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Lentil & Brazil Nut Roast with Sage & Onion Stuffing & Red Wine Gravy

Nut roast

Christmas, Dinner, Sponsored Post, Vegan | 15th December 2015 | By

I know, I know, the nut roast has had a bad press over the years. But thankfully the days of dried out bits of tasteless, hard, leathery tack are long gone. A nut roast is a perfect vehicle for all those delicious Christmas roast accompaniments, not forgetting the stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce. It also stops the vegetarians feeling excluded in a mixed meal.

I’ve teamed up with Cranks and the Vegetarian Society to extol the wonders of nut roasts and other alternatives to the big bird during the festive season. Eating more vegetables helps us all in our quest to be as healthy as possible; those leafy vegetables like cabbage and Brussels sprouts are full of vitamins minerals and phytonutrients. Don’t worry about those unpronounceable names – they’re great for your metabolism if not your vocabulary. Even the humble spud is a powerhouse, nutritionally speaking. For those wanting to reduce their intake of meat there are many delicious options out there. Take a look at the Cranks Kitchen winter menu for some inspiration. I’m very much hoping I’ll be able to make it up there for a meal myself in the next week or two. The apple, cashew and parsnip burger served with a plum ginger sauce has my name written all over it.

I’ve been eating and enjoying homemade nut roasts for many years. In fact I’m a big fan and enjoy it more than ever I did the roast meat. The combination of lentils and nuts is probably my favourite. It makes for a moist loaf which has a bit of bite, but isn’t too chewy. I’ll happily add eggs to my nut roast to help with binding and to give additional nutrition, but they are not necessary and I’ve omitted them in this recipe to keep it vegan and thus more inclusive.

Nut Roast

This  lentil nut roast is easy to make and very tasty. CT and other non-vegetarian friends and family have all tucked into this with gusto. The lentils provide substance and moisture and the nuts provide substance and flavour. I’ve used walnuts, cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts or a mixture. All are subtly different, but all are good. I’ve included a sage and onion stuffing here to make it a little bit extra special for Christmas. The red wine gravy is rich and adds a note of festivity to the occasion. It’s also full of resveratrol, but hey, what did I just say about all those hard to pronounce phytonutrients?

Having made and eaten so many over the years, here are a few top tips for making your nut roast
  • It should first and foremost not be dry. But be careful not to make it too wet either, or it won’t hold together. You don’t want a dollop of sludge on the plate.
  • Don’t use whole nuts. Your nut roast needs a good, but not overly chewy texture and lumps of hard nuts can be off putting.
  • A rich umami flavour is paramount and I find adding a slug of good soy sauce such as tamari or shoyu really helps.
  • You can use an egg to help bind the mixture, but omitting this means that vegans cannot partake.

Lentil Brazil Nut Roast with Sage & Onion Stuffing and Red Wine Gravy
Serves 8
The best nut roast ever. Simple to make and delicious to eat. Lentils & Brazil nuts are enhanced by a layer of sage & onion stuffing & rich wine gravy. Perfect for vegans and vegetarians alike, it goes well with all the usual roast vegetables and trimmings.
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Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
Nut Roast
  1. 8oz (225g) whole brown lentils
  2. 1 bay leaf
  3. 1 celery stick - finely chopped
  4. 2 tbsp rapeseed or olive oil
  5. 1 onion - finely chopped
  6. 2 cloves garlic - finely chopped
  7. 5oz (150g) Brazil nuts - ground
  8. 4oz (120g) wholemeal breadcrumbs (I used rye sourdough with linseeds)
  9. 4 tbsp tomato passata
  10. 1 tbsp tamari or other good quality soy sauce
  11. 1 tsp balsamic viniger
  12. 1 tsp herbes de Provence
  13. a good grinding of black pepper
Stuffing
  1. 2 tbsp rapeseed or olive oil
  2. 1 onion
  3. 8 sage leaves - finely chopped
  4. 2oz (60g) wholemeal breadcrumbs (I used rye sourdough)
  5. a pinch of sea salt
  6. a grind of black pepper
Red Wine Gravy
  1. 1 heaped tsp nutritional yeast powder
  2. 1 heaped tbsp plain flour
  3. 1 clove garlic - finely chopped
  4. 300-350 ml vegetable water (any water the vegetables have cooked in)
  5. 150 ml red wine
  6. 1 tsp English mustard
  7. 1 tsp redcurrant jelly
  8. 1 tsp tamari
Nut Roast
  1. Soak the lentils overnight in plenty of water. Give them a good rinse, then just cover with fresh clean water. Bring to the boil, add the bay leaf and celery and simmer covered for about 1/2 an hour until soft and the liquid has been absorbed. If you've added too much water, you may need to drain it off as the mixture shouldn't be too wet.
  2. Fry the onions gently for about ten minutes, then add the garlic and continue frying until the onions are soft and translucent.
  3. Remove the bay leaf from the lentils and mix in the onions together with the remaining ingredients.
  4. Pack half the mixture into a 2lb silicone loaf tin or tin lined with baking paper.
  5. Scatter the stuffing mixture over the top, then spoon in the remaining lentil mixture, pressing down to compact and create a smooth surface.
  6. Bake in the middle or bottom of a hot oven for about 40 minutes (180℃-200℃), depending on what else you have in there.
Sage & Onion Stuffing
  1. Fry the onions gently in the oil for 10-15 minutes until soft and translucent. This can be done at the same time as frying the onions for the nut roast.
  2. Add the sage and breadcrumbs and fry for a further 2-3 minutes.
  3. Stir in the salt and pepper
Red Wine Gravy
  1. Toast the nutritional yeast and flour in a medium pan over moderate heat for 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and stir.
  3. Slowly add the stock and wine whisking as you go to avoid any lumps. Keep whisking until the mixture has thickened and is lump free. You may want to add more stock at this stage, depending on how thick you like your gravy.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for five minutes or so, stirring occasionally until the flour is cooked out.
Notes
  1. Best to get the lentils soaking the night before you need them. The longer they soak, the more digestible they become.
  2. Can also be served with a tangy tomato sauce.
Tin and Thyme http://tinandthyme.uk/
Meat Free MondaysThis lentil and Brazil nut roast goes off to Jac at Tinned Tomatoes for Meat Free Mondays.

 Other nut roast recipes you might like

This is a commissioned post. Opinions are, as always, my own.

Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche
    15th December 2015

    This sounds great, I love a good nut roast. It’s great to find veggie main courses that go so well with roast potatoes and gravy πŸ˜€

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      15th December 2015

      Exactly Becca. I hate it when you get a virtual veggie meal in itself for Christmas dinner and don’t really feel you can tuck into all the other bits and pieces.

  2. Leave a Reply

    Chris @thinlyspread
    15th December 2015

    I’m loving the collection of nut roasts across our foodie blogs all drawn together by Cranks πŸ™‚ This looks particularly delicious and would go down a treat with my vegan boy as well as the veggie rest of us!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      15th December 2015

      Thanks Chris. I had a hard time finding any nut roasts to link to when I did my post, so it’s good we’re getting a few more recipes out there. I’ll be hopping over to have a look at yours in a mo.

  3. Leave a Reply

    Dom
    15th December 2015

    I’m a huge nut roast fan. This looks so good and packed full of loveliness. I’m not doing a nut roast this year but a veggie raised pie but this would be coming in a close second. x

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      15th December 2015

      Ooh, a veggie raised pie sounds rather good too Dom. But you always produce something wonderful I feel rather desperate to share πŸ™‚

  4. Leave a Reply

    Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy
    15th December 2015

    I don’t understand why nut roast has such a bad reputation, because I love it! Yours looks delicious too. I will be making some over Christmas.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      15th December 2015

      I think it’s from back in the day Dannii when if you ate a nut roast in a cafe or restaurant, it was pretty dire. I’ve had some awful ones in my time. Lots of good ones too of course πŸ˜‰

  5. Leave a Reply

    Glamorous Glutton
    15th December 2015

    I’ve not tried a nut roast since the bad press days. Actually almost all our cooking was pretty dreadful in the 70s, but the nut roast didn’t get a later reprieve. This sounds delicious and as I’ve always been a lover of lentils I’m sure this would be great. GG

  6. Leave a Reply

    Platter Talk
    15th December 2015

    I’ve never had a nut roast before; it looks savory and wonderful; thanks for sharing!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      15th December 2015

      I’ve just had some of it for supper again tonight and I can confirm it’s savoury and wonderful πŸ™‚

  7. Leave a Reply

    LydiaF
    15th December 2015

    I haven’t used Brazil nuts for any type of veggie loaf or burger. Now I feel like I’ve been missing out. I’ll definitely pick some up when I come across them!

  8. Leave a Reply

    Sammie
    15th December 2015

    Can I just say I am a meat eater. I don’t eat a lot of meat, in fact as a family we can make a medium free range chicken last at least 2 days. I love my veggies, including brussels, brussel tops and kale and I would happily sit down and eat this for my dinner. It looks so inviting and sounds delicious. I really would like to try and make this, maybe post Christmas when I can use up all the leftover nuts, assuming there are any! I do think it is important for meat eaters, not only to limit their meat intake and try meatless meals, but also to cater considerately for vegans and vegetarians. If I were cooking for a group and a couple weren’t partakers of meat, everyone would be served this nut roast. So important to be inclusive and all eat together. Fab post. Sammie.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      15th December 2015

      Ah thanks Sammie, you are lovely. CT eats meat, but is happy to only eat veggie at home. I think it would be good if people just ate a bit less and realised there are lots of tasty alternatives out there.

  9. Leave a Reply

    genna st michael
    15th December 2015

    Thanks for the inspiration, I was thinking of just bunging a nut cutlet in the oven for me this year as the rest of the family will have meat – but now I reckon I’ll give this recipe a go. It sounds delicious!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      15th December 2015

      No, no, don’t just bung in a nut cutlet! Do give this a go. You can always make a smaller quantity and it’s absolutely fine reheated up to a couple of days later.

  10. Leave a Reply

    nazima
    15th December 2015

    I can imagine this makes a lovely and filling main course for a roast dinner and the flavours sound delicious. Yum!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      16th December 2015

      Thanks Nazima. It’s such a flexible recipe, the flavourings can easily be tailored to suit.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      16th December 2015

      Haha, thanks Tracy. If your must try list is anything like as long as mine, you might make it in a decade or so πŸ˜‰

  11. Leave a Reply

    Nellie
    16th December 2015

    This is a really great meat alternative recipe perfect for the holiday’s! A lot of flavors and textures makes this sound far from boring! Well done!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      16th December 2015

      Thanks Nellie. I can honestly say that having eaten it three days on the trot, neither of us are bored of it yet πŸ˜‰

  12. Leave a Reply

    Johanna @ Green Gourmet Giraffe
    16th December 2015

    Yay for nut roasts – christmas would not be christmas without one – so much good stuff in them and lovely to see you extoll their virtues – your nut roast sounds great and I always love the idea of stuffing in one – thanks for featuring one of my nut roasts too

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      16th December 2015

      I am with you 100 percent Johanna. Having found something I really like, I tend to just do variations on a theme, but I really must branch out and try one of yours one day.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      16th December 2015

      Thanks Alida. Everyone I know who’s tried it has liked it πŸ™‚

  13. Leave a Reply

    Janie
    16th December 2015

    Never, ever had a homemade nut roast, even after 8 year of being veggie. However I do vaguely remember something in a can that I’m pretty sure called itself a nut roast, and I’m pretty sure I never even opened as it looked beyond gross!
    That said, there is nothing in your ingredients list that I don’t absolutely love so I’m actually quite excited about popping my nut roast cherry πŸ˜‰
    Janie x

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      16th December 2015

      I’m finding this post a real eye opener as to how many vegetarians have never tried a nut roast. Go on Janie, give it a go, you know you want to πŸ˜‰

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      16th December 2015

      We had it three nights in a row Bintu and I’m already missing it πŸ˜‰

  14. Leave a Reply

    Ali @ Home & Plate
    16th December 2015

    Your nut roast has all the right tips to turn out perfectly. Looks wonderful and perfect for the holidays.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      17th December 2015

      Thanks Ali. This nut roast looks good on any Christmas table and it tastes very good too.

  15. Leave a Reply

    Jessica
    17th December 2015

    I haven’t had nut roast before, but I’m definitely intrigued! I love that you’ve created a healthier main dish!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      17th December 2015

      Thanks Jessica. it’s always good to try new things, because you just never know … πŸ˜‰

  16. Leave a Reply

    Diana
    17th December 2015

    This looks AMAZING! Very healthy and must be very delicious too!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      17th December 2015

      It is delicious Diana. Having eaten it three nights on the trot, I’m sort of missing it now πŸ˜‰

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      17th December 2015

      Thanks Nayna. I wouldn’t mind it for my Christmas dinner either. My mother is cooking this year, but I expect I will get something equally delicious.

  17. Leave a Reply

    All That I'm Eating
    17th December 2015

    I love a nut roast, really handy tips you’ve given there too about the size of the nuts. Always good with plenty of gravy!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      17th December 2015

      I’m glad there are a few nut roast fans coming out of the woodwork – the concept needs reviving πŸ˜‰

  18. Leave a Reply

    Fiona @ London-Unattached
    17th December 2015

    Glad Cranks are talking to you! I’ve not heard anything from them. I have to admit I’ve never ever eaten nut roast. I WILL try, but probably not for Christmas day (actually I’m not cooking!)

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      17th December 2015

      Haha Fiona, I would be most surprised if you ended up eating a nut roast for your Christmas dinner. But it really is worth trying at some point.

  19. Leave a Reply

    Abida
    18th December 2015

    Yes, I will admit that nut roasts conjure up memories of tasteless school dinners! However, my tastes have changed a lot now and I love lentils so would love to try this out.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      18th December 2015

      Haha Abida, you were lucky. We had nothing as exotic as nut roasts at school πŸ˜‰

  20. Leave a Reply

    Donna
    18th December 2015

    Oh I need to try this out! Last time I made a nut roast, it was less than stellar, so I need to redeem myself, and this sounds like it would do the job πŸ™‚

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      19th December 2015

      Oh what a shame Donna. It’s so frustrating when we make something and it doesn’t go according to plan. Hope you fare better with this one.

  21. Leave a Reply

    Lesley @ Cheap Vegetarian Meals
    20th December 2015

    I was looking for a perfect nut roast to serve at my vegetarian Christmas dinner at home this year and this looks absolutely delicious! I have cashew nuts at the ready so I might have to substitute, but you have definitely inspired me. Thanks for sharing!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      20th December 2015

      Thanks Lesley, I’m so glad. I’ve made this with cashews before and they work really well too. Merry Christmas πŸ™‚

  22. Leave a Reply

    Tracey Mitchell
    3rd January 2016

    I am always prepareing vegetables so these knifes would be very useful especially with the swede as these are very tough .

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