Mira Manek's Spiced Nut Roast

With Christmas less than a month away (eek!) now is a great time to start thinking about what kind of food you'll be enjoying over the festive period. When it comes to Christmas roasts, vegetarians are often overlooked but with the help of Saffron Soul author Mira Manek, we've got a delicious spiced nut roast recipe that's packed with flavour. Taking inspiration from Indian cuisine and her grandmothers traditional recipes, Mira's nut roast is healthy, light and good for the soul. 

 
 

"So I finally tried to come up with a nut roast recipe and it really is just the tastiest thing, only it’s more seeds than nuts, which is great (easier to digest, but still so much crunch) and has a warming earthy blend of mushrooms and masala. I’ve served it at two events and it was ALL eaten! I’ve taken inspiration from various places including a wonderful life-changing bread from mynewroots, hence the psyllium husk which really binds this loaf. Yes Christmas is about indulgence, and this taste plenty indulgent with all the flavour and spice and crunch, but it’s just a tiny bit lighter."

INGREDIENTS
Makes 1 loaf
120g sunflower seeds
80g flax seeds
50g almonds or any nuts, broken
150g oats, can use gluten-free oats
2 tablespoons chia seeds
3-4 tablespoons psyllium seed husks (can also use husk powder)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon maple syrup or agave
3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
400ml water
Mushroom Mix
1 teaspoon oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 cloves garlic, grated
1/2 green chilli, finely chopped, optional
1 stalk of rosemary finely chopped, optional
5 medium mushrooms, roughly chopped, small cubes
1/4 courgette, grated, optional
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons dried cranberries
Garnishings
Maple chilli seeds from Saffron Soul cookbook*
Handful cranberries

*If you don’t have maple chilli seeds, just roast sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds and cashews in the oven or toast on a pan on low heat for 5-10 minutes with some salt, coconut oil, a little agave or maple syrup and a sprinkle of chilli flakes.

METHOD
1. Combine all the dry ingredients for the loaf in a mixing bowl. Melt the coconut oil (if solid) and stir in the maple syrup (or agave) and water. Stir this into the dry ingredients and mix well until the dough becomes quite thick. Leave this to one side for at least an hour or leave out overnight.
2. Make the mushroom mix before you bake the loaf (or you can make it anytime). Start by heating the cumin seeds and fennel seeds in a little oil in a medium pan, let them turn brown (around a minute) then add the grated garlic, green chilli and rosemary, if using. Now add in the mushrooms, courgette, cranberries, garam masala and salt. Stir together well and mix this mushroom mix into the loaf mixture. The consistency should be thick but stirrable (it should not be solid e.g. if you have let the loaf mixture sit out all night it may have solidified, in which case you should heat and soften in the microwave or stove). Now grease your loaf tin with a little oil or butter (so that the bread doesn’t stick to the pan) and lay the mix into the loaf tin. Smooth out the top with the back of a spoon.
3. Preheat oven to Gas Mark 4 or 180° C. Place the loaf in the oven for around 30 minutes, then remove from the oven, take the loaf out from the tin straight onto a tray or baking paper. Place the loaf back in the oven, now upside down, and let it cook for another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool before slicing.
4. Be careful when slicing, trying not to make the loaf crumble. Sprinkle over with maple chilli seeds and cranberries, or roasted nuts and seeds.

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