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{Christmas} Main: Cranberry nut roast

It is time for the main dish! You will not believe how many times we ate this nut roast the last couple of weeks. The thing is, I have never made a nut roast before in my life, but after some failed attempts at other main dishes for this Christmas (Wellingtons, whole roasted cauliflowers etc. We just didn't think they where festive enough), I settled on making a nut roast, even though I had never made one. I thought it would sort of be like a meat loaf but then with vegetables and nuts and that sounded very good.

The first version turned out pretty good, the flavors were really good but the roast had difficulty holding together. I also wanted to do something with cranberries, because, hello, Christmas, but also really wanted to serve it with gravy because gravy might be one of my favorites (I had a plate of rice and gravy for dinner yesterday, yeah I know). And so, our nut roast has cranberries on top and its great because you still get to eat it with gravy on the side. Win win!

This nut roast is full of flavor. I love the additions of apricots and sundried tomatoes, while the cranberries give it the extra festiveness for a Christmas dinner. I personally preferred the roast a bit chunky, which makes it a bit harder to cut but looks nice. If you like you can cut all the vegetables and nuts smaller for a roast that holds together a bit better.

I am going to eat a lot of other dishes for the next week and a half, so that I can enjoy this roast again by the time Christmas dinner rolls around..

Oh and the recipe for the mushroom gravy can be found here. We just blended the gravy until smooth in a blender this time! It's heaven.

Cranberry nut roast

Serves 8

1 tbsp olive oil

2 medium red onions

2 cloves of garlic

1 leek

6 button mushrooms

4 small carrots or 2 medium ones

100 g dried apricots

8 sundried tomatoes

200 g pistachio nuts, shelled

100 g pine nuts

4 tbsp ground flax seeds

100-150 g (oat) flour

4 sprigs of fresh thyme

peel of 1 lemon

250 g fresh cranberries

5 tbsp (coconut) sugar

pepper and salt

Mix the ground flax seeds in a bowl with 12 tbsp of water and leave on the side. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius (or around 400 degrees fahrenheit).

Finely slice the onion and garlic. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and add the garlic and onion. While they are cooking, finely slice the mushrooms and leek and dice the carrots. Add them to the pan. Dice the apricots and sundried tomatoes and add as well. Stir well. Add the pistachio nuts, thyme leaves and lemon peel and mix everything together. It should be done when the vegetables are soft. Transfer into a big bowl and add the oat flour, flax seeds mixture, salt & pepper.

For the cranberry topping: add the cranberries into a small pot together with the coconut sugar and a splash of water. Cook on medium heat until the cranberries start to pop and soften.

Put a piece of baking paper into a cake or bread tin. Spread the cranberries evenly out onto the bottom of the tin, followed by the vegetable mixture. Use your hands to really push it down into the tin. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 45 minutes. After the 45 minutes, remove the foil and bake for another 15-20 minutes until the roast feels firm and is golden brown. Serve with mushroom gravy.

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