Ah, the holidays. It’s an annual event; a period that allows for legitimate excuses to imbibe, indulge and go overboard with all things decadent. Gingerbread, cider, candy canes, hot cocoa, and shortbread; the list goes on and on! Let me first say, that there is NO shame in enjoying all that comes with this time of year. Heck, I actually tried to commence a 12 day cleanse yesterday, but awoke this morning thinking, "what the HECK am I doing!?"! I am supposed to revel in the 12 days of Christmas, not restrict and deny (full disclosure, the Wild Rose Herbal Cleanse I was going to start is not at all difficult, as you still get to enjoy most of the foods we love!).
And what other traditional ingredients really say “festive season”? Well, dried fruit and all your usual poultry seasonings; rosemary, thyme and sage. And who can forget citrus, cinnamon and roasted chestnuts!
My mission: create a tasty main dish to share over the holidays that included all of the flavours familiar to everyone this time of year, vegan and omnivore alike. I also wanted a dish that would please even the most particular of palates (like those of my young veggie-hating nephews) and that would still express my playfulness when it comes creating full on collisions of different classical cuisines. So what did I come up with? A delightfully simple seasonal roast with deeply complex sweet and savoury flavours to boot. A dish that I can already say will make a repeat appearance on my holiday table for many years to come.
1 can (19 oz/540 mL) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 flax egg(4 Tbsp ground flax seed mixed with 1/2 C warm water )
1 C bread crumbs (I used gluten free)
1/4 C dried cranberriesor currants
1 t baking soda
Sea salt & pepper
Prepare flax egg replacer. Set aside. Line a loaf baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
In medium sauté pan, heat oil over med-low heat. Add onion, and cook for 1-2 minutes until sweating and slightly translucent. Add carrot, celery, mushrooms and cook 2-3 minutes more. Add stock, cranberries and salt and pepper to taste (be liberal) and then let simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated.
In food processor, puree chickpeas until almost entirely broken down.
In a medium mixing bowl, add the chickpea puree plus all the remaining ingredients including the flax egg. Stir well to combine.
Dump mixture into loaf pan and press firmly into place. Smooth out top.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes until lightly golden and stiff on top.
2 T miso paste
¾ C warm water
2.5 T nutritional yeast
½ t sea salt
1 t powdered ginger
1 t garlic powder
2 T soy milk powder (can be found at health & bulk food stores)
Combine all ingredients in a blender. Just before serving the roast, heat gravy in a small saucepan, reducing to desired consistency.
This is also a fantastic gravy to use with a batch of sautéed mushrooms and onions. Savoury mushroom gravy anyone? Yum!