Main Course, Dessert & a Mocktail: Festive Recipe Challenge

I really do enjoy cooking, and there is no better time than to get in the kitchen to try out fun recipes, than in the run up to Christmas. So many amazing flavours and festive smells, that will take you back toy our childhood, and be things that you want to make year after year.

Britannia Living sent me a little parcel of goodies to get creative with in the run up to the festive season. The ingredients that they sent over were:

  • ground cinnamon
  • fresh rosemary
  • whole cloves
  • pistachios
  • chill flakes
  • dried cranberries

So I really had to get my thinking cap on! Here are the recipes I created with the ingredients, and a few extra bits, of course. Would love to hear what you think and if you give them a go! All the recipes are suitable for vegetarians or vegans.

Christmas Nut Roast

Serves: 4-6. Preparation: 15 mins. Cooking: 1 hour 10  mins

Ingredients:

  • 200g red lentils
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 50g sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 50g dried cranberries, chopped
  • 200g mixed nuts, chopped
  • 50g mixed seeds
  • 1½ tsp chopped rosemary
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • sprinkle of chilli flakes (to taste)
  • Salt and pepper

Screen Shot 2017-12-04 at 13.51.39

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Cook the lentils in plenty of water for 15 minutes, then drain using a fine sieve. While the lentils cook, heat a little oil in your largest frying pan and gently fry the onion for 5 minutes.
  2. Add all the other ingredients, except the seasoning, to the pan. Stir really well, add the cooked lentils and stir again, seasoning to taste.
  3. Line a loaf tin (approximately 20cm x 10cm) with non-stick baking paper and spoon in the mixture. Bake for 50 minutes and allow to cool slightly before removing and cutting into thick slices.

Now on to the dessert recipe: Pistachio & Maple Bites

Using the pistachios from the hamper, this makes a delicious creme for the cookie like macarons. The natural-yet-vibrant green of the pistachio crème is also striking and gives a nod to all things festive, right? Luckily, they are vegan, so are suitable for those with dairy or egg allergies. The only sweetener is the maple syrup, so they’re not quite so naughty either.

Maple Pistachio Cremes-9

Makes: 12 to 14 cookies. Preparation: 15 mins. Cooking: 12 mins

For the cookies:

  • 100g dairy-free margarine (like Pure)
  • 135ml maple syrup
  • 300g plain flour (gluten-free options would work too)
  • 1 tsp baking powder (again, gluten-free would work too)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt

For the pistachio crème:

  • 100g raw pistachio nuts
  • 60ml dairy-free cream
  • 45ml maple syrup
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 175°C / gas mark 4. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. Melt the margarine in a pan and then stir in the maple syrup.
  3. Add in about 250g of flour along with the baking powder, vanilla and salt. Stir the batter until all the ingredients are fully combined. Add the remainder of the flour and combine. The mixture should be very thick but do not add more liquid.
  4. Scoop out walnut sized balls and roll them in your hands to make them nicely rounded. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet about 1 inch apart and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Don’t let them go brown. Once they firm up a bit and they are not moist they are done. Let cookies cool on the sheet.
  5. To make the pistachio crème smash the pistachios in a food processor until they become smooth and paste-like (as if you’re making your own nut butter).
  6. With the processor blades turning, drizzle in the soy cream followed by the maple syrup and the vanilla. Process until completely smooth.
  7. Once the cookies are fully cooled drop a dollop of the pistachio crème on to the flat side of a cookie and top with a second cookie. Repeat with the remaining cookies.

No, onto the last part of the meal, a festive drink! Being teetotal myself, a mocktail is the order of the day. So I thought I would use the remainder of the ingredients from my hamper to create a festive drink.

What says Christmas better than eggnog?

egg-nog-2991133_1280

Here is a non-alcoholic version that is super simple to make:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups milk of choice
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup sweet condensed milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup whipped cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar of choice (I used coconut)
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder
  1. Combine the milk, cloves, cinnamon and condensed milk over low heat in a sauce pan until the mixture is heated through. Slowly increase the heat to medium and bring the mixture to the boil.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the eggs and sugar. Beat until light and fluffy.
  3. Slowly add about 1 tbsp of the hot milk mixture to the egg mixture, at a time. Once you have added all the hot mixture, pour it all back into the saucepan. Heat gently for 5 minutes, stirring frequently (it should all thicken up).until thickened.
  4. Add the whipped cream, nutmeg and vanilla powder to the mixture and then heat through. Avoid boiling it!
  5. Strain the mixture to catch the spices, and then you’re done! Let it cool before drinking, as it is best served cold.

There you have it, three festive recipes for the upcoming season. I would love to hear what you think and if you try any of them out.

If you would like to win a festive foodie hamper from Britannia Living, then you need to share this post, interact, and tag your friends etc. The more that you interact and engage with this post and my social shares, the greater your chance of winning the prize!

Good luck!

Rebecca x*this is my entry to Britannia Living’s festive recipe challenge. All opinions are my own.

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12 Comments

  1. 5th December 2017 / 1:42 pm

    I love the fact that the food is suitable for veggies and vegans – it all looks lush. The eggnog is very appealing 😉 x

  2. 5th December 2017 / 6:26 pm

    I love your festive recipe ideas! I made nut roast myself for the first time recently and I really enjoyed it.

  3. 5th December 2017 / 6:53 pm

    Oh yum, I love festive food. I cant wait for Christmas and all the Christmas food and treats. xx
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  4. 5th December 2017 / 11:11 pm

    Oh wow this all looks amazing!! I haven’t tried any of those ideas, they are so unique but look delicious!

  5. 6th December 2017 / 9:07 am

    Oh i love these festive recipe ideas – those Pistachio and Maple bites, in particular, look mouthwateringly good! I’ve never tried eggnogg as i don’t drink, so i’d be interested to give this alcohol-free recipe a try. xx

  6. 6th December 2017 / 9:37 am

    I’ve never had eggnog before and I’m still not 100% convinced on it, the cookies sound yummy though x

  7. 6th December 2017 / 2:41 pm

    Wow, you took those ingredients and went to town with them! It all looks and sounds perfectly delicious!

  8. Hannah
    6th December 2017 / 8:10 pm

    I’ve never had eggnog – now I need to give it a try!

  9. 6th December 2017 / 11:16 pm

    I love the sound of this nut roast, I’m a veggie I’m going to try this before Christmas!

  10. 7th December 2017 / 8:09 am

    We’re doing a Christmas dinner this Sunday so this was handy for ideas. Love the look of the cookies so may give them a go. X

  11. 7th December 2017 / 8:28 am

    I’ve never had eggnog but will give it a try. Those cookies look so yummy. I’ll share and tag right now cos I need to win that prize.

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