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)
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
Celtic sea salt
Freshly ground organic black pepper
Organic watercress or chopped parsley to serve
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