Vegans have, of course, a special diet that requires certain changes in our way of cooking. But, of course, as you know already, taste is definitely not something that we need to sacrifice in order to eat healthy. One way I enjoy food nowadays is by adding nuts to almost anything I eat. From pine nuts in pastas to cashews for cheese cake, there are many ways to enjoy these little wonders. However, I definitely want to add that there are many surprising ways to use those underestimated fruits in our food.
I found this recipe for a nut roast and was stunned by how simple it looks. It is incredibly easy to veganize - swap the butter for vegan margarine and the eggs for vegan egg replacement, a tofu replacement or an equal amount of avocado. I am leaving the entire recipe as it is from the website where I found it for your enjoyment and because I care for the vegetarians who are reading this!
2 large parsnips
Oil, to grease
1 small savoy cabbage, 4–6 outer leaves only
1 red onion, finely chopped
150g chestnut mushrooms, finely chopped
100g cooked chestnuts, roughly chopped
100g stilton, crumbled (or other vegetarian-friendly cheese of your choice)
100g brown breadcrumbs
2 tbsp chopped fresh sage
1 free-range egg, beaten
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Peel and quarter the parsnips, and cook in boiling, salted water until tender, drain well and mash.
2. Grease a loaf tin approximately 20cm x 10cm x 7cm, then line with foil, and grease this generously. Blanch 6 savoy cabbage leaves in boiling, salted water for 2 minutes: you'll need enough to line the tin with overlapping leaves, but how many depends on the size of your cabbage, so make sure you have enough before you tip away the water. Immediately plunge the leaves into iced water.
3. Toast the hazelnuts in a frying pan over a high heat until starting to colour, then set aside. Turn the heat down to medium, add the butter and chopped onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for another 7 minutes until nicely softened.
4. Roughly chop the hazelnuts and put them in a large bowl along with the chopped chestnuts, crumbled stilton, breadcrumbs and chopped sage. Add the mashed parsnip and softened onions and mushrooms followed by the beaten egg. Season and stir together well.
5. Line the prepared tin with overlapping cabbage leaves, leaving any excess hanging over the sides, then spoon in the mixture, pressing it down well, and fold any overhanging cabbage leaves back over the top. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 45 minutes. (Alternatively, you can keep it in the fridge for a day or so before baking.)
6. Remove the foil from the top and put the loaf back in the oven for another 15 minutes, then take out of the oven and put a large serving plate over the top of the tin. Holding the tin with oven gloves, turn the plate over so the loaf inverts on to the plate. Carefully peel off the foil and cut into slices to serve.
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