With the Christmas season now in full swing, most families are already starting to consider what their Christmas Day menu will entail and how many family members they will be feeding. Most families have traditions they adhere to at Christmas time and regardless of whether Christmas is a religious or more of a cultural celebration for you and your family, it is a wonderful time to surround yourself with loved ones and enjoy a special event that only comes around once a year.
My family and I have always celebrated Christmas Day like most other Australian families. The morning is usually filled with the unwrapping of gifts whilst being surrounded by loved ones followed by a long lunch and an afternoon playing cricket in the street. Or for the worn out family members, afternoon naps around the pool.
However you celebrate Christmas, most will agree that great food and company usually play a big part in the day. For my partner Peter and I, Christmas is a really important time for us to sit back and relax at home with our families over a long, home-cooked lunch and reflect on the year we’ve had. Christmas for most is a time of giving and sharing with others and for my family there is no better way to do that then over a dining table covered with delicious food.
Including a vegetarian meal as part of your Christmas feast is a great way to add some variety to traditional Christmas lunches or dinners. Personally, some of my favourite meals to eat at Christmas time include roast vegetables, the Vegie Delights Roast with gravy, a fresh leafy green salad and a savoury nut loaf, which is a staple in our household every Christmas.
A delicious savoury nut loaf can be prepared in advance to avoid the stress Christmas Day can sometimes bring. When making mine, I use the Vegie Delights Nutmeat as my base and then add vegetables, seeds and a favourite sauce. It is a nutritious addition to any Christmas meal and it offers an abundance of flexibility in terms of food pairing. I often find myself eating it cold on Boxing Day morning or even using it as a stuffing in my sandwiches. It is incredibly versatile, is a great addition to many meals (even a pasta sauce) and freezes easily.
I hope you enjoy this delicious nut loaf recipe and have a very Merry Christmas surrounded by family and friends.
Savoury Nut Loaf
Makes one large loaf, serves between 6-8 people.
1 can Vegie Delights Nutmeat
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 can brown lentils, rinsed
3 tbsp flaxseed meal
1/2 cup vegetable stock
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 brown onion, diced
2 carrots, grated
1/2 celery stalk, diced
1/2 cup apple, diced
1/2 cup sweet corn
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 tsp fresh parsley
2 tsp fresh thyme
salt and pepper
1. Preheat over to 180 degrees celsius.
2. Whisk flaxseed meal with vegetable stock and set aside.
3. Heat coconut oil in a pan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until onion is translucent, approximately 3 minutes. Season with salt and add the carrots, celery, apple and sweet corn. Sauté for approximately 5 minutes longer and then remove from heat.
4. Add Vegie Delights Nutmeat to a mixing bowl and mash. Add all remaining ingredients and mix well (I like to mix with my hands as ingredients can become sticky). Add salt and pepper to taste.
5. Line cake tin with baking paper and add mixture, pressing it firmly into the tin. Decorate with pumpkin seeds and place in the oven.
6. Bake at 180 degrees for approximately 55 minutes, checking regularly from the 45 minute mark. The edges will brown slightly. Be sure not to overcook as it will dry out the loaf.
7. Remove from tin and let it cool.
*Add your favourite gravy or condiment. Served best cold.