For all you vegetarians out there you will understand the beauty and deliciousness of the nut loaf! And for those who are not but looking to try something different, this dish is brimming with flavour and texture and packed full of nutrients! I kid you not. Again it is so resourceful because you can use whatever nuts you have in the cupboard at the time or are your own personal favourite – there are no set rules with vegetarian food! Give it a try – you won’t be sorry 🙂
Prep. Time: 25 mins
1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 onion, finely chopped
1 leek, chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
A handful of mushrooms, sliced (this depends on whether I have them in the fridge or not)
Kidney beans (I use half the can)
50g, 2 -3oz mixed nuts, chopped (for e.g. walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, basically whatever you prefer or have in your cupboard)
50g split red lentils, rinsed in a sieve
50g, 2 oz white flour
Cheddar cheese, grated (as much or as little as you want, I just grate it straight into the pot)
Sprinkling of mixed herbs
Salt and pepper to season (optional)
Note: sometimes if I have other vegetables in the fridge I will add them to the mix, for example – aubergine or kale chopped are a lovely addition, it simply depends on what I have at the time. This is the lovely thing about the nut loaf, you can vary the ingredients slightly but it will always turn out delicious!
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 C/ 350 F. Lightly grease the base and sides of a loaf tin and line with some grease-proof paper.
- Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the crushed garlic and chopped onion. Fry gently for a couple of minutes and then add the chopped celery, leeks and mushrooms. Continue to fry gently until softened, stirring gently. Make sure not to have the heat too high otherwise the vegetables will start to burn and stick to the bottom of the pan.
- At this stage you can add the chopped nuts, lentils and kidney beans and stir into the mixture.
- Once mixed through add the grated cheese, herbs and seasoning, and once stirred through you can add the flour (the purpose of the flour is to help you to bind all of the ingredients together, you could also add a beaten egg if you wish).
- Spoon the mixture into your loaf tin, smoothing it out on the top so that it is level. Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until lightly browned on the top.
- Once cooked you can serve it straight from the oven, (I love having it for dinner with vegetables and potatoes). However you can also eat it the next day for your lunch with some salad or home-made potato wedges (I give it a quick heating in the micro-wave). Enjoy!!