Only 3 weeks until Christmas! I am usually sharing my recipes a bit late but this time I am trying to share a couple of ideas ahead of the big day, so you can actually use them. Let’s be realistic, I doubt anyone is flagging my old recipes for future use in one year’s time! This one is a very nice vegan option, looks really yummy and only requires a minimum amount of work. Even braiding the pastry is dead easy!
What do you need (4)? 1 sheet of Just-Roll puff pastry (or similar as long as it is rectangular) – 1 1/2 cup uncooked green lentils – 3 cups vegetable broth – 1/2 cup pine nuts – 1/2 cup hazelnuts (or any other mix of nuts you fancy) – 3 tbsp flax seed meal – 10 tbsp warm water – 2 tbsp olive oil – 1 onion – 1 small leek – 2 carrots – 1 cup frozen spinach – 4 cloves garlic (yes, 4) – 1 tbsp dried thyme – 2 tbsp non-dairy milk (for glazing) – a handful of flour (to manipulate the no-meatloaf more easily).
How to make it?
- Cook the lentils in the broth until they are soft, even a bit mushy. This should take about 40-45 mn. But there is plenty to do while the lentils are cooking.
- Put the nuts in a dry pan over medium heat and toast them for about 10 mn until they smell nice and fragrant. If you using smaller nuts no need to chop them, it is nice to add some crunch to you no-meatloaf. Reserve the nutsin a bowl.
- Mix together the flax meal and warm water in a small bowl and set aside to thicken.
- Roughly quarter the onion, leek, carrots, and garlic.
- Add to the Thermomix with some olive oil and add in the frozen spinach (no need to thaw it). Pulse a couple of times until the veg are finely chopped. Then leave to cook for 5-10 mn 90C/Speed 2/Reverse blade. If you don’t have a Thermomix, chop all your veg, then saute for 5-10 mn. 6. Mash up the lentils until they form some kind of puree (either by hand or using a blender) and mix in the veggies, nuts and flax meal.
7. Roll out the puff pastry, leaving the baking paper under it. Use the back of a knife to make a guide dividing the pastry lenghtwise into three even sections.Take the lentil mixture and form a loaf shape the middle section of the puff pastry, leaving a bit of room at both ends. Use your hands to pat the mixture into a firm log. Leave enough space on the sides that you could roll the log into the pastry sheet. I had a bix of mixture left, so don’t force all the stuffing in if it does not fit, you can always cook it separately for another meal.
8. Now let’s make this look fancy with just a little bit of extra effort. Cut angled strips down each side about 2-3 cm wide. Now fold up the top flap over the end, then take the top left strip and fold over the loaf. Take the top right strip, and fold that over, making an x. Do this all the way down the crossing alternative strips. Once you get near the bottom, fold the bottom flap up, then finish braiding the last strips tucking the ends into anywhere they look good. I got the technique from the blog It Does Not Taste Like Chicken, check it out for detailed pictures!
9. Once your loaf is all braided, brush with a little non-dairy milk to add some shine and your no-meat loaf is ready for the oven!
10. Bake for about 40-45 minutes, until golden brown and serve with some roasted veg and some gravy. This would make a great main for a Christmas dinner for example!