Last Christmas I made a nut roast which I adapted from the BBC Good Food website and it really was very nice. However this year I have decided to make it vegan because I remembered thinking that it wouldn’t be that difficult to adapt it, and why not? I have to say that I prefer this vegan nut roast, not only is it tastier but it is also a little bit lighter and has a savoury punch to it that goes so well with roast vegetables and this super easy gravy vegan sauce perfect for occasions such as these. There are layers of texture. You have the softness of the vegetables and lentils and then some crunchiness from the nuts.
To bind the mixture together I use chick pea flour which does the job of the eggs in a traditional nut roast. Also I use Tamari soy sauce which has more flavour and less salt than regular soy sauce, but if you don’t have any you can substitute for regular. Also I use nutritional yeast which has a cheesy malty flavour to it. If you don’t have any don’t worry too much but if you do have it it is worth using as it will add another layer of flavour.
It is quite easy to make (despite the lengthy cooking time), it is a case of sweating down some vegetables, cooking the lentils until soft, then adding the rest of the ingredients, mixing and baking. It needs to be done in advance, even a few days in advance will be good (as I am doing) as it will keep perfectly well in the refrigerator and then you will avoid this in the last minute rush! What is more is that this is quite healthy dare I say, and super tasty!
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion
- 100g celery
- 100g carrot
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 100g green pepper
- 100g red pepper
- 150g mushrooms
- 300ml vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp yeast extract (Marmite)
- 1.5 tbsp Tamari soy sauce (or 2 tbsp of regular soy sauce)
- 1 tsp Maggi seasoning
- ¼ cup of nutritional yeast
- handful of parsley
- 100g bread crumbs
- 100g red lentils
- 100g mixed nuts (any sort)
- 2 heaped tbsp chick pea flour
- Finely dice the onion, red pepper, green pepper, garlic and celery, and saute on a medium heat in a large pan.
- Finely dice the mushrooms and grate the carrot and add to the pan.
- Sweat these on a medium heat until all or most of the water is gone from the vegetables. The onions shouldn’t caramelise on a medium heat although the peppers and carrot will change colour and the whole mixture will reduce in size considerably. This should take about 20-25 minutes.
- Add the vegetable stock, the yeast extract, tamari soy sauce, Maggi seasoning, nutritional yeast and the lentils. Mix well so that the yeast extract dissolves fully and bring to a gentle simmer. Keep on a medium heat for about 20 minutes until the lentils are soft. The sauce should be a brown colour and quite thick by the end of it.
- While the lentils are cooking process the nuts in a food processor. The don’t have to be super smooth, but a coarse sandy consistency will suffice.
- When the lentils are soft and most of the water has been absorbed add the chick pea flour, bread crumbs, finely chopped parsley and the nuts.
- Mix well and this will thicken substantially and should resemble a doughy texture.
- Line a loaf tin with some olive oil. I use a silicone mould but a regular tin mould will also work although I would line it with some parchment paper just in case.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 165C (I use a fan oven) for 45-50 minutes.
- Allow to cool and serve