Thursday, 28 December 2017

Christmas Eve 2017 (Recipe Round-Up: Keep It Vegan)

Hello friends, and welcome to the first of a few seasonal posts. It is that festive time of the year. I mostly enjoy it for getting a bit of time off work, but also for making some fun but not too complicated food. As Christmas Eve fell on a Sunday this year, I didn't have to work so had some time to make an easy spread of snacking foods for dinner. Most of my inspiration for the savoury dishes came from one of my very favourite cookbooks, Keep It Vegan by Aine Carlin, so consider this a mini recipe round-up!

Crusty No-Knead Carrot and Courgette Bread: This is essentially a quick bread, with no yeast involved. I had to bake mine for 10 minutes longer, and it was still quite moist in the centre when it came out of the oven. Maybe because my zucchini or carrot were a bit too big? It doesn't specify weights for the recipe. However, once it had cooled a little (and even after a couple of days in the fridge), it was a lovely loaf for spreading with dips and smoked sesame cheese. It is a blend of white and wholewheat flour, and also has nuts, seeds and some thyme in it as well as the vegetables.
Rating: :)

Crusty No-Knead Carrot and Courgette Bread

Creamy Aubergine Dip: I made a half batch of this (using one largish eggplant) and it made plenty, so a full batch would make a load. But it is a delicious load. The eggplant is roasted (I had to roast mine for an extra half an hour, and I also ended up pricking the flesh side of the cut eggplants, and this resulted in beautiful, soft roasted goodness. The recipe doesn't call for a food processor, but calls for the eggplant to be mashed with a fork until there are no lumps. I gave it a quick blitz with the immersion blender to get it smooth. I also used garlic powder rather than a clove of raw garlic (raw garlic no longer agrees with me), and I used some water from simmering the chickpeas for the hummus (see below) instead of oil. I also skipped drizzling oil on the top of it, that always leaves me feeling a bit gross. It was ver delicious without it! This also kept quite well for a couple of days in the fridge.
Rating: :)

Creamy Aubergine Dip

Thick 'n' Creamy Hummus: If you had told me five minutes before I did it that I would be individually peeling a tin of chickpeas, I would have laughed. All the way through the initial simmering step for the chickpeas, I thought I'd just skim off whatever skins had come off and be done with it, but the peeling step ended up being a very zen moment, and very satisfying. And it does indeed make the hummus super creamy. The recipe uses some of the water from the simmering step to help thin out the hummus, so don't drain it all away! As previously, I used garlic powder instead of raw cloves, and I skipped the drizzle of olive oil on top.
Rating: :)

Thick 'n' Cream Hummus

As well as the bread, I served the dips with a variety of raw veggies for dipping. I love a big plate of colourful veggies and dips!

Christmas Eve platter

It was a really fun dinner of snacking, with the dips and bread and Fenn Smoked Sesame Cheese and vegetables!

Christmas Eve

But wait? What is that extra platter there? Wouldn't be a snacking dinner without some sweets to snack on as well! Lots of fresh cherries, some gingersnaps (from a box), some rum balls (made by a lovely client), and some Cranberry-Spice Oatmeal Cookies from The Superfun Times cookbook (which I'll be reviewing in a soon to be upcoming post!).

Christmas Eve sweets platter

It was quite a delightful dinner. During the afternoon, we watched A Christmas Prince on Netflix, which was pretty bad but kind of in a good way but also just oddly hollow. And then after dinner, we watched my favourite super problematic Christmas movie, Love Actually. Yes, I have read all the articles and yes, I agree with everything that they say. But I still love to watch it!

Stay tuned to see what we ate on Christmas day!

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Gizmo at Christmas

Christmas is always tinged with sadness for me, as it is for so many who are missing those who are no longer with us. Six years ago, I spent the last Christmas with Gizmo, which was also her last happy week home between hospital stays before she passed away. I am always missing this beautiful girl.


  1. Looks like a great spread; the eggplant dip sounds fun! Sweet Gizmo <3