I’m really into Burns night. I’m not sure why as I have no Scottish ancestry and it’s one of those events that is heavily based around meat. We used to have Burns night formals at university, with the Selkirk grace, a piped in and addressed Haggis and a Ceilidh at the end. Great fun! Since university, I have hosted or attended some form of Burns night celebration at least once each year. These have involved Ceilidhs, parties full of Whisky sours, my awesome home made whisky sticky toffee pudding (one day I’ll share the recipe), lots of bad Scottish accents and using kazoos and tin whistles in place of bagpipes.
This year I was lucky enough to attend 2 small intimate Burns celebrations! On Saturday a lovely friend in Bury St Edmunds hosted us for a day of vegan treats and excess!!! She made us carrot and coriander soup for lunch, bought in a crimbles vegan stem ginger cake and attempted my vegan torte recipe. We also picked up a Macsween veggie haggis and a small non-veggie haggis for those meat-eaters around the table!! The soup was awesome and the crimbles cake was too good! For dinner, neeps and tatties were baked and mashed in their skins and served with the haggises and broccoli. Lovely! The torte for dessert was fab too. It had alpro pouting yoghurt in instead of the cream, which gave it a softer texture and a slight tang, so it wasn’t as ridiculously sweet. I probably ate ¾ of the whole thing over the weekend!!
We also had Monday night plans for a burns night at another friend’s house, so I decided to attempt making my own vegan haggis!! I think it’s probably healthier with less fat than the Macsween one, but if you were really desperate you could add some vegetarian suet!
Ingredients (serves about 8)
50g chopped mixed nuts- I used hazelnuts, pecans and brazil nuts
25g sunflower seeds or other seeds
Medium onion, finely chopped
One tin of red kidney beans (400g)
50g red lentils
350ml vegetable stock
tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (we have the hottest cayenne pepper ever! If yours is milder, use a full tsp)
½ tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp sage
½ tsp salt
Good grind of black pepper
Heat a little oil in a pan and gently toast the oatmeal and nuts for about 10 minutes.
Add the onion and carrot and cook for another 5-10 minutes until onions have softened and gradted carrot has shrunk.
Throw in all the other ingredients and mix well. Simmer gently until most of the water has been absorbed, add more water if it seems a bit dry.
(Oops you can see the mess I made in our nice clean kitchen)
Squash into a prepared loaf tin or casserole dish and bake in the oven at 160’C for 30-40 minutes.
Remove from the oven, use bagpipes to pipe it to the table and recite Robert Burn’s “Address to a Haggis” before serving.
It went down really well!