Recently I’ve had quite a few clients, who are mums, desperate for something vegan to serve at Christmas for their newly vegan son or daughter
A nut loaf was the first thing I thought of.
They are tasty, filling, a good source of protein, easy to make and can be made ahead of time, they are usually big enough so there is leftovers and they go well served hot or cold with either roasted veggies or salads
I’ve made these in the past and they are always a hit but I have to admit I never used a recipe.
From memory, they went something like this….
- ½ cup French green lentils
- 1 stock cube (I use Massels)
- 1 bay leaf, optional
- 1 cup (140 grams) cashews
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large brown onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 140 grams mushrooms, diced
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 2 carrots (175 grams or 1¾ cups), grated
- 2 tablespoons ground linseeds (known as flaxseeds in America)
- 2 tablespoons tamari
- ¼ cup tahini
- ½ cup rolled oats
- ½ cup fresh coriander, chopped
- freshly ground black pepper
- Place the lentils in a saucepan with the stock cube and bay leaf and cover with 2 cups of water.
- Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down, cover with a lid and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.
- Keep a close eye on the lentils so that they don't boil dry and top up with boiling water as necessary
- Drain, reserving any liquid, then remove the bay leaf and set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat oven to 150 degrees C. Place the cashews on an oven tray and toast for 10 minutes, then add the seeds and toast for a further 5 minutes or until the cashews have turned golden brown (note - the cashews can start off in a cold oven).
- Heat a fry pan over medium heat. When hot, add the oil and onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until the onion softens.
- Add the garlic and mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes, then add turmeric, tomato paste, carrots and lentils and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes. Add some of the reserved liquid from the lentils if the mixture becomes dry.
- Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Mix the ground linseeds with ½ cup water (or any liquid left from cooking the lentils), then add to the mix along with the tamari, tahini, oats, coriander, pepper and toasted nuts. Mix well
- Turn oven up to 160 degrees C and line a 12 x 22 cm loaf tin with greaseproof paper
- Spoon the mixture into the tin and flatten the top
- Bake in the middle of the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes
- Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a serving dish.
Notes – if you don’t want to cook lentils, substitute with a tin of lentils, drained and rinsed.
If you aren’t vegan, swap ground linseeds for 2 eggs and add cheese if you like
Other nuts can be used in place of cashews like almonds and/or Brazil nuts