It’s the time of year where everyone begins prepping the festive feast – What bird will be front and centre? Who is making the Christmas Pudding? How many Roast Potatoes is it socially acceptable to pile on your plate?
If like me however you lean more towards the veggie sides of things, you may feel a little less spoilt for choice; yes you get to pile for plates with veggies but hey, we like a main attraction too! The most popular alternative is the Nut Roast which traditionally is made up of breadcrumbs, cranberries, eggs etc. etc. but not everyone can eat wheat, or gluten, or dairy, so for a healthier (and frankly rather more flavourful) alternative, I have the Vegan Nut Roast for you…
Bake it as a loaf, a big deep brownie shaped marvel, or maybe into a cake shape – go crazy, this is your showstopper! The important thing to remember is flavour and texture – you want it to emulate Christmas, and have a lovely soft inside with a crunch top so it stays firm when you cut into it. I can guarantee that even non-veggies will want a slice of this as it smells sooooo good, and satisfies all Roast Dinner needs – perfection.
Ingredients (serves around 8)
2 Slices of Rye Bread | 2 Large Onions | 10 Button Mushrooms (or 4 Chestnut Mushrooms) | 1 Large Carrot | 2 Sticks of Celery | 1 Cup of Nuts – Pumpkin Seeds/Cashew Nuts/Sunflower Seeds | 3 Tsp Minvita Aguaje Powder* | 1 Tsp of Spices and Herbs – Cinnamon/Mixed Spice/Coriander | ½ Tsp Rosemary | ½ Tsp of Orange and Lemon Zest | 1 Tsp/Clove Chopped Garlic | ¼ Cup Pistachio/Dried Cranberries
1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°c, and line your baking tray with parchment. Slice up the onions and simmer for 10 minutes until soft. Whilst you wait, pulse the rye bread into breadcrumbs and set aside. Pop in the mushrooms and cook on a low heat for 5-7 minutes.
2. Pulse the nuts until they form a mix of chunks and finely milled seeds, and add into the breadcrumbs to form the dry mix. Slice up the celery and add into the onion mix, and leave to all soften.
3. Transfer the cooked veg to a blender with a slicing blade attachment with part of the dry mix, and pulse until everything is chopped up and binds slightly. Remove the blade and either hand-grate or use a grating attachment on your blender to grate the carrot into the mix.
Pour everything into a clean bowl and add in all the dry mix. Stir until everything is binding together, and then add in all the spices – make sure you fold it all in to distribute flavour!
4. Add in the zest, dried fruit and seeds and combine evenly. Smell or taste until you have the perfect blend of spices, and then pour into the baking tray or loaf tin, patting down until spread evenly. Bake for 45-55 minutes until a little crunchy on top and moist on the inside.
After it’s done baking, allow it to rest and then plate up for your Sunday Roast!
I am so impressed with how the Nut Roast turned out; the blend of spices adds a punch of flavour to your dinner, and it’s packed with healthy filling ingredients that will make you feel like you’ve had a massive Turkey feast! The great thing with Nut Roast is you can play around with the ingredients, so you can add chickpeas, quinoa, different spices – make it as individual as you are!
So when it comes round to the Christmas dinner or Sunday Roast, avoid the Roast Potato scramble and present a perfectly made Nut Roast as your own personal showstopping main meal -you’d be NUTS not too try it 😉
Do you have Nut Roast for Christmas? What are your vegetarian alternatives? What’s the best part of a Roast for you?
Lots of Love,