Bah humbug, the silly season is upon us yet again which has got me thinking of our plant based, animal welfare conscious friend, the cheeky vegan. Now, don’t get me wrong I can spiralise with the best of them, but zoodles tend to be a little inconsequential when sharing table space with a magnificent bird or that majestic ham. You can’t really beef up a raw salad on Christmas day, can you?
Whilst we are enthusiastically helping ourselves to all the pickings; pigs in blankets, Yorkshire pud, gravy and devils on horseback, I can’t help but commiserate with vegans, faced with a choice of brussels sprouts, soggy red cabbage and, for goodness sake, tofurky……..a definite nasty and well worth staying clear of. Meat substitutes are pointless, if you want to eat meat, then eat meat.
Excitable little buggers, the vegans, it must be all that saving the planet,
slaughtering and killing of fruits and vegetables. But I do like to poke a bit of fun, especially at the infamous nazivegan who follows a vegan diet but flaunts their veganhood over everyone else as if it somehow morally superior.
But, truth be told, they do have a few interesting points that is well worth
having a good sticky beak at. Apparently we should all go vegan for our sex life…..well that little gem certainly deserves attention…..benefits include more energy, smoother skin, fresher body odor, increased blood flow to certain organs to mention a few !
The message those crafty vegans are getting out there to men is that meat and milk will make you sleepy, not sexy and that vegans are more virile. Bloody hell, the ultimate carnivores dilemma……meat or sex? Rump or rumpy pumpy? Can I hear the clatter of thousands of men throwing down their steak knives?
Sexual superheroes and animal welfare ninjas, we tend to neglect vegans at this festive time of the year and I think it is high time the Christmas meat based menu starts sharing some of the Yuletide limelight. Let’s start blowing everyone’s mind with a scrumpdillyicious vegan feast……….
Beetroot & Butternut Wellingtons with Kale Pesto
1 red onion, cut into 8 wedges
250g raw beetroot, peeled and cut into small chunks
4 fat garlic cloves
8 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
1 tablespoon sumac
250g cooked puy lentils
180g whole cooked chestnuts, roughly chopped
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 x 320g packed ready-rolled puff pastry suitable for vegans *see note
2 tablespoons almond milk
* Jus-rol and Buitoni supply vegan puff pastry
First of all, heat your oven to 190C/170C fan. Toss the onion, beetroot,
butternut and garlic in a roasting tin with 2 tablespoons oil, thyme leaves,
sumac and season. Roast them for 45 minutes until the veggies are tender but still retain their shape, then stir in the lentils and half the chestnuts.
Squeeze garlic cloves out of their skin, reserve half and squash the other two into the lentil mixture. Leave to cool completely.
Bring a large pan of salted water to boil, tip in the kale and cook for 1 minute until wilted then drain and run under cold water until cool. Squeeze all the water from the kale and put it in a food processor along with the reserved garlic cloves, chestnuts, lemon juice, olive oil and season. Blitz to a thick pesto. Lovely.
Then, on a lightly floured surface, lay out the sheets of puff pastry. Cut each sheet into three widthways so that you have six strips in total then divide the kale pesto between these, followed by the roasted veggies and lentils, heaping the mixture on top on of the pesto and leaving one side free of fill so that it is easier to roll. Yumo.
Brush all borders with milk, fold over the ends, then carefully roll the pastry lengthways to completely encase the filling into a
roll. Place seam side down and place the six wellingtons on a baking tray lined with baking paper and chill for at least an hour. You can also cover in plastic wrap and freeze.
Brush the top of each wellington with the remaining milk and sprinkle with a little sumac and bake in preheated oven (190C/170 fan) for 30 minutes until crisp and golden. Scatter over extra thyme and flaky sea salt and serve.
125ml red wine
4 large portobello mushrooms, thickly sliced
1 large onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon sage
1 teaspoon dried thyme
720ml veggie stock
4 large potatoes, quartered
4 large carrots, cut into pieces
Salt and pepper
2 teaspoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary
Preheat your oven to 350F. In a large saucepan, heat 1/4 cup wine and add the portobello slices. Allow them to cook through and brown a bit then remove from pan and pop to the side.
Add the remaining 1/4 cup wine to the pan and add the onion and garlic.
Caramelise the onions by stirring them until they wilt and begin to brown.
Pop them aside also. Mix the flour, sage and thyme together in a small bowl. Stir in 1/4 cup of the stock to create a paste and pour mixture into the same pan you used for the mushrooms and onions. Stirring over a medium heat slowly add the rest of the stock creating a sauce.
When the mixture starts to boil, turn the heat off, season well and add the potatoes and carrots to the sauce. Chuck your mushies rosemary and thyme and onions in and throw it all in a casserole dish. Pop in the oven, bake for one hour and bring this little beauty out.
Dear Islanders, Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Bon Nadal, have a merryand joyful one.
Galley Goddess xx