CARROT & SEED LOAF WITH MUSHROOM GRAVY
Today as Christmas is only a few days away I thought I'd share a really simple but rather delicious vegan carrot loaf. This really is good enough to serve to veggie guests on Christmas Day. The Mushroom Gravy just elevates the whole dish and it can all be prepared in advance and reheated which is perfect. The original recipe is from the lovely Trinity Bournes Conscious Kitchen Cookbook and I've adapted it a bit. I originally tried using raw grated carrot to save on cooking time but although the loaf tasted great, it didn't hold together very well so you really need to cook the carrots first.
The seeds are a mixture of sunflower, pumpkin and ground flaxseeds, all nutritional powerhouses and packed with good fats, protein, fibre and antioxidants.
I also added some walnuts for a bit of crunch and omega 3, rather crucial at this time of year when there is so much to remember and do, and walnuts as their shape suggests (they look like brains!) support brain function and memory!
If you have a wee pepper needing used up or a stray courgette, you can add them, just chop finely or grate the courgette and add to the mixture.
Another point to remember is to pack the mixture very firmly into the tin to aid the binding process, otherwise it may break up!
This loaf is also delicious served cold, as part of a buffet or sliced in wraps or pitta breads for a healthy lunch or snack.
So here is my loaf recipe
CARROT & SEED LOAF
INGREDIENTS Makes 10 to 12 slices
4 to 5 medium carrots (approx 400g), scrubbed and chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or crushed
1 small red pepper, diced fine (optional)
1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
1 heaped tablespoon ground flaxseeds or spelt flour
100g sunflower seeds, ground
100g pumpkin seeds, ground
50 g walnuts, finely chopped or ground
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped (optional)
big handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
1. Steam or boil the carrots until soft. Around 15 minutes.
2. Blitz seeds and nuts in a food processor or use a pestle and mortar. Some large pieces is ok but you want the rest fairly finely ground. You can also use pre ground seeds.
3. Heat the oil in a large pan and gently cook the onion, garlic and pepper for 5 to 10 minutes.
4.Drain and mash the carrots and add to the onion mix.
5. Add the ground seeds, nuts and herbs and mix together.
6. Season with sea salt
7. Prepare a 1kg loaf tin (approx 20x10x6cm) by cutting a long strip of greaseproof paper and lining the tin with it so it overlaps either end.
8. Firmly press the mixture into the tin to make it stick together.
9. Bake in a preheated oven at gas mark 6 (200C / 400F) for approximately 45 minutes.
10. Cool, for 10 minutes, then gently lift from the tin by pulling the loaf out along with the greaseproof paper.
11. Cut into slices and serve.
This is a really delicious gravy packed with healthy ingredients. It can be made in advance and simply reheated.
Serves 6 generously or 8 small portions
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan, add the garlic and stir being careful not to burn it. Add the mushrooms and saute for 5 mins. Add the flour and stir constantly, you want the flour to brown as it adds a nuttiness to the gravy. Add in the dried herbs, paprika, oat milk, miso paste and water; whisk frequently for a few minutes then add in the vinegar. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until thickened. Grate in the nutmeg if using then season to taste and serve.
.....your health in your hands.....
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