Tag Archives: christmas

Faux gras by Rebecca (Christmas 2019)

Faux grasRich and complex. Just like the real thing, but without the cruelty.

Ingredients

  • 150g cashews
  • 65g walnuts
  • Tbsp olive oil
  • 150g chopped chestnut mushrooms
  • 2 large shallots
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • 50g dairy-free butter
  • 50g flavourless coconut oil
  •  2 tbsps white miso
  • 2 tbsps tahini
  • 2 tbsps nooch
  • 2 tbsps brandy (important!)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Soak the nuts in boiling water for 30 minutes.
  2. Gently sauté the chopped shallots and mushrooms with a teaspoon of salt for 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook till the liquid has evaporated. Leave to cool a little.
  3. Blend everything till supersmooth.
  4. Season and taste.
  5. Melt a little butter – add a touch of salt and a sprinkling of nooch. Pour into the base of the mould and allow to set in the freezer. Put the pâté into the moulds, tamping it down to get rid of any air pockets. Freeze till solid.
  6. To serve, warm the outside a little to release the shaped pâté, using a knife to gently ease it out. Plate up and let it come to room temperature.
  7. Gorgeous with gherkins or a subtle chutney and on sourdough toast or crispbreads.

Instant cranberry sauce by Rebecca (Christmas 2019)

Cranberries

Never buy a jar again. This takes no time, has nothing nasty in it (apart from sugar) and tastes much lovelier.

Ingredients

  • 100g light muscovado sugar
  • 100ml orange juice
  • 250g fresh or frozen cranberries

Method

  1. Bring the juice and sugar to a boil. Add a splash of port if you like.
  2. Tip in the cranberries and simmer till soft but still with some shape – around five minutes for frozen or eight minutes for fresh.
  3. Pour into a jar and leave to cool.
  4. Will keep for a month in the fridge. Freezes well too.

By Rebecca

5-minute gravy by Rebecca (Christmas 2019)

GravyIt’s easy to find gravy mixes that are vegan (even the beef-flavoured ones don’t often have any meat in them!). However, they do have a lot of unnecessary additives and often contain palm oil. Make your own instead.

Ingredients

  • 150ml red wine
  • 2 tsps vegan stock powder
  • 500ml water
  • 1 tsp each of garlic and onion powder
  • 2 tsps mixed herbs (sage, rosemary, thyme)
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Natex or Marmite
  • 2 tbsps arrowroot or other thickener (cornflour, tapioca starch etc)
  • 1 tsp brown (muscovado) sugar
  • Pepper to taste
  • Optional flavourings: balsamic vinegar, mustard, horseradish, redcurrant jelly or any dark fruit jam

Method

  1. Boil the red wine till it loses some of its rawness.
  2. Turn down to a simmer.
  3. Add stock powder and water.
  4. Add the herbs, soy sauce, sugar, Natex and garlic/onion powder.
  5. Slake two tablespoons of arrowroot with a little water and stir into the gravy. Stir till it thickens. If it’s too runny, mix a little more thickener.
  6. Now taste and decide what you need. Jelly or jam for more sweetness and a glossy finish, balsamic for a touch of acidity. If you need it saltier, don’t add pure salt – go for more stock powder, soy sauce or Natex instead to give depth.
  7. Make a big batch and freeze it in portions.

By Rebecca

Christmas roast by Rebecca (Christmas 2019)

Christmas Roast

This one serves three to four people, so double the quantities for a feast. The stuffing recipe will be more than enough for this. You can make the roast the day before and slice and fry on the day for speed and a more relaxed Christmas Day!

Ingredients

  • 150g vital wheat gluten
  • 30g ground almonds
  • 2tbsps nooch
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp celery salt or seeds
  • 1 tsp sage
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 160ml hot water
  • 2 tbsps soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp white miso
  • Stock cube or paste

Cooking broth:

  • 700ml stock
  • 1 tbsp barley miso
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A few sage leaves
  • Thyme

Method

  1. Blend first 10 ingredients in a food processor or large bowl until smooth.
  2. Mix in the remaining ingredients.
  3. Mix well and then knead for a few minutes till it’s firm and getting stringy. You can test for seasoning at this stage. Add soy sauce or stock powder rather than straight salt.
  4. Press and pat out into a rectangle and lay the stuffing down the centre. Bring the edges together to create a roll, sealing it by squishing the dough together. You might need to wet the edges a bit.
  5. Tie with twine.
  6. Fry on all sides till brown.
  7. Wrap tightly in cheesecloth and fasten each end. Put into a casserole dish with a lid and place the cooking stock ingredients around it. Pour over the stock.
  8. Cover and bake at 180oC for two hours, turning every 30 minutes

By Rebecca

Chestnut stuffing by Rebecca (Christmas 2019)

Ingredients

  • A large onion, finely chopped
  • Two cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • Packet or tin of cooked chestnuts, broken up a little
  • Packet or tin of unsweetened chestnut purée
  • 150g or so of breadcrumbs
  • A tbsp nooch
  • A handful of cranberries, chopped apricot, apple or prunes
  • Sage, rosemary, thyme
  • Soy sauce and pepper to taste
  • Non-dairy butter or oil
  • Optional: Chopped walnuts, hazelnuts or almonds
  • Optional: Finely chopped mushrooms

Method

  1. Sauté the onion till soft and translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for another couple of minutes.
  2. Optional: If you’re making this as a meal rather than as stuffing or a side dish, sauté 200g of finely chopped mushrooms with the onion till almost cooked and there’s no liquid.
  3. Combine the sauté mixture with the breadcrumbs, nooch, chestnuts and purée, fruit, herbs and nuts (if using).
  4. Season with a tablespoon or so of soy sauce and pepper. Check for taste.
  5. If it seems dry and won’t clump together when you squeeze a bit of it, add non-dairy butter or oil.
  6. Use this stuffing to fill the Christmas Roast, bake it in a dish to serve as it is, form it into patties or balls and bake or fry. It’s also great for stuffing portobello mushrooms or red peppers. Freezes perfectly.

By Rebecca