Spiced nut roast

I finally tried to come up with a nut roast recipe and it really is just the tastiest thing, only it’s more seeds than nuts, which is great (easier to digest, but still so much crunch) and has a warming earthy blend of mushrooms and masala.

I’ve served it at two events and it was ALL eaten!

I’ve taken inspiration from various places including a wonderful life-changing bread from mynewroots, hence the psyllium husk which really binds this loaf.

Yes Christmas is about indulgence, and this taste plenty indulgent with all the flavour and spice and crunch, but it’s just a tiny bit lighter.

 

Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients

  • 120g sunflower seeds
  • 80g flax seeds
  • 50g almonds or any nuts, broken
  • 150g oats, can use gluten-free oats
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 3-4 tablespoons psyllium seed husks (can also use husk powder)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or agave
  • 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 400ml water

Mushroom mix

  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1/2 green chilli, finely chopped, optional
  • 1 stalk of rosemary finely chopped, optional
  • 5 medium mushrooms, roughly chopped, small cubes
  • 1/4 courgette, grated, optional
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons dried cranberries

 

Garnishings

  • Maple chilli seeds from Saffron Soul cookbook*
  • handful cranberries

*If you don’t have maple chilli seeds, just roast sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds and cashews in the oven or toast on a pan on low heat for 5-10 minutes with some salt, coconut oil, a little agave or maple syrup and a sprinkle of chilli flakes

Method

  1. Combine all the dry ingredients for the loaf in a mixing bowl. Melt the coconut oil (if solid) and stir in the maple syrup (or agave) and water. Stir this into the dry ingredients and mix well until the dough becomes quite thick. Leave this to one side for at least an hour or leave out overnight.
  2. Make the mushroom mix before you bake the loaf. Start by heating the cumin seeds and fennel seeds in a little oil in a medium pan, let them turn brown (around a minute) then add the grated garlic, green chilli and rosemary, if using.
  3. Now add in the mushrooms, courgette, cranberries, garam masala and salt. Stir together well and mix this mushroom mix into the loaf mixture. The consistency should be thick but stirrable (it should not be solid e.g. if you have let the loaf mixture sit out all night it may have solidified, in which case you should heat and soften in the microwave or stove).
  4. Now grease your loaf tin with a little oil or butter (so that the bread doesn’t stick to the pan) and lay the mix into the loaf tin. Smooth out the top with the back of a spoon.
  5. Preheat oven to Gas Mark 4 or 180° C. Place the loaf in the oven for around 30 minutes, then remove, take the loaf out from the tin straight onto a tray or baking paper. Place the loaf back in the oven, now upside down, and let it cook for another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool before slicing.

Be careful when slicing, trying not to make the loaf crumble. Sprinkle over with maple chilli seeds and cranberries, or roasted nuts and seeds.

 

Spiced sweet potato & kale salad with tandoori spices

Ingredients

Salad

  • 80g, 3 handfuls of kale
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 small courgette, cut into julienne strips
  • handful cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 spring onion, chopped

Sweet potato cubes

  • 350g sweet potato cubes
  • 1 tablespoon tandoori masala
  • 2-3 tablespoons yoghurt (for a vegan option, use tahini and water down a little)
  • sprinkle of salt

Dressing

  • 4 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 teaspoons paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon agave
  • pinch of red chilli powder
  • juice of half lime

Garnishing

  • 2 tablespoons flaked almonds
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • more tahini to drizzle on top

Optional additions

  • handful of boiled quinoa
  • spinach leaves

Method

  1. Start by peeling and chopping the sweet potato into small 1-2cm cubes.
  2. Boil or steam for just ten minutes until a little cooked. While they’re cooking, mix together the marinade of tandoori spice mix and yoghurt.
  3. Once the sweet potato is a little cooked stir in the marinade and taste for spice and salt. Place under the grill for 20-25 minutes until a little chargrilled and cooked.
  4. While these are in the oven, chop up the kale roughly but as small as you can and chop the rest of the vegetables.
  5. Prepare the dressing by mixing together the ingredients and massage this into the kale (easiest way to do this is with your hands). You can use a julienne peeler to slice the courgette or can use a spiraliser or a skin peeler.
  6. Once the sweet potatoes are cooked, let them cool down. Arrange everything on a plate or in a bowl, garnishing with the sweet potatoes, almonds, sesame seeds and spring onions. Drizzle some more tahini over the top and sprinkle a little extra paprika.

 

Mince Pies

Recipe to make 8 large mince pies.

INGREDIENTS

  • 100g coconut oil
  • 100g chickpea flour
  • 100g dates
  • 70g oats, can use gluten free
  • 2 apples, chopped in small pieces
  • 100g prunes, about 3/4 cup, chopped in small pieces
  • 100g sultanas, about 3/4 cup
  • 80g cranberries, about 3/4 cup
  • juice of 1 orange
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • some orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

 

METHOD 

  1. Place the apples in the saucepan first, squeeze the orange and lime and grate some of the orange zest into the pan.
  2. Stir and let the apples cook for a few minutes, then add the rest of the ingredients and keep stirring. Let this cook on low heat while you make the crust for the pies.
  3. Melt the coconut oil in a large pan, then pour in the chickpea flour and start stirring on a low to medium heat.
  4. While stirring, warm the dates in a separate pan on low heat for a few minutes (especially if they are hard) so they melt easily when added to the chickpea flour and coconut oil mixture. Leave aside.
  5. You will need to continuously stir the chickpea flour mixture for around 15 minutes on low heat until the mixture starts to thicken and you notice the colour change very slightly from yellow to orange/light brown.
  6. As soon as you notice the colour change, add the oats and the warmed dates and remove from heat, still stirring vigorously until the dates start melting into the mixture. Let this cool down until it is cool enough to be able to handle it. You can remove the mince mixture from the heat and let this cool down now.
  7. Using a fork, gently mash the mince mixture so that it becomes more sticky.TO ASSEMBLE:
  8. Mira suggests using a silicone cupcake mould for these mince pies for ease. If using a muffin tin, grease each tin with coconut oil. Mould the mix into individual tins and then cut the remaining mixture into stars or whichever shape you like (Mira uses star cookie cutters) to then go on top of the pies. Fill the mince mixture into the individual pies, then place the star shapes on top and place in the fridge.