Vegan Nut and Veggie Roast

The perfect vegan Christmas main, this chestnut and vegetable packed nut roast loaf with gravy is easy to make and suitably festive.

From the book

The Plant Power Doctor by
The Plant Power Doctor
A British GP breaks down the science behind plant based diets
Accessible information, meal plans, and simple ingredient switches
Tasty, nutritious and easy recipes to fit around your daily life

Introduction

Sunday lunches and Christmas meals call for something special and my nut and veggie roast is super satisfying, If you are cutting out oil, you can use water or stock to fry the ingredients and it’s simple to make this switch. Always use a non-stick pan and only add a small amount of water or stock at a time (one or two tablespoons) for the best results.

Makes 4–6 portions

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil or a few tbsp water or vegetable stock
1 onion, finely chopped
200g mushrooms, any sort, finely chopped
250g root vegetables, e.g. parsnips, carrots, Jerusalem artichokes, celeriac, grated
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp dried sage
1 tsp dried thyme
150g cooked brown lentils
100g nuts, roughly chopped – hazelnuts and pecans are especially good
100g cooked chestnuts, crumbled
25g wholemeal breadcrumbs or couscous
3 flax eggs (3 tbsp ground flax seed mixed with 6 tbsp just-boiled water)
50g prunes, roughly chopped (optional)
50ml marsala (optional)
300g spinach, chard, or any kind of kale
salt and pepper
For the gravy:
1 tbsp olive oil or a few tbsp mushroom stock
1 shallot, finely chopped
250g mushrooms, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
a sprig of thyme
50ml marsala or white wine
400ml mushroom stock
2 tsp cornflour or arrowroot

Essential kit

You will need: a 900g loaf tin.

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6 and line a 900g loaf tin with baking parchment.

If using the oil, heat it in a large frying pan. Alternatively, heat 2 tbsp of water or vegetable stock. Add the onion and mushrooms and cook over a medium heat until the onions have started to soften and the mushrooms have given out their liquid and it has evaporated off. They should be lightly golden in colour around the edges. If not using the oil, you may need to add more stock towards the beginning of the cooking process.

Add the root vegetables and garlic and continue to cook, adding a little more stock if necessary, until they have collapsed down and reduced in volume. Stir in the herbs and remove from the heat.

Put the lentils, nuts, chestnuts and breadcrumbs into a bowl and add the flax eggs. Season with plenty of salt and pepper and add the cooked vegetables. If using, put the prunes in a small saucepan, cover with the marsala and simmer until the liquid has all absorbed. Leave to cool. Cook the spinach, chard or kale in a little water until completely wilted down and squeeze out any excess liquid. Stir through the mixture along with the prunes, if using.

Spoon the mixture into your prepared loaf tin and smooth over the top with a palette knife. Cover with more baking parchment to prevent the loaf from drying out. Bake in the preheated oven for around 1 hour until well browned and piping hot all the way through.

Meanwhile, make the gravy. Heat the oil or 1 tbsp stock in a saucepan and add the shallot. Cook, adding more stock if necessary, until it has softened and caramelised. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook, adding more stock where necessary, until they DINNER have reduced in volume. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the marsala or wine and bring to the boil. Allow to bubble up and reduce to almost nothing, then add the 400ml stock. Cover and simmer for around 10 minutes. If you want a thicker consistency, mix the cornflour or arrowroot with a little water and stir into the gravy. Continue to cook over a medium heat until the gravy thickens.

Serve the nut and veggie roast with the gravy and a wide variety of vegetables.

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