[My plate from our impromptu Christmas dinner last week: simple arugula salad, Festive Roast with brown gravy (still working on that recipe), homemade cranberry sauce, roasted potatoes, roasted carrots.]
Have I got a treat for you today! I had intended to cook up–and post about–this incredible Festive Vegan Roast last week, as it was slated for Christmas dinner menu. Unfortunately, a raging flu virus had other plans, and the HH was felled like the last pin left standing in the bowling alley (“Steeeee-RIKE!”). While my guy slept for five days straight, I chipped ice off our cars, shoveled (and chipped ice off) our driveway, and employed every curse word I’ve ever learned while attempting to walk the dogs, slipping and sliding across sidewalks covered with three inches (7.6 cm) of sheer ice. Expletive! Ah, ain’t winter grand? Well, it’s New Year’s Eve tomorrow (yikes!), and that means YOU get to benefit from my tardiness this holiday season: I’m sharing this incredible dinner menu with you today! If you’re hosting a dinner party for New Year’s (or even if you just want a special dinner at home), I’ve got you covered from appetizer to dessert. Here’s what we’ll be eating at our “Delayed Christmas” celebration:
To be honest, we’ll likely skip the appetizer here in the RH household, opting for a salad instead. But if you’re serving others, try out any of the Fourteen Fabulous Nibbles and Dips I posted yesterday! Soup/Salad:
This spectacular Festive “Roast” with gravy (see the recipe at the end of this post). Although I never got to taste the famous Field Roast before I went gluten-free, I used to love seitan and have been determined to create my own, gluten-free, vegan roast for a few years now. And finally–I’ve done it! Just as the HH could eat meat every day, I think I could eat this Festive Roast every day. It’s substantial, robust, savory and filling. It slices beautifully, holds its shape, and has a texture that’s firm on the outside while remaining moist inside. And the taste is. . . blissful. Even the HH adored it, declaring, “Hey, you should make this again.” High praise, indeed, from the meat-eater!
“Mum, we’re meat-eaters, too. Except we don’t know if we’d like that roast, since you won’t share it with us. . . darn those onions!–I mean, expletive!”
I just can’t serve a special meal with only one dessert. This year, we’re going to enjoy my recent Chocolate Chestnut Mousse Tarts, alongside a scoop of Cranberry Ice Cream. Oh, yum. And now, as we prepare to leave 2013 behind, I wish you all a very happy, celebratory and satisfying transition to the New Year, and a great year ahead! I can’t wait to see what 2014 holds. Big Hugs! xo Ricki
Gluten-Free and Vegan Festive Roast with Rich Brown Gravy
This roast makes a great main dish for a hearty meal, and paired with the gravy, it’s a standout main dish for any special occasion. Note that you must prepare the roast the day before you intend to eat it; otherwise, the texture straight from the oven will seem far too soft and mushy inside, and you will curse me for posting an inferior recipe. But trust me: after cooling and resting in the refrigerator overnight, the roast emerges firm, solid, yet moist and tender on the inside. . . . totally irresistible. This roast is worth the time it takes to make it!
For the Roast (must be prepared 24 hours in advance):
3 large sundried tomatoes, sliced
1/4 cup (60 ml) boiling water
2 Tbsp (30 ml) extra virgin olive oil, preferably organic
1 large carrot (about ounces or 130 g), grated
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 large redskinned potato (about 200 g), grated (no need to peel)
1/2 cup (120 ml) vegetable broth or stock
1 Tbsp (15 ml) dried basil or 3 Tbsp (45 ml) fresh basil, chopped
1 tsp (5 ml) dried oregano
1 tsp (5 ml) dried dill or 1 Tbsp (15 ml) fresh dill
2 Tbsp (30 ml) dried parsley or 1/4 cup (60 ml) chopped fresh parsley
1/2 to 3/4 tsp (2.5 to 3.5 ml) fine sea salt, to taste
1/3 cup (45 g) raw pumpkin seeds
2/3 cup (70 g) gluten-free old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cook or instant)
1/3 cup (40 g) chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour
1/4 cup (60 ml) potato starch
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) baking powder
1 Tbsp (15 ml) Bragg’s aminos, wheat-free tamari or soy sauce
1-1/2 tsp (7.5 ml) apple cider vinegar About 1 Tbsp (15 ml) more oil, for coating the roast, optional
The day before you intend to serve it, cook the roast: Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, or spray with nonstick spray. Preheat the oven to 325F (170C).
In a small bowl, pour the boiling water over the sundried tomatoes and allow to soak for 5 minutes; drain and set aside.
In a large nonstick frypan, heat the oil over medium heat and add the carrot, onion and garlic. Sauté until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the potato, broth, basil, oregano, dill, parsley and salt and stir to combine. Lower heat to medium-low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potato is soft and all the broth has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Then, continue to cook another 5 minutes or so until the potato is just beginning to brown. Remove from heat.
Meanwhile, in the bowl of a food processor, whir the pumpkinseeds, oats, chickpea flour, potato starch and baking powder until powdered, until the pumpkinseeds and oats are no larger than breadcrumbs. Add the warm vegetable mixture, the reserved sundried tomatoes, the Bragg’s and apple cider vinegar to the processor, and blend until you have a thick and slightly gluey dough. Allow to sit for 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes, turn the dough onto the cookie sheet. Wet your palms with water, then shape the dough into a “roast” shape, a domed oval about 8 inches long, 6 inches wide, and 3 inches tall at its highest. Smooth the top and sides.
Bake the roast for an hour, then remove from the oven and brush with the additional 1 Tbsp (15 ml) olive oil. Rotate the cookie sheet, then continue to bake another 20-30 minutes, until the top is dry and lightly browned and the bottom of the roast is deep brown. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature, then cover in plastic and refrigerate overnight, or at least 8 hours.
When ready to serve, preheat oven to 350F. Cover the roast with foil and bake until heated through, about 30 minutes. If necessary, brush the roast with vegetable broth to prevent the outside crust from becoming too dry. Slice and serve with Caramelized Onion Gravy or brown gravy. Makes 6-8 servings. May be frozen.
Suitable for: ACD Stage 2 and beyond, sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg free, soy-free, nut free, vegan, low glycemic.
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