FindingVegan Holiday Link Round-Up!

Another round-up! This one is even bigger and better, and features dozens of the best FindingVegan bloggers on the web. From cookies to gingerbread houses, mouthwatering main means and edible gifts, there’s bound to be something in here for you to enjoy with your family this holiday season.

Vegan Link Round-up!
There are some amazing vegan recipes, books, features and more out there on the internet, but it can be challenging to track down great content sometimes! That is where FindingVegan.com comes in. FV features recipes and more from the best vegan-friendly bloggers on the web! And this year, we FV asked some of its contributors to share their best content in a MEGA-amazing vegan round-up! Check out all that is going on in the vegan community!..

1. Kathy Patalsky, of HealthyHappyLife and founder on Finding Vegan is sharing:
* 12 Days of Vegan Christmas Giveaway + YouTube Series – $2700 grand prize!
* Kathy’s cookbook to kickstart a healthy New Year: 365 Vegan Smoothies
* Triple Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

*photo credit: Kathy Patalsky

2. Rachael Renee of RawHighLife is sharing:
* Amazing raw vegan cinnamon rolls PERFECT for holiday brunch!
* Easy fruit and veggie recipes in her ebook
* The RAW High Life Facebook page

*photo credit: RawHighLife

3. June Burns of Philosophy and Cake is sharing:
* Chocolate Macarons recipe, gluten free + vegan
* Momofuku-Inspired Carrot Layer Cake
* Salty-sweet pecan pie bars with bourbon!

3. Kelly of ThePrettyBee is sharing:
* Vegan Holiday Treats
* Gluten Free Gifts in Jars

*photo credit: Kelly, the pretty bee

4. Aimee of TheVegLife is sharing:
* Her eBook of vegan Christmas Cookies. 25 exclusive cookie recipes for 2014, and more, 50 recipes in total!
* Cranberry Orange Muffins

5. Natalie Thomas of feasting on fruit is sharing:
* Chocolate Peppermint Cookiewiches
* Gingerbread Snack Cakes
* Caramel Hot Chocolate the Fruity Way

*photo credit: Natalie, feasting on fruit

6. Carolyn Murphy of PeaceMeal is sharing:
* Mulled Wine
* Salted Toffee Peanut Butter & Caramel Macchiato Cheesecake Cups
* Garlic and Sun Dried Tomato Cheese Ball

7. Lisa from Healthy Nibbles & Bits is sharing:
* Peppermint Bark Popcorn with Toasted Coconut
* Butternut Squash, Hummus & Guacamole Dip

8. Trinity of Trinity’s Kitchen is sharing:
* Festive Seed Roast Loaf (gluten-free, vegan and super healthy)
* Christmas Fruit n’ Nut Truffles

*photo credit: Trinity’s Kitchen

9. Ginny from Vegan in the Freezer is sharing:
* Delicious Party Food – Spicy Tortilla Rollups
* Homemade Kahlua sounds like a holiday in itself
* Spiced Rum Balls – no kidding!

*photo credit: Ginny, vegan in the freezer

10. Tia from Tia’s Kitchen is sharing:
* vegan hot chocolate
* vegan eggnog

11. Danielle Levy of DanielleLevyNutrition is sharing:
* Asian inspired Yuba Roast Chestnut Stuffing
* Classic comfort food: Walnut Crusted Tofu with braised chard and butternut squash

photo credit: Danielle Levy

12. Vanessa of Becomingness is sharing:
* Caramel Macadamia Chocolate Cups
* BecomingSweet!
* 15 Best Raw Desserts

13. Aurora of TheIndieBroccoli is sharing:
* Christmas Loaf with Lentils and Quinoa
* Rutabaga Fries with vegan lemon basil mayo
* Carrot Juice with Turmeric and Ginger

*photo credit: Aurora, the indie broccoli

14. Bianca of Elephantastic Vegan is sharing:
* Festive Holiday Recipe – Pink Beet Cupcakes
* Her website and facebook page!

15. Cate from A Traveling Cook is sharing:
* Vegan Christmas Pudding

16. Clemence of The Vegan Cookie Fairy is sharing:
*Her ebook of Vegan Christmas recipes, The Vegan Cookie Fairy’s Christmas Recipes
the vegan cookie fairy's christmas recipes
* Her ebook of Vegan Chocolate recipes, The Vegan Cookie Fairy’s Little Book of Chocolate
the vegan cookie fairy chocolate ebook
* Gingerbread Pumpkin Cheesecake Squares with Chocolate Drizzle

photo credit: The Vegan Cookie Fairy

17. Jennifer of VeggieInspiredJourney is sharing:
* Vegan Dilled Ceviche
* Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Bars
* Maple Cinnamon Cranberry Pear Sauce

18. Dana of VanishingVeggie is sharing:
* Her website
* Her Facebook page
* A bright, citrus salad, perfect for any gathering

19. Sophia from VeggiesDontBite is sharing:
* Layered Pumpkin Caramel Pie in a Mason Jar: one of my most favorite desserts for this season!
* Frothy Pistachio Milk Hot Chocolate: Cozy up this winter with this indulgent treat.
* The new Veggies Don’t Bite Overnight Oats Jar: Breakfast just went from easy to easier. A healthy, quick and delicious way to start your day!

*photo credit: Sophia, veggies don’t bite

20. Christina of TheBeautifulBalance is sharing:
* Soft and Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies
* Maple Apple Scones
* Pear & Raspberry Frangipane Tart

21. Stacey of SouthernVeganKitchen is sharing:
* Lumberjack Date Cake
* Peanut Butter Chocolate Dream Pie

22. Shannon of The Glowing Fridge is sharing:
* Candy Cane and Marshmallow Peppermint Fudge
* The Glow Effect Guide
* A Holiday Gift Guide for Her

23. Jessica of TwoGreenPeas Website is sharing:
* Chocolate Candy Cane Pretzel Bark
* Vegan Gingerbread Houses: Recipe & How-To
* Starry Night Cinnamon Okra Masala

*photo credit: Jessica, TwoGreenPeas

24. Majda of BreadOlives is sharing:
* Walnut Date Truffles

*photo credit: Majda, BreadOlives

25. Vicky of MayIHaveThatRecipe is sharing:
* Eggnog Sticky Toffee Pudding
* Vegan Tiramisu
* Roasted Veggie Tofu Pot Pies

*photo credit: Vicky, MayIhaveThatRecipe

26. Dora of Dora’s Table is sharing:

* This is a recipe for Garabatos or scribble cookies. These cookies are very popular in Mexico city, and you will fall in love with them too. Who can resist two coconut shortbread cookies, sandwiched in a smooth chocolate filing, and drizzled with warm chocolate? The best part, they’re 100% vegan.

*photo credit: Dora’s Table

27. Kelly of Trial and Eater is sharing:
* Foodie Gift Guide
* How to make vanilla extract – Fun holiday gift idea!
* Sunflower wrap – Healthy holiday snacking!

28. Michelle of Healthier Steps is sharing:
* Vegan Broccoli and Rice Casserole
* Sweet Potato Souffle
* Jamaican Pumpkin Soup

Bonus a few recipes I personally adore from FindingVegan contributors!..

29. Cara of Fork and Beans makes Healthy Reindeer Cookies

30. VeggieAndTheBeast Ginger Cutout Cookies

31. VeguKate’s Superfood Hot Cocoa

…and SO many more on FindingVegan.com. Sign up for the Finding Vegan Monthly Newsletter here.

I wish you all a very merry Christmas! There is one more recipe coming from me before Christmas Day as part of the the Festive Vegan Blog Crawl I’m hosting with Fab, Ceri, Lane and Hedi. If you need more inspiration for the holidays, just check out their delicious recipes!

Psst — there are only 5 days till Christmas! Get my ebook THE VEGAN COOKIE FAIRY’S CHRISTMAS RECIPES on Amazon to have the best vegan Christmas ever. Don’t forget to sign up for email updates and follow me on InstagramTwitterFacebookPinterest and Tumblr! You can also follow my blog through Bloglovin‘.

Love and cookies,

thevegancookiefairysignature-2

Cheesy Leek & Potato Gratin

One is a student, and one does not have a lot of money, although one is fortunate to have more than others and counts her blessings daily. But one had decided a while ago now to eat cheaply whenever possible; one signed up to receive a most cost-effective delivery of seasonal, local produce every week. One resolved to eat this produce, because it was cheap and good for her, even if she did not like them. 

One abhors leeks. And leeks she receives every damn week. 

I am sick to death of leeks (and incidentally also of speaking of myself as ‘one’, so let’s have no more of that). But every damn week I get at least two of them. Over Christmas I received a double delivery of fruits and vegetables — WITH FIVE LEEKS IN THE LOT. I felt myself going weak in the knees. Had to sit down calmly for a moment to think how on earth I could use these up, because I need to eat, and I need to save as much money as possible, so I cannot throw away food. That, and it would wasteful, which is disrespectful to nature and to those who have less than I, and I am (I hope) neither wasteful nor disrespectful.

What could possibly mask the ghastly, sickening flavour of these obscenely long and ugly onions? How could I bring myself to swallow this stringy, fibrous vegetable? Only one answer came to mind. 

Cheese. 

Lots, and lots of creamy, oozy, vegan cheese. 

I rolled up my sleeves, cracked open my tin of nutritional yeast, and set to making dinner. 

Leeks have never, indeed, tasted this good. 

Notes:
* If you wish to make this recipe gluten-free, use gluten-free bread for the breadcrumb topping. 
* I’m not too specific on the potatoes. Use any that you have on hand, except sweet potatoes, as I don’t think they would taste too great with the leeks and cheese (not to mention the horribly clashing colour). Keep an eye on your potatoes while they’re cooking; different sorts may need different cooking times before they are tender. 

Serves four

500 g (1.1lbs) waxy potatoes (such as Maris Piper), cut into 1 cm (1/2″) chunks
1 head of celeriac, peeled and chopped into 1 cm (1/2″) chunks
3 leeks, washed and sliced into 1 cm (1/2″) medallions 
50 g (1.76 oz) vegan cheese (optional)
1 tsp vegan butter + extra for greasing
4-5 tbsp nutritional yeast
500 ml (2 cups) soya milk
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp dried sage 
1/2 tsp dried thyme
20 g (1/4 cup) breadcrumbs

Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC (356)ºF). 

Parboil the potatoes, leeks and celeriac (i.e. boil for 10 minutes) in a large heavy-bottomed pot, then drain. 

If it is ovenproof, you may use the same pot to bake the vegetables in the oven. In that case, grease it with some vegan butter. Set aside for now. 

To prepare the sauce, place a small saucepan over medium heat. Melt 1 tsp vegan butter and lightly fry to garlic. Throw in the herbs and nutmeg then pour in the soya milk, all the while stirring continuously. Finally add in 4 tbsp of nutritional yeast. Keep stirring while the sauce reduces; you will need to simmer the sauce for about fifteen minutes. Take off the heat. 

Place the parboiled vegetables in the greased heavy-bottomed dish, cover with the sauce, sprinkle over the breadcrumbs and 1 tbsp nutritional yeast, then bake for 30 minutes. If you wish to incorporate vegan cheese cubes, stir them in with the vegetables. 



What say you — leeks, yay or nay?


Carrot & Courgette Noodle Stir-Fry with Spicy Peanut Sauce


Here’s a little secret:I’d never had a stir-fry before I lived in London. 

But out in the Big Smoke, it’s the ultimate dinner, it seems. ‘What’s for tea?’ ‘Oh, let’s make a nice stir-fry.’ That, or fajitas from a box.

Well I can assure you stir-fries and fajitas from a packet are not as pretty as my stir-fries. (Maybe I should do a fajita recipe next?) 
Nor are they cheap. If you’ve ever purchased an Old El Paso or whatever they’re called boxes of ‘Make Your Own Fajitas At Home’ now is the time to solemnly swear never to do so again. Newsflash: they are not cheap. They don’t even come with the chicken or the vegetables, so your dinner ends up being over a tenner instead of a few pounds, which is what this recipe costs to make. 

Newsflash: vegetables are cheap. Eat ’em up.



I used quite a lot of parsley, as you can tell from the photos, however I soon discovered I like my parsley used… sparingly. Just a little bit is enough, otherwise it starts overpowering the other flavours. However, if you love your parsley to the ends of the world, go ahead and sprinkle on that herb. Or use coriander if you prefer (I shudder at the mere thought of coriander – ‘t is an abomination of nature, methinks).


Don’t be discouraged if your noodles don’t turn out very pretty the first time around: mine were short and ugly and very un-noodle-like the first time I tried making them. Practice makes perfect! (Or pretty.) Mine sometimes turn out a bit more like slaw, but oh well. It still tastes pretty darn good. Someday, perhaps, I will invest in a fancy spiraliser, but till then, I shall have to make do with my grater. 




For the stir-fry:
1 large carrot
1 courgette
100g (3.5 oz) mangetout
20g (0.7 oz) peanuts
1/2 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1/2 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
a handful of chopped parsley

Wash your vegetables and peel them if you like. Spiralise the courgette and carrot into noodles (with a peeler, a grater or a spiraliser – whatever you have on hand. I use a mandolin slicer, and sometimes a grater.) Set aside for now. 

Place a wok over medium heat and drizzle the sesame oil in it. Toss the peanuts about in the oil until they are lightly toasted on all sides, then add the onion, chilli and mangetout and sauté for another five minutes. Lastly add the noodles, sauté for two minutes and take off the heat. 

Serve with the sauce (recipe below) and fresh parsley.

For the sauce:
2 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp soya sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
a small chunk of ginger, coarsely chopped
1 stalk lemongrass, roughly chopped
1/2 red chilli, deseeded and roughly chopped
4-5 tbsp water (or oil, but I don’t like my sauces too oily)
juice 1/2 lemon
a drizzle of date syrup (maple would work nicely, too)

Blend all ingredients till you obtain a smooth, thin paste. Add more or less water depending on the power of your blender and your personal preference (I like a thin sauce so I can coat every noodle with it.) The lemongrass will leave a few strings, but that can’t be helped (and it doesn’t taste bad.)

Is there a herb or ingredient you simply cannot stand? Apparently even the illustrious Julia Child used to pick out leaves of coriander if she found them in her food, so I feel a little reassured that I’m not being too fervent in my hatred of this herb.



Broccoli "Cheese" Pasta Bake.

Here is a simple one I made a while ago. The Cookie Monster made me a pasta bake one evening, bless him, albeit using store-bought sauce (he’s good at eating, but not so good at cooking!) He inspired me to make my own pasta bake, homemade sauce and all, with some of my favourite ingredients: broccoli, tofu and nooch. Curious, or just plain weirded out? Keep reading, it gets better. 

(Mum liked it too, and she’s had to cook tons of pasta for us over the years. I’ll take it if she likes it, I’ve passed the test.)

 


Serves 4
Prep time: 15-20 minutes*
Cooking time: 40 minutes total*

Ingredients:
For the sauce:
400g cauliflower, roughly chopped (3 + 1/2 cups)
260ml unsweetened soya milk (1 cup + 1 tbsp)
6 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 small garlic cloves
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
100g tofu (3oz)
1 tsp vegan margarine (optional for extra creaminess)
a pinch of turmeric
a pinch of thyme
1/4 tsp nutmeg
juice of 1/2 lemon

For the crumbly topic:
1 slice gluten-free bread, toasted (or regular)
1 heaped tbsp nutritional yeast

And the rest:
425g broccoli and green beans, you decide how much of each you want (4 cups)
220g gluten-free spirelli (or regular pasta; farfalle looks really beautiful in this dish, too)

Instructions:
Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC. Grease a large ovenproof dish. 
Steam the cauliflower for 10 minutes. Transfer to a blender, add the soya milk and begin blending. Add the other sauce ingredients, one by one, until all are used up and the sauce is smooth and creamy. 
Steam the broccoli and green beans for 5-10 minutes. Cook the pasta according to package instructions. 
Combine the pasta, broccoli, green beans and pasta sauce in a large bowl. Pour into the ovenproof dish. 
In a small bowl, crumble the slice of toast with your hands (or blitz in a food processor), mix in the nutritional yeast, and sprinkle over the pasta. 
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. 

Notes:
* Remember that you can easily multi-task when making this dish. While the vegetables are steaming you can also cook the pasta (I steam my vegetables over the pot of pasta), blend the sauce while the pasta is cooking, etc. And of course, clean up the kitchen and lay the table while  the pasta is baking. Just remember to keep on eye on things. 
• The tofu is where it’s at in this sauce. If you’ve ever added tofu to smoothies, you’ll know it’s the magic ingredients to make them silky smooth. Same with this sauce. Try it, I promise you won’t regret it. 



Broccoli “Cheese” Pasta Bake.

Here is a simple one I made a while ago. The Cookie Monster made me a pasta bake one evening, bless him, albeit using store-bought sauce (he’s good at eating, but not so good at cooking!) He inspired me to make my own pasta bake, homemade sauce and all, with some of my favourite ingredients: broccoli, tofu and nooch. Curious, or just plain weirded out? Keep reading, it gets better. 

(Mum liked it too, and she’s had to cook tons of pasta for us over the years. I’ll take it if she likes it, I’ve passed the test.)

 


Serves 4
Prep time: 15-20 minutes*
Cooking time: 40 minutes total*

Ingredients:
For the sauce:
400g cauliflower, roughly chopped (3 + 1/2 cups)
260ml unsweetened soya milk (1 cup + 1 tbsp)
6 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 small garlic cloves
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
100g tofu (3oz)
1 tsp vegan margarine (optional for extra creaminess)
a pinch of turmeric
a pinch of thyme
1/4 tsp nutmeg
juice of 1/2 lemon

For the crumbly topic:
1 slice gluten-free bread, toasted (or regular)
1 heaped tbsp nutritional yeast

And the rest:
425g broccoli and green beans, you decide how much of each you want (4 cups)
220g gluten-free spirelli (or regular pasta; farfalle looks really beautiful in this dish, too)

Instructions:
Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC. Grease a large ovenproof dish. 
Steam the cauliflower for 10 minutes. Transfer to a blender, add the soya milk and begin blending. Add the other sauce ingredients, one by one, until all are used up and the sauce is smooth and creamy. 
Steam the broccoli and green beans for 5-10 minutes. Cook the pasta according to package instructions. 
Combine the pasta, broccoli, green beans and pasta sauce in a large bowl. Pour into the ovenproof dish. 
In a small bowl, crumble the slice of toast with your hands (or blitz in a food processor), mix in the nutritional yeast, and sprinkle over the pasta. 
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. 

Notes:
* Remember that you can easily multi-task when making this dish. While the vegetables are steaming you can also cook the pasta (I steam my vegetables over the pot of pasta), blend the sauce while the pasta is cooking, etc. And of course, clean up the kitchen and lay the table while  the pasta is baking. Just remember to keep on eye on things. 
• The tofu is where it’s at in this sauce. If you’ve ever added tofu to smoothies, you’ll know it’s the magic ingredients to make them silky smooth. Same with this sauce. Try it, I promise you won’t regret it. 



Broad Beans, Mint & Creamy Hummus Bruschetta. {Protein Packed}


The sun is finally OUT and I have been enjoying it all weekend long. Taking it easy, going with the flow, visiting South London (hard to admit for a North Londoner but dang, it’s pretty down there.)

We’re keeping it simple today and offering you a scrumptious, easy summer recipe. It involves many of my favourite things: crusty ciabatta bread, sweet ‘n chubby little peas and broad beans, mint and hummus. I was inspired by a recipe in last month’s Observer Food Monthly, and just substituted hummus for the cheese. This could be an al-fresco lunch or a light supper. Even a snack. 

It is packed with protein and has a lovely zingy flavour thanks to the lemon zest and juice. And it is just very, very pretty because it’s so green (my favourite colour!)


Serves one
Prep time: 2 mins
Cooking time: 6 mins

Ingredients:
1 small ciabatta bread roll
approx. 75g frozen broad beans
10 fresh mint leaves, chopped1 tsp olive oil
zest of 1 lemon
juice of half a lemon
1/3 can butter beans, mashed
1 tbsp hummus

Instructions:
Boil the broad beans for 6 minutes, then drain. 
Slice the ciabatta roll in half. 
Mash the butter beans and hummus together. Slather it on both halves of the roll. 
Toss the broad beans and butter beans with the oil, zest and lemon juice, and the mint leaves. Top the bread with this. 
Enjoy!

What have you lovelies been up to over the weekend? Any good summer recipes to share? 


Momos ‘n Miso. {Memories of India}


It’s no secret that India left quite the culinary imprint on my foodie heart. I never ate so well as I did at the Ashram in Netala: curry for breakfast, who could ask for more? The ingredients were wholesome and local, and I loved chanting and praying before every meal. 

But outside of the Ashram I got introduced to some pretty sensational dishes, too. There was this cute little piece called ‘Le Petit Momo’ in Rishikesh where supposedly they made the best vegetarian momos in town. I disagree. The best momos — the best food, period — was at the Buddha Café.


Momos are tender little dumplings filled with vegetables (my favourite filling is a simply sauteed spinach and onion), and are traditionally served with a vegetable broth. Plain, nutritious, but above all comforting food. Momos fill a crack in the heart that sometimes, very rarely, peanut butter just can’t


I learnt the technique to fold the momos through this video. It takes some practice, and as you can tell I still need to improve! If you have a bamboo steamer, all the better. I used my good ol’ metal steamer that my mum handed down to me, and as you can see in the picture, the underside of my momos kind of stuck to the pan. 



Serves 2 (makes 6 momos)

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 18 minutes total

Ingredients:
120g (3/4 cup) plain flour
a pinch of salt
water, as needed
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 onion, very finely chopped
1/2 large carrot, washed and very finely chopped
1 handful of spinach, finely chopped
1 green chilli, deseeded and (you guessed it) finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp brown miso paste
250 ml (1 cup) boiling water

Instructions:
Heat the coconut oil in a frying pan. Sauté the onions until translucid, then add the remaining ingredients and sauté for 15 minutes, until tender. Set aside.
Place the flour and salt in a large bowl and gradually add water. Combine with your hands to create a soft, pliable dough that doesn’t stick to your fingers. Roll it out very flatly on a clean and floured surface. Cut out as many circles as you can (I used a pint glass of about 3.5 inches/9 cm, then knead the leftovers into a ball, roll it out flat, and cut more circles. Keep doing this until you have no more dough to work with. 
Place a spoonful of the vegetable filling in the middle of each circle of dough. Following this method, twist and pinch shut the dough to form little parcels, or dumplings. 
Steam the momos for about 3 minutes.
Stir the miso paste into a cup of boiling water until dissolved. Serve the momos with the miso soup. 


What is the best food you’ve ever eaten, and where did you eat it? Give me your recommendations for the best places a foodie can travel to 🙂