2017 Christmas Gift Guide

In the words of the great Nelly "AHHHH SHIT!" - it's that time of year again! While many of you aren't down with the festive season, Christmas for me is truly the most wonderful time of the year because I get to share with you all my Christmas Gift Guide! There are so many gems in this year's guide, you're probs gonna want it all (and I don't blame you). So leave this post open on your computer where your loved ones can see it - they'll think they found these bitchin' gifts all on their lonesome. Be sure to keep reading - there are some discount codes throughout this post! The Luxe Traveller | Ettitude Travel Kit | $50.00AUD (buy here) Know...

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4 Ingredient Macaroons

Difficulty: Easy Makes 18 Looking for a quick and easy treat to take along to your next gathering? My 4 Ingredient Macaroons are going to be that quick and easy treat, whether or not they make it to the gathering entirely depends on your restraint though. Ingredients 2/3 cup aquafaba (the liquid from canned chickpeas) 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup caster sugar 2 cups desiccated coconut Method Preheat the oven to 160°C and line two baking sheets with baking paper. Add the aquafaba and vanilla extract to the bowl of your electric mixer. Beat on high. While the mixture is whipping up, add the caster sugar, one tablespoon at a time. Continue to beat until stiff peaks are formed. Gently fold through the...

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Creamy Potato Bake

Difficulty: Easy Serves 4-6 When I announced on Instagram recently that I was going to start prepping Christmas recipes, I could almost hear the groans coming through the phone. While it does seem a tad early to start rolling our the festive fare, you gotta realise that I do it for you guys so that you can plan your holiday meals well in advance! My mum makes our vegan Christmas lunch so this is all 4 u, fam. Potato bake is one of those classic dishes that appears at just about every Aussie gathering. Usually it's full of cream and covered in cheese but my Creamy Potato Bake is nowhere near as bad for you but tastes hella fine. Don't wait til Christmas to...

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Festive Feast – Scalloped Baked Potatoes

Difficulty: Easy Serves 6 No festive feast is complete without a hefty serving of potatoes and this year is no different. By thinly slicing the potatoes into discs, not only do you get delicious crispy edges but you also get a hella tasty and good lookin' side dish that makes the perfect accompaniment to any Christmas meal. Ingredients 4 white potatoes, washed 4 red potatoes, washed 2 small red onions 1/3 cup olive oil 3 cloves garlic, minced Salt and pepper to serve Method Preheat the oven to 200°C and prepare a shallow baking dish that is suitable for cooking and serving. Very thinly slice all of the potatoes as well as the red onions; you want all of them to be in discs...

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Grapefruit Gin + Tonic

Difficulty: Easy Serves 4 Well, we've somehow survived 2016 (nearly) and that means we have bloody earned a drink or two (or ten). My Grapefruit Gin + Tonic is such a fun drink to whip out over the festive season cos it's fresh, fruity and bright. Plus you can whip up a batch in a few minutes, meaning you can spend more time drinking and less time prepping. Bonus. Ingredients 200mL gin 120mL Cointreau 1 1/2 cups red grapefruit juice 4 cups cubed ice 1 cup tonic water Red grapefruit and red currants to decorate Method Mix together the gin, Cointreau and grapefruit juice together. Fill 4 short glasses nearly to the top with cubed ice. Chuck a slice of red grapefruit on top...

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Festive Feast: Whole Cauliflower with Cranberry Stuffing + Mushroom Gravy

Difficulty: Easy Serves 6 You wouldn't think cauliflower could be a holiday showstopper but try your hand at this recipe and you'll understand why 2016 seems to be the year of the cauliflower roast. Taste aside, the best thing about this dish is that it's so easy to make, meaning you've got more time on your hands to unwrap gifts or hide from your family. While the cauliflower itself is pretty good, it is still a cauliflower so I must insist that you make my cranberry stuffing and mushroom gravy to have with it, ok? Ingredients Cauliflower Whole head of cauliflower 1/2 cup olive oil 1 cup vegetable stock 1 tablespoon onion powder 1 tablespoon garlic powder 1/4 cup nutritional yeast 1/4 cup almond meal 1/2 teaspoon...

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Festive Feast: Tomato + Parsley Salad

Difficulty: Easy Serves 6 It's kinda easy to go HAM on the treats over the festive season, which is why I've decided to throw a fresh and hella healthy recipe into the mix. This salad makes the perfect accompaniment to any Christmas meal and almost cancels out all that super carby, fatty sugary stuff you've been eating (kinda). Ingredients 500 grams mini heirloom tomatoes 1 bunch parsley Salt and pepper to taste Dressing 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 1 tablespoon agave syrup Method Roughly chop the tomatoes into bite-sized pieces and chuck them into a small bowl. Follow that up by roughly chopping about 1/2 bunch of parsley and toss through with the tomatoes. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive...

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Festive Feast – Ginger Carrots

Difficulty: Easy Serves 4 The rules of Christmas are that you simply must add at least  one vegetable to your plate for health reasons as these counteract the tonne of shit food you've eaten over the past couple of weeks. These Ginger Carrots are super tasty and kinda sweet so you can basically just pretend they're Christmas candy. Ingredients 500grams Dutch Carrots 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons agave syrup 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger Salt to taste Method Preheat your oven to 180°C and prepare a baking dish. Trim the tops off the carrots and set aside as garnish for later. Wash the carrots and place in the baking dish. Whisk together the olive oil, agave and freshly grated ginger. Coat the carrots...

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Festive Feast – Pomegranate Trifle

Difficulty: Medium Serves 10 Remember that time on Friends when Rachel made that heaps gross trifle and put beef mince in it? This is nothing like that time. Nothing says Christmas like a trifle and you all know how much I love pomegranate so I've allowed the two to join forces to make the world's most perfect festive dessert! Layers of pomegranate jelly, vanilla sponge, pomegranate arils, custard and coconut cream make this a freaking must-have for your Christmas table - if for nothing else to show your non-vegan family that you don't spend your days nibbling on grass and cardboard. Ingredients Sponge 3 cups soy milk 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar 3 cups plain flour 3 teaspoons baking powder 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda ...

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2016 Vegan Christmas Gift Guide

There was once a time where Christmas shopping for a vegan would have been more nightmarish than the Boxing Day sales and trust me, that time wasn't so long ago. But not anymore! We're being hit with new and amazing vegan products every damn day, so much so that it can be hard to keep track of it all. Each year I like to put together a little collection of my fave gift ideas to make things hella easy and keep your Christmas merry, bright and cruelty free! The Big Gifts How much cash you've got to drop can often depend on how much you love the recipient (don't act like it's not true). Sometimes you're looking for a sweet gesture, other times you're looking...

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Candy Cane Sugar Scrub

Difficulty: Easy Makes 1 jar I can hear you saying "WTF dude, you can't eat this?!" and you're right but with Christmas just 3 sleeps away I thought I would share with you a little recipe I've been making for my good self lately! This sugar scrub costs practically nothing to make and you've probably already got the ingredients lying around the house, so whip up a few jars and keep 'em handy for unexpected guests over the Christmas period and to show of your creative prowess! Ingredients 1/4 cup pink Himalayan crystal salt 1 cup raw sugar 5-10 drops rose hip oil 5-8 drops peppermint oil 1/4 cup coconut oil Method Grind up the salt so that you've got small, but not powdery granules. Add to a bowl with the...

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Little Christmas Pavlovas

Difficulty: Medium Serves 8-10 (depending on size) 2015 will forever be remembered as the year of aquafaba in the vegan community. Still haven't heard of it? Get the hell out from under that rock and grab yourself a can of chickpeas, cos that's what you're gonna need to make these bad boys. "Chickpeas?! Are you effing nuts?!" I hear your screaming at your laptop or smart phone and while it may be hard to believe, the juice from canned chickpeas act as egg whites to make this classic Aussie dessert (soz NZ, it's ours. We own it now). Knock the unwanted gifted socks off the family this Christmas with a plate of red, white and green courtesy of the meringue base, coconut cream and...

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Vegan Eggnog

Difficulty: Easy Serves 4 Are you ready to nog?! Also, are you ready for all of the times I'm going to use 'nog' in this post? Ah well, too bad because I'm nog going to stop anytime soon. I'm going to be straight up and let you know that not once in my life have I tasted real eggnog but I get the gist and eggs are gross so it's better for all of us if we just straight up ditch them from this recipe. Who really needs eggs when you're making what is essentially a frothy, Christmassy, alcoholic milkshake?! Nobody, that's who. Let's celebrate our new arrangement with the adding of alcohol to milk. Ingredients 1 400mL can full fat coconut cream (placed upside down...

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Candy Cane Ice Cream & Chocolate Shell Topping

Difficulty: Easy Makes about 1 litre It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas and I've teamed up with the epic team at Your Home Depot to create another recipe using my Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker with Compressor. I've been shopping with these guys for years because they have great prices, an awesome range of products and a super easy checkout process. These guys even hooked me up with a bitchin' Global Ikasu Knife Set for helping out with this recipe, it doesn't get much sweeter than that! Candy canes are the official sweet of the festive season so I thought why not combine them with the guaranteed deliciousness of ice cream?! So I did and I know I say this all the...

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Raw Zucchini & Pomegranate Salad

Difficulty: Easy Serves 4 I'm not the official Christmas cook in my household but if there's one thing I know about cooking a feast, it's that you need a combo of things you can prepare well in advance and stuff that you can throw together quickly on the day; this salad is the latter. With a glorious mix of Christmas coloured produce, this raw and simple salad is going to cancel out all that other crazy junk you're surely going to be eating on the big day, that's how it works, right? Ingredients 4 big-ass zucchinis 1 large pomegranate 1 bunch of red radishes 1/3 cup hazelnuts Salt and pepper to taste Dressing 1/2 cup tahini 2 tablespoons cold-pressed olive oil Juice of half lemon 1 teaspoon agave Method Use your spiraliser to create long, thin...

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2015 Vegan Christmas Gift Guide

Full disclosure: I bloody love Christmas and everything that comes along with it. The decorations, buying gifts, wrapping gifts (yep), baking and driving around for hours looking at Christmas lights. It's usually my aim to have my Christmas shopping completed by the end of November, so that I can spend my December baking, decorating and just being heaps festive. Oh and executing my thoroughly thought out wrapping theme (yeah, I do that too). I understand that many don't share my love of gift buying and sometimes through veganism into the mix can add an extra layer of "ohmygodwhatdoIdoChristmasisaweekawayI'mgoingtocry" I would love to act as your personal shopper and gift wrapper over the Christmas season but until I can teleport, my 2015 Vegan...

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Rum & Raisin Fudge

Difficulty: Easy Makes about 20 pieces  When sweetened condensed coconut milk came on the scene recently, I knew my life would be changed forever. Why? Because fudge was back in my life and in a huge way. I've been playing around with a few fudge recipes this month and in a massive win for everyone involved, the easiest one turned out the best. Christmas is the perfect time for fudge because it's indulgent yet easy to make plus it's the perfect homemade gift! And what's a festive recipe without a little fruit and alcohol huh? Nothin', that's what! Ingredients 1 320mL can sweetened condensed coconut milk 1 tablespoon vegan margarine 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 shot of rum (a teaspoon of rum essence will...

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Gingerbread Folk Vegan Gingerbread House Kit

Price: $39.95 Where to Buy: www.gingerbreadfolk.com.au Nothing says Christmas like food and craft and what better way to combine the two than by making a gingerbread house! The guys at Gingerbread Folk have just released a Vegan Gingerbread House Kit and sent one to me to try PLUS we're giving one reader of Like a Vegan to win one of their own (see more about that below). 4 walls, roof pieces and a chimney are all included in the kit plus instructions, baseboard, icing bag and vegan royal icing mix. The royal icing is incredibly easy to mix however I did need to add a little more water than the instructions suggested, I would recommend adding it very slowly until you get the desired...

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Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Difficulty: Easy Makes one large bowl There is no greater taste sensation than the combination of salty and sweet, these chocolate covered pretzels are proof of that. If you're still pondering over what to take along to that Christmas event, these guys look perfect in a cute little bag or box with some twine  plus an edible gift is always a winner! Ingredients 1 bag pretzels 1 block dark chocolate 1 block white chocolate Red and green sprinkles Method Line 2 baking trays with baking paper Melt the dark and white chocolate in separate dishes. Dip a pretzel into the dark chocolate and carefully place onto the baking paper. Repeat with the remaining dark and white chocolate. Distribute the sprinkles liberally over the chocolate dipped portion of each pretzel and place the...

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No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake

Difficulty: Medium Serves 8-10 Pumpkin stuff is all the rage this time of year in the US but in Australia we tend to miss out on all the goodness. I decided to rectify this problem by the adding of pumpkin to a no-bake cheesecake, it's the best of both worlds! This is the perfect take-along to any Christmas event on your calendar and with some alterations to the base you can make it gluten-free too. Ingredients Base 18 Digestive Biscuits 1/2 cup pecans 2 tablespoons caster sugar 1/3 cup vegan margarine, melted Filling 1/2 of a kent pumpkin, peeled and chopped 2 270ml cans full fat coconut cream (placed upside down in the fridge for at least 24 hours) 1 tub vegan cream cheese 1/2 - 3/4 cup maple syrup (depending on your...

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Vegan Christmas – Wrapped Up!

It's the most wonderful time of the year and if you're like me, you had your Christmas shopping completed well before December. If you're still searching for that perfect gift for the vegan (or non vegan) legends in your life, here are a few of my favourite things to get you through the festive season. For the stylish guy or gal, I recommend Matt & Nat accessories. Made from a high-quality, vegan leather with linings made from recycled bottles, you can find items for most budgets including a selection of tech accessories, handbags and wallets. Check out the Matt & Nat website for stockists. Pamper the beauty and skincare lover with a gift from Sukin. Pick a selection of your own items...

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Creamy Basil Pasta Salad

Difficulty: Easy Serves 6 Salads are the staple of any good Aussie Christmas meal and the ideal take-along dish. I've decided to add a twist to the classic pasta salad and add a creamy basil dressing plus a bunch of colourful veggies and a little pomegranate for an added summer touch. Don't be afraid to stuff this one full of your favourite veggies, the more the merrier I say! Ingredients Pasta Salad 500grams shell pasta 1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped in half 1 pomegranate, deseeded 1 yellow capsicum, chopped Salt and pepper to taste Creamy Pesto Dressing 1 cup vegan mayonnaise, store-bought or homemade 1/2 cup fresh basil, firmly packed Juice of half a lemon Method Cook your pasta according to the packet instructions and drain, set aside until slightly cooled. Prepare the dressing by blending...

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Holiday Roast w/ Apple Walnut Stuffing & Maple Glaze

Difficulty: Medium Serves 4-6 I've had a few store-bought vegan roasts in my time but this year I decided it was time to make my own holiday roast. Glazed with sweet maple and stuffed with my apple walnut stuffing, this dish is sure to impress vegans and non-vegans alike at the Christmas table. The best thing about it is that you can prepare it up to a week in advance and all you're left to do is glaze and bake it on the day. I doubt you'll have any leftovers however if you do, chuck a couple of slices on a sambo and you've got yourself one heck of a lunch there too. Christmas rules! Ingredients Apple Walnut Stuffing 3 pieces wholemeal bread, toasted and...

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Chocolate Covered Peppermint Marshmallows

Difficulty: Medium Makes 24 Christmas is just around the corner so I thought it was time I got cracking on some Christmas recipes. First cab off the rank is a treat so damned delicious that you'll want to eat it all year round! Light and fluffy peppermint marshmallow, dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with crushed candy canes. Doesn't get any more freakin' festive than that, right? These guys are gluten and soy free if you choose the right chocolate and candy canes too! Ingredients Marshmallow 1/4 cup icing sugar 1 1/2 cups water 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon agar agar powder 1 cup glucose syrup 2 1/4 cups caster sugar 1 teaspoon peppermint essence Other ingredients 300grams vegan dark chocolate 1/4 cup crushed vegan candy canes (I used Coles brand) Method Prepare a standard loaf tin by sifting...

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Jam Tart Cookies

Difficulty: Easy-Medium Makes about 24 cookies Making cookies around this time of year is such a fun thing to do, especially with friends or kids and super especially if your friends are kids. Don't stress if you can't get your hands on a jam tart mould, you can pick them up pretty cheap on eBay, otherwise just use something round to cut out shapes and make a slight imprint in the middle with your thumb to fill. Ingredients 1/2 cup vegan margarine (I use Nuttelex) 1/4 cup caster sugar Egg replacer, equivalent of one egg made as per instructions 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 tablespoons custard powder 4 tablespoons corn flour 1 cup plain flour 1/2 cup strawberry jam (or any other jam you like) Method Preheat oven to 180°C and line two...

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Pumpkin Pie with Maple Cream

Difficulty: Easy-Medium Serves 8 Each year, I am given the task of making dessert for our Christmas lunch. I always make a sorbet for those who aren't into big desserts but this year I was inspired by my US trip and decided to make something else as well. Pumpkin pie kind of sounds like it's going to be disgusting but I can assure you, it's not. Ingredients 2 sheets shortcrust pastry or enough homemade pastry to cover a standard pie dish (sometimes I do homemade, sometimes I don't) 2 cups pureed pumpkin 1 300gram tub of tofu (medium or silken will be fine, it needs to be soft enough to become smooth when blended) 1/2 cup tightly packed brown sugar 1/3 cup caster sugar 3 teaspoons egg replacer, made...

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Reindeer Bark

Difficulty: Easy Serves 10 It ain't Christmas without some kind of peppermint treat so I've thrown together this super simple reindeer bark recipe. Layers of dark and white chocolate are topped with crushed candy canes to make an awesomely tasty treat that looks wonderfully impressive. Ingredients 4 cups dark chocolate buttons 4 blocks Sweet William white chocolate 1 teaspoon peppermint essence 1 packet candy canes Method Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Melt the dark chocolate and pour into the tray, spread evenly and pop into the fridge for about 15 minutes. Melt the white chocolate and stir in the peppermint essence before spreading over the top of the set dark chocolate. Roughly crush the candy canes and sprinkle evenly over the top of the white chocolate. Allow to set completely...

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Cherry Rum Balls

Difficulty: Easy Makes 36 Rum balls are a traditional Christmas favourite but I thought I would flip the script on this treat and make them a little different. Adding cherry to this incredibly easy recipe means that you can whip them up in a jiffy and use them as snacks to please unexpected guests over the holiday season. Ingredients 1 375 gram jar morello cherries 1 can Soymilke condensed milk 1 1/2 packets Nice biscuits 1 cup desiccated coconut (plus extra for rolling) 1/4 cup cocoa powder 2 tablespoons dark rum Method Strain the cherries really well to lose as much liquid as possible. Use a fork to press the cherries down and check for pips. Put the cherries in a food processor and pulse a few times before straining out more...

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Cherry Cheesecake

Difficulty: Easy Serves 8-10 Ingredients 18 Digestive biscuits 1/3 cup Nuttelex, melted 1 375 gram jar morello cherries (check for seeds) 1/3 cup caster sugar 3 teaspoons agar agar 1 tub Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese 1 carton Soyatoo Topping Cream 1/3 cup icing sugar 1/4 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted Method Grease a springform cake tin. In a food processor, combine the biscuits and melted Nuttelex until completely crumby. Firmly and evenly press the In a saucepan, combine the cherries (including liquid), the caster sugar and the agar agar. Slowly bring to the boil while stirring. Remove from the heat and pour into the cake tin. Allow to set in the fridge for about half an hour. In a bowl, whisk together the Soyatoo and cream cheese. Sift in the icing sugar and continue to whisk. Pour the...

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Gingerbread Ice Cream Cake

Difficulty: Easy Serves 8-10 Fact: gingerbread is delicious and so is ice cream. That's why I decided to combine the two to make one heck of a festive frozen dessert! You're going to need a few special vegan ingredients to whip this up but what you'll spend on ingredients, you'll save in time. Pop it in the freezer a few days in advance and bring it out on the big day! Ingredients 2 1/2 cups ground gingerbread cookies 1/3 vegan margarine, melted 2 cartons Soyatoo Topping Cream 1 can Soymilke condensed milk 1/3 cup Monin gingerbread syrup 1 cup candied ginger, roughly chopped Method Line a rectangular loaf tin with baking paper, leave some overhang so you can easily slide the cake out when frozen. Add the melted margarine to the gingerbread...

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Nut Roast Roulade

Difficulty: Medium-Hard Serves 6+ For at least the last 6 years, Christmas in my household has been a completely vegan affair. Nut roast is always on the menu but this year I decided to add my own twist to Mum's favourite recipe. If you can't make your own pastry, just use a store-bought one, I won't tell anyone. Perfect served with vegetables, salad and gravy, this is the stand out dish for your Christmas meal that can be enjoyed by vegans and non-vegans. Ingredients Pastry 2 cups plain flour 1 teaspoon salt 200 grams Nuttelex (or vegan margarine), chilled 1/3 cup chilled water 1 tablespoon lemon juice Nut Filling 2 cups brazil nuts 2 cups hazelnuts 2 tablespoons Nuttelex (or any vegan margarine) 2 brown onions, finely chopped 2 tablespoons dried mixed herbs 1 teaspoon cinnamon 3...

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Rocket and Pear Salad with Candied Walnuts

Difficulty: Easy Serves 6+ Salads are a staple of the Australian Christmas so this year I decided to make two. If you've been paying attention you would know that this is the second festive salad on the menu for this year and if you haven't, check out my bitchin' Jewel Salad. Back to this dish, I have decided to keep it super simple; a bit of rocket, a bit of pear and topped off with some fancy candied walnuts. You can prepare the walnuts in advance and then just throw the rest together moments before your guests arrive. Ingredients 1/2 cup caster sugar 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence 1 1/4 cups walnuts 2-3 large handfuls rocket 2-3 pears Lemon infused olive oil Method Preheat your oven to 180°C and line a baking...

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Truffle Flavoured Roasted Kipflers

Difficulty: Easy Serves 6+ What's Christmas without some roasted taters, huh? Nothin'! Sure, you can serve up some regular potatoes with your festive feast but if you want to make them just a little bit special I totally recommend this recipe. You can get artificially flavoured black truffle olive oil from most specialty stores and you'll probably be able to pick up some black salt too. Ingredients 12 kipfler potatoes 1/4 cup black truffle flavoured olive oil 3 tablespoons black salt Method Preheat the oven to 200°C along with the baking tray inside. Wash the kipflers and cut them each in half lengthways. Chuck the potatoes in a large bowl and coat with the oil. Lay out evenly on the baking tray and bake for about 30 minutes or until golden...

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Red Velvet Cupcakes with Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting

Difficulty: Easy-Medium Makes 12 Cupcakes are good food all year round but come Christmas time you can make 'em extra festive. Poppin' a teensy candy cane on top of these babies instantly gives them a festive feel and are wonderful as edible gifts or a Christmas gathering. Ingredients 1 cup soy milk 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar 1/3 cup canola oil 3/4 cup caster sugar 1 1/3 cups plain flour 1/4 cup cocoa 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 2 tablespoons red food colouring 3/4 tub Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese, make sure it's real cold 1/4 cup Nuttelex (or any vegan margarine), this has to be cold too 1 teaspoon peppermint essence 3 cups icing sugar Method Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a cupcake tray with liners. Whisk together the soy milk and apple...

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Israeli Couscous Jewel Salad

Difficulty: Easy Serves 6+ This is the first of my Christmas recipes that I'll be sharing with you over the next couple of weeks. Red pomegranates and green pistachios give this jewel salad a real festive look and against the texture of the Israeli couscous, it's like a Christmas party in your mouth! The salad can be prepared in advance, so you can throw it together and shove it in the fridge until it's time to eat. Ingredients 3 cups Israeli couscous 3 3/4 cups boiling water 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar 1/2 red onion, finely chopped 1 pomegranate 1 1/4 cups raw pistachios Salt and pepper to taste Method Combine the Israeli couscous and boiling water in a large saucepan, allow to simmer for about 6-8 minutes until...

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Cannellini, Fennel and Rosemary Pâté

Difficulty: Easy-Medium Makes 2 ramekins Only recently have I delved into the world of fennel and so far I absolutely adore it. Cooked or raw, it's totally delicious and has so many bitchin' applications. I'm also a sucker for a good dip, so I decided to throw the fennel in with some cannellini beans, rosemary and a few other ingredients to make a dope pâté. The best thing about this is that you can prepare it the day before and it's going to taste even better than when you first make it. Perfect for the holiday season, it's sure to be a hit at any festive gathering. Ingredients 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 small brown onion 1 bulb fennel 2 cloves garlic, crushed 1 sprig rosemary 1 can...

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“Duck” in Shitake Gravy

Difficulty: Easy Serves 4 Don't let the picture fool you, this dish is DELICIOUS and one of my all-time favourites for Christmas lunch. Mum says it's so easy she couldn't believe anybody would even want a recipe but the easiest recipes can be the best! You can get the mock duck breast from Asian groceries or your local mock meat emporium. The grocer I go to has this brownish looking one and also a reddish looking one, go the brown one for this recipe. I know I've been saying I'd post a guide to mock meats, and I will, it's just taking a little longer to compile than I expected...

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Gingerbread Christmas Cookies

Difficulty: Easy-Medium Makes 125 small cookies Last Christmas I was living in Sydney and making trips back to Newcastle every weekend. I was also hating on Sydney so wasn't feeling particularly festive. This year I'm home and have plenty of time to make the Yuletide gay. Last weekend I whipped up a huuuuge batch of gingerbread cookies and went on a covert mission to secretly deliver them to my dearest friends. I was lucky enough to find that Queen cachous doesn't contain gelatine so this comes in handy for decorating. All the food colouring I use is from non-animal origin, this site is really helpful if you're unsure if what colours are suitable. Ingredients 2 teaspoons egg replacer 2 tablespoons water 1 cup Nuttelex 1 cup firmly packed...

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