For our final Booja-Booja Christmas Bonanza Blog we’re delighted to bring you two delicious recipes from our third festive guest blogger Plantbased Pixie…
No Christmas is complete without mince pies, but for those who (through choice or necessity) can’t enjoy the store-bought all-butter versions, this version using olive oil pastry works just as well, and is really easy to make too! Despite what you might be expecting, I won’t call these “healthy”, because that’s not what Christmas is about – it’s about fun and enjoyment and focusing on things more important than how nutrient-dense your food is. So please, just enjoy these mince pies 🙂
This recipe makes around 8-12 mince pies, depending on size.
250g apple, finely diced
300g raisins, mixed peel, and cranberries
250mL apple juice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
Zest and juice of half an orange
1-2 tbsp syrup/liquid sweetener (optional)
150g plain flour
3 tbsp coconut/granulated sugar/sugar replacement
Pinch of salt
4 tbsp olive oil
2-3 tbsp water
What to do:
- In a large pan, add the apple, raisin mixture, and apple juice. Gently bring to the boil and let it simmer.
- Add the cinnamon, ginger, orange juice, and orange zest and stir. Allow to cook gently until the liquid has mostly disappeared and the mixture is really soft (about 20-30 minutes).
- When it’s almost ready, add the syrup, then leave to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Meanwhile, sift the flour into a mixing bowl and stir in the sugar and salt.
- Make a well in the centre and add the olive oil, mix together until it is evenly distributed and the mixture becomes like crumbs.
- Make another well in the centre and slowly add the water, stirring and eventually kneading the dough into a ball.
- Wrap the dough in cling film and place it in the fridge for half an hour.
- When the dough is chilled and the filling has cooled a little, roll out the dough on a floured surface to around 0.5 cm thick.
- Cut out large circles and press them into a greased muffin tray, then add around 1 tbsp of filling into each one. If you like, cut out stars with the remaining pastry and place these on top of each mince pie.
- Bake for around 20-30 minutes (depending on your oven) until the pastry is brown and crisp.
- Leave to cool for a few minutes before removing them from the muffin tray.
Rather than give you a traditional nut roast, I took a little inspiration from across the pond for this colourful and stunning centrepiece: a giant roasted stuffed pumpkin filled with lots of delicious veggies. Hopefully impressive enough, thanks to it’s vibrant colours and abundance of flavours, to show that meat doesn’t always have to be the centre of attention! I definitely recommend giving this a try – it’s full of delicious veggies with a hint of sweetness from the cranberries, plus a nice protein kick from the quinoa and nuts.
This recipe serves 2.
1/2 butternut squash (about 900g-1kg)
1/4 cup quinoa
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
Good quality sea salt
1 tsp lemon juice
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small clove garlic, crushed
100g mushrooms, chopped
1 handful spinach
1 tbsp chopped walnuts or pine nuts
1 tbsp cranberries
2 tbsp hummus
Fresh herbs of your choice
What to do:
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Scoop out the seeds of the squash, rub coconut oil all over, and sprinkle over some salt.
- Place on a roasting try and roast until a knife easily slides through, about 30-40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook the quinoa in 1/2 cup water, adding the apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and a pinch of sea salt.
- Melt a little coconut oil in a pan, then add the onions and sauté on low heat until golden; around 5-10 minutes.
- Add the garlic, mushrooms, and spinach, and cook for a few minutes, stirring regularly.
- When the quinoa is done, add the sautéed vegetables, nuts, cranberries, and hummus, and stir to combine.
- When the squash is ready, use a teaspoon to scoop out most of the flesh, leaving enough so it still holds its shape, and add it to the quinoa mixture.
- Place the mixture back into the butternut squash, and place it back in the oven for around 5 minutes to warm up.
- Serve immediately, adding a sprinkling of fresh herbs, and enjoy!
Plantbased Pixie‘s blog is full of gorgeously colourful, delicious recipes to discover and enjoy