Colchester Bazaar Time!

prepping the stall
prepping the stall

I’m taking a quick break from crochet to spread the word about the bazaar happening on Saturday in Colchester, Essex.

Find the event details on facebook  here

Vegan Ahead will be there selling hats, scarves, cowls and other trinkets – all made from cruelty-free materials of course!

I’m hoping to do some Christmas shopping too, as I think there will be some beautiful stalls there if the last made in colchester craft fair I went to is anything to go by.

It’s the first fair I’ve done in years so I’m a little nervous, will be back soon to tell you how it went!

Colchester Bazaar Time!

Squash and chestnut bake

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1/2 butternut squash, cubed
1 onion, sliced
Coconut or other oil
1 garlic clove
Chestnuts, sliced
1 can chickpeas
Fresh herbs and seasoning – I used thyme and oregano
Soya cream, optional
Veggie sausages (i used Linda McCartney)

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Slice the onion and peel and cube the squash.  Roast them together in oil in a large dish at 200 degrees for at least half an hour or until the squash is tender, adding the garlic halfway and stirring or giving the dish a shake now and then.
Cook the sausages according to packet instructions. When cooked cut them into bite sized pieces.

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Add the chickpeas and sausages to the roasting dish and cook for a few minutes further.  Stir through the cream, if using, and scatter with herbs to serve.

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Squash and chestnut bake

Dark Water Breaking is published! Gunpowder & Alchemy Book 2 available now!

Dan Davis Writes

In 1640s England, Writer is arrested in the night and put on trial by the Witchfinder General. Can she unlock her latent powers and free herself before the murderous Trial by Water?

At the other end of the Vale, Keeper and his dragon are brutally seized by redcoats and carried to Coalschester Castle on the orders of Cromwell, leader of the rebellion against King Charles I.

The ancient Cedd arrives in Morningtree and claims to have once been an ally of the Alchemist Bede a thousand years before. But is he all that he seems? What is he really fighting for?

Archer and Weaver must now battle to rescue their friends before it is too late. But to fight the alchemists, the redcoats and their steam-powered landships, they may have to start a rebellion of their own.

Amazing book cover by artist Lombus who agreed to do the whole series Amazing cover by artist Lombus who agreed to do the whole series. I…

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Dark Water Breaking is published! Gunpowder & Alchemy Book 2 available now!

Apple and Blueberry Cake

Apple and Blueberry Cake

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I have to credit my Sister, Lisa for this recipe.  I remember her bringing this delicious cake round when I was just leaving the fog of first trimester pregnancy sickness and it tasted wonderful!

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Ingredients

4 eating apples

300g blueberries (fresh or frozen)

175g caster sugar

175g unsalted vegan margarine (I used vitalite)

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 egg equivalent (I used Ogran No Egg)

175 self raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

cake 1

Preheat oven to 180

Peel and slice the apples and add to an ovenproof dish

Add the berries and 2tbsp of the sugar.

Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla together until pale and creamy.

Mix in the egg replacer gradually.  Add the flour and baking powder.

If the mixture is a little stiff add a splash of dairy free milk.

Spoon the batter over the fruit.

Bake for around 30 minutes or until a skewer or toothpick comes out clean.cake

Serve with squirty cream!  I bought this beautifully – named schlagfix on a recent visit to the den at 23 so it was the perfect day to bake this cake.

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Its worth noting that this needs to be served on some sort of plate and eaten with a fork or spoon, it’s too messy with all the fruit at the bottom to pick up. If the fruit is mixed into the batter or placed on top of the batter it might become a ‘cut up and pick up with fingers’ type cake.

Apple and Blueberry Cake

Vegan Lentil Chowder

This dish was invented on one of those evenings when you’ve run out of almost everything and you have to get creative with what’s at the back of the store cupboard.  Dan loved it and suggested I wrote it down quickly before I forgot what I put in it.  Now we have this regularly and call it ‘lentil chowder’ just because it’s creamy.

In these photos I’m making double the recipe then freezing half of it to eat on another night which works really well with this meal.

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Ingredients

  • 200g red lentils
  • 1 diced onion
  • 2 diced carrots
  • Tin mixed beans  (in this pic I’m using what I had open in my fridge, so sweetcorn, chickpeas and a tin of kidney beans)
  • Vegetable stock
  • 100ml Soya cream (or more if you like)
  • Coconut oil
  • 2 green chillies
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Lemon zest
  • Finely chopped fresh rosemary

chowder

Fry onion and carrot in oil to soften.  Add garlic and chilli and fry for a couple more minutes.

Add lentils and enough stock to comfortably cover them.

Bring to the boil then simmer for 15 mins.  Skim off any scum from the surface.

Add the beans and cream and simmer for another 15 mins.

Garnish with lots of lemon zest and herbs and a drizzle of cream.

garnish

Serve with rice and bread.

Vegan Lentil Chowder

Vegetable Bake or How To Use Up Leftovers

imageWhen I have a bunch of vegetables that aren’t going to last for long this is one of my favourite ways to use them up in one pot.  Another is curry. It’s packed with nutrients and is also cheesy and creamy enough to qualify as comfort food. Also it’s a good make-ahead meal so I can make this when my Daughter naps and then it’s ready to go in the oven when my Husband gets home and takes the stress out of dinnertime with a toddler hanging onto my legs while trying to cook.

The ingredients can be as varied as the contents of your average fridge but this is what went into my most recent veggie bake.

Ingredients

  • 1 can mixed beans
  • Soya cream
  • Vegan Cheese, grated (I used a mixture of violife and Tesco own brand)
  • 1 Green and 1 yellow pepper, chopped
  • Handful of new potatoes, cut into thick slices 1 leek, sliced
  • Tinned sweetcorn
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Coconut oil (or any plant based cooking oil)
  • Vegan butter (I used vitalite)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Garlic

Boil some water in a saucepan and cook the potatoes until they just slide off a knife. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile heat the oil in a frying pan.  Add the leek and a knob of butter.  Soften the leek then add the garlic and peppers. Stir in the drained beans and sweetcorn and however much cream you like.  (I like a lot). Season.  Transfer the mixture to a baking dish and lay the potato slices on top.

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Top with the grated cheese, a drizzle of oil and fresh herbs.  Bake until the cheese is melted and golden. I served with a green salad of mixed leaves, cucumber and avocado dressed in olive oil and lemon.

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Vegetable Bake or How To Use Up Leftovers

Easy banana cake with vanilla icing

Easy Banana Cake with Vanilla Icing

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For the Cake
I egg equivalent (I used Ogran no egg)
75ml vegetable oil
125g caster sugar
2 bananas, finely sliced
30g rolled oats
150g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1tsp ground cinnamon

For the icing
Icing sugar
Water
Vanilla extract

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Preheat oven to 180 degrees / Gas 4.  Line a cake tin with baking parchment.
Whisk the oil, egg and sugar together.  Whisk the sliced bananas into the mixture. Fold in the rest of the cake ingredients.

Pour the thick batter into the tin. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until a metal skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.

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I forgot to measure how much icing sugar I used!  I would guess at 2 or 3 tablespoons. Add a few drops of vanilla to the icing sugar and stir, add tiny amounts of water until you have the consistency you want, so that it will run a little but stay mostly on top of the cake.

I’m waiting for my cake to cool completely while I’m typing this.  When its cool add the glaze and serve with a big fat cup of tea.

Easy banana cake with vanilla icing