Hi guys, I am waving at you from Krakow where I just arrived to spend the next week or so with my family. Duncan is with me and we are both excited to have some time off together, plus Duncan is looking forward to being fed lots as that’s the main way for him and my mum to communicate (neither of them is a very patient language learner 😉 ).
My mum who, you won’t be surprised to learn, is a feeder, is always worried that he has not had enough food as he is sooo skinny. No amount of explaining that he runs 6 times a week, rain or shine, and that keeps him slim provides a satisfying enough of an answer for her – he needs to eat more! Bless her! My mum is really lovely and even though she isn’t vegan (despite me working on her to ditch cheese for the past 5 years 😛 ) she always makes sure there is food for us and we never ever go hungry. Last time when I stayed in my brother’s flat in Krakow for a week she stocked the fridge with so much vegan food that it could easily feed 4!
The rough plan is to stay for a few days in Krakow with my brother and his girlfriend, socialise a bit and then go to my parent’s house for Xmas itself. We were hoping that we might sneak away for a day into the mountains to see if Duncan takes to skiing, but the weather appears to be just as mild as it is in Bristol, so that’s not going to happen. At least we could travel a bit lighter without the need to dig out thick winter coats and boots that never see the light of the day in the UK.
As Xmas is nearing and I’ve been on the sweet recipe train recently, I have something fresh and healthy for you today for a change. Something very much needed to provide a break from all of the indulgence. It’s a simple Brussels sprout slaw adorned with juicy pomegranate arils and salty-sweet faux bacon almonds for that satisfying crunch and a touch of umami. It’s super easy and quick to make and due to its main colours being red and green, it happens to look very Xmassy too, so hereby I pronounce it a Xmas must-eat! Enjoy! x
- 500 g / 18 oz fresh Brussels sprouts
- 60 ml / ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 30 ml / 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 10 ml / 2 tsp maple syrup
- 2 heaped tsp wholegrain mustard (make sure it’s vegan)
- small shallot, finely grated
- salt and pepper, to taste
- a handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
- arils of ½ pomegranate*
- Shred Brussels sprouts very finely, using the lowest mandolin setting or a very sharp knife.
- Mix olive oil, lemon juice, maple syrup, mustard and finely grated shallot really well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir the dressing through the sprouts and set aside for the Brussels sprouts to soften while you make your almonds.
- Preheat the oven to 120° C / 250° F (100° C / 210° F fan) and line a baking tray with a piece of baking paper.
- Mix the almond bacon marinade ingredients together in a small bowl. Toss the almond flakes in the marinade and spread them on the prepared baking tray.
- Place the tray in the oven for about 30-35 minutes, giving the almonds a good stir halfway through the baking time. They may appear to still be a little soft when warm but will crisp up once out of the oven and cooled.
- Just before serving, sprinkle the salad with fresh parsley, pomegranate arils and almond ‘bacon’.