips in. It was sent to us by the equally wonderful Mettalife, an E-commerce Ethical and Vegan Marketplace and a fantastic place to do your festive shopping this year.
Janda Food make other lovely vegan things such as burger relish, mayo and salt caramel spread. See the range here at Mettalife where you can use code FAMILY10 to get a 10% discount on any purchases.
We paired the relished up burger with one of our favourite soups, rice and tomato (recipe here) and a gluten free bun. Yum.
But back to the ethical shopping! And onto the straws 🙂
These reusable bamboo straws from Panda Packaging come in a pack of 5 with a coconut fibre straw cleaner & cotton straw bag included and would make a great gift or stocking filler. See all the bamboo products here at Mettalife, some of which can be personalised, from bowls and combs to brushes and lunch boxes, and, again, don’t forget your 10% discount code FAMILY10!
We like how Instagram made the straw look like a painting.