This lovely festive nut roast makes a wonderful alternative to the traditional Sunday lunch meat roast or just a delicious meal to share with friends over the Christmas period. It can be prepared in advanced and then popped in the oven one hour before serving, making it easy when you are entertaining. Any left overs can be served cold for lunch with a salad.
Packed with protein, vegetables and spices this delicious seasonal dish is really healthy too. The list of ingredients may seem rather long but this is what makes this nut roast so flavoursome.
Ingredients (Serves 6)
- 2 tbsp good olive oil
- 1 red onion, diced
- 3 carrots, small diced
- 2 parsnips, small diced
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 heaped teaspoon ground turmeric
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 100 g cashew nuts – soaked a couple of hours and drained
- 100 g almonds – soaked a couple of hours and drained
- 100g walnuts – soaked a couple of hours and drained
- 50 g dried apricots (preferably un-sulphured), finely chopped
- 200 g cooked quinoa
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 25g green herbs: parsley, coriander or dill
- 2 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tin of chickpeas, drained (or use 200g chestnuts roughly chopped as a sub)
- 3 medium free-range eggs (for vegans use 2 tbsp chia seeds, mixed with 100ml water)
- Fresh chopped herbs, dill, parsley or coriander
- Crumbled feta (optional)
For the tomato sauce:
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tins (400g) of cherry tomato
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 190 /170°Cfan/gas 5. Grease and line a large loaf tin with baking paper.
- I like Merchant Gourmet for quick pre-cooked quinoa, but if you need to boil yours, add 100g of quinoa to a pan with double the amount of water. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat, cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes until its cooked.
- In a frying pan, on medium heat, cook the onion for 3-4 minutes, then add the diced carrot and parsnip, cook for a further 6 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the four dry spices and a splash of water so they don’t catch on the bottom, cook for a minute more only, then set aside.
- In a food processor, pulse the nuts briefly until they are coarsely ground, you want texture not a powder. Tip into a big bowl with the cooked vegetables, apricots, quinoa, lemon, fresh herbs, oregano, chickpeas, and eggs. Mix until they are combined.
- Tip the mix into the cake tin, pressing down gently and bake for 60 minutes. Cover the top with foil halfway through to stop it browning. Leave it to cool slightly for 10 minutes before serving.
- While the nut roast is cooking, make the tomato sauce. In a saucepan on a medium heat, sauté the garlic in a little olive oil for 1-2 minutes, then add the tomatoes and cinnamon, plus one more can of water (400ml). Turn down the heat and simmer for 30 minutes until the sauce thickens. You will need to partially cover this (for splatters) but not completely or it will not reduce.
- When the nut roast is cooked, top with a scattering of toasted nuts, some fresh herbs and a little feta (optional). Serve in wedges with the tomato sauce and a nice light crispy green salad, or steamed greens.
(Recipe courtesy of Amelia Freer, Nutritional Therapist and Author of Eat, Nourish, Glow)