Month: December 2015

This year at home we had a completely vegan Christmas dinner! We made a plethora of delicious dishes – pan roasted brussel sprouts with toasted pinenuts, roasted potatoes and parsnips, mashed carrots and swede. I made Bon Appetit’s vegan chocolate tart for dessert.
All the food was AMAZING. Then the next day I went to family and ate even more delicious vegan food. Christmas without cruelty.

Cooking so much food and also being able to enjoy the day itself means I elected to make some portions of the dinner a day or two before. You can make the filling for this wellington 1 or 2 days before you plan to eat it. The longer you leave the filling, the longer the flavours will develop.

You may have some filling leftover – this can be frozen in a freezer bag and used for something else later on!

INGREDIENTS

  • 200g chesnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 125g oyster mushrooms, sliced
  • 125g shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 200g coquina (or sub butternut) squash, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 125g whole cooked chestnuts, cut into rough chunks
  • 4 shallots, diced
  • 3 medium cloves of garlic, minced
  • 150g dry bread crumbs
  • 20g fresh sage leaves, cut into small strips.
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 500g puff pastry (defrosted if frozen)
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds

  1. If cooking the roast on the same day preheat the oven to 180c/350f and prepare a baking tray.
  2. In a large saucepan add 1 tbsp of olive oil, heat on a medium heat. Add the diced shallot. Cook for 3 minutes, until the shallots begin to soften. Add the minced garlic, cook for another minute.
  3. Add the chopped butternut squash. Cook for 7-10 minutes until it takes on some colour.
  4. Add the sliced mushrooms, stir well, cooking for 5 minutes until the liquid is released. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the mustard.
  5. Once the mushrooms are softened, add the chestnuts and breadcrumbs. Stir well until the breadcrumbs soften in the mushroom liquid.
  6. In another small pan, add the other tablespoon of olive oil. Heat on a medium heat, once hot, add the sage, frying lightly for about 1 minute until crispy and fragrant.
  7. Stir the sage into the mushrooms. At this point, you can transfer the mixture to a container and once cooled, store it covered in the fridge until needed.
  8. If cooking on the same day, lightly flour a work surface and roll out the puff pastry to less than 1cm thick. A thinner pastry will yield a crispier roast.
  9. Carefully transfer the pastry to the baking tray. Down the middle of the pastry, spoon the filling, making sure not to take too much of the liquid. Pile up the filling into a large log shape, pressing it down with the spoon. Fold the edges of the pastry over the filling, a bit like you are swaddling a baby. I had some spare pastry so I cut out some shapes to cover the folded seam but this is purely cosmetic!
  10. Brush the top of the pastry with melted vegan butter and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Cut 3 small slashes in the top of the pastry with a sharp knife.
  11. Bake the roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until bubbling and golden brown on top.
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Edible gifts! The perfect gift for when you have no idea what to get for people! These also make sweet little favours to tie onto gift wrapping if you’re skilled at that. My wrapping skills are atrocious so I’ll leave that to the pros.

You can air dry these over a period of days, (around 2-3 depending on how humid your house is) and then dip them or if you’re lucky enough to own a dehydrator you can dehydrate them for 4 hours at 30f and then a final hour at 40f to firm them up.

INGREDIENTS

For the candied orange

  • 1 large navel orange
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup white cane sugar

For the chocolate

  • 80g dark chocolate (70%)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil

  1. In a large heavy bottomed saucepan add the water and the sugar. Heat on high and bring to a boil.
  2. Prepare the orange. Slice the nubs off both ends then slice the orange in half. Lay each half on the cut side and using a very sharp knife cut the orange into thin slices. Repeat with both sides of the orange.
  3. Once the sugar-water is boiling, carefully lower the orange slices into the pan. Boil for 5-10 minutes, turning them once.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer the oranges for 30 minutes or until the syrup has reduce, turning them once or twice.
  5. Turn the heat down to low and leave the oranges for a further 10 minutes.
  6. Prepare two wire wracks, placing baking trays underneath to catch any syrup.
  7. Turn off the heat and allow the oranges to cool for a few minutes.
  8. Carefully lift the oranges out of the syrup and place them on the wire wracks. The syrup can be used for whatever you like – I bottled mine and added it to fizzy water!
  9. Allow the oranges to drain. If you don’t own a dehydrator, the oranges will now need to air dry for 2-3 days depending on how humid your house is. If you do own a dehydrator, dehydrate the oranges in a single layer for 4 hours at 30f and then a further 1 hour at 40f.
  10. When you are ready to dip the oranges, place a heat proof bowl of a pan of boiling water. Add the chocolate and coconut oil, stirring until melted. Carefully dip half of each orange slice into the chocolate. Leave to cool on a lined baking tray.
  11. Store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to gift!

 

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It’s nearly Christmas!! Meaning I’ve basically had time to do nothing. I really wanted to make some vegan gingerbread this year and I finally found some time to do it. I was a bit wary because this was my first time baking anything in our new oven – our old oven sadly died a couple of weeks ago (we had it for 20 years and it was here when we moved in!). The new oven is all in centigrade and has a fan so everything cooks a lot quicker.

These turned out great however! I’ve used wholegrain spelt flour because I wanted a deeper darker cookie but if you want to you can use regular flour. If you want to use these cookies as christmas tree decorations make a small hole in the dough before baking – then thread through some ribbon after they are chilled.

INGREDIENTS

Recipe adapted and veganised from here

  • 400g ¬†wholegrain spelt flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 125g vegan butter
  • 175g soft brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp aquafaba
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup

  1. Preheat your oven to 350f/180c. Line two baking trays with parchment paper or silpat mats and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer add the butter and brown sugar. Beat on medium to cream together. Drizzle in the golden syrup and maple syrup. Add the aquafaba until everything is well mixed
  4. Slowly add the flour mixture bit by bit until the mixture comes together in a dough.
  5. Tip the dough out onto some clingfilm and knead lightly for about 3 minutes. It will be sticky – kneading it in the clingfilm will help reduce some mess!
  6. Wrap the dough up in the clingfilm and leave it in the freezer to chill for 1 hour.
  7. Remove the dough from the freezer. Tip it out onto a well floured work surface. Using a floured rolling pin roll the dough out thinly, to around 1cm thick. Use cookie cutters to cut out your desired shapes until all the dough is used up. I used a mixture of star shapes, christmas tree and holly leaf cutters.
  8. Carefully place the cookies onto the prepared baking trays – making sure to leave a good distance between them as they will expand outwards when cooking.
  9. Bake the cookies in the oven for 12 minutes or until golden brown.
  10. Leave the cookies to cool on the parchment before peeling off and dusting with icing sugar.

 

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