Nut Roast

by Susan Smith in ,


2017 began in much the same way that 2016 ended… assisting Mirror Imaging with two back-to-back winter weddings and spending the rest of January up to my neck in legalese and paperwork. True, for the sake of our health and wellbeing I do still spend quality time in the kitchen devising good things to eat, but actually getting around to photographing the end result and writing up the recipes to share on Primal Plate’s blog has, over the past month, been a stretch too far. Sorry. 

With the start of the new year and a couple of pounds gained, I turned my attention away from the meaty feasts (organic and pasture-fed, no less) that we’d enjoyed over Christmas and reignited my appreciation for all things vegetarian. I know that generally nutloaf gets a bad press - at least with non-vegetarians - but I kid you not, this fabulously flavoursome Nut Roast could knock most meat dinners into a cocked hat. Healthy and chock-full of protein from an abundance of nuts, this Nut Roast has all the savoury heartiness of meat without the heaviness. Plus, it packs more taste, it costs less to make, it looks better on the plate and you can prepare it in advance. Served with my mouthwatering vegetarian gravy (recipe coming soon) that Sarah thought was so tasty it must have made with homemade chicken stock, some seasonal oca roasted with thyme (the nearest low-carbohydrate equivalent to roast potatoes) and tender stem broccoli, this low-carb, Primal, vegetarian meal is so good it verges on the genius.  

It’s equally delicious served cold with salad. 

Nut Roast (Serves 6)

Ingredients

50g raw organic pecans 

50g raw organic Brazil nuts 

50g blanched organic almonds

2 tbsp raw organic pumpkin seeds 

25g organic unsalted butter

3 large organic shallots, peeled and finely chopped

150g organic chestnut mushrooms, coarsely chopped 

50g raw organic cashews, coarsely chopped 

2 tbsp organic smooth almond butter

2 tsp Marmite

100g organic strong cheddar cheese - finely grated

3 tbsp organic parsley, finely chopped

1½ tbsp organic sage, finely chopped

400g tin organic chopped tomatoes, well drained

2 organic medium eggs, beaten

1 dsp Sukrin organic coconut flour

Celtic sea salt

Freshly ground organic black pepper

Organic watercress or chopped parsley to serve

Organic oca are part of the yam family and look a little like radishes when raw. When roasted in the oven they make a fantastic low-carb potato substitute, close in favour and texture to roast new potatoes.

Organic oca are part of the yam family and look a little like radishes when raw. When roasted in the oven they make a fantastic low-carb potato substitute, close in favour and texture to roast new potatoes.

Instructions

Melt 10g of the butter over a very low heat (or in a microwave). Grease a 400g /1lb loaf tin with the melted butter before lining with a long strip of non-stick baking parchment to cover the base and narrow sides of the tin. Grease the baking parchment too. 

Toast the pecans, Brazil nuts, blanched almonds and pumpkin seeds in a large frying pan over a low heat until nicely golden. 

Take the pan off the heat and allow the nuts/seeds to cool slightly, then whizz in a food processor until finely chopped.

Pre-heat oven to 190℃ / ℉ / Gas mark

Melt the remaining 15g of butter in a small frying pan and gently cook the chopped shallots for about 3-4 minutes until soft and beginning to turn golden. Add the chopped mushrooms to the pan and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In a large bowl, combine the toasted ground nut mixture with the cooked shallots and mushrooms and the rest of the ingredients. Season with sea salt and black pepper and mix together well. 

Spoon into the prepared loaf tin and level off the top. Cover with a piece of buttered non-stick foil.

Cook for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove the tin foil - if the top isn’t evenly browned pop the nut loaf back into the oven, uncovered, for a further 5-10 minutes.

Cool for 15 minutes in the tin before loosening around the edges with a small knife and carefully turning out onto a warm serving plate. Peel away the parchment paper and cut into slices.

 

Carbohydrate 12g Protein 15g - per serving


Speedy Seedy No-Grain Soda Bread

by Susan Smith in ,


No grains, no dairy, no eggs, no yeast…no kidding! Inspired by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Seedy Rye Soda Bread in the River Cottage Light and Easy cookbook this super-speedy, seedy bread is my Paleo/Primal-friendly grain-free ‘take’ on Hugh’s original recipe. I’m loving the fact that you can knock it up in about 15 minutes then bake and eat it within the hour. 

Mr Fearnley-Whittingstall just happens to be my man of the moment in more ways than one. Pioneering war on waste and taking to task the supermarket's ridiculous stance on wonky veg, he is also a brilliant, down-to-earth, imaginative chef that seriously cares about the environment and sustainability. I salute you sir!

For this blog post, my job was to figure out which no-grain flour alternatives would emulate River Cottage’s inspirational rye-based bread i.e. to create a dense, semi-sweet, almost malty, rye-tasting soda bread, without the rye flour or honey that the original recipe calls for. I think I’ve done it! With the help of Sukrin and their fantastic range of alternative cold-pressed, fat-reduced nut and seed flours (I particularly like the cold-pressed sesame flour in this recipe for it’s distinctive depth of flavour), I was fully equipped and ready to go.  

This nutty tasting bread is deliciously satisfying, can be eaten in the context of either sweet or savoury, and is so quick and easy to make I’ve ended up making 4 loaves in the past 5 days! 

Speedy Seedy No-Grain Soda Bread (makes 1 small loaf - serves 6)

Ingredients - dry

20g organic pumpkin seeds

20g organic sunflower seeds

20g organic sesame seeds

20g organic golden linseeds

1 tbsp organic chia seeds

150g organic ground almonds

50g Sukrin sesame flour  

50g fine milled organic tiger nut flour

20g Sukrin reduced-fat organic almond flour plus a little extra for dusting the finished loaf

½ tsp sea salt

1½ tsp baking soda

 

To finish the loaf before baking

1 tsp seeds - for sprinkling

1 tsp Sukrin almond flour, for dusting

 

Ingredients - wet

100ml apple juice (I used Coldpress)

1 tsp raw cider vinegar

50ml water

2 tbsp avocado oil 

Instructions

Pre-heat the oven to 200℃ (180℃ fan-assisted) 

Put all the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl and, using a fork, mix everything together really well.

In a jug, whisk together the wet ingredients. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, pour the liquid into the dry ingredients and quickly mix everything together with a fork.

Allow the mixture to stand for 1-2 minutes, during which time the chia seeds will help thicken out the mixture. 

With the help of a spatula, tip the sticky but malleable dough onto a sheet of non-stick (parchment) paper and, using both hands, form into an approximate 15cm / 6” round. Slide or lift the shaped bread, still sat on its parchment paper, straight onto a baking tray.

Make a deep cross in the bread round (cutting at least halfway down through the dough) then sprinkle a teaspoon of extra seeds on top and lightly dust with a little more almond flour. 

Bake for 35-40 minutes in the pre-heated oven, or until a cocktail stick inserted in the centre comes out clean and the crust is a really dark brown.

Cool on a wire rack. Tuck in!

Top left: Make a well in the centre of the combined dry ingredients, then pour in the combined wet ingredients. Top right: Mix everything together with a fork. Bottom left: After shaping, score a cross in the dough. Bottom right: Sprinkle with extra seeds and dust with sifted almond flour before baking.

Top left: Make a well in the centre of the combined dry ingredients, then pour in the combined wet ingredients. Top right: Mix everything together with a fork. Bottom left: After shaping, score a cross in the dough. Bottom right: Sprinkle with extra seeds and dust with sifted almond flour before baking.

Notes

I regularly purchase organic nuts and seeds online (more availability and at a better price than most supermarkets) These are my go-to suppliers: Healthy SuppliesReal Foods; Red23; and, for tiger nuts, Na'vi Organics.

This bread will keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container. After a couple of days, it can be used to make croutons or made into breadcrumbs for coating. 

If you want a nutritious, no-hassle, low-carb, home-baked bread for breakfast, simply measure out all the dry ingredients into a bowl and the wet ingredients into a jug the evening before, then cover with cling film. Next day, combine everything together and bake…good morning Primal Pronto!

 

Carbohydrate 15g Protein 12g - per serving

Speedy Seedy No-Grain Soda Bread is delicious served simply with lashings of organic butter.

Speedy Seedy No-Grain Soda Bread is delicious served simply with lashings of organic butter.