Friday, 17 April 2020

Easter nut roast with mac and cheese layer

Easter this year was an odd occasion.  It is a long time since I haven't had Easter Sunday dinner with my parents.  And for my parents it was the first time since my oldest sister was born that they had a child free Easter lunch.  But CoVid19 kept my family apart.  So it was just Sylvia and me for Easter lunch.  One of her favourite meals is mac and cheese.  I offered to make it for her and then I suddenly remembered I always make a nut roast to take to parents Easter lunch.  So I incorporated the mac and cheese into my nut roast.

Sylvia and I had a screen free day on Easter Sunday because we had a lot to do to organise food and the house for Easter. Even so, the day went quickly and I ended up making this late at night.  I had decided to try making a similar nut roast to our favourite sausage rolls.  It was slightly different so use up some ricotta, reduce the eggs and add a few extras like parsley and carrot. 

I was pretty proud of myself for not going to the supermarket for 2 weeks!  So I was determined to make do.  It was made easier by making two recipes I make so often: mac and cheese (for which I didn't use a recipe but have an approximation of one below) and sausage rolls.

I was delighted with how the mac and cheese layer was quite visible and crisped around the edges.  The end pieces of nut roast were better than the middle which were a little soft and pasty.  I think I would see out another nut roast (this one or this vegan one)if I were to do it again but I did love this one.  It didn't slice fantastically because it crumbled easily but still looked impressive.  I toasted a few pieces under the grill for sandwiches.

Mostly I loved this nut roastt because it meant that Sylvia and I could share a meal we both loved at Easter.  I served mine with peas and tomato sauce.  She served hers with peas and more mac and cheese.  But I cannot complain when she ate a slice of the nut roast with no encouragement or fuss.  She even asked for more when I had leftovers!  Leftover nut roast is the best! 

We talked about how the nut roast could be changed and both of use suggested more layers.  However we realised we were not talking about the same thing.  I meant more coloured layers, perhaps coloring the mac and cheese or nut roast with things like tomato paste, turmeric and spinach.  Sylvia just meant more layers of mac and cheese! This nut roast is a good example of how to share a meal when two people want different meals.  I see more stuffed nut roasts in my future!

More Easter dinner nut roasts on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Buckwheat and sweet potato nut roast
Carrot and feta nut roast
Cereal nut roast
Cheesy carrot nut roast
Cheesy nut roast
Pumpkin nut roast
Pumpkin, sundried tomato and basil nut roast

Mac and Cheese stuffed nut roast
Feeds 8-12

Nut roast
Adapted from Green Gourmet Giraffe

2 carrots finely grated
1 cup (125g) walnuts, finely chopped
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup dried breadcrumbs
1 medium to large onion, finely chopped
1 tsp of stock powder
1 clove of garlic, crushed
250g ricotta
2 eggs
2 tbsp tamari
2 tsp seeded mustard
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley

2 1/2 cups mac and cheese (see below recipe)

Preheat oven to 220 C and grease and line a loaf tin.  Mix all ingredients except the mac and cheese.  Spoon and smooth down half the nut roast mixture into the loaf tin.  Spread the mac and cheese over the nut roast and then carefully spread the other half of the nut roast mixture.  Smooth on top with the back of a spoon.  Bake for about 40 minutes or until golden brown on top.  I could have baked mine slightly longer but I knew I would be heating it in the oven the next day so it would bake more.
Mac and Cheese
Adapted from Green Gourmet Giraffe

500g macaroni
2 dessertspoons of butter
2 dessertspoons of wholemeal (plain) flour
2 cups milk (I use soy)
1 tsp seeded mustard
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
165g vintage cheddar cheese, grated
50g mersey valley vintage club cheddar cheese, grated

Melt butter in a medium saucepan or large frypan over low heat. Mix in flour and stir over low heat for 1-2 minutes until it smells cooked. Add milk gradually, mixing as you add it. Bring to the boil so that the roux thickens slightly. It does not need to be really thick because the cheese will help it thicken. Add mustard, vinegar and cheeses.  Check and adjust seasoning.  Stir in cooked pasta.

NOTES: I used cold mac and cheese - it make bake a bit quicker with warm mac and cheese if you had just made it.  This could be made vegan with a vegan nut roast and a vegan mac and cheese.

On the stereo:
The Best of REM


  1. Your nutroasts are always innovative, i ab. llove howe you incorporated your love for nut roast and Sylvia's liking for mac and cheese in one. It really looks good and i am glad it tasted good too. So interesting that you both had different ideas on layers, i would be thinking like you colouring the layers, but the greedy me, would also be thinking like Sylvia more macncheese layers. I am glad you still made the most of your Easter even without parents nearby to indulge Sylvia.

  2. Now this I have to try! It looks so good.

  3. That is genius Johanna. Quite inspired. We've been trying to last two weeks between shops too which is a challenge when you don't have a big fridge or freezer and little storage space.

  4. I love the idea of making two meals you both like into one you can both enjoy -- and it does look very smart with the three layers. One more vote for the spinach layer here! And you've just reminded me I need some more mac and cheese in my life.

  5. That nut roast looks great! I always love your creative cooking, especially with mac'n'cheese. :)


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