Thursday, 11 December 2014

Avocado hummus, Veg sausage rolls, White chocolate and ginger cookies

'Tis the season for entertaining and picnics, for sharing food and having quick meals before going out.  Yes it is that time of year when normal meals go out the window.  Indeed we have had so many evenings where the fun takes precedence over eating sensible meals.

So today I have a few recipes that are perfect for the festive time of year: avocado hummus dip for that quick bite before gift shopping, sausage rolls for carols and white chocolate and ginger cookies to share with colleagues.

The avocado hummus was made in a rush because I was off to meet some friends.  I have fancied trying hummus in my new blender and I had some avocado and parsley to use up.  I had to use the tamper stick a bit to push it down but it was pretty smooth. 

The hummus has a been a great quick lunch a few times because I have been rushing about with not a lot of time to sit down and think about lunch.  It is great with crackers or on toast.  The santa dipper is optional!

We were at a carols service on the weekend and took along a picnic dinner.  I baked sausage rolls.  Clare recently posted a vegetarian sausage roll recipe that is quite similar to my favourite sausage rolls but without the nuts and with simpler seasoning.  I have had a quest to find some good nut free sausage rolls.  So I had to try.

My main concern with the recipe is that it seemed to use a lot of cottage cheese.  So I halved it and added carrot.  Even so I found it quite creamy for my tastes.  Though it wasn't quite as creamy the next day when the sausage rolls had sat overnight and the filling had thickened.  I am wondering if some cooked quinoa and extra seasoning (like in Leah's sausage rolls) would make it more to my liking. 

I have just seen that this is my ninth sausage roll recipe on my blog!  But you can never have too many.  And they were great at the picnic.  It was an overcast evening but we had a lovely time.  Sylvia was very happy to see santa and hung stars on the outdoor Christmas tree.  We all enjoyed sausage rolls, dips, vegies, crackers, chocolate mince tarts and fruit.

The final recipe is based on some Chewy Cinnamon White Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookies that I found Eats Well with Others (I found it on Joanne's 20 must-have holiday cookies list that I recommend for baking inspiration.)  I had a surplus of white chocolate melts after making an owl cake.  I made it in the spirit of the cookies rather than following the recipe.  That means I just put in the leftover glace ginger and marshmallows and a few cranberries for festive cheer.  I also added some molasses and spices for a slightly gingerbread flavour.

As I was making these before going off to help out with some community activities, I took them along for my colleagues.  They loved them.  As do E and I.  Sylvia was hot and cold on them.  I think she loved them when she struck a marshmallow and wasn't so sure when she chomped on the glace ginger.  My mum also enjoyed one before Sylvia's school instrumental concert.  (She overcame her nerves to play ukelele solo in front of her school buddies.)

These cookies (or bikkies as we might call them) were fantastic and soft on the day of making, and fragile by evening.  Possibly as a result of me veganising the recipe (except for the white chocolate chips but they would also work with dark chocolate chips - after all what doesn't!) and possibly they needed another minute or two in the oven.  Whether fresh or fragile, they were delicious and very addictive.  Lovely festive food to share.

I am sending the avocado hummus to Healthy Vegan Fridays #26 hosted by Kimmy of Rock My Vegan Socks and Robin of Vegan Dollhouse. I am sending the sausage rolls to Vanesther at Bangers & Mash (and Lou at Eat Your Veg) for Family Foodies with this month's theme of Festive Food.  And lastely I am sending the cookies to Kat of the Baking Explorer (and Stu of Cakeyboi) for Treat Petite with the theme of Christmas.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
One year ago: Gingerbread village and other gingerbread
Two years ago: Peebles, Snow and the Prince of India
Three years ago: CC Chesapeake tempeh cakes for carols
Four years ago: Buns, soup and crunchie in yaz's kitchen
Five years ago: Christening Cake
Six years ago: Festive Shortbread
Seven years ago: SHF #38 Christmas Pudding

Avocado Hummus
Adapted from
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

1 avocado
400g tin chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp tahini
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
juice of 1/2 lemon
Handful parsley
1 tbsp hot sauce (I used Franks)
1/4 tsp salt

Blend in food processor or blender until smooth.  Taste and adjust seasonings.

Sausage rolls with cottage cheese, oat and carrot
Adapted from The Life of Clare
Makes about 30-36 small sausage rolls

1 cup rolled oats
1 egg
1 tbsp soy sauce (2)
1 onion finely diced
250g cottage cheese
1 small carrot, finely grated

To assemble:
3 sheets of puff pastry
milk for glazing
sesame seeds for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 220 C and line a couple of oven trays with baking paper.

Mix rice with carrots, cheese and tomato paste.  Add seasonings to taste.

Lay out a sheet of (defrosted) pastry and cut in half lengthwise.  Spoon filling along the middle of the length of each piece of pastry.  Brush long edge with a little milk and roll pastry around filling so there is a slight overlap.  Move onto a prepared tray.  Make deep slashes with a sharp knife to designate 6 pieces.  Glaze with milk.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds.  Repeat with remaining pastry until you have used up all the filling.

Bake for 40 minutes at 200 C and 10 minutes at 200 C or until golden brown.  (I usually bake sausage rolls in at last 2 batches as I don't have enough trays to bake them all at once.)  Can refridgerate or freeze and reheat in oven.

White chocolate chip and ginger cookies
Adapted from Eats Well With Others
Makes 3 dozen

4 tsp ground linseeds (flaxseed)
3 tbsp water
165g margarine or butter
1/2 cup coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp molasses
1 cups white self raising flour
1/3 cup wholemeal flour
1/4 tsp bicarbonate soda (baking soda)
1/2 tsp mixed spice (pumpkin spice)
1/2 tsp salt
200g white chocolate chips
2/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup dessicated coconut
1/3 cup glace ginger
1/4 cup marshmallows

Preheat oven to 190 C (375 F).  Line baking trays with baking paper.  Soak ground linseeds in water.

Cream margarine and sugars  Stir in molasses, then flours, bicarbonate soda, mixed spice and salt.  Gently mix in remaining ingredients.

Drop heaped tablespoons on the prepared trays with 1.5 inches between.  Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until edges start to brown..  Cool on tray or baking paper (I need to reuse the baking trays for more batches so I gave the cookies a few minutes to cool and then transfer the piece of baking paper with cookies on it onto a wire rack to cool.)  Best eaten on the day of baking.  Keeps in an airtight container for about 3 days.

On the stereo:
Christmas in the heart: Bob Dylan


  1. Love your interpretation of those cookies!! I want to try them your way.

    1. Thanks Joanne - I have a few of your white chocolate cookie recipes bookmarked so I am keen to try more of your combinations too

  2. All of these recipes look delish. I am especially hankering after the hummus - maybe in memory of the delish smashed avo, lime and black pepper on sourdough I had at Aix yesterday.

    1. Thanks Cakelaw - nothing like a good smashed avo on sourdough

  3. Hi Johanna!
    It's a funny thing about your hummus, I make hummus on a regular basis around here and when there is an avocado just ripe for the picking, I will chop it up, squeeze some lemon juice on it and add it to my hummus. However, it has never, ever, occurred to me in my new quest to eat healthier, to mix all the ingredients at the same time. Thank YOU!

    I await you finding a vegan sausage roll that you approve of because I too am on the lookout for one. I'll be checking some books in the next couple of weeks. If I find anything that sends me over the top, I'll let you know:)

    Whew! I'll take a cookie now and a picnic blanket. Johanna we got about 5 inches of snow today. No picniking here, lol...

    Thanks for sharing, Johanna, enjoy every single ray of sunshine this holiday season...

    Kudos to Sylvia for overcoming her stage fright! I think you should have recorded her solo and played it for us:)

    1. Thanks Louise - I had come across an avocado hummus recently and can't remember where so I just had to do a search. It seemed an easy way to make sure I ate the avocado as we have been busy.

      I highly recommend the liz o'brien's vegetarian sausage rolls recipe - it is amazing (even when veganised - have a version of the recipe as vegan) - but I love trying variations and like to have a nut free one up my sleeve. However if you find a good one please share it.

      And no vids of sylvia's performance but we were very proud of her!

  4. Great snack ideas! Love these for when people stop by over the holidays =)

    1. Thanks Kimmy - yes lovely to have these sort of things for visitors.

    2. Thanks for sharing this at Healthy Vegan Fridays! I have pinned your recipe to our board =)

  5. What a great selection of seasonal food. The sausage rolls might not go to an outdoor picnic here but they would be a good match for winter weather! I like the sound of the biscuits too - probably I'd keep my hummus without the avocado but I do like the concept of that too :)

    1. Thanks Kari - yes I guess there are not too many outdoor picnics for you right now but sausage rolls are great in winter too. Actually we have another carols tomorrow and it looks to be warmer so I am not sure about repeating the sausage rolls for it!.

  6. LOVE those sausage rolls..... they look SO tasty..... bookmarked!

  7. It certainly is the season for entertaining. I don't think you can have too many sausage roll recipes. Your chocolate and ginger cookies sound very festive xx

    1. Thanks Charlie - there is definitely no such thing as too many sausage roll recipes. And yes the cookies were quite festive tasting

  8. Everything looks so tasty and perfect for sharing at this time of year. Like the idea of the nut free sausage rolls. Let me know if you try it with the quinoa, sounds good!

    1. Thanks Katie - this is just the sort of food I like to share. I tried a gf version of Liz O'Brien's sausage rolls using quinoa instead of oats - - but would be interesting to use oats and quinoa

  9. Yum the cookies look so good! Thank you for entering them into Treat Petite! I might try that sausage roll recipe too :)

  10. Thanks so much for sending the veggie sausage rolls over to this month's #FamilyFoodies challenge - they look delicious - as do the hummus and cookies!

  11. Kathiroll is one of my favourites! Yours looks great :) I make it often as i never manage to set paneer properly and get a crumbled one, making it perfect for this! chowringhee kathi roll


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