Recipes: Top plant-based roasts for Christmas
Looking for a plant-based alternative to turkey this Christmas? Two of our favourite vegan chefs share their recipes for a show-stopping roast
lovenutritioncambridge: Christmas nut roast with sweet potato and aubergine
"This recipe is a huge favourite of mine at Christmas - a hearty and tasty plant based alternative to meat. There is a generous helping of plant protein and healthy fat from the nuts which also makes it filling as well as incredibly nutritious. The aubergine gives a lovely flavour as well as holding the nut roast together. I recommend serving with some greens to provide a good dose of iron and vitamin C and red cabbage which is high in antioxidants and fibre. I've also added roast potatoes and parsnips to complete this festive meal!" - Melanie Hanspall, founder of lovenutritioncambridge
Ingredients (to serve four):
1 large aubergine
1 stick celery chopped finely
1 grated carrot
1 onion chopped finely
1 garlic clove chopped
200g mixed chopped nuts
100g mixed sunflower and pumpkin seeds
1 medium sweet potato cooked, cooled and mashed
Handful chopped parsley
100g grated vegan cheese
50g vegan hard cheese (optional)
Sea salt and black pepper
Olive oil for cooking
2 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp vegan bouillon powder (optional)
Slice the aubergine into 1cm slices, season and lay on a non-stick baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and oven bake for 15 minutes on medium heat. Set aside.
In a pan, add a generous splash of olive oil and heat gently.
Add the onion, garlic, carrot and celery and cook on medium heat for five to 10 minutes or until softened.
Add all the other ingredients to the pan of cooked vegetables and mix thoroughly. Season with the salt and pepper.
Take an oblong silicone or non-stick loaf cake tin, brush with oil and have the short edge facing you.
Line the slices of aubergine horizontally up the left side into the base and then back up the right side (you should have some of the aubergine hanging over both sides).
Fill the aubergine-lined tin with the nut mixture and press down firmly with the back of a spoon.
Fold the edges of the aubergine into the middle of the nut roast (if you have any aubergine left, put it across the top).
Bake in the oven at 160-180 degrees for around 20-30 minutes until browned.
Let the nut roast stand for five to 10 minutes before serving.
For more information about Melanie’s work as a nutritionist, plus more plant-based recipe inspiration, see lovenutritioncambridge.co.uk
Tofurkey: Stem & Glory, Cambridge
“Full of festive flavours, this tofurkey is the perfect plant-based alternative to the traditional Christmas roast” - Louise Palmer-Masterton, founder of Stem & Glory
For the crust:
1 tbsp rice flour
1 tsp salt (more or less according to taste)
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
1 ½ tsp garlic powder
1 ½ tsp onion powder
For the filling:
50g fresh chervil
1 tbsp fresh rosemary (1 tsp dried)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
For the glaze:
2 tsp tamari
2 tsp vegetable oil
2 tsp agave syrup
Start by prepping the crust. Place all the crust ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process for about one minute, until everything is well incorporated and looks smooth. You will end up with a slightly wet, soft dough. Transfer to a large bowl, cover and set aside while preparing the filling.
Next combine the filling ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process for about one minute, until everything is well incorporated, and set aside. In a separate bowl, combine all above glazing ingredients using a whisk.
You are now ready to start assembling your tofurkey. Cut a 12×8 inch piece of parchment paper. Transfer all the tofu mixture onto the parchment, place a second same-sized piece of parchment on top and, using a rolling pin, spread the mixture into an even rectangular layer.
Carefully remove the top parchment and place the filling on top of the tofu mixture, leaving about one inch on each side. Now roll the whole thing, using the parchment, into a large sausage, making sure to press on the edges to enclose the filling. It’s a little bit like rolling sushi - use the parchment to roll, then remove.
When the filling is fully covered, carefully rub it with wet hands to smooth the top. Finally brush the tofurkey with the glaze.
Cover with parchment paper and bake, in an oven preheated to 180°C, for about 30 minutes. Bake uncovered for another five minutes until the top is golden brown. Allow to sit for five minutes before slicing. Serve with your favourite roast trimmings and gravy.
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More by this authorAlice Ryan