Roast dinner...the most important and iconic meal in Britain (or would that be fish and chips?) I love a good roast, I also love the associated traditions, the fact that everyone sits down together as a family around the table, reaching across to dish up their meal from the various bowls of potatoes, vegetable, and in my case....nut roast! A good old vegetable nut roast means I can still share the Sunday dinner tradition with the meat eaters in my family, the added bonus is that they get to share my dish too and have even more variety to add to their plate!
I have played around with various nut loaf recipes over the course of time. There are so many out there to choose from in any case so you'd never been stuck for choice or ideas. I have tried recipes that are very much nut based and then on the other hand veggie loaves with no nuts at all. My Sunday staple lies somewhere in the middle (too many nuts can get very expensive after all!)
One resource I found really useful when I was newly vegan and less confident in the kitchen was the Vegan Lunch Box Magical Loaf Studio which is a simple recipe calculator or sorts which allows for so many veggie loaf options.
So, this is a lovely basic nut roast, that can be easily adapted for any beans/veggies/nuts you have to hand. Note, I have allowed for various substitutions in the recipe. I usually use oats (as I always have them to hand), but you could substitute rice, quinoa or wholemeal breadcrumbs if you prefer or have oat senstivities. These loaves also freeze really well and are so versatile...perfect roughly crumbled to top a big bowl of salad or cut into chunks and rolled into a wrap with spinach leaves and a squirt of sauce.
Lastly…one great little serving tip for you (not shown in these photos). I often make a batch of nut roast loaves in mini loaf pans in advance and freeze them once cooked and cooled. An hour or so before serving I allow them to defrost a little, just enough to slice neatly into 2cm thick slices and then I re-bake them to give a double crispy finish around the edges. The 'slicing whilst frozen' trick works really well as sometime nut loaf can be prone to crumbling if sliced whilst fresh hot from the oven, Though it was freshly served in the photos below and hasn't crumbled much at all.
Recipe: The classic veggie nut roast
Inspired by ‘the magical loaf studio’ by Jennifer McCann for the Vegan lunch box blog.
1 cup chopped nuts
1 tbs olive oil
One onion diced
One large garlic clove minced
1 large carrot grated
1 medium courgette grated
1 cup cooked white beans
1 cup dry oats *(or cooked rice or quinoa or dry wholemeal breadcrumbs- non GF)
2 heaped tbs flax (or chia, tapioca or potato flour)
¼ cup fresh parsley (or other herbs)
½ tsp mix of other seasonings
2 tbs soy sauce (tamari for GF)
Salt and pepper to taste
Up to ¼ cup vegetable stock if needed (I never need it)
Pre-heat oven to 180C. Grind any seeds and set aside. Sauté vegetables in olive oil for 5 mins until soft.
Mix all ingredients in large bowl adding sautéed vegetables to it. Mix and mash together well and add stock only if needed to achieve a sticky (but not wet) consistency. Add more oats (or another carbohydrate of choice) if mixture is too wet.
Press mixture firmly into a greased and lined 20cm loaf pan (or two smaller pans as i often do to get more crispy edges!). Bake for 45 mins to 1 hour until cooked through. Let sit for 10 mins before turning out of tin.
* for further guidance on making gluten free choices please see this post.
For tips and info on recipe measurement conversions, ingredients, substitutions and the methods behind how I do things.... check out my 'baking tips' tab at the top of the page.