After a ‘festive’ few days, what with Halloween coming and going, having fun on Bonfire Saturday just gone and spreading the tastiness and goodness of my delicious raw energy balls around in Bedford, I am gearing up towards a packed few weeks preparing for Christmas treats heading towards the most wonderful time of the year…………
As you may (or may not yet) know……I will be heading to warmer climates for Christmas so Virtuoso Foods will be taking a well earnt break, our last working day being 13th December, returning 16th January 2017 therefore, if you would like to place any orders leading up to Christmas for some tasty festive cakes and treats or indeed anything else from our range on our website then please do this sooner rather than later because although we work very hard, both me, my staff and our kitchens can only cope with so much at any one time 🙂
Since November 1st set in, the weather and temperature has certainly taken a turn towards freezing. I guess we can’t complain to much as we had quite a pleasant and warm October. Now the evenings are getting darker earlier and the cold is seeping through all the cracks in our homes, what better way than to warm up with delicious hot drinks and soups.
It is now definitely the time for soups and I have some wonderful recipes for you to try out at home and I promise, you will not be disappointed.
HOT CHOCOLATE (VEGAN & GF)
~ Serves 2
2 cups of milk (you can use soya, almond, coconut or milk of your choice)
4 tsp raw cacao powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Sugar to taste (I used 2 tbsp of coconut sugar however you can use pure stevia, agave syrup or maple syrup).
Put all the ingredients in a pan and gently bring to the boil.
Absolutely delicious, creamy and satisfying.
CREAM OF MUSHROOM SOUP (VEGAN & GF)
~ Serves 4
2 cups of mushroom, chopped into small pieces
1 can of coconut milk
6 cups of vegetable stock (homemade: recipe can be found a few days earlier in this blog)
1/2 cup of chopped coriander
1 cup of cooked mixed lentils (I use a pre-packed mix which contains brown lentils, red lentils, red grain rice, green split peas). Some pre-packed soup mixes contain barley so be careful if you are gluten intolerant. It is very easy to make your own mixes from your store cupboard for future use.
Boil the potato up in the stock water for about 30 minutes.
Saute the mushrooms in 1/8 tsp of coconut oil for about 10 minutes.
Add mushrooms into the stock water.
Add the lentil mix.
Add coconut milk.
Add coriander (keep some aside for garnish).
Simmer gently for 5-10 minutes and serve with some delicious warm crusty rolls or gluten free raw crackers.
CABBAGE, BROCCOLI & CAULIFLOWER BAKE (VEGAN & GF)
~ Serves 4
1 floret of cauliflower (cut into chunks)
1 floret of broccoli (cut into chunks)
2 mini cabbages (cut into half)
3 tbsp of sunflower oil
2 tbsp of gluten free white plain flour
1/4 cup soya/almond milk
Pinch of salt & pepper
1/2 cup of grated cheese (I use Violife vegan cheese which is nice and creamy)
In a small saucepan heat the oil, add flour and bring together until the oil has dissolved then slowly add the milk until the sauce becomes creamy. If there are any lumps, just sieve the mix through a sieve. Add salt and pepper and the cheese and then pour the sauce mix over the vegetables and bake in the over for 30 minutes on 170oC. You can serve this over rice or quinoa with a delicious mixed salad.
Also don’t forget that regardless of whether the weather is warm or cold, stay hydrated by drinking at least 2 litres of water a day. During the cold season you can use the water intake making delicious fresh hot teas….for example Lemon & Ginger tea.
Add juice from a 1/4 or 1/2 lemon and grate a 1/2 inch fresh ginger, top with hot water and then add a sweetener of your preference (I add manuka honey which also assists with coughs colds and chestiness)…………you can also sprinkle some cinnamon on the top for that added warmth and flavour.
Enjoy and please share with me some of your delicious recipes and tips for making warming hot drinks during the winter.
Have a lovely day xxx