Nutri Natters

Rita’s blog for lovers of real food

A vegetarian Christmas feast

5th December 2019

If you have a vegetarian in the family and are wondering what to serve for Christmas dinner, this nut roast, with a layer of chestnut puree in the middle, is a real feast. Serve it with a mushroom and wine gravy and the usual line-up of Christmas vegetables. Even meat-eaters will be impressed.

Christmas Nut Roast with Mushroom and Red Wine Gravy (6 generous servings)
1 dessertspoon of coconut or olive oil and extra for greasing the tin
1 large onion and 3 sticks of celery, chopped finely
1 clove of garlic, crushed
100g/4oz cooked and mashed celeriac or parsnip
2 tablespoons of chopped parsley
Juice and grated rind of half a lemon or orange
1 dessertspoon of grated root ginger
350g/12 oz roughly chopped nuts of your choice  (use a food processor to chop your own) e.g cashews,pecans, walnuts,  almonds, Brazils, hazelnuts
50g/2oz of oats ground to a flour in a food processor*
50g/2oz wholemeal breadcrumbs (make your own with a food processor)*
1 egg, beaten
Vegetable stock to mix
225g/8oz chestnut puree (tinned) 

* use gluten-free breadcrumbs and oats if you are intolerant of wheat

Equipment: 2lb loaf tin, grease proof paper or a loaf tin liner, skewer or knife,  food processor (for grinding the nuts and for liqudising the gravy )

First, line a 2 lb loaf tin with greaseproof paper (you can buy ready-made linings from cookery shops) and brush with oil.
Set oven to 190 degrees C/Mark 5/ 375 degrees F).
Gently heat the oil and cook the onion and celery for about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Put all dry ingredients – nuts, oats and breadcrumbs – into a large mixing bowl; add the mashed celeriac/parsnip,onion and celery mixture,  garlic, parsley, ginger, lemon/orange juice and rind. Mix well then bind the mixture with the beaten egg. Moisten with some stock if the mixture is too dry (it should be of a fairly firm consistency). Season to taste.
Spoon half of the nut mixture into the tin and flatten with the back of a spoon. Add a layer of chestnut puree then pile in the rest of the nut mixture and flatten again.
Bake in a hot oven for 50 – 70 minutes. The nut roast should be brown on the top and a skewer or knife inserted  in the mixture should come out clean. Allow the roast to stand for 15 minutes before cutting into thick slices.

Mushroom and Wine Gravy (makes about 1 pint/600ml)
25g/1oz butter
225g/8oz chestnut mushrooms, wiped and cut into quarters
2 tbsps wholemeal flour**
1/4 pint/150ml vegetable stock
1/2 pint/300ml red wine
2 tbsp chopped parsley

** use gluten-free flour or cornflour if you are intolerant of wheat

Saute the mushrooms in the melted butter for a few minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for one minute. Add the stock a little at a time stirring well – don’t worry if it becomes lumpy as you’ll be liquidising it later. Pour in  the wine and simmer for about 15 minutes with a lid on the pan. Stir in the parsley. Leave to cool then liquidise the gravy until it is smooth. Re-heat gently before serving.

You’ll find more Christmas recipes, including vegetables to accompany the nut roast, gluten-free mince pies and Christmas pudding here.


Rita Carmichael

 registered nutritional therapist and metabolic balance® coach, Nottingham, England