Apple and mincemeat crumble

Apple and mincemeat crumble

Apple and mincemeat crumble

Mincemeat is definitely an underrated ingredient. If you’re bored with traditional mince pies, try this crumble, which offers a new take on an old festive favourite. Delicious served with a generous spoon of custard or ice cream.

Preparation time: 10 mins

Cooking time: 30 mins

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 400g apples
  • 450g mincemeat
  • Juice of an orange
  • 100g plain flour
  • 75g butter
  • 50g demerara sugar
  • 1tsp cinnamon

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200˚C.
  2. Slice the apples thinly and lay them in an overproof dish.
  3. Stir in the mincemeat and orange juice.
  4. In a separate bowl, rub in the flour, butter, sugar and cinnamon to make the crumble.
  5. Sprinkle the crumble mixture over the apples and mincemeat.
  6. Bake for about 30 minutes or until crisp on top.

Merry Christmas!

Photo: raspberri cupcakes

Photo of the week

Roast chestnuts

Roast chestnuts

I’ve been popping out to the Christmas market during my lunch break and the roast chestnuts smell amazing. Perfect for warming up cold hands on a chilly winter’s day. This photo was posted by Stratman and shows a chestnut stall in Asia.

If you have a photo you would like to see featured on the site, email lizannday@gmail.com or tweet @thegreenveggie.

Braised red cabbage

Red cabbage

Red cabbage

This is one of my Mum’s recipes and I always look forward to it when I go home in the winter. It’s a great accompaniment to vegetarian stews and goes well with mashed potato. A fantastic winter warmer. Plus, it smells amazing while it’s cooking.

Preparation time: 15 mins

Cooking time: 2 hrs

Serves: 6-8

 Ingredients:

  • 1kg red cabbage
  • 450g cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped small
  • 450g onions, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • ¼ whole nutmeg, freshly grated
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp wine vinegar
  • 15g butter
  • Salt and black pepper

Method:

  1. Discard the tough outer leaves of the cabbage, cut it into quarters and remove the hard stalk. Shred the rest of the cabbage finely.
  2. In a large casserole dish, arrange a layer of shredded cabbage, seasoned with salt and pepper.
  3. Add a layer of chopped onions and apples with a sprinkling of garlic, spices and sugar. Continue with these alternate layers until everything is in.
  4. Now pour in the wine vinegar and add dots of butter on the top.
  5. Put a tight lid on the casserole dish and let it cook very slowly in the oven for 2-2½ hours, stirring everything around once or twice during the cooking.

Délicieux…

Photo: Handolio

A vegetarian at Christmas

Christmas tree

Christmas tree

Why is it that vegetarians are still ostracised at Christmas? People who are normally perfectly accepting suddenly start raising eyebrows and incredulously asking : “But how do you LIVE without pigs in blankets?” You become the eccentric colleague. The hippy friend.

I’ve had some interesting vegetarian Christmas meals over the years. The first year I turned veggie, my poor Grandma was horrified. I remember her saying: “So, you’ll just have one slice of turkey?” and when I politely declined: “Well, you WILL have some nice gravy on those potatoes, won’t you?” Funnily enough, I wasn’t keen.

A vegetarian in France

Then, there was the year in France. Which was my own fault really, because France just doesn’t DO vegetarianism. I was living in a youth hostel, and generally cooked for myself, but decided to join in with the festivities in the canteen after the chef persuaded me she’d rustle up something veggie.

As my friends were heartily tucking into salmon, turkey and foie gras, I was given a slightly soggy omelette, with a couple of token green beans on the side. But I was grateful to these militant carnivores for making the effort!

Soggy nutroast

This year didn’t go much better. Last week, I went out for a Christmas meal with some friends. The veggie option on the menu looked like a solid, if slightly uninspired, choice. Nut roast – can’t really go wrong. Or so I thought.

Unfortunately, the kitchen seemed to have been so busy with the turkey, they’d decided to buy in a frozen nut roast, and then not really bothered to cook it properly, so it was still frozen in the middle. Then they tried to cover up the dreary greyish presentation with some congealed vegetarian gravy. Yum.

The work Christmas meal

The work Christmas meal was slightly better. The leek and potato soup was actually a delicious starter, but then they forgot my main course, and everyone else had finished their turkey by the time my meal was brought out of the kitchen by a rather fraught waitress.

But I have high hopes for tomorrow. My Mum’s making a chestnut roast with all the trimmings, which sounds delicious. So tell all those carnivores, life goes on without pigs in blankets! Merry Christmas!

Photo: Joe Buckingham

Christmas dinner

Christmas veg

Christmas veg

I’d love to know what readers of thegreenveggie are planning to cook on Christmas day:

Feel free to leave any comments / links below. All ideas welcome!

Photo: Yesica

Apricot and chestnut stuffing

Chestnuts

Chestnuts

It’s the trimmings that make Christmas dinner that extra bit special. Here’s an unusual recipe for apricot and chestnut stuffing – a sophisticated accompaniment for any vegetarian main.

Preparation time: 20 mins

Cooking time: 30 mins

Serves: 6

 Ingredients:

  •  600ml water
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 225g pre-soaked dried apricots, chopped into small pieces
  • 225g white breadcrumbs
  • 75g butter
  • 225g frozen chestnuts, thawed, roughly chopped
  • Handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and black pepper

 Method:

  1.  Preheat the oven to 200oC
  2. Butter a shallow ovenproof dish.
  3. Measure the water into a pan; add the onion and apricot and bring to the boil.
  4. Boil for about five minutes and drain.
  5. Put the breadcrumbs into a large bowl.
  6. Melt the butter in a pan and pour half of this on to the breadcrumbs.
  7. Add the remaining butter to a frying pan and fry the chestnuts over a high heat until lightly browned.
  8. Tip into the bowl with the breadcrumbs.
  9. Add the apricots, onion and parsley to the bowl.
  10. Season with salt and pepper.
  11. Turn into a buttered, shallow ovenproof dish and bake in a preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes until crisp and hot right through.

Easy!

Photo: Julie Weatherbee