Lentil and cashew nut roast with curly kale, green beans, roasted carrots, sweet potato roasties and a porcini mushroom and red wine gravy.
The rain is pouring down, the nights are drawing in. One thing is for sure…Sunday roast season is back with a bang! Being vegetarian, I’ve never found making a veggie-friendly roast to be a particularly difficult task. So today I thought I’d set myself the challenge of making a completely vegan roast dinner for the best friend and boyfriend, my meat-eating companions.
I used the porcini mushroom and red wine gravy recipe from a vegetarian recipe website. I only deviated slightly from this recipe by choosing to use marsala instead of sherry. The recipe advised to prepare the gravy the day before, in order to let the flavours settle. As I only discovered this recipe this morning, time was not quite on my side so I ensured that this was the first thing I prepared and left it aside whilst I cooked everything else.
INGREDIENTS (4 portions)
½ packet (approximately 7-10g) porcini or mixed dried mushrooms
300ml/generous10 fl oz boiling water
2 tbsp medium-dark miso – soya bean paste, available from Oriental/health food shops or large branches of Waitrose or Sainsbury
2 tbsp cold water
4 shallots or one small red onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp cornflour mixed with 4 tbsp cold water to a smooth paste
450ml16floz hot vegan stock
240ml/generous 8fl oz red wine – Co-op labels its own range where suitable or check this for other vegan wines
2 tbsp sherry or marsala
½ tsp basil
½ tsp tarragon
1 large bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Boil the kettle. Place dried mushrooms in a jug or bowl, pour boiling water on them, cover and set aside.
2. In a large saucepan on medium-high heat, sauté shallots/onions in oil until translucent.
3. Add the stock then add cornflour paste and stir in well.
4. Add wine, marsala and herbs. Bring to boil, stirring thoroughly to ensure that no lumps form.
5. Lower heat and simmer until sauce is thickened, stirring often.
6. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix miso with the cold water to a smooth paste. Set aside.
7. Add porcini mushrooms and their soaking water to gravy– omitting gritty liquid at bottom!
8. If gravy too thick, add a little more water/stock; if too thin, make a paste from 1 tsp cornflour and a splash of water – bring to boil again. Add more if necessary.
9. Blend gravy to the texture you prefer – if using a goblet blender, return gravy to pan. If using a stick blender you can whizz it directly in the gravy pan.
10. Stir in miso paste but don’t allow gravy to boil.
11. Taste, adjust seasoning if necessary and set aside until ready to serve.
I then set to work on my nut roast. This recipe is taken from All Recipes website. I omitted the egg and added a drop of soy milk instead to bind, in order to keep the dish vegan.
200g red split lentils
450ml vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
100g unsalted cashew nuts
1½ tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large or 2 small leeks, trimmed and finely chopped
1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
100g mushrooms, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp lemon juice
100g wholemeal breadcrumbs
A dash of soy milk
1) Rinse the lentils in a sieve under cold running water. Drain, then tip into a saucepan. Add the stock and bay leaf and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, then cover and cook for 15 minutes until the lentils are soft and pulpy and the stock has been absorbed. Stir once or twice towards the end of to prevent the lentils sticking. Discard the bay leaf.
2) While the lentils are cooking, put the cashew nuts in a non-stick frying pan and toast over a moderate heat until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Set aside to cool, then roughly chop. Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas 5. Line the bottom of a 1.4 litre loaf tin with a piece of greaseproof paper.
3) Add the oil to the frying pan and cook the onion over a moderate heat for 5 minutes. Add the leeks, red pepper, mushrooms and garlic to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Stir in the lemon juice. Blitz these ingredients, along with the nuts, in a food processor, forming a thick paste.
6) Mix the paste with the lentils, soy milk and bread crumbs then spoon into a loaf tin, levelling the top and cover with foil.
7) Bake the loaf for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for a further 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool and set in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out and cutting into thick slices.
1) Wash carrots, leave skin on and cut into length-way chunks. Boil for 5 minutes, drain then place on a baking tray.
2) Add a sprinkling of caster sugar, dash of red wine then roast in the oven for 45 minutes, turning occasionally.
Sweet potato roasties
1) Wash, leave skin on and cut into large chunks. Place on a baking tray with adequate spacing and sparingly cover in olive oil, add a sprinkle of thyme and nutmeg, leaving to cook in the oven for 15 minutes.
2) Turn over each chunk then put back in the oven for 10 minutes- perfect!
Boil the green beans for 10 minutes and sizzle the kale gently in oil for 10 minutes. Re-heat the gravy and serve all the components together on a plate.
Flavoursome and healthy! Who needs meat?!