#WIAW – Favourites Eats from the Festive Holidays

During the past two weeks, I’ve managed to munch my way through lots of my favourite festive foods. Lucky me! ūüôā¬† Since I’ve been missing from the WIAW parties for a couple of weeks, I thought I’d play catch up and share some of my favourite eats from the holidays. Thanks, as always, to our beautiful host Jenn over at PeasandCrayons.com.

Christmas Dinner
This consisted of a red lentil and cashew nut roast, glazed with cranberry sauce, accompanied by roasted potatoes, parsnips, carrots, steamed broccoli and brussel sprouts and a drizzle of roasted onion gravy.

Nut Roast Dinner 500
It was totally lush! Lil’ L loved it too and cleared his plate (bar the 1 brussel sprout that I’d optimistically placed on it).

Christmas Pudding
We love Christmas Pudding, served with Alpro Single Cream or Alpro Vanilla Custard. It’s very calorie intensive though so I’m glad we only eat it at Christmas. This year I tried Tesco’s budget range Christmas pudding as it was dairy-free.¬† As expected, it didn’t have as many nuts or fruits in it as the deluxe puddings but I thought it tasted good, especially for the price.

Mince Pies
I made my own mince pies this year, using my favourite wholemeal chapatti flour. They were really yum, especially when served warm with Alpro custard. Apologies for the lack of pics. In a blink of an eye they were all gone!

Christmas Cake
For the third year in a row, I made the Christmas Cake using my mum’s trusted old recipe. When we finally got round to decorating it (on Boxing Day!), we opted for a ‘snowy scene’ so we could add Santa and his sleigh on top. Lil’ L used the left over marzipan to make a¬† snowman ūüôā

Christmas Cake 2 2012 - 500

Even though I baked it slightly later that I had planned to, it turned out just fine. It cuts really well and tastes scrumptious! I’m rubbish at baking cakes so all credit has to go to mum’s recipe.

Christmas Cake 2012 - 500

Grapefruits and Tangerines
I seem to only eat grapefruits at Christmas time. I have no idea why! They’re so refreshing. The tangerines have been really tasty this Winter too. I’ve been eating at least one a day ūüôā

Grapefruit 500

Rocket Salad with Beetroot, Orange, Pomegranate and Walnuts
I made this salad for our Christmas evening buffet and it was really yummy! It looked really pretty too.

Whole Nuts
For me, a bowl laden with whole nuts and a nutcracker is synonymous with Christmas. I love freshly shelled walnuts. They taste so much better than the pre-packaged nuts. And there’s something very satisfying about cracking open the shells yourself… or watching a strong man do it for you ūüėČ
Lil’ L has been loving pistachios this Christmas.¬† If you don’t watch him, he’ll easily devour a pot in no time at all!

Walnuts 500

Wasabi Peas
I only recently discovered wasabi peas and they quickly became my number 1 evening snack during the holidays. The hotness of the wasabi makes me pull funny faces and makes my nose tickle but I keep going back for more. Anyone else share my strange obsession with these hot little peas?

Hisaki Wasabi Peas

[Source]

Drinks
At Christmas, four years ago,¬† I quit drinking alcohol.¬† I never imagined that I’d be able to quit but, to be totally truthful, I haven’t missed it for one second. I’m very glad to say that Christmas hangovers are well and truly behind me now!

Instead of alcohol, this Christmas I’ve been loving warming drinks, such as home-made warm lemon & ginger sodas, and the bottle green spiced berry cordial.¬†¬†

bottlegreen spiced cordial woman and home

[Source]

At meal times, instead of wine, I drank Shloer sparkling juices.

We also drank lots of frozen berry smoothies. Since Lil’ L is still refusing to eat whole berries, blending them into a smoothie has been a great way to get him to eat these antioxidant and vitamin-C rich fruits. We’ve also been blending chia seeds into the smoothies for an omega-3 boost (plus they make the smoothies even creamier!)

Well, largely thanks to the puddings and cakes, my clothes are feeling a little snugger this week.¬† I’m not worried though as I know that the Christmas pounds will soon come off now I’m back into my regular eating habits and morning runs ūüėČ

For the month of January, I’m looking forward to cooking lots of easy, minimum prep, cheap, tasty, healthy, plant-based foods… and then sharing the recipes with you guys ūüôā¬† I’ve got lots of ideas for quick meals and I can’t wait to test them out.

What was your favourite festive eats? And what sort of recipes are you looking forward to trying this month?

 

Delicious Orange & Almond Cake (Dairy-free & Vegan)

Inspired by the yummy orange and almond cake that I had at the Holburne Museum Garden Cafe last week, I thought I’d¬†attempt to bake an orange and almond cake myself.

And guess what?¬†¬†…

It wasn’t a flop!

Look, it’s even cake shape (unlike last week’s brownie gloop which I had to turn into a chocolate ‘pudding’).

This cake is beautifully moist and has the most delicious almond flavour with a hint of orange.

AND, it’s got lots of lovely goodness in it, including¬†B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E and a few minerals to boot.¬†The cake’s also¬†low GI, so it gives us¬†slow release energy rather than those horrible refined sugar energy spikes.

AND it’s easy to make.¬† Even for me!¬† (and if I can bake it, you definitely will be able to ūüėČ )

One of my study group friends said it’s the best cake I’ve ever made.¬† (To be fair, I haven’t set the¬†bar very high¬†with my¬†attempts at¬†baking,¬†but it’s wonderful¬†to hear that I’ve actually made something that’s more than edible ūüôā )

M and Lil’ L absolutely loved it.¬† In fact, Lil’ L said it was one of the best cakes in the world!¬† For this reason alone, I think this cake deserves its own blog post.¬† So here it is.

 

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! I hope the sun shines wherever you are!