Friday 6 August 2010

BBB nut roast for a winter potluck

When Carla announced she was having a winter warmers vegan potluck, she didn’t specify that it was gluten free but, through her blog, her efforts to keep gluten out of her diet are on public record. Making a dish that was vegan, gluten free, wintery and portable was a challenge. So I decided to fall back on what I knew – the nutroast!

I make nut roasts regularly and decided to create my own for the occasion. I started off with a notion to use brown rice after enjoying my recent walnut and rice nutroast. I rarely use brazil nuts but have read somewhere (I wish I could remember where) of their health benefits. So having brown rice and brazil nuts, I needed something else starting with B and decided on broccoli because it is so excellent in burgers. I also consulted a brazil nut roast by Dhiviya and a gluten free nut roast by Ricki for extra inspiration.

I made the nut roast a few days before the potluck. I had thought I might need a practice run but it made enough for two loaves and tasted good so I put one loaf in the freezer for the weekend. The one that we had at home was delicious with tomato sauce, steamed broccoli (because you can never have enough) and Nora Kinney’s s Irish Soda Bread from Eat Me Delicious. Sylvia even ate some nut roast but I suspect she was just desperately hungry after only eating watermelon all day at child care.

Even better was the next night when I mixed crumbled nut roast with the remaining tomato sauce and some pasta – it was a fantastic bolognaise. I didn’t quite follow a recipe for the tomato sauce but I just cooked onion and carrot in olive oil, added garlic, a tin of tomatoes, 2 tbsp tomato paste, a splash of balsamic vinegar, ½ tsp each salt and sugar and simmered it till it was slightly thickened and then pureed with a hand held blender.

When the potluck came around, E was poorly so Sylvia and I set out to Carla’s with the nut roast, some tomato sauce and a batch of pumpkin brownies. My offerings seemed typical of the wintery food of the afternoon – nuts and chocolate.

As usual I seemed to miss fascinating dishes but enjoyed those that I tried. There were lots of nutty treats that I was drawn to including Vicki’s vegan gf sausage rolls, lentil pies and nutty burgers. I missed Toby’s lemon tricken and Steph’s soup. Admittedly I was also drawn to finger food because I was watching Sylvia the whole time. She just loves to overturn a plate or hurl a bowl as far as she can throw it.

I didn’t take many food photos but I did manage to take a photo of the dessert table. I am most envious of Carla for her kitchen table that sits under a skylight which is wonderful for taking photos in natural light. Her wallpaper that I often see in her blog photos is also delightful.

But back to the food and all those wonderful chocolate desserts. Vicki’s peanut butter chocolate cheesecake slice was great, Tahn’s chocolate kiwi tart looked gorgeous and tasted so intense that a small slice was enough, Carla’s banoffee pie was so wonderfully creamy but I would never have guessed that she had used coconut cream. Kristy made self saucing chocolate pudding, which I love. I had some chocolate fudge that was most delicious. The matrimonial slice (the one with the jam and coconut) was surprisingly pleasing and a big hit with Sylvia.

It was great to catch up with some fellow bloggers, especially Vicki with her new wee baby Holly. Lisa was there with her cute little dog Kimba. I thought she would be small enough for Sylvia to enjoy but there were tears and then Kimba was ignored in favour of the pegs on the clothesline. Sylvia got most enjoyment from running down the long hallway of the terrace house. Then, as if we hadn’t had enough excitement for one day, at the supermarket on the way home, Sylvia was serenaded by a sweet old guy with a mouth organ.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
This time last year: Carrot Cake and the Lost Sock
This time three years ago: Favourite food books

BBB nut roast
serves 8
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup broccoli, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp ground linseeds (flax seeds)
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 generous cup of brazil nuts (about 150 g), ground
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • ½ cup cashews, ground
  • ½ cup corn crumbs
  • handful of parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp soy flour
  • 1 tsp promite (or soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce)
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 tsp soy sauce

Heat the oil in a frypan and fry onions till golden brown. Add broccoli and fry a couple of minutes till it is brilliant green but barely cooked.

While vegetables are frying, stir the linseeds and water in a small bowl and set aside till gloopy.

Mix fried vegetables, linseed mixture and remaining ingredients till combined. Spoon into two greased and lined loaf tins and bake at 180 for about 40 minutes or til golden brown.

On the stereo:
Gather in the mushrooms: the British acid folk underground 1968-1974 – Various Artists


  1. I do believe you got the nut roast mastered, really like the broccoli in it!
    Looks like a fabulous table!
    A sky light ... that would be a great touch for photos!

  2. It all sounds so lovely--what a great feast and meetup. Those brownies look intensely gooey and decadent! And even though it's 30C here right now, you've got me in the mood for nut roast again. . . I do love nut roast! Crumbling into the pasta sauce is a great idea, too. And how lucky for Sylvia to receive her first serenade (I'm assuming) at such a young age--so many more to look forward to! ;)

  3. You're so creative! I'm so scared to attempt to put together a nut roast without a recipe. It looks delicious, as does everything else at your yummy feast! How did you the irish soda bread? I need to make it again soon.

  4. Oh, that dessert table! Peanut butter and banoffee and cheesecake, be still my beating heart!

    I definitely agree with you on there being no such thing as too much broccoli... and I'm mighty impressed with your creative spin on your nut loaf leftovers!

  5. I want to jump straight to using it as a bolognaise sauce, it looks fab :)

  6. Thanks Tanna - my kitchen table is in a dark corner so I think a skylight above it would be just the thing I need.

    Thanks Ricki - I understand that nut roast is not really the thing for hot weather - I make it a lot more in winter for just this reason

    Thanks Ashley - I have been making nut roasts a long time and sort of know what to put in - but I do look at other recipes for ideas on quantities. I decided to do a vegan gf nut roast for this one because I haven't seen a lot about that inspire me

    Thanks Hannah - I could eat steamed broccoli every night (and often do with dinner) - I am sure it stimulates the creative juices :-)

    Thanks Jacquelines - I actually think the bolognaise sauce was better than the nut roast - it was an unexpected delight

  7. forgot to reply to ashley's question re soda bread - yes I loved it fresh - after about a day or so it was a bit dry but still good. may post about it one of these days!

  8. So much good food!!!! Your nut roast looks perfect for the frosty nights we have been having - it looks so warm and nourishing.

  9. I'm eating it every night at the moment too! Partly because I love it, partly because it's one of the cheapest veggies out there (I keep checking to see if brussels sprouts get cheaper, but so far, no luck. Bum).


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