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Bliss balls

home-made bliss balls placed in a green porcelain dish with a small house in the middle
home-made Bliss Balls

Whilst many of us are still being jolly and in full festive swing, others are feeling the sense of bliss that this Christmas “madness” is coming to an end, and we can return to normality. Well, kind of…
We’re now somehow getting caught in this limbo week between celebrations; the week between Christmas and New Year (for the Western world I admit).

To prevent the “I don’t quite know what to do with myself right now”-blues, we came up with this delightful small Bliss Bites, in shape and appearance of tiny snow balls. They’re easy to prepare but you’ll get your hands and fingers sticky – that much of a warning upfront!

Ingredients

  • 10 Medjool dates
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp soakes chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup nuts (almonds, hazelnut, walnut, brazil nut – any you like)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder

For decorating: some desiccated coconut on a plate to roll the Bliss Balls in

desiccated coconut

Preparation

  1. Place the dates and the liquid ingredients together into food processor, and blitz until you get a smooth paste.
  2. Then, add the other indredients and pulse to mix all evenly.
  3. Set aside in the fridge for the mix to cool down for at least 1 hour.
  4. Using a tablespoon, scoop out an amount to form a walnut sized ball, rolling the mass between your hands – this is the sticky finger bit 😉
  5. Roll the ball in the desiccated coconut until evenly covered.
  6. Repeat steps 4 & 5 until all mass is used up. Place all Bliss Balls onto a dish and set aside in the fridge again to cool down.
Home-made bliss balls close up on green porcelain dish
Enjoy these home-made Bliss balls!

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Epic Christmas Feast

Let us be honest – Christmas dinners with the family can be stressful. Especially when we all have different dietary needs.
I cannot think of a better opportunity though to share the wonderfully rich and versatile plant-based cuisine than Christmas. Sharing is caring, and what better way to show your love than preparing an epic Christmas feast that is cruelty-free, ethical, healthy, and environmentally sustainable!

STARTER
Roasted pear with walnut & ginger filling

Credit: Jamie Oliver

Ingredient

  • 5 large rounded pears
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 70 gr walnut halves
  • 20 gr pine nuts
  • 20 gr stem ginger , optional

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Halve 4 pears (you’ll be using 1 for decoration), and place them all cut-side up in a large ovenproof dish.
  2. Sprinkle over ½ a teaspoon of cinnamon and the caraway seeds and pop the 8 halves in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until they’re just browning at the edges and the flesh is soft. Allow to cool.
  3. Place the walnuts and pine nuts on a baking tray and toast in the oven for 4 to 5 minutes – the pine nuts won’t take long to turn golden, so keep an eye on them. Set aside a few toasted pine nuts for serving.
  4. Once the pears have cooled, scoop most of the flesh out of 4-6 of the halves (depending on how many person you’ll serve; 1 pear half per person), leaving just enough so the sides don’t collapse.
  5. De-seed, de-stem, and chop up the other roasted pear halves and the scooped-out pear flesh, and pop in a food processor with the toasted nuts. Add the stem ginger and the rest of the cinnamon and blitz. If you want a paste that’s quite textured, blitz only for a couple of seconds. If you want it totally smooth, keep blitzing.
  6. Divide the pear mixture between the 4-6 scooped-out pear skins. Peel and core the reserved pear, slice it thinly lengthways and arrange a couple of slivers on top of each stuffed pear.
  7. Decorate with a few chopped toasted pine nuts and serve, warmed through or cold. It’s great with a little peppery salad, like rocket leaves, on the side.
Courtesy of Lisa Ballik

MAIN 
Smoky leek & hazelnut tart

Credit: Vegetarian Society Recipes

Ingredients

  • 500 g ready-made vegan shortcrust pastry
  • 4 leeks, trimmed, thinly sliced
  • 20ml olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed
  • 4 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, peeled, finely sliced
  • 2 tsp plain white flour
  • 300ml soya milk
  • ½ tsp vegan stock powder
  • a small pinch of clove powder
  • 150g smokey or piquant vegan cheese 
  • 30g  cranberries, broken into little pieces
  • 1 Tbsp harissa paste
  • 100g tinned roasted peppers, sliced
  • 1 tbsp cranberry sauce
  • 100g hazelnuts, roasted, chopped
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

To garnish:

  • 1 tsp fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • ¼ red pepper, finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Line a greased 28cm round, loose-bottomed flan dish with greaseproof paper. Roll out the pastry and use it to line the dish. Trim the excess pastry. Prick the pastry.
  2. Cover the pastry with parchment paper, then add baking beans. Blind bake for 25 minutes. Remove the beans and paper, then bake for another 10 minutes. Leave to cool.
  3. While the pastry is cooking, gently sauté the leeks in 10g olive oil. After 5 minutes, add the garlic and spring onions and fry for 1 more minute. Season with salt and pepper, then set aside.
  4. For the cheese sauce, gently fry the onion in the remaining oil for 10 minutes. Sprinkle on the flour and continue to stir for 2 minutes. Slowly add the soya milk, a little at a time. The sauce should get thicker as the milk is heated. Add the stock powder and a pinch of clove powder. Cook gently for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add 100g vegan cheese and dried cranberries. Once the cheese has melted, fold into the cooked leeks. Season as required, then set to one side.
  5. Spread the harissa paste onto the pastry base, then add the peppers and cranberry sauce. Top with one-third of the nuts. Carefully add the leek mixture to the pastry case, then top with the remaining Vegusto. Bake in the oven for a further 10 minutes.
  6. Mix the remaining nuts with a little paprika, then season. Remove the tart from the oven, scatter the mixture over the top, then bake for another 5 minutes. Garnish with parsley, red pepper and paprika.
Courtesy of Lisa Ballik <3

SIDE
Shredded Brussels Sprouts salad with Lemon dessing and Pomegrante

Ingredients

For the salad

  • 450g Brussels sprouts / about 6 cups shredded
  • 1 cup thinly sliced radicchio
  • 1 cup stemmed and thinly sliced kale
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup toasted nuts almonds, walnuts, or pecans

For the dressing

  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice plus the zest of one lemon
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp minced shallot
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

  1. Holding each Brussels sprout by the stem, slice into very thin slices with a mandoline or sharp knife. Toss in a bowl with the radicchio, kale, half the pomegranate seeds, cranberries, and nuts.
  2. Combine the lemon juice, zest, olive oil, shallot, maple syrup, and mustard in a small jar (like an old jam jar). Season with salt and pepper. Seal the jar and give it a good shake.
  3. Pour half the dressing over the salad and toss to coat evenly. Let the salad stand for 1 hour at room temperature or 2 to 3 hours in the refrigerator. Toss with the remaining dressing and sprinkle with the remaining pomegranate seeds just before serving.
Shredded brussels sprouts, kale, and radicchio salad with lemon Dijon dressing
Courtesy of Lisa Ballik

DESSERT
Chocolate pots

Credit: Jamie Oliver

Ingredients

  • 200 g dairy-free dark chocolate (at least 75% cocoa)
  • 700 g silken tofu
  • 160 g maple syrup
  • 1 lime , zest of
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 Tbsp dark rum
  • 1 large pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • 1 large pinch of sea salt

Preparation

  1. Place a small pan over a medium-low heat, half-fill with boiling water, then place a medium heatproof bowl on top, making sure the base doesn’t touch the surface of the water. Break in the chocolate, then allow to melt, stirring occasionally.
  2. Meanwhile, line a medium bowl with a clean tea towel. Add the tofu, bunch up the tea towel and squeeze out the excess moisture into the bowl.
  3. Add the tofu to a food processor with the remaining ingredients and 1 good pinch of sea salt, then blitz for 1 to 2 minutes, or until smooth.
  4. Add the melted chocolate and pulse until silky and combined.
  5. Divide the mixture between little bowls (to make it extra special, I like to use a mixture of espresso cups and cute little glasses).
  6. Pop in the fridge for 15 minutes to chill, then serve.
courtesy of Lisa Ballik

No egg “Egg”Nog

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pack (appr. 175g) silken tofu
  • 180ml almond or soy milk
  • 1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 14g sugar
  • 1 Tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 1/8 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 70ml rum

Preparation

  1. Combine all ingredients (apart from nutmeg and rum) in a food processor until well combined and then chill.
  2. When ready to drink add rum and mix thoroughly, pour into glasses and sprinkle nutmeg over each glass.
No-egg “eggnog”

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Please let us know how any of the Christmas dishes have turned out for you! Take pictures and share them on your social with the #EpicVeganChristmasFeast, or leave us a comment below.

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a magical holiday!!! 

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Black Rice Mango Orange & Peanuts Salad

Credit: Bon Appetit

I get inspired by taking a look into my fruit bowl or vegetable tray in my fridge. Waste not, want not!
Having discovered a ripe mango this morning, I got curious as to what I could prepare what is not the “typical sweet” dish I’d normally go for with a Mango – et voilà! This salad just looks beautiful and nutritious.

Huge shout-out to the growing community of vegan food bloggers in the www! I love the ease and convenience with which we can browse and find a recipe for pretty much every ingredient you have in your kitchen. If you want to save your food from landing in a bin -and honestly we all should have this desire not to waste- then I highly recommend you give this approach a try. Rather than planning meals and shop ingredients accordingly, why not try to buy what’s on offer at the moment, and then find out what you can cook with it? This turns the meal planning process upside down, and I quite like a good challenge! Do you?

This recipe is inspired by the Bon Appetit magazin, and I veganized it for us 🙂

Ingredients

  • 1 orange, peel and white pith removed, segments separated
  • 1/8 cup lime juice, freshly pressed
  •  1/2 Tbsp No fish sauce – optional
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 1 cups black rice
  •  1 mango, peeled, pitted, diced
  • 1/2 cup coriander leaves, freshly shopped
  • 1/2 small or medium size red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup unsalted roasted peanuts (if you cannot find unsalted, use salted but leave out any additional salt in thie recipe)
  • 3 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 1 Jalapeño pepper, seeded, finely chopped 

Preparation

  1. Boil the rice in a large pot until it’s tender; appr. 20-25 minutes. Season lightly with salt (if you will use unsalted peanuts in this recipe).
  2. Orange. Sharp knife. Large bowl. Small mason jar.
  3. Use the small sharp knife, and cut the orange segments into 4 pieces each.
  4. Pour 1/4 cup lime juice, oil, and No-fish sauce into the small mason jar, add some salt and freshly cracked pepper, put on the lid, and shake to blend. Set dressing aside.
  5. Remove pot from heat and let stand, covered, for 15 minutes. Spread out rice on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with dressing, and season lightly with salt (if you will use unsalted peanuts in this recipe); allow  it to cool down.
  6. Add the diced mangoes and remaining ingredients into the large bowl, and then rice and toss gently to combine.
  7. Season lightly with some salt and more lime juice, if desired.
Credit: Prevention RD
If I’ll manage to make my dish just half as visually appealing as Nicole Morrissey, then I’ll be happy 🙂 What a beautiful job she’s done!!

Do you want to be amongst the first to know when we publish a new plant-based recipe? If you do, please leave us your contact info below, and we’ll drop you an email each time we add another delicious & nutritious post on this website 🙂

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No fish sauce

Traditional to most Asian cuisines like the Thai or Vietnamese, we need a version of fish sauce that is fish-free to add umami to bring a depth of flavor and savoriness to the dish that is typical. Curious how to? Here’s an unexpected version that comes very close to the original.

No fish were harmed in the making of this No fish sauce!

INGREDIENTS – lightly flavoured  No fish sauce

  • 1/8 cup warm water
  • 1 Tbsp raw turbinado or muscovado sugar
  • 1/8 cup fresh or canned 100% pineapple juice
  • 1 Tbsp light soy sauce or tamari
  • Add salt to taste

Preparation

  1. Stir the water and sugar together in a bowl until sugar dissolves. Add the pineapple juice and light soy sauce and mix well.
  2. Allow at least 1 hour for the fermentation process to kick in. It can take up to 3-4 days , even when placed in the fridge. Ensure that you check regularly that there is not too much pressure building up in the glass/jar. Open regularly.
  3. Refrigerate in a glass container or place it in the freezer, which shall stop the fermentation process. 

I used this first, lighter flavoured version for the Black Rice Mango Orange & Peanuts Salad. Delightful!!

INGREDIENTS – deeper flavoured No fish sauce 

  • 3 cups water
  • ½ cup soy sauce, tamari, or Braggs Aminos
  • around 10gr or 4-5 whole dried shiitake mushrooms 
  • 3 large sheets of nori seaweed, shredded
  • around 6-7g or ¼ cup wakame seaweed or the same amount of kombu kelp or a combination of both
  • 1 shallot or small onion, roughy chopped
  • 1 large clove of garlic, smashed with skin
  • 15 peppercorns
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp miso
  • ¾ tsp sea salt

Preparation

  1. Put everything into a medium pot and bring it to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover with a lid. Simmer on low for 20 minutes to extract all of the flavors out of the ingredients.
  2. When done, you’ll want to clarify the liquid, as it will have become slightly cloudy. Pour all through a fine cheesecloth and let the liquid drip through. You can help it along by squeezing the solids gently in the cloth.
  3. After it is all drained, transfer your homemade No fish sauce to an airtight glass jar or bottle and put it in the fridge until you are ready to use it. Because of the high salt content, it lasts in the fridge.
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Whisky cream liquor

Smooth and creamy Whisky coffee liquor. Tempting solo on the rocks or enjoyed hot, stirred into a cup of coffee. It’s the time of the year, isn’t it? I’m not suggesting in the slightest that this “Baileys” version cannot be enjoyed throughout the year, but following the seasonal offers in our supermarkets, it seems to increase in popularity around the colder winter months. Specially around Christmas. 

Moreover, if you enjoy giving home-made presents for Christmas, this is a really good one! Well, for +18 years youngs (or +21 years, depending on which beautiful place in the world you live in. Please follow your country’s legislation). You can get a beautiful bottle and get your Christmas present ready in probably 5 minutes. Sounds good to me!

All you need is….. love 🎶 – and this:

  • 250ml non-daily milk (I prefer coconut, cashew, almond, or hazelnut) If you prefer a thicker, creamier version you can use non-daily cream (soy or oat)
  • 125ml Whisky
  • 3 Tbsp Agave nectar
  • 2gr instant espresso or 1 espresso stick (Anything but Nescafé please!)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder

Nearly there!

I’d suggest you use a large jug for the this recipe.
Pour the Whisky into the jug and then add the instant expresso granules. Stir until its fully dissolved. Then add all other ingredients and stir until everything is well mixed.  

Credit:  Cupcake Project

Now, to ensure it’s tasty enough to give it away as a present, you may want to try. Pour yourself a small glass (or more ;)) and give it a try. 
How is it? 
I’d love to know what you think! Please leave us your comments below. 

Variations

Thinking out aloud here, you may want to try some variations to this ‘basic’ recipe.
What about hazelnut, mint, vanilla, or salted caramel?

It’s probably quite easy to add a tsp of salted caramel, vanilla or hazelnut flavouring, or a few drops of peppermint essential oil. 
If you give this a go, please share with us how it turned out 🙂

Keeping it cool

As this liquor s mainy bases on non-daily milk or cream, don’t forget to keep it cool after preparation. Keep it in the fridge for max 7 days.
It should last the same amount of time as the original non-daily milk or cream. Obviously, the fresher it is, the better! As you can see from the recipe though, it’s a small portion anyway. It wouldn’t last 7 days in my fridge 🙂


 

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