Wrapped in Newspaper

Ethical lifestyle blog and vegan recipes


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Nettle and wild garlic, buckwheat crêpes

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Last month I wrote about the impending hungry gap when I posted a recipe for a tagine using the last of Winter’s root vegetables. We’re now well into April and the hungry gap is definitely upon us. The Winter crops have come to an end and there’s little in the way of new season produce to fill our bellies. But it’s not all doom and gloom, if you happen to be partial to a spot of foraging there is plenty to be had at this time of year and fresh young nettles are just perfect right now.

I’m no foraging expert (so you’ll have look elsewhere for comprehensive guidance) but with a little know how and a little common sense you can find yourself enough to rustle up something resembling a meal in no time.

Spring nettles

I managed to find the perfect spot of nettles that had just started to come up in a park where a hollow had been left to go wild. Pinch off just the young tops of the nettles (whilst wearing gardening or rubber gloves obvs!) as these taste better and one the nettles flower and start to go to seed, the leaves can irritate the urinary tract and no-one wants that! I’ve also included wild garlic in this recipe as it’s abundant right now. I’ve been getting lots in my veg bag at the moment so didn’t forage for mine but it’s the perfect time to go and find some whilst you’re out looking for nettles, which lets face it, won’t take long.

I should also mention that I actually wanted to share this recipe with you last year. Unfortunately I hadn’t quite perfected my vegan crêpe recipe. I have since found that buckwheat flour creates the perfect crêpe batter so don’t try substituting it out for another flour because you’ll end up in a right old mess.

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Nettle and wild garlic, buckwheat crêpes

For the crêpes:

50g Buckwheat flour
50g Brown rice flour
1/4 tsp salt
1tbsp ground flax seed
3tbsp water
1/2 tsp lemon juice
4 tbsp rapeseed oil
400ml non-dairy milk
Coconut oil for frying

For the filling:

1 small onion
300g young nettles
300g spinach
2-3 wild garlic leaves
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tbsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper to season

  • Begin by making the crêpe batter. Whisk the ground flax seed with the water and set aside for a few minutes until it become gloopy and gelatinous.
  • Measure out the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the middle.
  • Pour in the lemon juice, oil, flax egg and a little of the milk and stir together. Slowly add in the remaining milk a bit at a time, incorporating more flour as you go.
  • Set aside the mixture for 30 minutes whilst you prepare the filling.
  • Wash the nettles thoroughly in  bowl of cold water and pinch off any thick stems. Wearing rubber gloves of course.
  • Wilt them together with the spinach in a large frying pan with a splash of water on a high heat for around 5 minutes until most of the water from them has evaporated.
  • Set aside into a bowl. Add a little oil to the frying pan, lower the heat and fry the onion until soft and brown. Add the nettles and spinach back into the frying pan along with the nutmeg and the fennel seeds after being crushed slightly in a pestle and mortar.
  • Roughly chop the wild garlic and stir in the mixture. Leave the mixture on a very low heat whilst you make the crêpes.
  • Place a medium-sized frying pan on a high heat and add a little coconut.
  • Pour in 1/4 cup of batter and quickly swirl around the pan.
  • Leave for a minute of so until it starts to brown then using one of those super awesome pancake/ crêpe spatulas, loosen the crêpe from the pan and flip over. Leave the other side to brown lightly for another minute and place on a plate and keep warm.
  • Repeat for the remaining crêpes, it should make roughly 6.
  • Take the filling mixture of the heat and spoon onto the crepes and roll.
  • Serve with a salad for a lunch or light dinner.

Amy x

 


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Hot Cross Loaf

Hot cross loaf

Easter wouldn’t be Easter in our house without hot cross buns. I’ve not come across any vegan ones in shops but even if I had, no doubt they’d only be made with white flour and full of sugar so we’ve come up with a super simple recipe that’s healthy and quick to make. In fact it’s so easy to make that you can be enjoying spiced Easter bread goodness in less than an hour!

Spelt easter loaf

The basic recipe is adapted from my spelt soda bread so it doesn’t require any kneading, proving or rising time. And to make it even simpler no need to even form it into buns just one giant loaf which can be torn apart and shared.

Hot cross soda bread

It’s gone down so well in our house that I’ve taken to making double the quantity then splitting the dough to form two loaves.

Spiced spelt soda bread
Hot Cross Loaf

150g Spelt Flour
100g Buckwheat Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
2 tbsp Xylitol Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Mixed Spice
1/4 tsp Allspice
Zest of half an orange
80g Currants
Pinch of Salt
150ml Non-dairy milk or 75ml of both non-dairy milk and yogurt
1 tbsp Molasses

  • Measure out all the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir together.
  • Make a well in the middle, add the molasses and some of the milk. Slowly stir the molasses and the milk together, incorporating the flour a bit at a time.
  • Continue to add the milk bit by bit until the mixture just comes together into a slightly sticky dough, being careful not to over work it.
  • Turn the dough out onto a well flour surface and press it down with your finger tips into a circle about 1cm thick.
  • Fold one edge into the centre of the dough, turn the dough clockwise slightly and repeat folding the edge into the centre until you’ve formed the dough into a round.
  • Turn the dough over, flatten slightly so it is about 2 cm thick and dust with flour.
  • Place onto a backing tray and cut a deep cross into the loaf using a serrated knife.
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 20-25 minutes. Turn the loaf out onto a wire rack, it should sound hollow when you tap the base.
  • Enjoy still warm with a bit of non-dairy margarine, because it is Easter after all!

Amy x


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Run like a vegan

The day I found out I had won my place in the ballot for the London Marathon 2015, I actually jumped with joy! I was going to realise my dream. The one I had had for years, the one I didn’t really believe I would ever achieve, I mean 26.2 miles is a long way and I couldn’t even run up the road without having to stop. The only thing that has got me to 5 weeks away from the marathon and believing that I may actually make it the whole way round the course, is sheer hard work and determination.

Marathon running

My first steps to London 2015, started about 8 years ago when Amy and I entered our first 10k together. We struggled around the course in Manchester and made it back in 1hr12mins. That was tough. I had put in the training, well what I thought was proper training and was extremely pleased to get round without stopping. Every year, I watched the marathon on telly or I went up to London to watch it in  person I said I would do it. Over the next few years we entered the Manchester 10k another couple of times, I ran a couple of the British 10k’s in London and last year I managed to get round in under an hour – that had been my aim! I also managed to complete the Hackney Half Marathon, this was where I was testing myself to see if I could move past a 10k onto further distances, if I could do a half surely I could do a full? I did the half in 2hr13mins. It was tough, it was hot and I had trained my butt off to get round. I had entered the ballot for London, and those ballot entries are like gold dust, people go for years without getting in. I had entered on a whim about five years ago and been rejected, but on my second attempt I had made it in!

The problem with this marathon is it is in April, that means the majority of the training has been done in the freezing cold, in the dark, in the rain and find the motivation for those training runs has been tough. I’ve only been a fair weather runner before, but I’m sure it helps strengthen you mentally as well as physically, they do say most of the marathon is a mental game.

Yesterday I completed my longest training run of 20 miles and experienced a glimpse of how tough this marathon was actually going to be. I had taken two weeks off training having pulled my neck out, and I’ve missed the difference between winter runs and spring runs, I was totally overdressed. I hadn’t carb loaded very well the night before and I felt like I was running on empty about 8 miles in. It was about then that I doubted everything I had done so far, and my inner voice was telling me I was rubbish. I tried everything to make it shut up. Thankfully I started running with a lady who pulled me around the course from about mile 12, until mile 16 when my whole body started screaming. I was back by myself, my legs hated me, my knees were hurting, I could just about manage a shuffle and despite knowing it was downhill all the way until mile 20 I just wanted to stop. I wanted to cry. I kept going. I’ve toughened up. I’m going to do this.

I can’t really believe I made it round, I’m taking every bit of help I can and there’s nothing like a nutrient rich green juice to help nourish my aching body, that plus an ice bath (kill me)!

Green juice

Green juice
1 kiwi
2 slices of pineapple
2 inches of cucumber
A handful of spinach
1 tspn milled chia seeds
Water or coconut water

1. Peel the kiwi, pineapple and slice into cubes.
2. Wash the spinach. Pop into your juicer along with the pineapple, spinach, cucumber, kiwi and chia seeds.
3. Cover the fruit and veg with water and blend for a couple of minutes until smooth.

You can either drink straight away or save it for later in the day!

Enjoy

Veronica x

Note. I use a Nutribullet so juice according to your juicers instructions :)


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(Last of the) Winter Root Vegetable Tagine

Vegan tagine

We may only just have stepped into March but it seems Spring really is upon us. Hayley’s post last week showed the first crocuses opening up to the warming sun and now the daffodils are just waiting burst into life. I certainly can’t deny the excitement of the new life that Spring brings but it’s not all good news…

Food-wise March is when the Winter crops start to come to an end but there’s not much in the way of new crops ready to harvest, cue the Hungry gap. Around this time last year I shared this delicious roasted cauliflower and chickpea salad to celebrate the last of the Winter brassicas. This year to celebrate the end of Winter I’ve got a delicious and warming root vegetable tagine to get us through the last (hopefully) of the cold Winter days.

Winter root veg tagine

I used what root veg I had to hand from my organic vegetable box delivery but you could use whatever you happen to have. I think parsnips and carrots are a must but celeriac or swede can work well if you don’t have squash or jerusalem artichokes. The only thing to be mindful of is the different cooking times, I find parsnips and jerusalem artichokes tend to take a bit longer than squash so either get these in first and the others 5-10 miuntes later or chop them that bit smaller.

Root vegetable tagine

Winter Root Vegetable Tagine

3 parsnips
2 carrots
2 jerusalem artichokes
2 golden nugget squash
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
Thumb sized piece of ginger
1 tsp maple syrup
75g dates
1 tin of tomoatoes
1 tin of chickpeas
1/2 pint of vegetable stock
1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp tumeric
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cayenne pepper
Pinch of saffron

  • Finely chop the onion and gently fry in a large pan with the olive oil and garlic until soft and starting to brown.
  • Add the chopped ginger and spices (leaving the saffron for now) and fry for a few minutes until the oil starts to release from the spices. Add a tablespoon or so of water to the pan and stir to make the mixture a paste.
  • Pour in the tin of tomatoes, stir and leave on a medium-high heat until the tomatoes have cooked right down and most of the water has evaporated.
  • Meanwhile chop all the root root vegetables into bite sized cubes and pit and halve the dates.
  • Add them to the reduced tomatoes along with the remaining ingredients including the saffron. The stock should just about cover all the vegetables, add a little extra water to cover if needs be. Bring to a gentle boil then reduce the heat and cook on the hob on a medium-low heat for 30-40minutes until all the vegetables are tender. The longer the better!
  • Serve with couscous or quinoa for a delicious and hearty meal.

Amy x

 

 

 

 


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Notes from a bee stalker in February

Yesterday I woke up to a beautifully clear, sunny February morning. For the first time this year, I opened the door to welcome in the fresh air and beaming morning rays into the house. To my surprise and amusement a honeybee flew straight in to join me for breakfast! She seemed overexcited and antsy (or beesy!) so I helped her back outside and she darted off down the hill. This was the first honeybee I’d seen any distance away from the warmth and shelter of a hive this year. Is it really warm enough for them to be venturing out? I looked out at the beaming sun through my door and knew exactly what this all meant for my Wednesday! Work was to be postponed for some long anticipated bee stalking : )

I headed for the nearby Dartington Hall Gardens where last week I’d seen my first Bumblebee queen of 2015 hovering around her nest in the ground. If there were any early spring bees to be stalked, I knew I would find them there!

Crocus field

I arrived to a beautiful sea of Crocuses with petals spread wide open and honeybees dancing across their petal tops in a drunken pollen frenzy. It turns out that the temperature yesterday shot up to 12°C [the average temperature for April] from 8°C the previous day and these Crocuses responded with beautiful spring offerings to the pollinator world. Amongst the bees were also flies, hover flies and even a red admiral butterfly fluttering around in the February heat! A decade ago these butterflies would have migrated to England from Europe later in the year but it seems they can now survive the winter here in Devon and enjoy a flutter in February.

honeybee approaching crocus

A honeybee coming into land!

Unusually, the honeybees seemed cautious of my presence and avoided the flowers closest to me. More frequently I experience them being overwhelmingly seduced by the flower and totally oblivious of what I do around them. I wondered whether I was the first human these young, spring foragers had experienced? During the last few months, since their winter birth, these honeybees would have been safely tucked inside their hives working away to keep the colony clean and warm with only their worker bee sisters and the queen as familiar company.

honeybee on crocus

Taking a drink of nectar from a Crocus

This time of year honeybees will be acutely aware of their diminishing overwinter honey stores. An opportunity in February like yesterday to bring in some glorious nectar and pollen can mean life or death for a honeybee colony. It was great to see them out and about, smothering themselves in the Crocus pollen and flying back to their hives with big orange balls of the stuff. Back in the colony, this will be well-received nourishment until the next day of warmth allows another flurry of flowery gifts!

Honeybee in crocus

Intertwined in the stigma and stamen of a Crocus

Although not quite as popular with the honeybees, but also on offer were the majestic Snowdrops. Yesterday was the first time I’d seen any bees on the snowdrops this year even though they’ve been in bloom for a while. 

honeybee on snowdrop 

A honeybee giving me a good look before entering a snowdrop

The bumblebee queen I’d watched last week was flying straight over vast clumps of snowdrops to forage on a Mahonia plant further in the distance. Perhaps snowdrops are a last resort forage supply or perhaps the Mahonia is too good to resist?

honeybee and snowdrop

Spread eagle!

The same Buff Tailed Bumblebee queen appeared for me once more yesterday and I followed her around for a while. Most of her time was spent basking in the sun on the ground and on the leaves of trees and occasionally she would drink from the Crocuses.

Terrestris chewing holes in Daffodil

Buff tailed Bumblebee [Bombus Terrestris] nibbling a Daffodil corona

Then she did something quite bizarre! She flew over to a daffodil and nibbled three small holes in the underside of its corona [which you can just about see in the photo above]. I’ve read about bumblebees biting holes in the petals of flowers when they can’t fit inside it to get at the nectar so they just stick their tongue through the holes to drink the nectar straight from the flower’s base. This bee made holes into the petals but then went right inside anyway. Perhaps even though she could enter the flower, the nectar from the daffodil is only accessed from these holes? If anyone knows what she might have been up to please do share!

Bombus Terrestris on Daffodil

And then inside the same Daffodil

My experience bee stalking over the last week has made it clear to me just how important it is that we grow plants to provide early forage for both our wild bees and honeybees. Luckily for us, the early nectar providers that bees love like Snowdrop, Crocus and Mahonia are also the kinds of things we love! So that makes our job as human bee lovers rather convenient really doesn’t it?

Here’s to much more bee stalking this coming 2015 : )


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Cinnamon and raisin pancakes // vegan and gluten-free

vegan gluten free pancakes

Just in case you hadn’t noticed last Tuesday was Shrove Tuesday, better known as Pancake Day! I have recently become pancake obsessed and love nothing more than having them at the weekend for breakfast or lunch, or dessert, or for a snack! Hah, told you, obsessed! So I certainly wasn’t going to miss out on having pancakes on their very own day just because I normally can’t summon the energy to make them mid-week.

I had a big old bag of buckwheat flour that had been sitting in my cupboard unused for a while so thought it was about time I put it to use and that’s when I threw together this batter and it just so happened to make the best pancakes I have ever made! I was so pleased with myself I have made them twice since, partly just to check it wasn’t a fluke… but it wasn’t! Who knew, vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free pancakes could be so awesome.

Now, no pancake set up would be complete without a delicious topping. Mine normally range from something as basic as lemon juice, to mashed banana and maple syrup or a fruit compôte. So I decided to use up the last of my frozen berry stash which I picked last summer and make this yummy compôte to drizzle over them. After all, Spring is on its way right…

vegan cinnamon pancakes

pancakes with berry compote

vegan pancakes

Cinnamon and raisin, vegan, gluten-free pancakes
Makes 6 large pancakes

1/2 cup raisins
2 tbsp flax seeds
90 ml water
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup almond milk
Coconut oil for frying

Frozen summer berry compôte

1 cup frozen berries (I used red currants and raspberries)
1 tbsp maple syrup

  • Soak the raisins in a small bowl of warm water and set aside.
  • Finely grind the flax seeds in a spice grinder or high-speed food processor, whisk together with the water in a small bowl and set aside. The mixture should become gloopy and gelatinous.
  • Mix the remaining dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Before you mix in the wet ingredients, begin heating a frying pan on a medium-high heat and put the frozen berries in a small saucepan on a low heat. Stir occasionally and add in the maple syrup whilst you continue making the pancakes.
  • Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the flax mixture and half the almond milk. Using a fork mix together the flax and milk and slowly begin to incorporate the flour. Add the remaining milk a bit at a time until everything is combined.
  • Put 1/2 tsp or so of coconut oil in the hot frying pan and pour in just under half a cup of the pancake batter. Fry for about 2 minutes until the bottom has browned nicely then flip and further for a further minute or two.
  • Keep the pancakes warm under the grill until you have fried them all. Serve warm with the berry compôte.

Enjoy! A x


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Vegan, gluten-free chocolate brownies

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Have you ever made brownies then felt great disappointment when you taste them and they are dry and cakey, not dense and gooey as a good brownie should be? Never fear, I can guarantee chocolatey gooeyness with these guys.

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Not only are these absolutely delicious, they are really easy to make and a healthier alternative to your regular sugar laden brownie plus they’re gluten free too! Seriously what more do you want from us!

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I’m not one to celebrate Valentine’s Day with my boyfriend but if you are…..these would be the perfect choice! Go on indulge yourselves!

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Vegan & gluten-free chocolate brownies
Makes 15 brownies

1 cup of dates
1 cup of raw almonds
1/2 cup of cocoa powder
1/2 cup ground almonds
45g chopped dark chocolate (sugar free)
1/2 cup of raw walnuts
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp milled chia seeds mixed with 3 tbsp water (or use flax seeds)

1. Preheat the oven to 180C and line a baking tray (i used an 11″x 7″ one) with greaseproof paper.
2. In a saucepan add the dates and cover with water, cook down for 10-15 minutes on a medium heat until soft and gooey.
3. Into the blender add the whole almonds and blitz for 30 seconds. Add the cocoa power, ground almonds, dark chocolate and walnuts and blitz together until the walnuts are chopped up.
4. In a small bowl mix together the milled chia seeds and mix with water. Add to the blender along with the maple syrup.
5. Once the dates have boiled down add to the blender and mix everything together.
6. Spread the mixture evenly in the baking tin and bake for 15 minutes.
7. Leave to cool in the tray and once cooled cut into squares. Keep in the fridge.

Enjoy!

Veronica x


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Celeriac and marinated beetroot salad

Marinated-beetroot-salad

It’s been so cold here lately that all I’ve been eating is soups and stews. It’s the kind of weather where even two pairs of gloves won’t keep your hands warm and your skin is constantly dry no matter how much shea butter you apply.

So why then, I here you ask, am I posting a salad recipe? Good question…

Beetroot-and-celaric-salad

Because I miss summer!!!! I miss it so much! Bring back the warmth of the sun please!!

Ok, I’m being a bit dramatic but I know you all feel my pain! The other reason is that this week I got a surprise bag of British watercress in my veg bag, which I wasn’t expecting at this time of year. And then I was like, wooaahh, remember when it was warm and sunny and all I ate was salads. I miss those days.

So bring a little green, fresh, tangy, salady joy to these cold winter days. Then have a cup of tea to warm yourself back up : )

Beetroot-and-celaric-winter-salad

Celeriac and marinated beetroot salad

2 medium sized beetroot
1/2 a small celeriac
1 bunch watercress
2 tbsp chopped walnuts

For the marinade:
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil

  • Peel and chop the beetroot into large chunks.
  • Wrap the chopped beetroot in foil, seasoned with a little olive oil and salt and pepper and roast at 180C for 30 minutes or until a knife easily cuts in.
  • Leave the beetroot to cool.
  • In a medium sized bowl mix together the marinade ingredients then add the cooled beetroot and stir well ensuring an even coating. Cover and set aside for at least half an hour or put in the fridge and leave overnight.
  • In a large bowl combine the remaining ingredients then spoon over the beetroot and half of the marinade mixture. Season to taste and serve.

Amy x


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Maple cinnamon granola

granola - 8

I know it’s a bit late to wish you all a happy new year but I’m a little late in publishing this post. I hope you all had a great break over Christmas and now we have got the worst week of the year out of the way things are seeming a little more promising. I hate that first week of January; the depression of going back to work after a long break, the fact we still have months of winter to go and no sign of a holiday anywhere on the horizon….sad times. But, now we’re about to begin a second week and i’m turning (forcing) my mood around, after all those days are getting a little longer…..

My main focus in life right now is the London Marathon and despite being struck down with a cold last week (to add to my low mood) training has begun in earnest. I’ve joined my local running club, i’ve started going to the local Parkrun, I’m strengthening my core with Yoga…..and I’ve given up the booze (eek!). With all this going on I need to ensure I’m feeding my body well and this delicious granola is perfect to top my porridge with and to stay away from sugar, that’s right I’m back to strictly no sugar except natural sugars.

vegan granola

granola

Maple cinnamon granola

3 cups of rolled oats
1/2 cup of almonds (roughly chopped)
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 sunflower seeds
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp almond butter
3 tbsp maple syrup

1. In a bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (oats, chopped almonds, seeds and cinnamon.
2. In a saucepan, over a low heat, melt the maple syrup and almond butter.
3. Add the melted syrup and butter to the oat mix and stir through thoroughly.
4. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and pour in the mixture and pack roughly down.
5. Cook for 20 minutes at 180C. Leave to cool in the tray and then store in an airtight container.

Enjoy!

Veronica x

 


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Vegan Christmas Dinner // Mushroom and Chestnut Wellington

Vegan-Mushroom-and-Chesnut-Wellington

Last year we threw tradition out the door with our first vegan Christmas. We made a delicious nut roast to replace our usual turkey centrepiece. It actually sounds really weird now, to say we used to eat turkey. Sorry to get all freaked out and vegan on you but it honestly seems crazy to me now that I would eat that, especially as we have just rescued some more ex-caged hens. I honestly can’t imagine eating such a happy, crazy little creature like a turkey now. Funny how your views can change so radically in a relatively short space of time.

Mushroom-and-Chestnut-Wellington

So this year it seemed only fitting to keep trying new things in light of our continuing vegan adventures. Inspired by one of my favourite Christmassy ingredients, chestnuts, I decided to make a mushroom and chestnut wellington for our Christmas dinner. I have lovingly tried and tested this recipe so it is absolutely perfect on Christmas day but am kinda wishing I had done this ages ago so it didn’t mean eating it three weeks in a row : ) hah! But don’t worry it’s so delicious it’s impossible to have too much!

On Christmas day we’ll be serving this up with all the classics, roasted veggies and potatoes, brussel sprouts, braised red cabbage and stuffing. And why not bring the whole thing together with a red wine and onion gravy!

I have to admit, I often find potatoes a bit heavy. So you could always go really out there and skip the roasted potatoes and swap them for some mashed swede like I have here. Mix it up however you like, I think I’ll also make some cranberry sauce. My boyfriend ate this with mint sauce and thought it was delicious but he is a bit condiment crazy… Basically  you can have this delicious vegan wellington anyway you like, just be sure to have yourself a wonderful Christmas day!

Vegan-Christmas-Dinner

Vegan-Christmas-Food

Just a quick note to say that this is actually a super easy recipe! The hardest part will be peeling those chestnuts so do them in advance and you’ll have no trouble at all whipping this up on Christmas day!

Mushroom and Chestnut Wellington

200g Chestnut mushrooms
100g Shiitake mushrooms
300g Chestnuts, roasted and peeled
125g Cooked black-eyed beans,
1 Red onion
2 Cloves garlic
1 tsp Dried sage
1 tbsp Mushroom ketchup (optional)
1 tbsp Olive oil
Salt and Pepper

Shortcrust Spelt Pastry

175g Spelt flour
75g Vegan margarine
3-4 tbsp water
2 tbsp non-dairy milk for brushing

  • Begin by cooking your chestnuts, read how to do so here. (I normally roast up a big batch so I’ll have enough to make all my other chestnut christmas recipes like this pâté.)
  • Whilst your chestnuts are roasting, finely chop the onion and gently fry in a frying pan until translucent and just starting to caramelise.
  • Mince the garlic and slice the mushrooms and stir into the onion. Sweat on a medium heat until the most of after has been released from the mushrooms and they are just starting to brown. Then set the pan aside to cool.
  • In a food processor, blend the beans and chestnuts until they start to resemble breadcrumbs. If you’ve like a little extra texture blend the chestnuts separately and leave a little coarser.
  • Place the bean and chestnut mixer into a large mixing bowl.
  • Blend the mushrooms in the food processor and add to the mixing bowl along with the sage, and mushroom ketchup if using.
  • Mix together well and season to taste and set aside whilst you make the pastry.
  • Measure out the flour and marg into a large mixing bowl and chop into the marg with a knife until cut into fairly small chunks. Then rub the mixture together with your fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  • Add the water a bit at a time until the mixture comes together in your hands to form a ball.
  • Place the pastry covered in the fridge for 20 mins before rolling it out on a lightly floured surface into a large rectangle.
  • Mould the mushroom mixture into a loaf shape in the centre of your pastry lengthways.
  • Brush the pastry edges with milk and carefully roll the whole thing, leaving the seam underneath.
  • Pinch the ends together and brush the whole thing with milk, make a few small cuts in the pastry for steam to escape then place onto a greased baking tray.
  • Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180C for 35-40 mins until gold brown.

Have a Merry Vegan Christmas!

Amy x

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