Delicious winter recipe for Veganuary

Becoming vegan does not mean your diet is limited to five ingredients of similar tastes. On the contrary, the nutrients in plant-based recipes are far superior to nonvegan meals and lend themselves to incredible flavours and culinary combinations. Be wild with the foods you choose to make. Just make sure those taste buds of yours are prepared for what awaits.

becoming vegan

The Ultimate Vegan Sunday Roast

SERVES 4

Who doesn’t love a roast on a Sunday? Or any day for that matter! A roast is always a bit of a labour of love, but it’s so worth it. The seitan is a strikingly similar meat replacement and is very high in protein without that saturated fat or cholesterol. Doused in some gravy, it makes for a very hearty meal, perfect for a blow-out Christmas, and all that cooking means you’ll have earned time relaxing on the sofa afterwards.

 

For the rich mushroom gravy

MAKES 1 JUG | 1½ HRS

60g dried wild mushrooms

1 tbsp sunflower oil

2 onions, thinly sliced

2 celery sticks, finely chopped

2 tsp fresh thyme leaves

1 carrot, diced

2 tbsp tomato puree

200ml vegan red wine

2 star anise

1 bay leaf

1 tbsp Marmite or Vegemite

2 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp brown miso

1 tsp cornflour (optional)

2 tbsp soya cream (optional)

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

For the seitan

MAKES 4 STEAKS OR 10 SAUSAGES | 1 HR 45 MINS TO MAKE AND STEAM, 10 MINS TO SEAR

1 tbsp brown miso

25g dried porcini mushrooms

3 brown onions, unpeeled

1 garlic bulb

Olive oil, for drizzling

2 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp wholegrain mustard

2 tbsp tomato puree

2 tsp Marmite

115g tinned cannellini or haricot beans, rinsed, drained and mashed

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 tbsp coconut oil

 

The dry ingredients

280g vital gluten, plus extra if needed

30g nutritional yeast

1 tsp white pepper

1 tsp celery salt

1 tsp smoked paprika

 

For the glaze

8 tsp white miso

4 tsp wholegrain mustard

4 tbsp maple syrup

8 drops of hickory liquid smoke

8 tsp tamari or soy sauce

3 tsp crushed pink peppercorns

3 tsp crushed green peppercorns

 

For the stuffed butternut squash

2½ HRS

80g pearl barley

1 cinnamon stick

2 garlic cloves, 1 unpeeled and bruised, 1 crushed

1 large butternut squash, cut in half lengthways and deseeded

1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

1 red onion, finely chopped

1 tbsp fennel seeds, crushed slightly in a mortar and pestle

A bunch of sage leaves finely chopped

½ leek, finely chopped

50g pine nuts

A small bunch of flat leaf parsley, leaves roughly chopped

80g preserved lemons, chopped

50g sultanas

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

For the hazelnut bread sauce

UNDER 1 HR

1 onion, cut in half

5 cloves

400ml hazelnut milk

½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg

1 bay leaf

120g stale white bread, blitzed into breadcrumbs

100ml soya cream

1 tbsp vegan butter

A handful of toasted hazelnuts, chopped

 

For the pan-fried Brussels sprouts with chestnuts and dukkah spice

ABOUT 25 MINS

500g Brussels sprouts

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp vegan butter

240g peeled cooked chestnuts, roughly chopped

4 tsp dukkah spice mix

2 tsp red wine vinegar

 

For the coconut bacon

UNDER 30 MINS

4 tsp maple syrup

4 tsp soy sauce

4 drops of hickory liquid smoke

1 tsp smoked paprika

100g toasted coconut flakes

 

Note: Add some roast potatoes, if you like. I also like to serve it with tenderstem and cavolo nero gratin (below).

 

For the rich mushroom gravy:

To make the gravy, put the mushrooms in a bowl and cover with 300ml hot water. Leave to one side.

Put the oil in a large saucepan over a low heat and gently cook the onions, celery, thyme and carrot for 15–20 minutes until soft and starting to colour. Stir in the tomato purée and cook for 1 minute.

Increase the heat a little and add the wine, star anise and bay leaf. Allow it to bubble away for 5 minutes.

Stir in the Marmite or Vegemite, Worcestershire sauce, miso and 800ml water. Strain the mushrooms in a sieve over a bowl and then add the liquid and the mushrooms to the pan, leaving any grit behind in the sieve. Allow this to bubble away over a medium-low heat for 1 hour or until the liquid is reduced by about half, which will intensify the flavours dramatically. You may need to top the pan up from time to time with a little water if the liquid level drops too much.

Strain the reduced liquid through a fine mesh sieve, pressing down firmly to remove all the liquid from the contents. Discard the mushrooms.

Now you can tweak the taste of the gravy: you can season with a little salt and pepper or add a little more Worcestershire sauce.

If you like your gravy thicker, mix the cornflour in a bowl with 2 tsp water, then pour it into the gravy and stir over a gentle heat until thickened. For a more indulgent creamy gravy, you can add the cream — this is my favourite!

Leave to one side.

 

For the seitan:

Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan, gas 4). Put the miso and mushrooms in a bowl and add 250ml hot water. Stir and leave to one side.

Trim the tops and roots of the onions and stand them upright in a roasting tin. Cut off the very top part of the garlic bulb using a sharp knife and add to the tin. Season with salt and pepper, and drizzle over a little oil. Roast for 20–25 minutes until the garlic is soft and can be easily popped from its skin. Remove the garlic and continue roasting the onions for a further 20 minutes or until tender.

Peel away and discard the onion and garlic skins and put the flesh in the bowl of a food processor. Add the remaining wet ingredients, except the beans, to the processor. Strain the mushrooms in a sieve over a bowl and add the liquid and the mushrooms to the processor, leaving any grit in the sieve. Process until smooth.

Put the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix well together, then add the wet ingredients and the mashed beans. Knead into a dough using your hands. If the dough is too dry, add a splash of hot water, or if it is too wet, add a little more gluten. Knead for 2 minutes.

You can now shape the dough. Divide the seitan into 4 and form into steaks, pulling and patting the dough into shape, or use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to about 1.5cm thick — aim for a rough, slightly pulled texture. Use a meat tenderiser or potato masher to tenderise the dough a little. Alternatively, shape into 10 sausages, wrapping each sausage in a lightly oiled piece of foil and twisting the ends like a wrapped sweet. Place the steaks or sausages in a steamer and steam them for 45 minutes. Then heat the coconut oil in a non stick frying pan over a high heat. Sear the steaks on both sides until blackened and juicy.

Put the glaze ingredients in a small bowl and whisk them together, then use this mixture to coat the steaks. Push the peppercorns from the glaze into the surface of the steaks, then cover with cling film and leave to one side.

 

For the stuffed butternut squash:

To make the stuffed squash, cook the barley in a saucepan of boiling water with the cinnamon stick and bruised garlic for 45 minutes until tender, or according to the packet instructions. Remove and discard the cinnamon and garlic.

Score the flesh of both halves of the butternut squash and scoop out enough flesh to create a larger cavity for the stuffing. Drizzle the squash inside and out with a little oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roughly chop the flesh you have removed.

Put the oil in a large non-stick saucepan over a medium heat and add the onion, the crushed garlic, fennel seeds, sage and leek. Cook until soft and translucent. Remove from the pan and add the chopped squash, then cook until soft.

Put the pine nuts in a dry pan and toast over a medium high heat, tossing regularly, for 1–2 minutes, or until golden brown. Leave to one side.

Return the onions to the pan with the squash, then add the pine nuts and the remaining ingredients. Stir well.

Spoon the stuffing into the squash halves, sandwich them together and tie up the squash with 2 strands of string, then wrap it tightly in foil and bake for 1½ hours or until tender.

While the squash is cooking, start to prepare the bread sauce. Stud the onion with the cloves. Put the milk in a small saucepan and add the studded onion, the nutmeg and bay leaf, then bring it to just boiling over a low heat. Once the milk has just started to boil, remove the pan from the heat and leave it for at least 30 minutes to infuse.

 

For the pan-fried Brussels sprouts:

To make the pan-fried Brussels sprouts, put the sprouts into a pan of boiling water and cook for 8 minutes, then drain in a colander and refresh under cold water. Cut the sprouts in half through the stalk.

Heat the oil and butter in a non-stick frying pan and pan-fry the chestnuts until tinged golden brown. Remove from the pan and add the Brussels sprouts and the dukkah spice. Pan-fry over a high heat for 1–2 minutes or until lightly tinged golden brown. Add the vinegar to the pan and cook for a further 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and stir in the chestnuts and coconut bacon (below). Keep this warm while you fry the steaks.

 

For the coconut bacon:

Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan, gas 4) and line a baking tray with baking parchment. To make the coconut bacon, in a medium bowl mix together the maple syrup, soy sauce, hickory liquid smoke and paprika. Throw in the coconut flakes and toss to coat evenly in the mixture. Spread out in a single layer on the prepared baking tray and toast in the oven for 10 minutes, tossing them after 5 minutes to ensure an even cook.

Meanwhile, to finish the bread sauce, remove the onion from the milk and stir in the breadcrumbs and cream. Warm through over a medium heat until hot and thickened. Stir in the butter and season with salt and pepper. Spoon into a bowl and sprinkle over the hazelnuts.

Heat the prepared mushroom gravy. Slice the seitan steaks and serve with a slice of the stuffed butternut squash, the Brussels sprouts, gravy and the hazelnut bread sauce

 

This recipe is extracted from Lucy Watson’s ‘Feed Me Vegan: For All Occassions’.

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