For the past six years or so, my family has eaten our Cranberry Glazed Nut Loaf as the centrepiece to our Christmas dinner. It’s our favourite nut loaf and I only make it once or twice a year to keep it special. I originally posted the recipe on the blog in 2013 and it fast became a reader favourite. If you have the Bit of the Good Stuff cookbook, you’ll also find the recipe on p141 along with my favourite easy vegan Red Onion Miso Gravy.
The loaf stores really well (in fact I think it tastes even better a day or two after its made) so I’m planning on making it today (Christmas Eve). Then, tomorrow, all we need to do is cut some slices and heat them up either in the oven or in my mum’s microwave. Easy peasy and minimal time spent in the kitchen, which means more time for fun, games, films and forest walks. That’s how I like to spend my Christmas day!
While I have our main Christmas meal sorted for this year, I am really looking forward to trying out some new recipes during our week off. There are a handful in particular that have caught my eye and I thought I’d share them in today’s post in case you’re looking for some recipe inspiration too.
It wasn’t intentional, but all the recipes I’ve picked happen to be pastry-based. I do love a tasty pie or tart this time of year!
Let’s kick off with a couple of puff pastry pies that would make fantastic centrepieces for festive or winter dinners. Continue reading
My cookbook has gone to print! It was so scary hitting the ‘send’ button. In fact, it took me a good few hours to pluck up the courage to hit it. I was paranoid that I was going to send an old version my mistake so I kept checking and re-checking the file names. I was turning into a slightly scary, crazy woman but I finally took a deep breath and just hit the button. And while I’m waiting for it to roll off the printers in London, I’ve been having fun in the kitchen, trying out new ingredients and recipes.
One new dish that has been hugely popular in my house lately is this Cosy Mushroom Minestrone ❤️ With the weather cooling off and the evening’s start to draw in, these are the kinds of dishes that I start to crave. Warm, filling and super savoury. This is my idea of the perfect comfort food.
Dhal has to be one of my favourite dishes ever. It has all those beautiful Indian spices and flavours, but is typically mild, making it a great family-friendly meal. It’s also really easy to prepare and low cost too. We often serve it as a mid-week meal, then I enjoy the leftovers for my lunches.
I never get tired of dhal as it can be made in so many ways, using different spice blends, lentils and liquids for a myriad of flavours and textures. My ‘go to’ dhal recipe is this Coconut Dhal with Butternut Squash, which we’ve been making for many years now, but I’m always on the look out for new recipes to try.
When I was browsing this month’s Vegan Life magazine, one recipe that instantly caught my eye was Kimberly Parson’s One Pot Masala Dhal. The principal spice in the curry paste is Smoked Paprika, which I absolutely adore. Combined with tomatoes, red lentils and creamy coconut milk, I could just imagine how amazing this dish was going to taste.
Fresh, cooling food has been the order of the day here in the hot South West UK. And zucchini noodles (aka ‘Zoodles’) fit the bill perfectly. Eaten raw, they taste surprisingly like regular noodles or spaghetti, but lighter and fresher.
Have you joined the spiralizing craze yet? I started spiralizing this time a year ago, when my sister bought me one of those ‘pencil sharpener’ style spiralizing gadgets for my birthday.
It works surprisingly well for such a simple little tool. It’s perfect if you’re only planning on spiralizing one or two vegetables, or you make single meals. Any more than this and I find my wrist starts to ache from all that twisting action.
If you really get into spiralizing and want to experiment with vegetables like sweet potatoes, butternut squashes and beetroots, then I definitely think it’s worth investing in a bigger spiralizer. Continue reading
Have you tried polenta? I absolutely love the stuff! I love its texture and versatility. Plus it’s super cheap, so perfect for budget-friendly meals.
Since I’m such a fan of polenta, I was really excited to see it featured in the January/February Issue of Vegan Life magazine ♥
In my experience, polenta is incredibly easy to make from scratch, providing you use the right kind of cornmeal. Continue reading