Complete Xmas Dinner 2019

IMG_6514_polarrI already start thinking about my Xmas dinner in the summer or even earlier. When I see something that inspires me, I write it down and then it might end up in my Xmas dinner that year. I always like to create several recipes, that make a full Xmas dinner all together. There is something that I always include though and that is brussels sprouts. Cuz I just LOVE them. I often prepare some extra veggies as well, like green beans and broccoli. Just to get your greens in, even at Xmas time. If you are curious what I made last year, please CLICK HERE. Or to see what I made 3 years ago, CLICK HERE. I really like this year’s desert though. It looks so festive and it’s super easy to make. I also like that you can put it in the middle of the table and everyone can share, instead of everyone having their own portion. This whole Xmas dinner is enough for about 4-6 people. You can double the recipes when you need it to be more or add more dishes. Whatever you are gong to make, I want to wish you a very Happy Xmas!! I hope you will have a lovely time, with lots of love, laughter and happy moments!


STARTER

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IMG_3876_polarrPea Spirulina Soup with Smoked Tempeh

Makes: 4-6 bowls. 

soup
2,5 L vegetable stock (4 cubes)
400 gram split peas
1 leek (chopped)
1 onion (chopped)
2 carrots (finely chopped)
4 ribs of celery (chopped)
2 tsp spirulina

tempeh
100 gr tempeh (chopped)
1 tbs nutritional yeast
1 tbs sesame seed oil
1 tbs soy sauce
1/2 lime (juice)
1/2 tbs liquid smoke
1/8 tsp smoked garlic
1/8 tsp garlic powder
pinch of salt 

extra
4-6 tbs cream (cashew, alpro or oatly)

-Marinate the tempeh: put all the ingredients (including the tempeh) in a container with lid and shake!
-Put the stock and the split peas in a pan and let it come to boil.
-Turn the heat to a medium and let it simmer for about 30 min (keep stirring it once in a while).
-In the meantime: fry the onion, leek, carrot and celery (in water or oil) for about 8-10 minutes on a medium fire.
-Take 2 cups of the soup and use it to blend the just fried veggies and the spirulina. Blend until smooth, before putting it all (back) in the pan.
-Let it simmer for another 5 min.
-In the meantime: fry the tempeh (in 1/2-1 tsp of oil if necessary).
-Serve the split pea soup with some cream and the tempeh on top. 


MAIN & SIDES

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IMG_6097_polarrLeek Bacon Quiche.

Serves: 6-8

1 pastry sheet

1 onion (chopped)
2 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
1 broccoli (finely chopped)
1 small courgette (chopped)
100 gr mushrooms (chopped)
1/2 leek (chopped)
100 gr bacon (Vivera)

filling
1,5 cup chickpea flour
1,5 cup oat milk
1 cup water
1 stock cube
4 tbs nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt 

topping
2 tomatoes (thinly sliced)
150 gr Sheese

-Preheat the oven at 200C.
-Fry the onion, garlic and broccoli all together for about 5 min.
-Add the courgette and the mushrooms and fry all together for 3-4 min.
-Add the leek and the bacon and fry all together for about 2 min. Let it cool down.
-In the meantime make the filling: put all the ingredients for the filling in the blender and blend until smooth.
-Line a baking tin with the pastry sheet and use a fork to prick some holes in the bottom.
-Put the vegetable mix in the baking tin and make sure everything is divided evenly.
-Pour the filling over the vegetables and make sure everything is covered.
-Divide the toppings over the top and put it in the oven for about 30-35 min.

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IMG_0212_polarrGarlic Hasselback Potatoes 

Makes: 6

6 medium-big potatoes
3 small cloves of garlic (minced)
6 tbs butter (melted)
1-2 tbs fresh parsley (finely chopped)
1 tsp salt
pepper (to taste)

extra
2 wooden spoons of the same thickness

-Preheat the oven at 220C.
-Put 2 wooden spoons on a chopping board, with a potato in the middle.
-Very carefully slice the potato in thin slices. The spoons help you to not cut all the way thorough.
-To make the seasoning: put the melted butter, the garlic, the salt/pepper and the parsley.
-Divide half the seasoning over the potatoes, using a brush.
-Put the potatoes in the oven for about 25-30 min or whenever the slices are coming apart.
-Take them out of the oven and brush the rest of the oil over the potatoes. Make sure to spread the oil in between the slices. Gently! The potato is softer and its more delicate now.
-Put them back in the oven for another 5-8 min (or until golden/crispy).

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IMG_2445_polarrCourgette, Steak and Blue Cheese Pastries

Makes: 6

1 sheets of pastry (I used jus rol)
1 small courgette
1 steaks (Vivera)
50 gr (vegan) blue cheese (I used Sainsbury’s)

-Preheat the oven at 200C.
-Cut the steacks into 6 sticks. 
-Cut the courgette in half. Then cut cut those chunks in half through the length and through the length again.
-Also cut the cheese into 6 sticks.
-Fry the courgette in a pan for about 5 min. In the last 2 minutes, also add the steak. Let it cool down.
-Cut the pastry sheet in 6 squares.
-Roll 1 piece of courgette, 1 piece of steack and 1 piece of cheese in 1 square. Close the sides and close properly with a fork (push the fork gently on the pastry edges).
-Put them on a baking tray with baking paper and put the tray in the oven for 15-18 min (or until golden).

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IMG_9273_polarrPotato, Cauliflower mash with Peppery Mushroom Gravy

Serves: 4-6

4 big potatoes (chopped)
1 cauliflower (chopped)
1/4 cup oat milk
1 tbs butter
3 tbs nutritional yeast
1/2-1 tsp salt 

gravy
1/4 onion (finely chopped)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
300gr mushrooms (sliced)
1 tsp bouillon powder
1 cup water
2 tbs flour
2 tbs nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp ground black pepper (or to taste)
salt (to taste)

-Cook the potato and the cauliflower for about 10 min, or until soft.
-In the meantime: Fry the onion and the garlic in a little bit of water for about 3 min.
-Add the mushrooms and fry it all together until the mushrooms begin to get soft (about 2-3 min).
-Add the water and the bouillon powder and let it come to boil. Add the black pepper and the salt (to taste) and let it simmer for about 3 min.
-On a very low heat, add he flour and the nutritional yeast. Keep mixing it until it becomes tick (about 1-2 min). Keep stirring!
-Add 1 or a few tbs of water if you want it a bit more runny, until you have the consistency you prefer.
-When the potatoes and cauliflower are soft enough, use a colander to get rid of the water.
-Add the milk, butter, nutritional yeast and salt and mash it up.
-Serve together.

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IMG_0269_polarrRoasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic 

Serves: 4-6

500 gr brussels sprouts
1/2 tbs (avocado) oil
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
1/2 tsp salt
pepper (to taste)

-Preheat the oven at 220C.
-Mix the oil, garlic, salt and pepper together and divide this over the brussels sprouts.
-Put them in an oven dish and put them in the oven for about 10-12 min.
-Shake or mix the brussels sprouts and put them in the oven for another 10-12 min (or until they start to turn slightly brown).

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IMG_4687_polarrCamembert Cheese with Baguette
(inspired by the BOSH recipe)

Serves: 6-8

2 cups soaked cashews
2 cloves of  garlic
4 tbs tapioca flour
4 tsp salt
5 tbs nutritional yeast
4 tsp apple cider vinegar
1,5 cup warm water

topping
1 tsp ground black pepper (or to taste)
1/2-1 tsp avocado oil
-Preheat the oven at 180C.

-Blend all the ingredients (except the toppings) in the blender until smooth.
-Put everything from the blender in a sauce pan and heat it for a few minutes, until it gets a bit thicker and stretchy. Keep stirring!
-Pour it in an oven dish (lined with baking paper) and put it in the oven for 20-22 min.
-Brush the avocado oil on top and divide the pepper. Put it back in the oven for another 5 min.


DESSERT

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IMG_8657_polarrApple Pastry Xmas Tree with Ice Cream 

Serves: 4-6

1 pastry sheet
1 small apple
1 tbs brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
ice cream (as much as you like!)

-Preheat the oven at 200C.
-Cut the apple in quarters and then slice them up in length.
-Put the apple in a bowl and mix in the sugar and cinnamon.
-Put the pastry sheet on a baking tray (lined with baking paper) and cut as showed in the picture here >>
-Fold one slice of apple per branch. You’ll have to cut the apple smaller moving upwards.
-Put the tray in the oven for about 18-20 min, or until golden brown.
-Let it cool down and decorate the tree with ice cream Christmas balls. 

Do you already know what you are going to make for Christmas? Will you make any of these Xmas recipes? If you do, please let me know. You can do this by commenting down below or even better, by showing me on Instagram by tagging me with @freedomevermore. Thank you! X 

Ice cream / Prawns

ICE CREAM
You might have already tried them or know they are on the market. The Alpro ice creams! They have 3 flavours: coconut, vanilla and hazelnut chocolate. I would really like to try the coconut too, but I went for the hazelnut chocolate, because chocolate ice cream is always the best. I must say they are really nice. It’s not like the best I’ve ever had or something, but it’s decent ice cream you will definitely enjoy for sure. Chocolate with a hint of hazelnut = Yum! Apart from this, I think it’s amazing that Alpro came with an ice cream. The more vegan products there are available, the more likely that more people will become vegan. A lot of (the bigger) supermarkets sell them now.

PRAWNS
Not real ones obviously, but the prawns from Fry’s. For me one of the best brands there is, so I needed to try their prawns too. One of my favourite foods used to be gamba’s. Now I can’t even imagine peeling them and putting them in my mouth though. It makes me feel horrified. I wanted to give these Fry’s ‘prawns’ a chance though. I made a little sauce with it (very simple: I mix up 2 tbs of mayonnaise and 1 tsp of ketchup.. this is the best!) and fried the ‘prawns’ in a pan. I served them with the sauce and some sliced gherkins. They were very nice! The inside is soft, but a little chewy and the batter you can make very crispy when frying them in some oil. They don’t actually have a very strong sea food taste, but even though, they are tasty. Perfect party food I would say too. Put some skewers next to them and it will make your guests happy. Fry’s have such good products. I get them from Ocado or from Holland&Barret.

Did you already know these products or are you going to try them after reading this? Please let me know or show me on Instagram by using #PlanetManel. Would you like me to test and review your product(s) or do you have any suggestions? Please send me a message via CONTACT! It can be anything (food, drinks, beauty..) as long as it’s vegan. Thank you! X

Unico

When my mum came to visit me in the beginning of June, we were in the bus and we saw a place what was going to be an ice cream bar soon: Unico! It said it was going to have vegan options too, so I straight away made note in my phone. In the end of July, I had finally found some time to go and I was super excited. First of all, it looked super nice, very new, bright and fresh! There were some people before me, so I took this time to take some pictures and to look at the menu. There are quite a lot of seats, because you can also sit down stairs and they don’t only offer ice cream, but also: cake, sandwiches, tea and coffee. What a lovely shop!

The guy who served me knew a lot and he was very kind and super helpful. Very much appreciated! They have over 10 different vegan flavours, but there are only 3-4 flavours available a day. Today that was strawberry, mango and dark chocolate. This is because they make their ice cream fresh every day and they don’t want to throw away too much. Their ice cream is low in fat, high in fiber, protein and vitamins. What is an exciting thing! He let me taste the chocolate when I said that I loved the fact that there was a chocolate available. Mango was one of his favourites and so he let me taste that one too. Both of them were very delicious! I’m very sorry for all the other ice cream shops I’ve been to, but this was the best chocolate and mango ice cream I’ve ever had. I did like the chocolate a little bit better than the mango, but that is just because it’s chocolate. It was just so creamy and full of rich chocolate flavour. It’s like eating cold chocolate fudge. I ordered these 2 flavours, because I wanted more of course. I got it served in this super cute cup, but he told me that soon there will be vegan cones too. Yay! (I’ll be back!)

Like I said, there is more than just ice cream. The little sandwiched they have, are called ‘bubbles’. They are super cute to see, like little wrapped ‘bubbles’. They are small filled buns and they make them warm for you. I had the Genova and it’s with potatoes, green beans and pesto sauce. There is also one with seasonal vegetables. The bubbles are the only thing they don’t make in the shop itself, but they let them come over from Italy. I’ve never seen them before, but it was very tasty. Now the cake. They have a lot of different cakes, but only one vegan one. Hopefully there will be more soon. The one they offered was a raw chocolate and cashew one.. so even though it was the only option, it was surely a good one. I didn’t taste it, but I’m sure it was delicious. It looked amazing. Maybe a next time.

I want to thank Unico for their delicious ice cream and sandwich!

WHO? Unico.
WHERE? 37 Pembridge Rd, Notting Hill, W11 3HG.
CUISINE? Italian.
VEGAN? No! (omni)
OVERALL? 9 (Amazing ice cream, lovely sandwiches, bright interior and great service)

Did you already know Unico? Or are you planning to go here now? You do need to try the chocolate ice cream! Please tell me about your experience! You can do this by leaving a comment below, but you can also show me by tagging me on Instagram or by using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X

Heavenly Ice Cream

n3Nicecream is very healthy. Greatest invention ever I would say. It’s ice cream, what you can actually eat all day long if you want to. Though, the nicecream recipe I’m going to give you today, you better don’t eat all day long. Even though you really want to after tasting it. It’s very good, very heavenly, but not so healthy. This nicecream contains the yummy Biscoff biscuit spread from Lotus. My favouriiiiiteee! So be prepared to be amazed, but try to hold back a little, ok? Now go to the supermarket and get yourself a nice big jar of ‘Biscoff’ spread and biscuits! Hehe..

n2HEAVEN’S ICE

Serves: 1

-2 frozen bananas (chopped)
-splash of plant based milk
-2 tbs Biscoff spread (or 3?)
-1 tbs Biscoff biscuits (crumbs)
-1 tbs cashew nuts (chopped)
-1 tsp palm sugar

-Put the frozen bananas in the blender with the Biscoff spread and add a splash of plant based milk. (I like to use Oatly foamable)
-Blend until it’s thick and smooth.
-Put the nicecream in a bowl and sprinkle biscuits, cashews and palm sugar on top.

Do you like nicecream and do you like biscuits? I’m sure that you’ll love this one with Biscoff spread, it’s magic. Enjoy! Please let me know when you’ve tried it. You can do this in a comment below.. or you can tag me or use #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

Zizzi

img_0708Zizzi is a restaurant I kind of always knew was around, but never went to. I’m not sure why though. Maybe, and I’m not even joking, it’s because whenever I see this restaurant there is a Wagamama around the corner and as I love Wagamama, I always chose to go there instead. Silly, because now after going here, I’m actually very enthusiastic about these Zizzi restaurants. I went on the day I went to visit Richmond and strolled around the beautiful Richmond park. Richmond is a lovely area and it has nice shops and lots of nice restaurants. So after a long walk in the park, I sat down to choose a lovely dish.

img_0707I read about their vegan cheese and that is one of the reasons I went here. The menu has quite a lot of vegan options or dishes which can be made vegan. I went for a pizza, because I was curious about their cheese. Zizzi is one of the very few (for now, hopefully..) restaurants who offer a vegan alternative to mozzarella. I think they deserve a big compliment for this! I think it’s totally awesome that they do and it makes them very popular around vegans. Also because now you can easily go with a group ..family, friends or colleagues, this way everybody can order something they want, without they feel forced to go to certain restaurants. I ordered the ‘Winter Zucca’ pizza, with butternut squash, as I love butternut squash. It was lovely, though I found that they put a bit too much cheese actually, haha.. I feel like I’m being super difficult now. The cheese was very good though and the pizza was very yummy overall. Oh and if the vegan cheese option wasn’t enough, they also offer vegan ice cream. Super cool! Very tasty as well, I had a very lovely meal. Definitely recommend to eat here.

img_0706Something I noticed about the Zizzi restaurants, is that they are all based in lovely buildings. The one in Richmond is very nice and as far as I’ve seen, they all are in similar buildings. I like it. Inside it’s lovely too. A  lot of wood, warm lighting, a good overall atmosphere and super child/family friendly I would say. I think Zizzi’s is a very good restaurant to celebrate your birthday or to have a nice meal for any other occasion what involves eating with a bit of a bigger group. Because of the location and food that everybody likes. All Italian based. I mean.. who doesn’t like pizza? Also they have a lot of choice when it comes to the food in general. The staff was very friendly and helpful, what I always appreciate. They checked everything for me and were able to answer all my questions. Lovely restaurant!

WHO? Zizzi.
WHERE? 4-5 King St, TW9 1ND.
CUISINE? Italian.
VEGAN? No! (omni)
OVERALL? 8 (good vegan options; vegan mozzarella, great locations, very approachable)

What do you think of Zizzi? Do you want to try a pizza with vegan mozzarella now? Please let me know in a comment below or show me on Instagram by tagging me or by using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X

Little Coconutters / Falafel burgers

LITTLE COCONUTTERS
Not sure if you know the brand ‘The Coconut Collaborative‘, but it’s quite a fantastic brand, with lots of great vegan ice cream. Recently I see more and more stores and supermarkets selling this brand. What is really great! Last time I was at Sainsbury’s I saw these ‘Little Coconutters’, I’ve never seen before. They caught my eye because of the nice design on the packaging, with the blue leaves and cheeky monkeys. Coconut vanilla on a stick.. I couldn’t just walk passed this, could I? I’m totally nuts about coconut, so I got them. Good thing I did, because they’re totally delicious! The Coconut Collaborative did’t use refined sugar, but grape juice to make them sweet. What makes me like them even more. There are just too much products ruined by sugar nowadays. They’re not very big, but it’s also not gone within 2 bites, I would say they’re the perfect size. I didn’t try it yet, but I think if you’d blend them with a glass of plant-based milk and maybe even a piece of fruit (banana?) or a tablespoon of cacao powder, they make an amazing milkshake. I think they’re aiming for children, but they’re a super nice dessert or snack for adults too. With the days getting warmer and summer on its way, I only have one thing to say: Go and try these!

FALAFEL BURGERS
Do you remember the ‘pepper steak style pies‘ of ‘Fry’s Family‘ I reviewed before? This brand is amazing and the last time I was at Holland&Barret I saw these falafel burgers. They were not in a classic Fry’s package and I didn’t realise at first they were from Fry’s. They’re quite new! I really like this packaging much more, because I always thought the other packaging looks a bit cheap. This looks more appealing in my opinion. I obviously had to try them, as I love falafel and I like that there is no crap in these. Guilt free burgers! So I made my boyfriend and myself a nice falafel lunch in the weekend. I toasted some whole wheat pita breads and fried the burgers in a pan. To make them fit in the pita bread properly I cut the burger in half, in length (so I had 2 thin burgers). I put them in the bread, together with some iceberg lettuce, sliced tomatoes, gherkins and a good amount of houmous. It was very good and my boyfriend really liked it too! I was a little sceptical at first, because I thought they might be a little dry, because that is what you get a lot. But Fry’s did it again and created a yummy new burger. I like that there are corn pieces in there and some quinoa too. I bet they are very yummy on a proper burger bun too, with red onion rings and some chilli sauce. Perfect lunch!

Did you already know these products or are you going to try them after reading this? Please let me know or show me on Instagram by using #PlanetManel. Would you like me to test and review your product(s) or do you have any suggestions? Please send me a message via CONTACT! It can be anything (food, drinks, beauty..) as long as it’s vegan. Thank you! X

Yorica

14374749_1242909819086452_269032890_oThis will probably be our last day of summer.. 3 days of 30 degrees and then the temperature will drop with 10 degrees! ‘Last day of summer’, is quite a romantic thing.. isn’t it? All the memories you have made over the sunny (ok it’s London, so it’s only fair to also mention the rainy days.. kissing in the rain maybe?) days. What is better than ending it with 30 degrees and some vegan ice cream or frozen yogurt? Exactly, nothing! I’m sure you can find some time to catch a bus and go to Soho. Because that is where ‘Yorica’ is. ‘Yorica’ is my favourite hotspot at the moment. They are not only 100% vegan, but their ice cream, frozen yogurt and shakes are also wheat, gluten, dairy, egg and nut free!! Also all the ingredients are 100% natural and from a sustainable source. I guess it can’t get any better. OMG!

14359733_1242909825753118_135261789_oThey only opened very recently and I just found out before I went on my holiday (for a month), so I had to wait.. but then when my brother came over as soon as I was back, we went to ‘Yorica’ on our last evening together. It couldn’t get any better!
You can choose a size and a lot of different toppings. We both went for large (duhh) and it was so hard to choose. Eventually I chose ‘Cookies and Cream’, ‘WowButter’ (this was def my favourite WOW!) and ‘Rose’, as I love roses. I wasn’t very good at choosing toppings, because there is so much to choose from. So I went for a lot.. haha.. brownies, oreo, popcorn and chocolates. It was hard to find any space to put it all on. Oops!
14374661_1242909812419786_944793031_oIt was deeeeeeeelicious! I must say that the rose was quite interesting. I liked it, but maybe not with the combination I chose. But it is definitely worth trying. The next time I’m going for the frozen yogurt, because I have a confession to make. I have never had frozen yogurt in my life. So I’m very curious about it.

‘Yorica’ is based in Soho. Wardour Street to be precise. It’s the same street where Vantra used to be. My number one vegan restaurant. They have a super cute, perfect little place and the staff is very friendly. Even though me and my brother came in quite late, they were still overly kind.

14329406_1242909815753119_556124669_oI’m super excited about this new hotspot and thrilled that it’s in London! I’m so happy to share it with you guys. This is a must go hotspot! What is also very cool.. they have really good opening hours. So I’m sure you can find some time to pop in today! Today they’re open from 12:00-00:00 (until  Saturday). On Sunday they’re open from 11:00-22:00 and from Mon-Wed from 12:00-22:00. Oh and check out their beautiful website!

YORICA
130 Wardour Street
London W1F 8ZN

Did you already have a taste of this frozen goodness? What did you think? Or are you very excited to go now? Please let me know when you do! You can let me know in a comment below or show me on Instagram using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X