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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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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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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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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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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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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Herb & Garlic Pretzels

Difficulty: Medium Makes 12 Lately I have been thinking about fun snacks to make for summer and I stumbled across some pretzel recipes that looked relatively easy to improve and veganise. Last night I went for it and the result was so dope that it could possibly be one of the best things I've ever made. No joke. Now these aren't too difficult to make, just a bit fiddly and time consuming because you have to knead the dough and let it rise. This is actually a really fun and wholesome thing to bake, especially with kids as they can make the pretzels into all kinds of whacky shapes. I'm hooked on these things now, so stay tuned for a million variations! I'm thinking...

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