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The day after the week before, and a pear banana smoothie recipe

This wasn't the Christmas holiday that I planned. Instead of spending lots of time with friends and family, eating, drinking and being merry. Only that wasn't the case - the universe conspired to royally mess things up by visiting a rather unpleasant and prolonged bout of extremely nasty illness on my house. There was not much in the way of drinking, hardly any eating, and nary a whiff of being merry.

Hopefully 2016 won't carry on from where 2015 left off - I'm crossing my fingers that the new year will bring the sort of fresh start that we always hope it will.

Food however is very much proving to be about continuing what went before. Only yesterday, I finished up the last of the vegan lox I made as part of a buffet that I cooked for Mr Flicking the Vs' folks.

It was my first attempt at making lox, using a cross between this recipe and this recipe. It was almost really tasty, but not quite - I'm not sure why. I think the amount of miso was overgenerous and it didn't quite work. Still, it gave me an excuse to track down some vegan dill and mustard sauce to go with my vegan smoked salmon (I used Sainsbury's - definitely vegan, but a bit on the sweet side).

Oatcakes may not be traditional for lox but there were no bagels to be had in my cupboards this Christmas.

It look me a similarly monumentally long time to finish off the salads I made for the meal - a beetroot, butternut and brown lentil one with cashew cheese at the top there and a black eyed bean, lemon and parsley at the bottom. Sandwich filling was the save the tuna from Crazy Sexy Kitchen that I made a tonne of and noone touched. Good job I like it!

It wasn't just my food I've been busily devouring - one of said family, a recent vegan convert (!), brought over a large box of gingerbread.

These pretty little stars have been a frequent accompaniment to cups of tea over the last few days, because they were quite simply delicious. After a valiant effort by my good self, I despatched what remained of these crisp little treats. Isn't it great to have a new vegan in the family, especially one that's as good at baking as this one.

Said family member wasn't the only one demonstrating some admirable vegan baking skills this Christmas - my ma decided she was going to make a vegan Christmas cake this year, complete with enough brandy to sink a ship, icing, marzipan, and a little snowman for good measure. How cute is that?

And, what's even better, she left me half of the cake after she visited, so I'll be eating slices for a while. Lucky fruit cake keeps so well, huh?

But with the New Year comes a desire to put away all the rich food of the festive period, and rediscover a normal diet. I had a plan to make pears poached in mulled wine, but it came to no avail, and I now have six pears that needed using quickly. Here's what I did with them:

Pear and banana smoothie

One pear, chopped into small chunks
One banana, chopped into slices
50ml vegan banana yoghurt
100ml vegan milk
20g of porridge oats
Cinnamon to taste

How you do it
Blend the pear, banana, yoghurt, milk and oats together until smooth, then dust with cinnamon, if you fancy.

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  1. Oh no! So sorry to hear about the illness. Glad to hear you are able to eat again and hope New Year makes up for it.

  2. hot damn!!! That VEGAN christmas cake your mom made is so rad and so cute! Sorry you got sick for the holidays. That's a bummer.

  3. I have noted that whenever some of us have a break of sorts, we get ill and its worse when its the festive period. Glad your much better. Even though you were not 100% sold by the Your vegan lox - i think it looks awesome and fab on oatcakes too, I will check out the recipe.
    Happy New Year to you too Joey.

  4. I am not fancy enough to dust smoothies with cinnamon but that sounds good and you sound like you have have much healthier leftovers than us - though I did nab some salad on new years day. The lox sounds interesting - I made some vegan salmon pate earlier in the year and have no idea of what regular salmon tastes like but it wasn't as fishy and I anticipated and feared. I suspect I would prefer your vegan lox to regular! And lov eyour mum's christmas cake - what a lovely gift

  5. Illness during the holidays is the worst! I recall it well! I'm glad you have been able to recover and enjoy a few items like the gingerbread! The banana and pear smoothie sounds delicious!

  6. I'm so sorry to hear you were ill for Christmas. We were both sick too, but it sounds like not as badly as you - I hope you're feeling better now and can catch up on the eating and celebrating.

    I had no idea vegan smoked salmon existed but will have to seek it out now! I used to enjoy the regular / real stuff.

  7. Can't Christmas be moved to a time of the year when fewer people get sick? Hope you are feeling better these days.
    Gorgeous cake and cookies, and a beautiful attempt at the lox. I'm lucky i don't crave them enough to want to recreate them, because I feel like it's pretty difficult.
    Gorgeous beet, butternut, and lentil salad too! I bought a bunch of cashews a while back to make cheese with but got lazy and snacky...

  8. Sorry to hear Christmas was a bit of a washout. Three years ago everyone else in my family had gastroenteritis and could barely eat - I was surprisingly immune, but it was still a really weird Christmas. It looks like you made some delicious food anyway, and I'm really jealous that you have a vegan relative, and a baker, no less! My boyfriend is giving Veganuary a go, so I'm hoping it will stick.

  9. What a wonderful spread of delicious food!! And how exciting to have a new vegan in the family too. Hope that your sickness is a distant memory soon and the new year brings you health and happiness:)

  10. Bummer you were sick over the holidays. Post-holidays I got hit with a sore throat. On the bright side, that's some mighty fine food you got there and a new vegan in the family to conspire with. Yay! :-)


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