Monday, December 31, 2018

new year's eve and nut loaf

I haven't converted to veganism, but a vegan friend recommended this outstanding nut loaf to me because I can eat everything in it and my tummy will still feel happy. And it was worth it! It's not a quick meal to make, though it was easy. It's from the BBC food archives here, and I pretty much just followed the recipe, unusually enough (my few slight changes are included here).

You'll need:
  • 300 mixed nuts (I used almonds, pecans, and walnuts)
  • the equivalent of one veggie stock cube (I used a little sachet)
  • olive oil (or grapeseed oil if you prefer)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped (the original recipe called for two, but they're expensive here in Japan and sold per stick)
  • 1 leek, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 3 minced garlic cloves 
  • 4 tablespoons cashew butter (I had to make my own in my high-powered blender)
  • 180 g cooked chestnuts, chopped
  • 75 g dried cranberries (I just eyeballed it to taste)
  • fresh parsley, chopped (well, I ran out so I used dried)
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ground pepper to taste
Do this:

In a frying pan with your oil, add the onions, celery, leek, and carrots and saute till tender, then add in the minced garlic for a minute.

I used an 8X8 glass baking pan, rubbing it with oil and then adding a piece of parchment paper cut to size in the bottom. 

Preheat your oven to 200 C. 

In a food processor, blitz the nuts with the veggie stock cube or sachet until finely chopped but not turned into nut butter! In a big mixing bowl, add the hot cooked veggies and stir them up with the cashew butter, then add everything else and stir well. Pour it into your prepared pan and pat down with a wooden spoon till flat on top. Cover with foil and cook for 30 minutes, then uncover and cook for another 20 so that it gets nicely browned (they would say fox-colored in Japanese). 

Let it set out a few minutes before slicing and serving with vegan gravy (I use 2 cups water, 2 stock cubes, dried parsley, sage, a little salt and pepper, then bring to a boil and add a bit of soy milk and a splash of water mixed with cornstarch or potato starch for thickening). 

Enjoy for a festive holiday meal. And Happy 2019 to you all!