It’s that time of year again when I always seem to find myself a little bewildered by the fact that it has come so soon. The last month of the year with Chrtistmas and New Year’s Eve right around the corner. Somehow I’m never prepared for this season. My socks always seem to have lots of holes in them when it’s starting to be way too cold to walk barefoot inside and I’m always rushing to figure out the perfect gifts to my loved ones.
And even though this feeling of complete surprise is just the same as last year and the year before everything else this Christmas will be completely different. Usually I spend Christmas eating what has become a rather strange concoction of vegan Christmas inspired dishes and traditional Swedish Christmas fare with my mamma, and sometimes big sister Flo, before veging out on the couch watching Donald Duck and his friends. The latter is a totally Swedish tradition that noone seems to have heard of but I’m letting you know now that in Sweden on Christmas Eve, that’s when we celebrate, we watch a marathon of Disney clips and we find this completely in line with what Christmas is all about.
Once we’ve engaged in some TV watching we’ll open presents and have way too many chocolate pralines before we fall asleep on the couch. Maybe we’ll head to the midnight mass in my hometown’s cathedral to see pretty much everyone in town joining together to sing in the beautifully lit church (which by the way is usually completely empty but magical on Christmas Eve). Unless we don’t want to brave the cold (and the snow we always hope for but rarely get). If we do go we tend to come home and eat some more before having the best sleep of the year induced by eating a few too many helpings of pretty much everything. This might not sound to you like the most festive or enchanting of Christmas celebrations but it’s my family’s way and it’s lovely.
This year though I’ll be spending Christmas in the Dubai sun with Rob’s family. To be perfectly honest wrapping my head around this has been a rather difficult task for me and I’m still getting used to the idea. I know however that it will be fun and full of decorations because Rob’s mother is pretty good at that. Rob’s family are all rather relaxed as well so I know I’m in good hands all in all. There’s just that little nudge telling me it’s not the same, and at the end of the day that’s true – but different is not necessaily less good, it’s just different. Maybe you guys have also gone through adjusting to new holdiay situations, I’m sure many of you have partners and are merging traditions in the best way possible, I’d love to hear your tips and tricks for adjusting to new traditions!
Now let’s talk about this recipe, before I bore you with too many Christmas anecdotes. This type of roast is something that I’ve wanted to make my own for a couple of Chrismases now and finally I’ve figured it out. Roast is not something we’d have for Christmas traditionally in Sweden but in the UK where I’ve been residing for the last five or o years it is the Christmas center piece. And to be honest most of the Swedish Christmas food is various types of meats; ham, sausages, meat balls, pate, smoked salmon, pickled herring and the list goes on into infinity so there’s not many things for me to enjoy at this point in time. If you’d like my veganised Swedish meat balls recipe though you can check it out here.
Anywho, the roast seems like the new given order in my new Christmas dinner traditions and this is the one, I’ve created it and it’s the one I want to put on the table this Christmas. And for good reason; it is moist and deliciously herby. It also has a rather ‘meaty’ texture from the use of mushrooms as well as a crunch from the nuts and seeds. It is just yummy, that’s it. It requiers a little bit of time to prepare though and I use some pre-cooked ingredients like tamari beluga lentils and butternut squash which I roast the day before but I don’t see this as an issue as the two mixed together with some massaged kale or other greens and some pine nuts make a delicious pre-Christmas dinner salad. But other than that it’s rather fool proof and low maintenance!
For this recipe I’ve also made another cooking video which of course I’ll hope you enjoy! I hope you’ll take a look at it above and at my youtube channel too. And please let me know what you think, and if you have any requests of what you’d like to see on this rather new youtube venture – simply scribble it in the comments!
HOLIDAY NUT, SEED AND LENTIL ROAST W. SQUASH
PORTIONS: 1 loaf tin / TOTAL TIME: 3h 30 min
6 tbsp flax seed meal + 10 tbsp water
2 tsp psyllium seed husk + 8 tbsp water
5 chestnut mushrooms, chopped
1 onion, halved and sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 cup almonds, chopped
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
3/4 cup cooked beluga lentils (preferably cooked w. 1/2 tbsp tamari)
1 1/2 cup steamed/roasted pumpkin, mashed
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Prepare flax seed mix as well as psyllium husk mix, set aside to gel.
Line a loaf tin with baking paper and if you’re like me and worry about things sticking also oil the paper.
Brown onion, add garlic, then mushrooms and fresh herbs. Sweat for 5-10 min.
Chop almonds and mix with pine nuts, sunflower seeds, beluga lentils as well as oregano, salt and pepper.
Mash roasted/steamed butternut squash and add to the bowl along with sweated mushroom mixture, psyllium husk, flax seed gel and olive oil.
Mix well and make sure it is mostly sticking together, otherwise you might want to add a little more mashed pumpkin.
Place mixture into prepared loaf tin and press down until even.
Let rest in fridge for 2 hours, this will allow for the gelling agents to firm up, ensuring a loaf that will not fall apart.
Prepare oven at 180 degrees celsius and bake for 45-55 min in the middle of the oven, or until the middle of the roast is mostly dry when knife is inserted.