It’s a cliché that vegetarians and vegan eat nut roast for Christmas dinner. However, nut roasts are a delicious and healthy alternative to roasted meat. You can buy nut roast mixes to which you simply add water, stir, place in a tin and bake. The most popular of these is probably the Granose Mixed Nut Roast Mix which you can find in Holland and Barrett and other healthfood shops.
However, the shop-bought mixes are pretty dry, flavourless and unappealing. So, below we give you two easy recipes for delicious, moist nut roasts.
The chopped nuts in this recipe should be left in small pieces, about the size of peppercorns - don’t be tempted to mill them to a powder. If you’ve bought whole or broken nuts, either chop them (carefully!) with a large kitchen knife or put them in a bag and bash them with a rolling pin to get them down to size. This give the nut roast a lovely crunchy, crumbly texture.
- Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5 / 375°F / 190°C.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a pan and fry the onion for a few minutes.
- Add pepper, celery and mushrooms and fry for 2 minutes.
- Add the grated carrot and fry for one more minute.
- Remove from the heat, add the flour and stir. Add vegetable stock, nuts, breadcrumbs, mixed herbs and a little salt and pepper.
- Grease the inside of a loaf tin. Put the mixture into the tin, pressing it down with a spoon.
- Bake for around 35 minutes.
Mushroom Nut Loaf
In this recipe, the cashew nuts are ground and mixed with mashed parsnips to give a smooth texture and a creamy taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 parsnips, cooked and mashed
- 2 small onions, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 200g (8 oz.) cashew nuts, ground
- 1 tablespoon cornflour
- 1 tsp. chopped chives
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 100ml (4 fl. oz.) vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon yeast extract (e.g. Marmite)
- 8oz. (200g) mushrooms, finely sliced.
- Boil or steam the parsnips.
- Preheat oven to Gas Mark 4 / 180 °C / 350 °F.
- Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a pan and fry the onions and garlic.
- Place them in a bowl with the ground cashew nuts, herbs and cornflour.
- Mash the boiled parsnips and add them to the bowl.
- Dissolve the yeast extract in the stock and add to the bowl.
- Fry the mushrooms in 1 tbsp. oil until soft.
- Grease a 2 lb loaf tin (I’m not sure what the metric equivalent of a 2 lb loaf tin is. It’s a bread tin about 20 cm long, 10 cm wide and 8 cm deep).
- Press half the nut mixture into the tin, cover with the mushrooms and top with the rest of the mixture.
- Wrap the loaf tin in foil and bake for 1 hour.
- Remove from oven and allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving.
To go with your nut roast you’ll want some gravy and perhaps some roast vegetables.