Gift Ideas for the Pedantic Vegan, Just Vegan & Everyone In Between.

 

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Photo Cred: zazzle.com

Last year I wrote my first Christmas guide for the blog: Gift Ideas for the Home Cook, Foodie & Meat-Head. And while it didn’t get very many page likes, it was one of my most viewed posts. So this year, I decided to write another guide; only this time for vegans: Gift Ideas for the Pedantic Vegan & Everyone In Between. Now, I don’t mean to insult anyone by the title, but I do feel that it is apt for the way some vegans live their lives – I am by no means judging – which can be intimidating for the average person who isn’t fully up-to-date with veganism and the lifestyle. And I know this to be true, as a few months ago I had my sister ring me in distress as she was stumped, as to what to buy a vegan: it was all last minute. I gave my sister many ideas, but in the end she settled on an orchid, from fear of having the gift not being fully appreciated.

So with this gift guide, I aim to help you mere mortals – who may fear us vegans – with suitable gift ideas, that are thoughtful and easy to find, which would be greatly appreciated by any vegan; whether they’re pedantic or anything in between. Continue reading “Gift Ideas for the Pedantic Vegan, Just Vegan & Everyone In Between.”

Spiced Orange Slice Decorations

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetDid you know that a Christmas tree was traditionally decorated with fruits, nuts, and other edibles? I quite like that idea. I especially love the look and thought of having orange slices hanging from the Christmas tree: either spiked with Cloves or twined with cinnamon sticks: I like how the orange slices look when they’ve been dried, I like the dark, shiny colour they turn from the drying process, and I like the thought of having something natural to look at on my Christmas tree, rather than some garish bauble or tinsel. Continue reading “Spiced Orange Slice Decorations”

Bacon Wrapped Roast with Sage & Apple Stuffing

DSC_0182.jpgI created quite a few recipes for Christmas last year and I enjoyed every minute of it. When I first started my Instagram page and blog two years ago, I never went out of my way to create recipes to share. I made them because I was either craving the food at the time or wanting to try something different to mix up my diet and if it was good, then I’d post the recipe here. I had a lot of fun last year and I couldn’t wait to get started on writing more recipes this year. Continue reading “Bacon Wrapped Roast with Sage & Apple Stuffing”

Mince Pies for Santa

dsc_0607We all know Santa loves a mince pie or two, but we also know that sometimes mince pies contain alcohol and drinking and driving is strictly prohibited – even for the elves – which is why these mince pies are alcohol free. I haven’t had a mince pie all year, so I was anxiously anticipating for the day to arrive when I could make my own and that day just so happened to be Friday – a week away from Christmas day – and they were worth the wait. I used the marmalade which I had left over from my St Clemente tartlets in my own variation of mince meat and I was impressed; I also added some Irish cream flavouring from the Skinny Syrups range too.

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For the pie cases I used the same recipe that I made for the St Clemente tartlets, but doubled it so I would have enough pastry for the lids too. I would recommend making the mince meat a few days to a week prior to when you plan to make these mince pies as the longer it has to soak the better the end result, especially if you decide to use alcohol. I made my mince meat two weeks ahead and the flavour was delicious.

Ingredients: Mince Meat

  • 100g Dried Figs
  • 100g Soft Dates
  • 100g Sultanas
  • 50g Walnuts
  • 60g Chunky Apple Puree
  • 60g St Clemente Marmalade
  • 45ml Orange Juice
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Mixed Spice/Pumpkin Spice
  • 45ml Irish Cream Flavouring or Irish Whiskey
  • 1/3 cup Sweetener

Ingredients: Pastry

  • 100g Rolled Oats
  • 50g Sukrin Coconut Flour
  • 60g Grass-Fed Butter or Coconut Oil
  • 1 Free Range Eggs
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/5 Cup Sweetener
  • 2 Tbsp Honey
  • 2 tbsp Ice-Cold Water

Directions

  • Pre-heat an oven to 170c
  • Add the rolled oats to a food processor and blend into a flour, before adding the eggs, baking powder, sweetener and coconut flour and proceed to blend the ingredients together.
  • Cube the butter and add it to the mixture and pulse the food processor so that the butter isn’t blended up completely, but chunked through the flour. Continue to add the ice cold water to bring the ingredients into a ball of dough. Cover and put in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • Sterilise a countertop and dust with some flour, before rolling the pastry flat and cutting 8 round shapes from it. Press the pastry into a greased muffin tin and fill with the mince meat. Follow the same process to make the lids, place over the top of the cases, press gently around the sides and pop into the oven for 20 minutes.

NB: You should have about half the mince meat left after you have made these mince pies, you can double the pastry recipe and make more mince pies, or save it and make the mini Christmas cakes I have coming up over the next week.

For more recipes and ideas follow me on Instagram – @TheHungryWelshGirl and tag me in any of the recipes -I would love to see what you create and hear what you all think.

© The Hungry Welsh Girl 2016
All photos, recipes and texts are copyrighted unless otherwise stated.
All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

Sticky Toffee Date Pudding

dsc_0662I’ve never actually eaten sticky toffee pudding before. Although, I have always fancied it. Who wouldn’t? A rich, gooey vanilla date cake drowned in a sweet, sticky toffee sauce – the words on their own have me drooling. I don’t know why I’ve never eaten it, I guess I don’t eat out very often and when I do, I never have dessert. This cake is so easy to make and because there is a large amount of dates in the cake, the amount of fat required is pretty non-existent which is why I went all out for my toffee sauce and used grass-fed butter.

STP (blur).jpgThe sticky puding itself was so unctuous and delicious: gooey and crunchy with pecans on the inside. I loved it. Every bite I had, had me craving for more and it took all the willpower inside of me, not to eat the other three t00. These sticky toffee date puddings are small: ramekin sized, but do not be fooled by the size of these gems because only one kept me full for hours. I did use Kodiak Cakes power cakes pancake mix for these puddings, which I bought from Cardiff Sports Nutrition, but wholemeal flour can be used as a substitute.

Ingredients

  • 200g Soft Dates
  • 70g Kodiak Cakes Pancake Mix
  • 30g Sukrin Coconut Flour
  • 60ml Vegan Milk
  • 35g Pecans
  • 100ml Water
  • 3 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder

Sticky Toffee Sauce

  • 250ml Maple Syrup
  • 25g Grass-fed Butter (Margarine or Coconut Oil for vegan)
  • 30ml Milk
  • 1-2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Directions

  • Place the dates in a saucepan with the water and bring to a boil for 10 minutes, reduce the heat and boil for another 10 minutes or until the dates are soft. Blend them into a puree, in a food processor.
  • Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and in a separate bowl beat the egg, add the egg into the dates and then stir the dates into the dry ingredients. The pudding mixture may be a bit sloppy.
  • Grease 3 ramekins and evenly fill them with the pudding mixture. Place the ramekins in a rectangular dish, with enough water in the bottom of the dish to cover it – cover the puddings with foil and cook the toffee date puddings for 25-30 minutes. The bain marie will steam the puddings and stop the sides from burning and sticking. But, it will also keep the inside of the puddings moist.
  • After 20 minutes remove the foil and cook for a further 10 minutes. Insert a knife into the centre of the cakes and if it is clean when removed, the cakes are done.

When your puddings are cooking, you can make the toffee sauce.

  • Bring the maple syrup to a boil in a saucepan for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat and stir in the butter, vanilla and milk. When the toffee sauce has thickened remove from the heat and pour over the warm toffee date puddings and serve immediately.

For more recipes, reviews and ideas follow me on Instagram – @TheHungryWelshGirl and tag me in any of the recipes you try as I would love to see what you create and hear what you think.

© The Hungry Welsh Girl 2016
All photos, recipes and texts are copyrighted unless otherwise stated.
All Rights Reserved.

Vegetarian Herb Pate

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Do you have a vegetarian or vegan visiting you over the Christmas period? Are you are at a loss as to what to serve them? I know it can be stressful to cook at Christmas time – there’s just so much to get done – then throw a vegetarian or vegan into the mix and you have yourself a very stressful little Christmas; as you not only have to be extra vigilant with the ingredients, but you also have to be aware of cross contamination too.  Well, look no further my little beauties because I have you all covered with this delicious vegetarian herb pate, which can also be adapted to suit vegans too. It’s so good in fact,  it will have your guests singing the famous words in chorus – “Please Sir, can I have some more?”.

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As always I used Quorn in this pate recipe, as I have a lot of respect for the brand and everything they have tried to accomplish over the years for not only vegetarians, but also people who are trying to lead a healthier life and cut back on fat and meat.  I’ve eaten Quorn since I was 11 years old and like a fine wine, it has only got better with time. It’s funny because most people assume humans can only get their essential amino acids from meat, but Quorn products actually contain all of the amino acids that an adult requires; it’s also high in protein and fibre too with some of their products being low carb, gluten free and now vegan as well. I know what you’re all thinking ‘She must be affiliated with Quorn in some way or another!’ and that’s simply not true. I just love their products, as they are all versatile and I think this vegetarian herb pate is a perfect example of just how versatile it actually is, not only that, but I love the flavour too.

Jar Sterilising

If you plan to make this ahead of time then you will need to sterilise the jars which you intend storing the pate in, but don’t worry, it’s not hard.  Take your jars, wash them in hot soapy water, then place them in the oven for 40 minutes to an hour at 200c. Remove them and leave them cool at room temperature. Do not run the jars under cold water, as they will crack.

Ingredients

  • 120g Quorn Mince
  • 100g Quorn Chicken Pieces (they do a vegan version too)
  • 2 Medium Shallots
  • 100g Chestnut Mushrooms
  • 1/2 Scoop (15g) of Pea Protein
  • 60g Low-fat Soft Cheese (Whipped Coconut Cream for vegan)
  • 20g Grass-fed Butter (Margarine or Coconut oil for vegan)
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 2 tsp Mixed Herbs
  • 1 tsp Chilli Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • Salt to taste

NB: I urge you to flavour the pate based on your own taste. It took me quite a while to flavour the pate, so please use the above measurements as a guide and base the end result off, of your own taste buds for best results.

Directions

  • Chop your mushrooms and fry them in a heated frying pan on a medium heat until they start to soften. Peel and chop the shallot and toss it in with the mushrooms. When the shallot starts to soften, add in the Quorn mince and Quorn chicken pieces, as well as the garlic, herbs, spices and ACV and leave to cook until everything has softened and warmed through – leave to cool. If the ingredients start to stick to the frying pan then drizzle a little oil or butter.
  • When the mixture is cool, add the cooked ingredients to a food processor and blend until the mixture is almost a puree. At this point you can add in the soft cheese and pea protein.

NB: If you are making the vegan version of this herb pate, after you have blended the ingredients once; whip some coconut cream with an electric whisk and gently fold the cream into the ingredients. As I haven’t tried this version before I’m not sure if there will be a hint of coconut in the pate, but it may be able to be masqueraded by adding some more herbs: taste as you progress. A better alternative would be a vegan soft cheese ( if you can find it) or blend tofu instead. The purpose of the soft cheese is to give the pate a mousse-like texture that is reminiscent of the meat pate, but also because it makes the pate easier to spread. You could omit the whipped coconut cream altogether, but I can’t guarantee the end results will be as successful as the vegetarian version.

  • When your pate is complete it should have a bouncy, airy texture to it. If the mushrooms have made the pate too liquid, then add a touch more pea protein and blend again; spoon the mixture into your sterilised jars and cover with equal amounts of melted butter.

For more recipes, reviews and ideas follow me on Instagram – @TheHungryWelshGirl and please tag me in any of the recipes you try as I would love to see what you create and also hear what you think.

© The Hungry Welsh Girl 2016
All photos, recipes and texts are copyrighted unless otherwise stated.
All Rights Reserved.

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