Monday 27 December 2010

Nut roast parcels and potato snowmen

Christmas has come and gone and much good food has been set before me. I hope everyone has been enjoying the festivities. As it is the season to be jolly, I want to share with you the Christmas dinner I made for us on Christmas eve. I stumbled upon Wing-it Vegan’s ideas recently and couldn’t resist trying them.

The mashed potato snowmen were quite simple. What is it about mashed potato that makes creative Christmas food – stars and Christmas trees and snowmen! I was so excited by the idea I ran out to buy an ice cream scoop. River had used different sized scoops for the head and body but I could only find one. To make the snowmen I boiled some red capsicum till it was soft and wrapped around the neck easily. I cut a strip lengthwise and it wasn’t quite long enough – maybe I should have cut it around the body like peeling an apple. I used olives for the hat, eyes and mouth, red capsicum for the nose and peas for the button.

River made Christmas parcels from sausage crumbles. This is not something that we have in our shops – and even if we did I suspect I would still prefer a nut roast recipe. So you will not be surprised to hear that I created my own nut roast recipe, making it quite stiff so I could shape it into parcels. I used River’s idea of the glaze and capsicum “ribbons”. Mine wasn’t quite so pretty but they still looked cute and they tasted wonderful.

Fortunately I am quite partial to nut roast because I also had one on Christmas day with mum’s roast dinner. Dessert is becoming a lavish affair at Christmas with pudding, pavlova, rolled pavlova and chocolate mousse. I am an old fashioned girl who just loves a piece of pudding with custard.

It was a good Christmas with lots of good food and good cheer. Sylvia got a new pram from Santa. It is actually for her dolly but she loves to sit in it. She also got lots of noisy toys – a talking doll, a train, books with musical buttons and even a jigsaw that makes animal noises. I guess the batteries will wear out eventually!

E and I managed to give each other the same DVD (30 Rock Series 2 because we enjoyed watching series 1). E also gave me an external hard drive and was grinning to himself on Christmas Eve when I found that my computer memory is full and needs some rigorous housekeeping.

Below is my nut roast parcels recipe. I had more photos of them but I think my computer deleted a few just to warn me that I must delete more photos. But in my spirit of never deleting a thing, here are my notes that I made when I was thinking about making this nut roast. (But I ended up using what I had on hand):

Rice, pumpkin, cranberries, almond butter and ground almonds nooch mustard powder, sage, corn crumbs, carrot, celery, onion – do them as parcels a la bookmarked one

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
This time last year: Christmas Day panforte and more
This time two years ago: Christmas, Leftovers and Vegan Mayonnaise
This time three years ago: My Christmas Nutloaf

Festive Nut Roast Parcels
inspired by Wing-it Vegan
serves 3-4
  • 1-2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot, diced
  • 1 large red pepper, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 95g ground almonds
  • 70g walnut crumbles (or finely chopped walnuts)
  • 1 cup dried breadcrumbs
  • 2 tsp promite
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 egg
  • 100g roasted pumpkin, mashed


  • ½ cup passata (pureed tomatoes)
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • tsp cinnamon
  • shake of allspice and ginger

To serve: green capsicum cut into thin strips

Heat oil in a large frypan on medium high. Cook onion, carrot, red pepper and garlic until soft and starting to brown. I think this took me about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile place remaining ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl. Add cooked onion mixture and mix till combined. Take handfuls and shape into 6-8 cubes. Place on a greased or lined tray.

Mix glaze and brush onto nut roast cubes. Bake at 210 C for 15 minutes. Flip cubes over and brush with glaze again. Bake another 15 minutes.

While nut roast parcels are baking, steam, boil or microwave capsicum until quite soft. I boiled mine for about 5 minutes and they weren’t done enough. So I placed them in a plastic bag and microwaved them until very soft.

When nut roast parcels come out of the oven, arrange strips of capsicum over the parcels like ribbon. Serve hot with snowmen and salad

On the Stereo:
Ultra Lounge Christmas Cocktails: Various Artists


  1. Merry Christmas! Very cute snowmen and nut roast parcels! And what a huge amount of gifts you have on the floor-presents everywhere! :)

  2. Merry Christmas! :) Looks and sounds like you had a great one. I loooove the snowmen and little presents, so cute.

  3. Love your snowman and nut parcels. I usually do a nut roast, but it's just in a plain old rectangular tin - will have to be more inventive next time I make one. I do like a good xmas pud, but do like the idea of having lots of other yummy puddings too - greed is not something I can easily deny!

  4. Your meal looks so good!
    I love 30 Rock too, I have just finished watching season 3 & I have loved it. We also got crazily noisy toys for Holly - I am honestly amazed at the volume of some of them!

  5. I am getting quite a giggle out of the fact that it was mashed potato that inspired you to buy an icecream scoop. :-D

    I can understand why, though - that snowman is very cute.

  6. the snowmen and nut parcels are so cute. 8)

  7. Thanks Johanna, I have been having a lovely time over the holidays so far. The mashed potato snowmen and nut roast pressies are so cute! I would never have thought of it. Hope Sylvia enjoyed them.

  8. Merry Christmas Johanna, E, and Sylvia! So glad you had a lovely day :) The snowmen are gorgeous, and I can't wait to read about, and hopefully make, more of your delicious eats next year :) xo

  9. I LOVE that mashed potato snowman idea! How festive and cute! Although I think my roommates would think I would crazy if I spent my time making snowmen out of mashed potatoes just to eat them haha.

    Those nut roast parcels also sound delicious...they are stuffed with some of my favorite ingredients! I'm so glad to hear you had a fun Christmas!

  10. That snowman is just brilliant! I am glad you had such a good Christmas xx

  11. Your nutroast parcels sound like the kind of recipe that mine should have been--I even used squash in mine as well, but somehow it just didn't really hold together. I love those snowmen--they are the cutest things! Glad you all had a nice celebration and wow, do those desserts sound over the top!

  12. Whoops i did post a comment yesterday and then lost internet connection. I was hoping it had registered but sadly not.

    So this time i am going to try and keep it short and sweet Wishing you and your little family a Happy New Year.

    And I am so going to nick the parcel and mashed snowmen idea. I think it is absolutely fab, adding cheer.

  13. Thanks Lorraine - that was just our tree - you should have seen the pile under my parents' tree - I might have taken a photo but it was too chaotic

    Thanks Ashley - and Merry Christmas to you - hope it filled with lots of snowmen :-)

    Thanks Choclette - I usually do a plain old loaf for a nut roast but loved this idea

    Thanks Vicki - the best noisy toys are those with an off switch! some of them just have a life of their own! am looking forward to more 30 rock

    Thanks cindy - I was aware of the irony of rushing out for an icecream scoop just after finishing my first home made icecream - but it is waiting for the next one!

    Thanks Shawna - v kind

    Thanks Cakelaw - sylvia is just too young to appreciate them but fortunately we have some big kids in the house too - and maybe one day she will love them

    Thanks Hannah - my bookmarks are overflowing so hopefully some will make it into our kitchen next year

    Thanks Joanne - your room mates need to learn the joy of the emphemeral - or just to enjoy playing with their food!

    Thanks Jacqueline - happy to share other people's brilliance!

    Thanks Ricki - I find that roasted pumpkin helps to keep the loaf together - but eggs and breadcrumbs also help which I know you don't use but am sure you will find other ways!

    Thanks Mangocheeks - sorry to hear your internet connection is being fickle - please nick the ideas - they were never mine to begin with - but I am always happy to share some cheer

  14. The parcels look so cute.

  15. These look amazing! Any suggestion as to the best way to replace the egg? Should I use tofu, or could I just use more roast pumpkin?

  16. Thanks Ali - I am a big fan of using chia seeds to replace egg - soak about 1 tbsp of seeds in 3-4 tbsp water for about 5 min (or look it up on the web for more accurate chia eggs) - they aren't the strongest binder but it is as much about liquid in this mixture - in fact I think a few tbsp water or soy milk instead of egg might also work - just add a little and see if it needs a bit more to be a fairly firm batter. Or try a little blended silken tofu but go easy as i find it adds a lot of moisture when substituted for egg. Good luck - let me know how it turns out


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