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Christmas Vegan Spiced Braised Cabbage

19 Dec

This has a wonderful smell and great Christmassy taste! Its rich deep purple tones look fabulous on any Christmas table.

You will need:
1 litre orange juice
1 red cabbage, finely sliced
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
1 zest of orange
200g dark brown sugar

Method:
In a large pot, put in all of your ingredients and bring to the boil. Simmer for 1-1 ½ hours and keep an eye on the liquid level.

Severe warm with some fresh cranberry and orange zest and fresh chopped parsley.

It’s even better the following day as the flavour develops.

Top Tips:

You can add whole spices if you wish and have the time to fish them out or if your guest don’t mint finding them!

You can also use any juice that you like, such as – apple, orange, cranberry, pomegranate.

Some recipes also add dried fruits like cranberries, raisins, prunes and figs.

The beauty of this recipe is that it can adapt to what you have in the press!

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Vegan Leek and Celeriac Gratin with Toasted Breadcrumbs

19 Dec Leek and Celeriac Gratin with Toasted Breadcrumbs

This is a hearty, easy to make dish that can be made in advance and keeps well in the fridge. Goes perfectly with any Christmas meal.

You will need:
1 medium celeriac
1 leek, chopped
Oil
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
250ml soya cream
250ml soya milk
Salt/ pepper
1 stock cube
100g breadcrumbs

Method:
Using a mandolin, slice the celeriac and leave to the side.

In a hot pan, add some oil and cook the chopped leek until it starts to become brown. Add in the garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes.

Add in the cream, soy milk and stock cube, mix and bring to the boil. Then turn off the heat, taste and season.

In an ovenproof dish, layer the celeriac and pour over some of the leek sauce, continue this until both are used up.

Cover in grease proof paper and tinfoil and cook at 180c for 25 minutes until the celeriac is cooked through
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Then remove the tinfoil and grease proof paper and sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top and toast in the oven for a further 5-10 minutes or until the breadcrumbs have browned.

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Vegan Persimmon and Clementine Salad with Raspberry and Cranberry Juice Dressing

19 Dec Persimmon and Clementine Salad with Baby Greens and Pomegranate Served with a Raspberry and Cranberry Juice Dressing

Fresh and delicious, this wonderful salad mixes seasonal fruits with a tang of mint. The dressing is wonderful on a variety of salads and keeps well in the fridge for a week.

You will need:
2 clementine’s, peeled and segmented
1 persimmon, sliced in a half moon
1 mixed bag of baby greens
½ pomegranate, seeds removed
15g spearmint or mint
For the dressing –
50g fresh raspberries
200 ml cranberry juice
50 ml vinegar
50 ml oil
5-7 mint leaves
Pinch of salt

Method:
Make dressing first by placing the raspberries and cranberry juice in a pot. Bring to the boil and let it reduce by half, then allow to cool.
Then using a hand blender, whizz the mixture.

As you blend, add in vinegar, then the oil slowly. Finally add the mint leaves and blend for 30 seconds more. Store in the fridge, it should keep for a week.

Next start on the salad.

Place your slices of persimmons on a plate, add the mixed greens and mint leaves in the centre, scatter the pomegranates seeds and place some clementine segments on the plate.

Let you guest add their own dressing.

Top Tips:
If you want a warm salad you can roast or grill the persimmon. Just cut it into bigger pieces and follow the recipe as above.
You can add some toasted almonds to this dish for a bit of a crunch.

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Lemon and Sage Chickpea Loaf with Dee’s Traditional Sausages – Vegan Christmas Main Course

18 Dec Lemon and Sage Chickpea Loaf with Dee’s Traditional Sausages

Fresh and zesty, this satisfying vegan loaf is packed with flavour. Featuring a layer of parsnips on the bottom and Dee’s Sausages and chestnuts in the middle, it’s a great addition to your festive menu.

You will need:
250g of chickpeas
2 parsnips, peeled
1 onion, diced
15g sage, chopped
2 lemons, zest & juice
200ml stock
3 cloves of garlic, diced
Oil
Salt pepper
1 pack of Dee’s Sausages
1 x 150g cooked chestnuts

Method:
Soak your chickpeas in water overnight or for 24 hours.

In a frying pan, cook the onion and garlic for 3-5 minutes until soft and allow to cool.

Drain the chickpeas, then using a food processor or hand blender, blitz the chickpeas into a paste.

Add in the onion, garlic, chopped sage, lemon juice and zest and some stock bit by bit. It shouldn’t be runny, but have the consistency of a cake batter. Add in more stock if needed.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Peel and slice the parsnips and cook in boiling water for 2-3 minutes until they become a little soft. Allow to cool and pat dry.

Next it’s time to layer the loaf. Use the following order –

Parsnips on the bottom, followed by half of the chickpea mix, then Dee’s sausages, chestnuts and the rest of the chickpea mix. (See picture)

Cook in a 170c oven for 20-25 minutes until brown on top. Be careful because chickpeas can dry out easily.

Serve with the stuffing balls and maple roasted veggies.

Enjoy, Eoin.

Top Tips:
Don’t be afraid to change the flavours. Think of combinations like –
Rosemary and leek.
Thyme and lemons.
Dill and parsley.
Chilli and coriander.
Smoked paprika and roasted pepper.

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Hot Spiced Apple Cider

4 Dec Mulled Apple Cider

Apple cider is another fab Christmas drink! Sweet and perfumed with festive spices, it’s like a cup of Christmas! Very simple to make, it stores really well in the fridge and can be easily reheated.

You will need:
10-15 apples for juice or 1 litre of cloudy apple juice
1 clementine, sliced
1 cinnamon stick
3 cardamom pods
1 inch of ginger, sliced
3 whole cloves
1-2 star anise

Method:
Juice your apple (Pink Lady’s are really nice at the moment or Granny Smith’s) or use a good quality shop bought one.
If you’re juicing your own, allow it to stand for a few minutes until it goes brown. Then place in a pot and with all the spices and orange slices and bring to the boil. Allow it to simmer for 30 minutes and place a lid on to reduce evaporation.
Serve from a snazzy pot or punch bowl.
It can be made in advance and stored in the fridge to be heated up later.

Top Tip:
Local farmers markets are a great place to source apples.
You can mix and match you apple varieties to the sweetness you like.
You may also add a little sugar if you wish.
If it’s too strong for your taste, try diluting it with water or another juice or exclude any spices you don’t want.

Mulled Apple Cider

Mulled Apple Cider

Vegan Eggnog. Quick and Delicious.

4 Dec
Vegan egg nog

Vegan egg nog

Eggnog is a lightly spiced custard drink, generally enjoyed cold at Christmas time in the USA and Canada. It’s deliciously festive, so I decided to try a vegan version this year!

You will need:
200g cashew nuts
1 lit dairy free milk (such as coconut)
200g white sugar
1 tsp of arrowroot
2 tbsp nutmeg
1 tbsp cinnamon
2-3 tbsp rum extract
1 tsp vanilla

Method:

In a pot add the milk, cashews, arrowroot and sugar and allow to cook for 15 minutes until the nuts are soft. Then set aside and allow to cool.

Place the mix in a blender and blend until fine and smooth. Strain through a strainer or cheese cloth to remove any extra bits.

Add in the remaining ingredients and stir, then place in fridge and store for 2-3 days depending on which dairy free milk you used.

Serve in a chilled glass with some fresh nutmeg on top

Top Tips

If you want a nut free version, instead of cashews use silken tofu (a kind of soft tofu for baking) 1 x 340g of tofu per 200g cashews.

You can use any dairy free milk you wish, I used coconut.

Don’t use brown sugar as it changes the taste and the colour will look off.

Don’t roast the nuts as this also changes the taste and colour. (That is why my version, pictured below looks darker!)

You many also add real rum, brandy or whiskey, if you want a more grown up version. I find brandy tastes best. 1 shot for each teaspoon of essence.

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Cranberry sauce

2 Dec

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