I love tradition, so it’s probably no surprise that I love celebrating Bonfire Night. I find the whole concept so interesting, the history of Guy Fawkes’ plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament being foiled and the tradition of placing a ‘Guy’ on top of bonfires across the country as a burning effigy every year in order to commemorate the failure of the plot.
Bonfire Night is not just all about setting fire to wood or old furniture in fields, schools, pubs or back gardens. It’s also become an opportunity to socialise over an ‘occasion’. This socialising often includes wrapping up warm and heading outside, watching firework displays, lighting sparklers and tucking into lots of scrummy, warming foods.
When I was little, we would all head to my Grandparents house and light a bonfire. My Grandma would make a buffet of ‘Bonfire Night’ foods and we would light fireworks in her huge garden. The latter almost always ended in some sort of controversy; either a Catherine Wheel flying off the fence mid-spin, the yearly competition as to who had brought the biggest firework, or perhaps the time someone added fuel to the fire (BAD idea) but we had so much fun, and I have a lot of happy memories from those days.
The food my Grandma made always included pie and peas, bonfire toffee, parkin and toffee apples, and although I do love a nice vegetarian pie, I have decided to put together a few more ideas for a Vegetarian-friendly Bonfire Night gathering.
Chickpea & Spinach Curry
This recipe is my all time favourite curry. Protein intake is extremely important for us in order to grow effectively and it also encourages our bodies to repair themselves and promote healthy cells. If red meat is not eaten, protein can be found in legumes, dairy products, leafy green vegetables and nuts. Chickpeas are pretty versatile and are a very popular choice for using in curries.
This recipe can be made in a slow cooker, which makes it super easy to prepare and serve at a party or gathering. Non Vegetarians will love these flavours too. Serve the curry with chopped naan breads or rice if preferred. Add Crème fraiche if the curry is too spicy for Children.
These are a great alternative to traditional chips made from potato. The batter is light and the courgettes cooks quickly, so they are very simple to make and taste great without an complex flavour adding to them. Courgettes are a variety of curcarbita, and play a role in promoting a well-rounded cardiovascular health. It is rich in nutrients like magnesium and potassium which help normalize blood pressure. So swap those potatoes for courgette and get snacking!
Chilli Veggie Dogs
Use Vegetarian hotdogs (available frozen or chilled) cook, and add to bread buns. Then top with this amazing tasty Vegetarian chilli. Chilli dogs are great for young and old alike, and although they can be rather messy, they are extremely warming and fun to eat! The Chilli can be made beforehand and kept in a slow cooker or on the hob, so guests can hep themselves for the various ways it will be served!
Veggie Chilli in Tortilla Bowls
Who wants to wash up after entertaining?! Make your guests a bowl they can eat from and then eat! Not everyone wants to eat Chilli dogs, so pop some flour tortillas onto a cupcake tray (upside down, see photo) and place in a hot oven until they are crisp and look capable of holding liquid. (Usually about ten minutes or so). Add the Chilli (from the recipe above) to the ‘bowls’ garnish with fresh coriander, salad and crème fraiche, then hand to your guests!
Caramel Apple Pie
This recipe is an apple pie, but with a Bonfire Night twist! The caramel and apple flavoured go so well together, reminding you of all those toffee apples you ate as a Child, but this is with pastry too. Oh so naughty, but oh so nice! Serve with custard or ice cream if preferred.
Hot Caramel Apple Cider
This is THE best Bonfire Night treat for adults. Sweet, warming and alcoholic. Very Calorific but worth it, and the drinks look fabulous when piped with cream and decorated with the caramel sauce!
•8 cups apple cider
•¼ cup brown sugar
•¼ cup caramel ice-cream topping (I used Treat)
•whipped cream, optional
•extra caramel ice cream topping, optional
1.In a large sauce pan, combine the cider, sugar, and caramel topping.
2.Cook over medium low heat until simmering stirring frequently. Simmer until heated and well blended.
3.Serve in latte glass cups or mugs. Pipe whipping/squirty cream on top and drizzle with additional caramel topping if desired.
Veggie Chilli Tortilla Jackets
Using the Vegetarian chilli, top either oven baked (or bonfire baked) potatoes and decorate with tortilla chips, sour cream and a sprinkle of paprika for comforting snack or supper. Baked potatoes are easy to make, yet always go down a treat! Wrap and cook in foil- they will keep warm for ages too, so hassle free! The chilli is not only packed with protein but also very low fat, so this option will be great for anyone watching their waistline.
Rocket Veggie Dogs
Simply wrap Vegetarian hot dogs in thin strips of prepared breadstick dough, or puff pastry if preferred and insert a skewer, letting it protrude at the top. Bake the dogs according to the dough package’s instructions. Add a triangle of cheese or pepper for a topper and squirt on stripes of ketchup and mustard.
Blueberry & Apple Sauce Muffins
Pop these muffins in a basket for people to help themselves at the party, They are also perfect for little ‘gloved’ hands and for those who don’t fancy or like the Chilli Chocolate cake! Sticking with the apple theme, but adding apple sauce to the old classic, Blueberry muffins. Blueberries are high in anti-oxidants and perfect for squeezing fruit into a Child’s diet without too much effort!
Chocolate Chilli Jaffa Cake
This cake is fiery, and quite frankly amazing. Everyone like’s a Jaffa cake. This is the adult only version and it makes a great party dessert. It is slightly time consuming, but it is worth it! I created this recipe for my column in the local paper and have made it several times since, having had glowing reports! The cake is a chocolate fudge cake, with a hidden layer of orange (gelatine free please) jelly and topped with a chilli chocolate ganache.
I hope you have a great Bonfire Night!
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