Tag Archives: christmas

Chestnut Paté en Crôute (Christmas 2020)

This recipe comes courtesy of Rose Elliot, via Viva!

Serves 6

Approximately 55 minutes:

  • 5-10 minutes preparation
  • 13 minutes cooking
  • 25-30 minutes baking time

Thanks to Rose Elliot, the goddess of veggie food, for the lovely recipe! This is so easy – and it frees you up to do other things while it’s baking. Serve with piles of roast potatoes, butternut squash and parsnips – plus gravy, of course!


  • 4 onions, chopped
  • 2 sticks of celery, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 100g/31⁄2oz button mushrooms, sliced
  • 435g can unsweetened chestnut puree
  • 75g/3oz soft breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp brandy
  • Salt and pepper
  • 375g/13oz frozen ready-rolled puff pastry sheets (Jus-RolTM and Brake Brothers brands are both vegan)
  • Soya milk to glaze


  1. Fry the onions and celery in the oil in a large saucepan, covered, for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Mix in the chestnut puree, breadcrumbs, brandy and seasoning.
  4. Preheat the oven to 230°C/450°F/Gas Mark 8.
  5. Put the pastry on a baking sheet. Pile the chestnut mixture lengthways down the middle third – you may need more than one sheet of pastry.
  6. Make diagonal cuts 1cm/1⁄2 inch apart on the pastry on either side of the chestnut mixture.
  7. Fold these up alternately to make a lattice covering it.
  8. Trim the ends – you could make pastry leaves and stick on top with water.
  9. Brush with soya milk.
  10. Bake for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat setting to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6 and bake for a further 20-25 minutes.

Vegan sunflower seed cheese by Hilary (Christmas 2019)


  • 2 cups raw sunflower seeds, softened (see step 1.)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup refined coconut oil
  • 4 tsp white miso paste
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric



To soften the sunflower seeds:
  1. You will first need to soften the sunflower seeds. Softening them will make them easier to blend and will result in a smoother cheese. You can either boil or soak the seeds. To boil: put the sunflower seeds in a medium-sized pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and continue to boil for 10 – 15 minutes until the sunflower seeds have softened. Drain and rinse before using. Or to soak: place the sunflower seeds in a bowl and cover the seeds with water. Soak overnight until tender. Drain and rinse before using.

To make vegan sunflower seed cheese:
  1. Add all of the ingredients to a food processor and blend until the mixture is as smooth as possible, stopping to scrape the sides as needed.

  2. Prepare your mold(s) by lining them with plastic wrap or parchment paper, or you can use a silicone mold. You can use any mold or dish you like, I used two mini springform pans to make two wheels of cheese. Once the cheese is blended, scoop the cheese mixture into a mold of choice and smooth the top. Cover and chill in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight to let the cheese firm up. The cheese will be firmer fresh out of the fridge but will soften as it sits out. Serve this vegan cheese with crackers or bread, spread on a sandwich, add to a salad, or use it anywhere you like!

Recipe Notes:

*nutrition is for 1 wheel of cheese or half of the recipe.

*The vegan cheese will keep well in an air-tight container in the fridge for about a week or this sunflower seed cheese also freezes well. Just wrap tightly then store in an air-tight container and freeze.

Festive seitan skewers by Chris (Christmas 2019)



  • 1 cup vital wheat gluten (you can buy this at health food shops or online)
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast (you should be able to get this at the same place at the wheat gluten)
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup of vegetable stock
  • A pinch of black pepper


  • 80ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 250g cups Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 3 medium parsnips (about 150g), cut into 3.5cm thick slices
  • 1 cup sweet potatoes (about 150g), cut into 3.5cm thick slices
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper


  • 1x Large Mixing Bowl
  • 1x Wooden Spoon
  • 1x Rolling Pin
  • 1x set of measuring Cups and Spoons
  • 2x Large Oven Trays
  • 1x Chopping Board
  • A pack of skewers


Roasting The Veggies

  1. Start by pre heating your oven to 180℃
  2. While you are waiting for the oven to heat up peel the parsnips, sweet potato and remove the outer leaves of the sprouts
  3. Chop the sprouts in half and dice the root veggies into thick circles around 3.5cm in size
  4. Grease a large baking tray with olive or sunflower oil and place vegetables, adding the dried herbs, garlic cloves and salt and pepper – leave these to cook whilst you prepare the seitan.

Making The Seitan Steak

  1. Firstly, put all your dry ingredients into a large bowl and mix well
  2. Add in the veg stock and liquid smoke and knead together until it has a dough like feel to it (you might need to knead it more it if it’s being unruly)
  3. Pop the mixture onto a lightly greased oven tray and use a rolling pin to help the dough cover as much space in the tray as possible (again, the dough is notoriously unruly so don’t be afraid to use some elbow grease)
  4. Pop the dish into the oven and bake for 10 minutes each side at 180℃ (356℉)
  5. Take out the oven, cut into the steak length ways and then dice into bitesize pieces for your skewer.

Preparing the skewers

Pierce the roasted veg and seitan onto the skewer in any which way you fancy – like to wedge the seitan steak pieces between the veggies.

You should be able to make around 8 skewers in total depending on how much you have loaded them up.

For an added festive touch, I like to add balls of vegan stuffing and drizzle a small amount of cranberry sauce over the skewers – you can make you own or most shop bought cranberry sauce is vegan (but always check the ingredients are vegan beforehand).

That’s all there is to it, tuck in and enjoy


By Chris

Seed and carrot roast loaf by Hilary (Christmas 2019)

20191129_192918This recipe original featured in the book ‘Trinity’s Conscious Kitchen’. We found it on Kind Earth. It is gluten-free.


  • Carrots 3 large sized (or 400g approx)
  • 150g ground sunflower seeds (1 cup)
  • 150g ground pumpkin seeds (1 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 heaped tablespoon fresh rosemary
  • 1 heaped tablespoon fresh parsley (or 1 heaped teaspoon dried)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt


  1. Chop the (unpeeled, but scrubbed) carrots into small pieces. Boil or steam until soft. Drain and then mash. Grind seeds in a nut mill to make seed meal.
  2. Crush garlic and finely chop rosemary and parsley. Mix seed meal, carrots and all other ingredients together.
  3. Firmly press mixture into a loaf tin (lined with parchment paper). A 1kg loaf tin works well (approx 20x10x6cm). Make sure that you press really firmly to encourage the binding process – if you are too timid, it tends to fall apart. If you get it just right, then it magically forms into a perfectly sliceable loaf.
  4. Bake in a preheated oven at gas mark 6 (200˚C/400˚F) for approximately 45 minutes.
  5. Gently lift from the loaf tin by pulling out the loaf along with the parchment paper. Turn over onto a bread board and slice with a bread knife.
  6. Big bonus – it freezes really well (just slice up before you freeze and either grill or bake when you take back out again after defrosting). Yay!


Grinding the seeds works best with a seed/nut/coffee grinder, although you can use a blender to roughly chop the seeds instead. If you roughly chop the seeds, then add a heaped tablespoon of spelt flour to the mixture to encourage the binding process. The other alternative is to use a pestle and mortar.
If you have neither a grinder nor a blender, you can substitute the ground seeds for pre-ground nuts or seeds.

By Hilary

Strawberry trifle by Phil (Christmas 2019)

Strawberry trifle



  1. Smash up the biscuits and slice the strawberries. Make the jelly as per the instructions on the packet. Arrange the biscuits and fruit into a large bowl and pour the jelly into it. Chill until set (I left it 8 hours but I think it would have been set sooner had I checked).
  2. To make the custard, I loosely followed the instructions on the packet but had to change the proportions (perhaps because I was using soya milk?). Mix 1 tbsp sugar, 4 tbsp custard powder and 1 tbsp soya milk into a paste in a bowl then heat the rest of the milk until nearly boiling. Pour the hot milk into the bowl gradually and whisk in thoroughly. Return the mixture to the pan and heat up for another minute, mixing continually. You should start to get a thick mixture but may need to add a little more custard powder.
  3. Pour the hot custard over the set jelly and return the bowl to the fridge to set for an hour.
  4. Whisk the rice cream in a bowl as per the instructions on the packet (2 minutes with an electric whisk on full power). Spoon this over the custard and sprinkle grated chocolate on top. Chill for another hour.
  5. Serve the trifle chilled to a room full of non-vegans and watch them lap it up!

By Phil

Celeriac, saffron and orange soup by Elizabeth (Christmas 2019)


For the soup:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 celeriac (~600g), cut into chunks
  • 600g potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 1.5 litres vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp saffron strands, lightly ground in a mortar
  • finely grated rind and juice of 2 oranges

For the gremolata:

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • handful of flatleaf parsley, leaves only
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to serve


  1. To make the soup, heat the olive oil in a large pan and fry the onion for 3-4 minutes until softened, but not coloured. Add the celeriac and potato. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Stir in the vegetable stock, ground saffron, orange juice and half the orange rind. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
  2.  Transfer to a food processor and process until smooth (you may need to do this in batches). Return to the pan and season to taste.
  3. To make the gremolata, pound the garlic and sea salt to a paste with a pestle and mortar. Add the parsley leaves and olive oil and pound until a fairly smooth paste is achieved. (Alternatively, puree all the ingredients in a food processor.)
  4. Reheat the soup and ladle into individual bowls. Spoon the gremolata onto the soup and scatter over the reserved orange rind. Serve with an extra drizzle of olive oil, if desired.

By Elizabeth, originally by Burza via Epicuria