Going nuts: Nut Roast redux

Hi folks, I hope you all had a smashing Christmas. The new year is right around the corner… 2013 has been a year full of big changes, I’m looking forward to seeing what 2014 brings. I’m starting off the new year in a new country with a new way of life… what’s going to happen in 2014? I’ll have to wait and see! I hope at least that I’ll be able to share some photos of our New Year’s Eve celebration with you in my next post.

The good news is that my parents were not disappointed during their holiday visit: we had a white (Swedish) Christmas. It was even snowing throughout the afternoon and evening which made everything seem very festive, especially when Santa Claus came in to distribute gifts – although little William wasn’t such a fan of Santa it seems. Perhaps next year he’ll appreciate him a bit more. On Christmas day, the temperature rose a bit and turned the pristine snow into a lethal sheet of smooth ice – which is still here to this day. There was still a fair bit of snow sitting around on the sides of the road so in terms of “white Christmases”, one can say that it wasn’t a total washout.

Skellefteå älv

Christmas was good – both the “Swedish Christmas” on the 24th, and the “English Christmas” on the 25th. I did all the cooking for the 25th and for dessert I decided to take some inspiration from an incredible cake I saw recently on the blog Coffee and Crumpets, by Nazneen. Her Black Forest Roulade looked absolutely spectacular, especially the whipped ganâche frosting. I was going to make a bûche de noël anyway so this looked like a perfect switch-up. I’m left thinking now: “Why the hell have I never whipped ganâche before?”. I’d love to say that mine looked half as pretty as Nazneen’s… it didn’t, but it looked pretty nice anyway and was absolutely delicious. William in particular greatly enjoyed his piece!

Willy enjoying cake

Now what does one do after stuffing your face with delicious cake? Well, you could sit around and wait for it to find its way to your hips but an “afternoon constitutional” is the best way to help digest some of that wonderful food and Swedish winters often yield beautiful sunsets. As long as you can actually start walking without immediately falling over on the giant skating rink that the world outside has become you’ll be well rewarded with a good view and bracing fresh air. I should add that the photo below was taken at 2pm, so if you want to see the sun set you’d better not dally!


As my parents were with us for Christmas this year we had to get creative for some parts of the meals since my mother is a vegetarian. Some of the things which my father-in-law prepared for the 24th were absolutely incredible. I wish I had that kind of inspiration and I hope I can have a bash at making them myself and sharing them here some day. However, for the meal I was cooking on Christmas day I decided to stick to something I was more familiar with. In our house, in place of turkey or chicken my mother would usually eat nut roast as her “meat” part of the roast meal.

Nut Roast

I’ve posted a nut roast before but this year I made it a little differently. It ended up being one of the best nut roasts I’ve ever made, so if you’re wondering what to serve that vegetarian who’s coming to dine in the midst of a load of omnivores then try this! It doesn’t take long to prepare and can be cooked simultaneously with the meat.

Have a wonderful and safe new year everyone and I’ll be back soon!

Nut Roast
Serves 8
A tasty, filling, delicious alternative to meat as part of a roast lunch or dinner
Write a review
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
  1. 20g Butter
  2. 1 large Onion
  3. 3 cloves of Garlic
  4. 4 slices of Bread
  5. 100g Walnuts
  6. 150g Almonds
  7. 6 large Mushrooms
  8. 200g Strong Cheddar Cheese, grated
  9. 2tsps Salt
  10. 2tsps freshly ground Black Pepper
  11. 1tbsp dried Thyme
  12. 6 Eggs
  13. 1tbsp Marmite or Vegemite (optional)
  14. 200ml Vegetable Stock
  1. Start off by preheating your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Peel and roughly chop the onion and garlic. Melt the butter in a pan and add in the onions and garlic. Reduce the heat and sweat in the butter for about 5 minutes.
  2. Transfer the onions and garlic to a large bowl. Blitz the slices of bread in a food processor until they've turned to breadcrumbs and then place these into the bowl with the onion.
  3. Pulse the nuts in the food processor until roughly chopped - about 10 seconds should be sufficient, before adding these into the large bowl as well.
  4. Roughly chop the mushrooms and transfer to the bowl along with the grated cheese, salt, pepper, and thyme before cracking in the eggs and stirring well to mix.
  5. If using the marmite or vegemite, heat the stock and then stir in the marmite until combined. Add the stock into the nut roast mixture and stir well again.
  6. Grease and line a large loaf tin with baking paper and spoon the nut roast mixture into the tin, pressing down well into the corners and smoothing off the top.
  7. Place into the preheated oven and bake for about 1 hour, until deep golden brown on top, and a skewer stuck into the loaf comes out clean.
  8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin before gently turning out and peeling off the baking paper.
  9. Serve in thick slices and enjoy!
Five Euro Food http://www.fiveeurofood.com/


  1. says

    That looks awesome Charles. I always wonder how a vegetarian copes around Christmas, especially in the Western world where big roast meats are around. The nut roast looks delicious- cooking must run in the genes;) So great to see little Willy grinning away behind his food-stained hands hee hee! A happy new year to you all !! :)

    • says

      (sorry, Charles, for this intrusion). Shuhan, though maybe roast meat dominates tables in many countries during this time, it’s not the rule in all the Western countries. In Poland (and maybe some other countries in Central and Eastern Europe too?) catholics – majority of the population – traditionally don’t eat any meat on Christmas Eve, which is the most important day; more important than the 25th. It’s supposed to be fasting, which includes fish, but there are always several 100% vegetarian traditional dishes. 12 dishes should be served that evening (the tables look a bit like Chinese family meals I guess!), so it’s actually the only important celebration when vegetarians can have a real choice in a carnivore’s house too 😉

    • says

      Hi Shu, it must be very hard in Sweden for a veggie – if you look at the Swedish Christmas Table it’s basically meatballs, ham, sausages, and fish. They have some salads, bread and cheese too but you can’t just eat that! My father-in-law made some amazing stuff though… I’ll try and post some of them sometime!

  2. says

    I was all grins yesterday after I got your message about the roulade! I am so happy everyone enjoyed it, but it makes me the happiest to see little Willy really digging in! He’s so cute.
    My oldest daughter is a vegetarian and the rest of the kids are hard core carnivores! I have such a hard time. In essence, I make two melas almost every day and it’s a bit of a pain sometimes, oh well. This nut roast sounds wonderful though, I’ve never thought of making it before, I shall have to give it a try and see if she likes it. Of course, she’s not easy to please either like all youth these days.
    Have a wonderful New Year Charles! Wishing you and your family all the best for the coming year in your new life and new country!


    • says

      Hi Nazneen – the nut loaf is really good. I’m not a veggie but I don’t eat that much meat… I would be happy eating it maybe 3 or 4 times a week… some people go crazy if they can’t have it for every meal, every day!! I really enjoy this too… I’d be happy to eat this myself instead of meat!

      As for the roulade: <3 Was so nice. I should mention though, when I say “everyone loved it”… that’s true, except for my mother-in-law who detests cherries (and strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, etc…) so I had to make one end of the roulade cherry free. It was fun to cut into it and try and see if I had the “cherry end” or not :D.

  3. says

    Charles, beautiful… I love the simplicity of your composition and the loaf has a charming rustic appeal that delights me — I’m also amazed by how well the nuts and elements come through in the slices, love when that happens! :) (i’ll be pinning it shortly). You know, I really enjoy hearty nut loaves like this, I make a similar one with the addition of lentil. So satisfying and utterly yummy (love the marmite by the way – my British clients use it quite a bit).

    I’m very happy to hear that your Christmas was full and fun with the whole family on board. Lovely photos — including sweetheart William (I’m sure he’ll warm up to Santa soon enough ;-)). Sunset at 2 pm, wow. Best not to sneeze. Happy New Year Charles and Family!

    • says

      Hi Kelly, I was really pleased with how well it “sliced”. In my experience, nut loaves have a habit of disintegrating, so it was really nice that it stayed firm. Must have been the increased number of eggs!

      Have a wonderful new year this evening :)

  4. says

    Charles, I’d swear it’s a liver pâté!!! It looks fabulous… even better than the previous one you posted (if I remember well). I have only one vegetarian friend, so I’ll bake it when she comes next time. I’m sure she will be impressed! (I already am only admiring your photographs!).
    I’m glad to hear you have had a successful Christmas. I hope Santa Claus was generous 😉
    Have a wonderful New Year’s Eve and Happy New Year!

    • says

      I have forgotten to say I share your enthusiasm about whipped ganache. I once discovered it by accident and have fallen in love of course. I call it “eggless quick chocolate mousse” (I posted it under this name last year I think and often “cheated chocolate mousse”. I always have it as a separate dessert in a glass and find it difficult to control myself… hence tiny individual portions 😉 Happy New Year again!

    • says

      Aah, now you say it, I agree – it looks like one of these “campagnarde” patés! :D. That’s something I want to make one day too… mustn’t forget!

      I say no need to wait until your friend arrives… although I know how much you like your meat! I could easily eat this instead of meat as a meal – it’s very tasty!

      Happy new year to you this evening!

  5. Björn says

    A late Merry Christmas to you pal :) Nice hearing that everything is fine. After you went to Sweden I haven’t heard a word.

    Good start into 2014 Charles


  6. says

    Providing a filling and tasty Christmas main for a vegetarian sounds like a challenge but it looks like your mom got a good one. Congratulations on the effort involved in improving an already tasty loaf.

    William looks like he enjoyed the buche. In fact, he seems to still have a lot of it on his face. :)

    You had a great Christmas it seems. I hope your New Year’s celebration is a wonderful one and heralds in a terrific New Year.

    • says

      Oh, you should have seen what my father-in-law made… incredible stuff. I hope I can post it sometime (although I will need to re-make it, since it was all eaten!!).

      Happy New Year A_ – have a good time whatever you’re doing!

      • says

        Thank you for the New Year’s wishes though I’m staying in and getting a good night’s sleep for a change. I decided to scrap the elaborate cooking plans for the day as I’ve had to push back 2 days’ worth of meals due to the nephew coming over and wanting to go out. And then I brought home leftovers from the outings. :)

        By the way, I don’t know if caught my falafel post but if you leave out the egg used for binding (not really necessary if you let the mixture rest in the fridge for half an hour to set up) you end up with a wonderfully filling and satisfying meat-free meal. I didn’t even miss meat. I don’t say that very often.

  7. says

    What a glorious white Christmas – sorry about the lingering sheet of ice.

    What a charming young man who’s growing up all too fast! He’s so cute. Next year he’ll be Santa’s best friend.

    I’m dying to make this nut roast.

    Happy New Year!

    • says

      Thanks Maureen – happy new year to you too! Hope you’re having a good time there. I’m guessing you’re not under a blanket of snow at least, so that’s something 😀

  8. says

    Hi Charles, it has been a bit crazy for us of late, we had an ice storm that had left most of the city void of power even now more than seven days later! Fortunately, we were only without power for 28 hours but we did have to re-plan Christmas Day dinner as we were to host it and we weren’t certain about the heat so we moved it about two hours north to JTs sister’s home. My nephew downtown offered his condo to us as he was away and we cooked much of Christmas day’s dinner (sans turkey) there; you can only imagine how mush we transported back and forth for this to happen! Blah blah blah…anyway, I’m sorry to have missed this gorgeous post! I’m always on the lookout for vegetarian dishes as we have friends who are, and I so appreciate the vote of confidence on this recipe. And I adore that photo of William, so cute with that whipped ganache all over his lovely little cherub face!
    Happy New Year to you my friend and a The Wife. I do hope 2014 brings you much happiness (health and all the other good stuff!)
    PS. LOVED the card, thank you so, so much!

    • says

      Thanks Eva – they had some big storms in England too… many people were without power, even over Christmas day which must have been terrible. I guess it would have given them a Christmas day to remember at least. As long as you can be together and safe it can’t be so terrible, even if you end up having to eat sandwiches instead of a roast turkey! I’m glad yours turned out well though!

      Glad you received the card! Have a great new year this evening! :)

  9. says

    It sounds like your Christmas was a very festive event and it looks like William enjoyed himself even if he wasn’t too crazy about Santa. I’m happy that you got the white Christmas you were wishing for. We shall be getting another foot of snow in a couple of days. We usually have a white Christmas, New Year’s, Valentines Day, St. Patrick’s Day and sometimes even Easter. :) Wishing you and yours the very best for the New Year.

    • says

      Hi Karen, I hope you’re coping well with the snow! We’re having a very strange winter here… the warmest in 50 years I think they said. Not a lot of snow around, and a temperature hovering around 0 – 2 degrees Celsius. Unfortunately not quite warm enough to melt the permanent sheet of hard, thick ice which is covering the ground everywhere… makes even the shortest voyage quite treacherous – be it on foot or by car!

  10. says

    I’m so glad to hear you had a lovely Christmas and that you celebrated the European way and the British way. How lovely for your parents to have a white Christmas – lovely for everyone I’m sure. It does sound treacherous having to walk on ice though – not sure the Aussies would be too good at that. So hard to believe the sun starts to set at 2pm – so many hours of darkness! Here I’m waking up with the birds as my bedroom faces east and so as soon as the sun starts to rise, I’m awake! The nut roast looks very good and yes, I saw Nazneen’s log and it looked very impressive – she’s a very talented cook xx

  11. says

    Beautiful snow image!!
    I can’t imagine a white Christmas.
    I love this nut loaf recipe, I used to make something similiar when I was a vego, I will need to try yours :)

  12. says

    Happy New Year 2014 to you Charles! It’s been so long, but your posts still impress me…if not getting better and better. I am looking forward to see more of your great posts in 2014!
    Wow, you’re in a new country now? Wishing you all the best in all that you!
    Love the idea of a white Christmas and this is such an awesome vegan treat, for the non-meat lovers…and as you said, the omnivores out there, LOL!:-)
    Have a BLAST in the New Year, and I am back, lol 😛

    • says

      Hi Christy, nice to hear from you again! Hope you’ve been well. Yeah, I moved to Sweden now… hopefully the last big “international” move I’ll be making!

  13. says

    Happy New Years to you Charles and to your little happy man with the frosting face. He is growing up so fast! This is a glorious nut roast and really the first time I have ever heard of it and I am eager to give this a try. I can picture this being delicious site at a cheese and wine event and just beautiful when you slice it open. Take care, BAM

  14. says

    Sounds like you had an absolutely wonderful Christmas Charlies! A little too cold for me though. :) Have never seen a nut roast but what a perfect dish for a “meaty” vegetarian meal. I have a few vegetarian friends that I might just have to try this one on. Thanks for sharing!

  15. says

    Your Christmas sounds wonderful Charles! So William is not a fan of Santa? Perhaps next year. I don’t think Miss A is a fan either. She only kind of plays along. I think the thought of a big man coming into our house at night is a bit unsettling to her. Still she’s happy to get all the toys. 😉

    Your nut loaf is just fascinating to me!! I love the sound of it. We’ve made many lifestyle changes to our diet in the past few months and this will be a delicious meal to try. Happy New Year Charles!! Much love and many hugs to you and your family. Here’s to a fabulous 2014!

    • says

      Hi Kristy… it’s not quite so “stealthy” in Sweden. Often, a member of the family mysteriously disappears after the dinner. The kids are told that “Mom/Dad is out buying a newspaper” and miraculously, wouldn’t you believe it, Santa turns up at that exact moment! Poor mom or dad… always choosing the wrong moment to go to the store and missing Santa every year!

      This year he came out of the forest in the snow and knocked on the window and Willy was terrified :(. Probably a mixture of being a bit over-stimulated, because normally he doesn’t bat an eye at different people or “weird happenstances”.

      I think you’d like the nut roast – I’m very pleased it held together so well. I think it would be really nice with a bleu cheese too!

      Hope you’re all well and take care!

  16. says

    Hi Charles, How are you?
    Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family and happy new year. I wish 2014 will be an awesome year for you … may all your wishes come true my friend :).

  17. says

    Sounds like you had a wonderful holiday! And what a cute picture of William. He’s growing up so fast. Wasn’t he a baby not a long ago? These days newborn babies seem to become toddlers in a few months! You live in such a beautiful place. It looks cold and 2pm sunset sure sounds strange and need to get used to, but it looks very lovely and beautiful… Your nut roast is very interesting! I’d love to try a slice!

    • says

      Oh yeah… getting bigger and more determined every day! Unbelievable! He’s having a hard time right now. His back teeth are coming out quite fast… seems a new one every day so he’s quite grizzly. Must hurt so much!

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