If you want to branch out from traditional meat-based mains, try out my special paleo and vegan nut roast made with lots of vegetables, mushrooms and a variety of nuts. Perfect for Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter and Sunday roast dinners, this dish will really surprise you. It’s incredibly moreish and delicious for something that is egg-free, dairy-free, grain-free and gluten-free. Yep, I set myself a challenge with this one but I believe I succeeded.
Living in the United Kingdom, you soon realise how obsessed everyone is with Sunday roast. It’s a weekly affair when friends or family get together to enjoy a lovely roasted meal either at home or more often at the pub. Exploring the Sunday roast menu is an adventure in itself as today’s options go far beyond pork with crackling and beef.
With many people seeking more plant-based and vegetarian options, many pubs offer amazing alternatives such as a mushroom or cheese Wellington or a classic nut roast. I knew about nut roasts before (who else had a vegetarian friend growing up who always had nut roast for Christmas), but it’s only when I started living in London that I realised how popular they are. While I still love a traditional beef roast, I am starting to see the appeal of a good nut roast.
So, what is a nut roast?
In a nutshell (forgive the pun), it’s a vegetarian meatloaf alternative. It’s a loaf-shaped dish made of various nuts (often chestnuts), grains or lentils, various seasonings, oils, broth, flour and so on compacted together and baked until firm and sliceable. Sometimes, eggs are added for binding; other times, cheese for more flavour and interesting texture.
Every veggie household would probably have their own secret nut roast recipe passed down from generation to generation. Then, there are celebrity chef’s nut roasts, ready-made-heat-in-the-oven supermarket brands and many more.
For a long time, I’ve wanted to make a nut roast for the blog. I wanted to make one that is free from grains, legumes and gluten but is also vegan-friendly. I knew the flavours I was going for but I wasn’t sure how to get the best texture. I’ve had a few tests before it worked to my liking. Today’s nut roast recipe is the version I was very happy with and I hope you like it.
My nut roast is vegan, gluten-free and paleo-friendly and is made with lots of veggies, mushrooms and all my secret seasonings.
HOW TO MAKE NUT ROAST (VIDEO)
WHAT TO SERVE WITH NUT ROAST?
This nut roast is hearty and satiating so you only need a simple veggie side to complete the meal. I would serve it with roasted carrots, sweet potatoes or pumpkin or with a side of greens like sauteed asparagus, spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts or fine green beans. It’s also really nice with a mash (you can try my sweet potato cauliflower mash here).
It’s super tasty as-is, but I also love any roast with an easy gravy (try this vegan gravy from Minimalist Baker). You can serve it with extra ketchup/tomato sauce or barbecue sauce or a dollop of mustard.
For dessert, you might like to try my vegan-friendly quinoa flour banana bread.
PLANT-BASED RECIPES YOU MIGHT LIKEPrint
Made with mixed nuts, vegetables and mushrooms, this vegan and paleo-friendly nut roast is a delicious and satiating alternative to meat mains for Christmas, Thanksgiving, Sunday family dinner or any other time you want a hearty plant-based dish.
2 tablespoons flaxseed
5 tablespoons water
For the vegetable mix
1 medium leek, pale green and white parts, diced
1 large carrot, diced
2 medium celery sticks, diced
250 g mushrooms, diced (10 medium mushrooms)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
A pinch of pepper
1 clove garlic, diced
For the nut mix
150 g mixed nuts (almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds)
1/4 cup dried cranberries (35 g) or 4 dried apricots, diced
1/4 cup diced sun-dried tomatoes
1 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 vegetable stock cube, crumbled
2 tablespoons wheat-free Tamari sauce or coconut aminos
To finish the mixture
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
1/4 cup cassava flour
1/4 cup almond meal
1–2 tablespoons BBQ sauce or tomato sauce (optional)
Toasted almond flakes
Extra dried fruit and mint
- Combine flaxseed with water in a small bowl, stir and set aside for 10-15 minutes. It will expand and thicken.
- Preheat the oven to 200 C / 395 F.
- To prepare the vegetable mix, make sure to dice everything very finely to get the best texture of the loaf. You can use a food processor or chop by hand.
- Cook the veggies. Preheat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add chopped leeks, carrots, celery and mushrooms together with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and salt. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes, until softend, reduced in size and turned golden brown.
- Right at the end, add paprika, dried thyme cinnamon and pepper and stir through. Add garlic, if using.
- Make the nut mix. Place the nut mix ingredients into a food processor. Whiz together until the nuts are ground up into small pieces, like crumbs but not too fine as we still want some crunch and texture.
- Transfer the nut mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add the cooked vegetables and sprinkle with bicarb soda, cassava flour and almond meal. Add the flaxseed mix. Mix well, making sure everything is well incorporated. It should feel like a very thick, course mixture you can mold in your hands.
- Prepare a loaf tin. I used a 25-cm/ 9″ long loaf tin but you can use a shorter one (the final nut roast will be taller), a round tin (more like a cake) or you can even shape it by hand to bake without a tin. Brush the middle of a large piece of parchment paper with a little oil.
- Place the paper inside the tin and transfer the nut roast mixture inside. Press it down using your fingers. Make sure it’s compact and firm throughout. Either fold the overlapping parchment paper over the top or wrap the tin with foil and pop in the 200 C / 395 F oven, middle shelf for 30 minutes. Then, remove the foil (unfold the paper or cut it off) and place the nut loaf back in the oven for 20 more minutes for the top to brown.
- Remove the loaf from the oven and let the tin cool down for a few minutes. Either lift the edges of the paper to remove the loaf or turn the tin upside down onto a cutting board/platter. Serve the loaf brushed lightly with barbecue or tomato sauce and sprinkled with extra garnishes like nuts, seeds and dried fruit.
STEP-BY-STEP PICS TO GUIDE YOU ALONG