Ah, Autumn, you’re upon us again. Season of beautiful leaves, mushrooms in the grass and an abundance of apples. And squashes, let’s not forget them.
Timely then that Oatly sent us some of their products and a recipe for Oatly roasted butternut squash soup with lemon thyme. The apples really add a seasonal fruitiness to this dish, don’t miss them out!
250 ml Oatly Organic Creamy Oat
1 butternut squash
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 onions, diced
2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 tbsp. minced ginger
1 minced red chilli
2 sprigs of lemon thyme
2 green apples, diced
800 ml vegetable stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Toasted pumpkin seeds to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 240C/475F
2. Halve the butternut squash and scoop out the seeds using a large spoon. Place the halves on a large baking sheet with flech side up. Drizzle over the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the squash is tender.
3. Heat a large pot over a medium high heat and add the oil. Add the onions, chilli, ginger and apple and cook gently until soft.
4. Using a large spoon, scoop out the flesh from the butternut squash and add it with the thyme to the pot.
5. Pour over the vegetable stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
6. Remove from the heat and blend using a hand-blender to desired consistency.
7. Add the Oatly Organic Creamy Oat and squeeze over lemon. Let it simmer for another 10 minutes and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
8. Serve with toasted pumpkin seeds. We didn’t have those but we did have homemade potato wedges which made up for it.
Recipe credit: this recipe was made with Oatly Creamy Oat – a great dairy free, healthy alternative to single cream. For more delicious recipes and further information about the Oatly way of life, visit facebook.com/oatlyab
Creamy Oat is also great with puddings such as apple pie, it comes out of the fridge with the consistency of double cream. Pie recipe over on frugal.org uk
First to the glossy hair. The organic hair care company Old Wives Tail sent us some lovely smelling Argan & Rosemary Organic Oil Treatment. Now, my hair has always been thin and brittle; good nutrition improved it, but on a windy day in the woods I still looked like a demented will-o’-the-wisp.
Never having used an oil treatment before, I wondered if the thick conditioner would really shampoo off easily: it did, oily to squeaky clean in sixty seconds. And it’s left my hair feeling fuller, with more body and smelling great. It’s actually glossy. Will it defy the wind? Well that would be a miracle, but who knows?
Old Wives Tail are running a competition to win a free hair mask of your choice here. (Closes August 1st).
An older recipe from our main courses page has recently come back into favour, it’s so delicious I don’t know why we stopped making it:
Sweet Potatoes in a Coconut and Peanut Sauce
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
a little sunflower oil
1 teaspoon of curry powder or spices of your choice
2 tablespoons of peanut butter
1 tin of coconut milk
5 or 6 medium sized sweet potatoes, cut into bite size chunks
seasalt to taste
Fry the onion and garlic in the oil for a few minutes. Add the curry spices and stir well. Add the peanut butter, stirring over a medium heat until in begins to melt and then pour in your coconut milk and stir until well blended. Put the sweet potatoes and salt in the pan and bring to the boil and then turn down to simmer until they are softened (10 minutes +). Nice with rice and salad.
‘Harlequin’ is one of fifty life-size dolphins displayed across Aberdeen for the summer. They are diverse and beautiful and huggable. See the Wild Dolphins website for more info.
This salad is colourful and strongly flavoured. In fact, it is hard-core salad. Lots of chewing involved. No dressing. If the pomegranate is nice and ripe, preparing this salad will leave you looking like a guest at a wedding written by George R. R. Martin (but healthy).
6 oranges, peeled and chopped into bite size pieces
the juicy contents of 1 large pomegranate
plentiful kale leaves, chopped or torn
some red lettuce, shredded
Mix and eat those colours, people!
Other salad recipes here
Goodness Direct sent us some things! Sweet things! Ooh!
The Booja Booja Champagne truffles we had tried before, hence our delight on seeing them in the box. They are smooth and rich and decadent, perfect for a special occasion or as a gift or treat.
The Eskal mints and fruit crèmes were new to us, but both very enjoyable, the mints reminiscent of Bendicks and the crèmes delicately and naturally flavoured. The company do quite a large range of vegan and gluten-free foods (we like the pasta and noodles too).
Nutri Snax are a bit like Nakd bars, maybe a little chewier, but very nice and they come in various flavours.
Lest this post be ever so sweetly misleading: Goodness Direct are actually an online health food shop, selling everything you would expect from such a store including fresh vegetables, bread and household items. Despite the fact we live in the North of Scotland, a package from them usually arrives the day after ordering. They offer free delivery on orders over £35. We’ve used them for years and know their customer service to be excellent.
Let’s finish up with an evening loch picture, just because:
River, trees and snowy mountains from a steam train window (it’ll make sense later).
Creamy Vegetable Pie is an old recipe that wasn’t included in the site update, but we’ve had requests for it so here it is
1 tablespoon vegan marg (we used Pure sunflower)
1 leek, chopped
5 sticks of celery, roughly chopped
6 carrots, chopped
about a cupful of frozen peas
1 vegan stock cube (we used kallo organic vegetable)
2 tablespoons white flour
3/4 of litre of soya milk (approx)
seasalt to taste
2 kg potatoes, peeled
a little soya milk, marg and salt and pepper to mash into the tatties
large bunch of chives to mash into the tatties – easiest chopped up with scissors, straight into pan.
Peel and roughly chop the potatoes, place in a pan and cover with water and bring to boil. Once boiling turn down to simmer until soft. While that’s happening, prepare the veg and sauce. Melt the marg in a pan and add the veg and stock cube, cooking until slightly softened (5-10 min), stirring regularly. Add the flour and mix well. Gradually add the soya milk, stirring all the time until a nice thick sauce is formed round the veggies (you can add more soya milk or water if too thick). Season with salt and pepper and place in a large oven proof dish (we used a lasagne one).
Once the tatties are cooked, mash with the marg, s. milk, salt, pepper, and chives and spread this evenly on top of your veg sauce. Place in oven at 200c/400F for about 20 minutes or until browned as much as you like Delicious with fresh salad…
Back to the train. The Strathspey Steam Railway does lunches on board and with at least 24 hours notice they can cater for any dietary requirement. The three course Sunday lunch they gave us was lovely, and the first class compartment an added treat.
In beautiful, colourful Neal’s Yard, in the former home of Monty Python, resides the Wild Food Café. We enjoyed our raw pizza and salad (it is ‘raw-centric’).
Also in Covent Garden is LabOrganic, which we visited more than once for their fresh green juices and raw chocolate mousse.
We loved The Coach and Horses vegetarian pub with its timeless rickety stairs, twenties music and somehow Dickensian mantelpiece:
The ‘tofush’ and chips was excellent:
and the flowers in a teapot, pretty:
Though we didn’t eat in them, Food for Thought in Neal St. had a savoury and delicious smell wafting out its door and the dishes visible through the window of totally vegan Vantra Vitao looked very good.
Useful resource: Vegan London
Here it is
There’s bunnies and eggs. Online stock always sells out fast. Go get.