Monday, 24 September 2012

RECIPE TIME.... Sunday dinner for veggies!

My household may consist of a bunch a vegetarians, but I don't mind saying, we do love a family Sunday dinner as much as anyone.  With all the usual trimmings. Crispy roast potatoes with rosemary, creamy mash (I like to mix it up with spinach, but recently I've taken to making carrot and potato mash since my teen daughter decided she doesn't like cooked carrots anymore), peas (with a little garden mint) and a home made onion gravy.  

This recipe evolved yesterday as I was making a nut roast.  I wanted to make the main feature protein rich and nutritious, as I've been feeling a bit neglectful of my family's diet (and probably my own).  Nut roasts can often be a little dry, so I've tried to counter that with plenty of succulent vegetables, and replacing half the amount of nuts with chestnut mushrooms, and half of the breadcrumbs with quinoa.  When I tasted the filling, it felt like it needed something sharp to cut through the sweetness of the veg and the earthiness of the nuts and mushrooms.  Hence the Cheshire cheese, but you could use any tangy cheese such as feta or perhaps stilton. Don't be put off by the savoy wrapping.  I simply removed the thick part of the lower stem, and blanched it in the potato water.  Be generous with the overlapping layers to ensure it holds together. 


Ingredients - serves 6

150g cashews, lightly toasted
100g quinoa (or couscous)
1 red onion, diced, pref 1/2 cm pieces
1/2 courgette, diced 
1 carrot, diced
1 leek, finely sliced
5 chestnut mushrooms, diced
1 thick slice of brown/seeded bread
1 free range egg (or use silken tofu if vegan)
120g Cheshire cheese (or feta, Lancs, blue etc)
Savoy cabbage, 6 outer leaves, trim thick stalk end
Oil or butter for frying & greasing
Salt & white pepper for seasoning
1 tbsp fresh or 1/2 tsp dried herbs, I used fresh thyme & marjoram

To prepare:

1. Grease a loaf tin with butter or oil.  Heat oven to 190 degrees.
2. Add onion, courgette, carrot, leek & mushrooms to pan with a little oil or butter, and cook for 8-10 mins until vegetables are soft.
3. Simmer quinoa for 4-5 mins in veg stock (or hot water with a smidge of marmite).
4. Toast cashews in a pan, then blitz in food processor into small pieces.  Avoid blitzing into a powder or you will lose the texture.

5. Blitz bread into crumbs.
6. Blanche cabbage leaves in hot water for 2 mins and set aside.
7. Mix the vegetables, nuts, breadcrumbs and egg (or tofu if using).  Add fresh or dried herbs and season to taste with salt and white pepper.
8. Line the loaf tin with the cabbage leaves, using five large leaves to cover bottom and saving one leaf to seal the top.
9. Half fill the loaf tin with mixture, firmly pushing down with back of spoon to ensure shape.
10. Crumble the cheese over the filling. Then add remaining filling on top, again pushing down to make a firm shape. If you're vegan, omit this layer and add squeeze of lemon to veg mixture.
11. Fold over edges of cabbage leaves to cover top of roast, and then layer final leaf over top and tuck into sides.
12. Cover loaf tin with foil and place on baking tray.
13. Bake in over for 15 mins, then turn over, foil side down on tray, and continue baking for another 10-15 mins.
14. Remove from oven, turn right way again and remove foil lid.  Turn onto chopping board and remove tin.

Hope you enjoy it!  Here's to family time :0)


  1. Lovely, my favourite nut roast (well I say favourite, it's the only one I've ever made!) is parsnip nut roast. Served alongside some honey roast parsnips.

    Can you tell I have a slight parsnip obsession?!

  2. Hmmm.. What a great recipe. I've never tried eating one before. Hope it taste well when I try it.
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