What to have for a Sunday (or Christmas) roast? This is a question I get asked a lot, particularly if a) you’re allergic to nuts or b) you’re just a bit board with nut roast!
There are options on my blog already, like yummy vegan haggis or roasted squash and lentil swirls. And now here’s another one – a nut free, pastry free loaf, dressed up with gorgeous shiitake mushrooms to make it feel like it’s just a little bit posh 😉
I am a big fan of mushrooms, and increasingly fond of shiitake, especially as they are becoming more readily available in the supermarkets. Mushrooms can provide some dietary vitamin D (as long as they’ve been allowed in the light for a while) and contain a type of fibre called beta-glucan which helps to deal with fat digestion and enables ‘full’ messages to be sent off to the brain. They also contain good amounts of vitamin B and, if not overcooked, provide texture to plant-based meals.
Shiitake contain all the goodies found in normal mushrooms – and more. They’re defined as a medicinal mushroom (not magic!) as research shows they contain beneficial phytonutrients which help support our health, specifically the heart and immune system. Research shows they can help kill cancer cells too!
The downside is that shiitake mushrooms are more expensive than chestnut and white mushrooms. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make this recipe – oh no! Just sub the shiitake with whatever mushrooms that fit your budget. Or, if you are a mushroom hater (and I know there are many of you out there!) just leave them out completely. The loaf will still taste delightful.
Match these amazing mushrooms with the high fibre, high protein power of lentils, even more gut loving oats plus the wonderful anti-inflammatory betacartone found in the sweet potato and this loaf is a nutrient marvel! And it tastes mighty fine too, thereby hitting my two aims – tasty and healing – with every mouthful.
You can make this loaf in advance or on the day you want to eat it. It keeps in the fridge for up to 3 days and freezes well, making it an useful dish to have on hand.
I hope you enjoy this recipe. Do let me know how you get on when you make it – I’d love to know.
Lentil, sweet potato and shiitake mushroom loaf
- 2lb loaf tin
- 1 small red or white onion finely chopped
- 1 medium stick of celery or broccoli stem trimmed and finely chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 medium sweet potato peeled and finely chopped
- 1 fat clove garlic grated
- 2 tbsp tamari or coconut amines
- 200 grams shiitake mushrooms or mushroom of choice
- 280 grams cooked lentils either home cooked, tinned or packet cooked Puy lentils
- 1 teaspoon mixed herbs
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 100 grams oats gluten free if needed
- 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat 2 tablespoons of water in the base of a medium pan. Add the chopped onion and celery/broccoli stem and bay with a pinch of salt. Sauté on a medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring from time to time.
- Add the sweet potato and the tamari and continue to sauté on a low heat until the potato is just starting to soften.
- Whilst the veggies are cooking, split the shiitake mushrooms into two piles. Slice half and chopped the other half.
- Add the sliced mushrooms to a small pan with 1 tablespoon of water and lightly 'fry' for a few minutes - this is particularly important if you are using white closed cup mushrooms as they tend to leak a lot of fluid when cooked - you need to cook this away or it will make the centre of your loaf soggy. Shiitake mushrooms don't do this so much so you can even skip this step if you wish.
- Add the chopped mushrooms and garlic to the pan and cook for another 3 minutes. Then turn off the heat.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas4. Line a 2lb loaf tin with non-stick baking paper.
- Tip the veggie mix into a large bowl. Add the cooked lentils, herbs, oats and ground flaxseed. Season well with salt and pepper and mix together well.
- Spoon half the mix into the prepared tin and press it into the base and corners. Spread the sliced mushrooms over the top then cover with the remaining mix. Press down and flatten the top.
- Bake in the oven for up to 30 minutes until the top is lightly browned and firm to touch. Remove from the oven and leave to settle in the tin for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.