Christmas spice vegetable stew

It is only a few weeks until Christmas now and the shops are heaving with festive fare.  However, among the tonnes of turkey, chipolatas, christmas puddings and mince pies there are very few seasonal treats for vegans so I wanted to try to make a small step towards evening this out.  Here I have brought some of the seasonal sides and extras (such as parsnips, cranberry sauce and satsumas) centre stage, and combined them with the spices that, to me, are the smell of Christmas.  I’ve topped this warming stew with savoury vegan scones to add a little bit of satisfying winter stodge.  Scones, sweet or savoury, are one of my husbands all time favourites:  with their the crumbly crust and lovely soft centre he didn’t even miss the butter, milk and cream that are usually at the heart of scones.  To balance out the sweetness of the parsnip and spicy scones I combined them with a tart and tangy cranberry sauce.

Christmas spice vegetable stew

Cooking time: 1 hour preparation and cooking time, 5 minutes preparation and 20 minutes cooking time on the night

Dietary info: vegan

Serves: 3-4

  • 1 parsnip, washed and chopped
  • 1 Swede, washed and chopped
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tsp cornflour mixed with 1 tbsp cold water to a smooth sauce
  • 300ml water
  • 100g cranberries
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 10 grates nutmeg
  • Zest of 1 satsuma
  • Juice of 2 satsumas
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tsp salt

Christmas spice savoury vegan scones

  • 120g wholemeal flour
  • 30g oatmeal
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp cloves
  • 10 grates nutmeg
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 20g coconut oil (cold so that it is solid)
  • 80ml unsweetened almond milk
  1. Put the onion in a saucepan with enough water to cover and cook on a medium heat until for about 5 minutes until it is softening, then add the cornflour mixture and stir to combine.
  2. Add the parsnip, swede, cranberries, 300ml water, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and satsuma zest.  Cover and simmer on a medium heat for about 50 minutes, until the vegetables are soft and the sauce is thick (add extra water during cooking if it starts to stick of dry out), then stir in the satsuma juice, lemon juice and salt to taste and put into an ovenproof dish and put into the oven at 160C fac.
  3. Put all of the scone ingredients, except for the almond milk, into a bowl and rub the coconut oil into the dry ingredients with your fingers until you have a texture like fine crumbs and there are no lumps of coconut oil left.
  4. Pour the almond milk into the scone mixture and mix to form a soft dough.  Tip out onto a lightly floured surface (I use a non-stick silicon mat as it is so easy to clean up), knead very lightly and pat into an oval that will sit nicely on top of the stew (i.e. smaller than the ovenproof dish), about 1cm thick. Score the oval into 8 scones (cut about half way through the dough).
  5. Put the scones on top of the stew and continue to bake for another 15-20 minutes until the scones have a firm crust but are not too doughy inside (you may have to cut into one to make sure – it should be soft and not dry, but not too sticky or taste of raw flour).  Serve with steamed green vegetables (brussel sprouts!) and cranberry sauce.

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A few tips to prep ahead:

  • Make the stew and store it in a sealed container (or the ovenproof dish for an extra speedy fridge to oven on the night) in the fridge.
  • Mix all of the dry scone ingredients together and store in a covered bowl.
  • Make the cranberry sauce and keep in a sealed container in the fridge.

Some tasty little extras….

I love my cranberry sauce mouth-puckeringly tart. It might be a consequence of growing up with a diabetic mum, who therefore always made herself some cranberry sauce with no sugar in it at all, but to me, the sweet commercial cranberry sauces just don’t taste right. It’s not Christmas without heaped spoons of super sour, glistening red cranberry sauce.  However, I do realise I am a bit unusual and  it might be a bit too sour for most people, so feel free to add a few tsp of soft brown sugar (to taste).  The secret to my mum’s cranberry sauce is a lovely hint of orange to soften the sourness of the cranberries.  Here I have replaced the orange with satsuma to match the stew and added some Christmas spices.

My mum’s super sour cranberry sauce

  • 200g cranberries
  • Zest and juice of 1 satsuma
  • 150ml water
  • 2tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp cloves
  • 10 grates nutmegs
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • ½ tsp Stevia (or sugar, to taste), optional
  • ½ tsp salt
  1. Put all of the ingredients into a saucepan and simmer, covered, until the cranberries have broken down to form a sauce.
  2. Simmer uncovered until the sauce is thick enough to keep its shape on a spoon.

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4 thoughts on “Christmas spice vegetable stew

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