Category Archives: Roasts and Bakes

Spinach & Tofu Cannelloni

Spinach & Tofu Cannelloni
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You might look at the name of this recipe, or the photo and think you haven't got time to make this, but you'd be wrong! With a food processor and using wholewheat square wraps instead of pasta this can be on the table inside an hour! This is in regular weeknight rotation in our house and everyone always wants seconds! 🙂
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4-6
  • 4 square wholewheat wraps, cut into ÂĽ to make 16 squares
  • 1 500g jar pasta tomato & basil style sauce
  • Topping:
  • 1 slice wholemeal bread, torn into pieces
  • ÂĽ cup walnut pieces
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Filling:
  • 350g baby spinach
  • 350g firm plain tofu, broken into pieces
  • 1 shallot / very small onion, chopped
  • 75g hummus
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp Italian herbs mix
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  1. Preheat oven to 180 C.
  2. Place the topping ingredients into your food processor and pulse until you have a regular crumb with no large pieces. Tip into a bowl and set aside.
  3. Place the baby spinach into a large bowl and cover with boiling water, pushing it down so all the leaves are submerged.
  4. Take your lasagne dish and pour about ⅓ of the jar of sauce over the bottom and tilt the dish so there is an even cover across the whole surface.
  5. Tip the spinach leaves and water into a colander over the sink, and run cold water over the spinach. Taking handfuls at a time, squeeze as much as the water out as you can, then roughly chop each handful into a few pieces, break up the clumps, and pop into the food processor (no need to clean out after breadcrumbs).
  6. Place all the other filling ingredients into the food processor with the spinach and pulse until it is well mixed and in tiny pieces, but not a puree.
  7. Take one square of wholewheat wrap, spoon 1 heaped tablespoon (about the size of a golf ball – around 35-40g in weight) of filling along one side. Roll up to create a sausage shape and place it in a corner of the dish. Keep going until you have used up all the filling and your dish is packed full.
  8. Pour the rest of the sauce over the top of the rolls and make sure all the bread is covered.
  9. Sprinkle the topping over the rolls and bake for 30 minutes. Cover with foil during the last 10
  10. minutes if your breadcrumb topping is starting to catch.


Mexican Chickpea Quiches

These are real crowd pleasers, perfect as part of a party banquet, but equally at home as part of dinner with maybe some rice and salad.  These are flavoured a la Mexican, with cumin, coriander, red and green capsicum, onion and red kidney beans, but they can be themed any how – swap out the spices for fresh shredded basil, drop the beans but add sliced black olives and they become pizza quiches.  Try sweetcorn and Thai curry paste and make Thai inspired quiches, or try potato, pea and maybe cauliflower, with curry powder and they’re Indian!  The sky’s the limit! 🙂

Mexican Chickpea Fritters

Mexican Chickpea Quiches
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Recipe type: Snacks
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 15-18
  • 2.5 cups of chickpea flour (also known as besan flour / garbanzo flour)
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • chilli powder - to taste (optional)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1 medium red capsicum (bell pepper), diced small
  • 1 medium green capsicum (bell pepper) diced small
  • 1 medium red onion, diced small
  • 1 cup red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup sweetcorn, frozen or canned
  • Equipment: 12 hole muffin tray (I used silicon for easy removal) - stand on a large baking tray before filling if you are using a silicon one.
  1. Heat the oven to 200 degrees C
  2. In a large bowl, combine the chickpea flour, herbs and spices, water and salt and whisk well. Set aside.
  3. Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat and fry off the capsicum and onion until tender. Tip the vegetables into another bowl and mix in the beans, corn, & olives
  4. Pour the batter into each muffin tray, filling ⅔ full.
  5. Using a small spoon, add a heaped teaspoon of the vegetable mixture to each muffin hole.
  6. Stir each muffin hole to distribute the vegetables.
  7. Place into the oven, bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden and firm to the touch. Allow to cool until able to handle them. Place upside down on the baking tray (use baking paper to line) and pop back into the oven for another 10-15 minutes until bottoms are also golden.
  8. You should have enough batter left to make a few more.
  9. Lovely served hot, warm or cold.



Kale & Red Pepper Bites

These are fantastic little crispy bites, with whole grains, lentils, kale, onion, red pepper, and flavoured with Italian herbs. The grain and lentils all cook together into a fabulously textured kind of porridge which is an amazing base to make burgers, and sausages with.    Perfect for parties, lunchboxes or just snacks to keep in the fridge when hunger strikes!

Kale and Red Pepper Bites2

The other ingredients are then just stirred in and I used a mini muffin tray for easily shaped and uniform results.

mini muffin tray

Impossible to eat just one!  We love them topped with hummus and a red pepper relish.

Kale and Red Pepper Bites

Kale & Red Pepper Bites
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Crispy and delicious, this little bites are perfect party or lunchbox items
Serves: 30-34
  • ½ cup medium grain brown rice
  • ¼ cup millet
  • ¼ cup split red lentils
  • ¼ cup quinoa
  • 1 box of frozen kale
  • 1 red capsicum, finely diced
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1 tsp Italian dried herb mix
  • ½ tsp garlic granules
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium tamari / soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of tahini - optional
  • juice of half a lemon
  • zest of a whole lemon
  • ¼ cup ground almonds - optional (makes them more crispy but you can leave out for school lunchboxes).
  • Equipment: mini 24-cup muffin pan
  • Sesame seeds - optional
  1. Rinse the grains and lentils in a fine sieve under running water for a couple of minutes.
  2. Place them in a rice cooker (or saucepan - but you may need to add an extra half a cup of water before the grains are fully cooked, depending on how tight fitting the lid is) with 3 cups of water, and put it on to cook.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade. / 375 Fahrenheit.
  4. Meanwhile, put the kale into a sieve over (in which the sieve will be enclosed) and cover in boiling water.
  5. Place a large frying pan over a medium heat, and "fry" the capsicum and onion, adding a splash of water or stock to stop them sticking. Do not allow to get too moist. Once softened after a few minutes, add the herbs and garlic. Cook until the moisture has evaporated out and the vegetables are fairly dry but not sticking to the pan.
  6. Drain the kale, and squeeze all the water out of it with your hands - I find it easiest to do this in 3 or 4 small handfuls, and set aside.
  7. Once the grains are cooked, (they should be fairly dry also) tip them into a large bowl, and tip in the contents of the frying pan. Sprinkle in the kale, breaking up any lumps, then add the nutritional yeast, tamari, tahini, lemon, zest & almonds and thoroughly mix (clean hands are best for this!).
  8. Sprinkle some sesame seeds if using into the bottom of each muffin hole, then pack the mixture firmly on top, pushing down to ensure no air pockets which will stop them coming out cleanly. Sprinkle some more sesame seeds on top.
  9. Pop into the top of the oven for 20 minutes. Take out, allow to sit for 5 minutes then invert the tray onto a cooling rack, making sure they all come out (you might need to loosen stubborn ones around the side with a plastic knife), place that on top of a baking tray and then pop back in the oven for 10 minutes to crisp up the bottoms.
  10. My mixture made 34, so you can use the tray again to use up the mixture for another 6-10 bites.


Kale & Tofu Cannelloni

I’ve always loved cannelloni, but filing those little dried pasta tubes is very fiddly and time consuming!   This one uses wholewheat lasagne sheets, and a light and tasty tofu kale filling, baked in a rich tomato sauce and topped with crispy breadcrumbs.  Simple enough for a family dinner but good enough for company too!  Also another great way to get kale into your children!

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Tofu Kale Cannelloni
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Recipe type: Cannelloni
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 375g plain firm tofu
  • ⅓ cup soy milk
  • 2 tablespoons white miso paste
  • 1 T American style mild mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 T chopped fresh dill
  • ÂĽ cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 T nutritional yeast
  • 1 small onion (slightly larger than a golf ball size) finely diced
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • PASTA:
  • 4-6 wholemeal lasagne sheets (I used instant variety)
  • SAUCE:
  • 375g of your favourite oil free Bolognese / tomato & basil style pasta sauce, a jar or homemade - (or a can of chopped tomatoes, blended with 1 tsp garlic granules, 1 tsp onion granules, 1 T tomato paste & 1 tsp sugar until smooth, then stir in 1 tsp dried Italian herbs).
  • 1 slices wholemeal bread
  • ÂĽ cup walnuts
  • 1 T nutritional yeast
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  1. De-stem the kale, roughly chop and simmer in large pot of boiling water for 8 mins until softened.
  2. Rinse under cold water, take handfuls, firmly squeeze out the water and then slice each handful into 4-5 pieces.
  3. Meanwhile, fry the onion and garlic in a small pan over a gentle heat with a splash of water until softened.
  4. Mix the soy milk, miso, mustard and salt together in a small bowl
  5. Put the tofu in a food processor and pulse a couple of times, before adding the kale, dill, walnuts, nutritional yeast, soy milk mixture and the onion and garlic mixture. Pulse until it is breadcrumb like, not so much that it becomes a green paste! Remove the blade and this is now ready for your lasagne sheets.
  6. NB: If you don’t have a food processor, mash the tofu with a fork until like breadcrumbs, finely chop the kale and thoroughly mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.
  7. Bring a large wide pan of water to the boil.
  8. Prepare a lasagne style baking dish by lining it with half of your tomato sauce.
  9. Boil each sheet of lasagne separately for 4 minutes, pop into a bowl of cold water or run under the cold tap; remove to a chopping board. As each one is done you can start layering your cannelloni dish, or cook them all ahead of time and layer between baking paper to prevent them sticking together. If storing in the fridge, wrap in cling film so they don’t dry out.
  10. Heat the oven to 180 o Centigrade.
  11. Take a lasagne sheet and cut it in half across the long side (i.e making two rectangles, not long skinny strips). Take one piece and scoop up approximately 2-3 tablespoons of the filling and arrange it in a tube shape across the lasagne, then roll up. The two edges should overlap by about 1-2 cms, so use this as your guide to how much to put in!
  12. Place your cannelloni tube in the sauce at one side of your dish.
  13. Keep this going as your boil your sheets, cut, fill, roll and place.
  14. Pack them snugly against each other. You should need 4-6 full lasagne sheets, making 8-12 cannelloni before you use all your filling and they ideally will just fill up your dish. You may need to cut the last one in half to fill up the gap in the corner. Mine looked like this:
  15. I used 5 sheets, so 10 cannelloni.
  16. Pour the rest of the sauce over the cannelloni.
  17. For the breadcrumb topping, put all the ingredients in a food processor or small chopper, process until breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over the top of the cannelloni.
  18. Place in the oven for 25 minutes or until breadcrumbs crisp and sauce is bubbling. If breadcrumbs are browning too quickly, cover the dish with a sheet of foil.


Winter Bake

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Winter Bake

This was concocted in the far north of Scotland in 1998, whilst 5 months pregnant with my 1st child.  My husband still teases me that we could have gone to the Maldives for our final holiday as just a couple, but I wanted a cosy wintery holiday in Scotland!  It was very cold and snowy and we were staying in a beautiful old stone cottage.  I wanted something warming and comforting, and the only vegetables we had in were cabbage and potatoes, so I came up with this.  16 years later we’re still making it (albeit with a different cheezy sauce now)!

Winter Bake
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Recipe type: Bake / Casserole
Serves: 6-8
  • ½ large savoy cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1 ½ cups split red lentils
  • 1 onion, finely shredded (ditto)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 2 cups passata (or blended canned tomatoes)
  • 1 t vegetable stock powder
  • Tabasco - optional
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs
  • 4 medium / large potatoes (about 800g)
  • 1 cup freshly made breadcrumbs
  • SAUCE:-
  • ½ a raw onion
  • 1 T corn flour
  • ½ cup cashews
  • 1.5 cups Soy milk
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp vinegar
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 T nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp chicken style stock powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ date paste / other sweetener e.g maple syrup, rice syrup.
  1. Heat a medium saucepan on a gentle heat with a spray of oil, add cabbage and herbs. Place on lid and allow the cabbage to steam in its own juices.
  2. Put lentils in a medium saucepan, cover by an inch with water, add the onion, garlic, tomato paste, passata, stock powder and optional tabasco; bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer until cooked down to a thickish soup.
  3. Finely slice the potatoes (use a mandolin or processor, or with a knife, about ½cm thick) and steam for 10 or so minutes or until just tender.
  4. Make the white / cheezy sauce by putting all ingredients into a blender, blend til smooth, pour into a small sauce pan and stir constantly until thickened.
  5. Grease a deep baking dish or casserole dish which has a close fitting lid e.g. Pyrex or Le Creuset)
  6. Layer in the dish as follows:
  7. - ⅓ of the potatoes
  8. - ⅓ of the cabbage
  9. - ½ of the lentil mixture
  10. - ⅓ of the white sauce
  11. - Half of remaining potatoes
  12. - Half of remaining cabbage
  13. - Rest of lentils
  14. - Half of remaining white sauce
  15. - Remaining potatoes
  16. - Remaining cabbage
  17. - Remaining white sauce
  18. - Breadcrumbs
  19. A quick spray of oil on top
  20. Bake for 40 minutes, in a moderate oven, placing on the lid for last 15 minutes to prevent top burning. Test is cooked through by piercing with a knife. Should be very soft, top crisp and sauce bubbling. Allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Spinach, Basil, Mushroom & Potato “Lasagne”

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I was going to make a new type of lasagne but a gluten-free friend was joining us for dinner and I couldn’t find gluten free lasagne sheets (and the ingredients in some of those products is rather off-putting!)  so decided to substitute potato for the pasta layers.
This was SO GOOD!  Luckily I wrote everything down as I did it so can make it again!
The cheesy sauce is also on this site here, you’ll need half of the portion this makes.

Spinach & Basil, Mushroom & Potato "Lasagne"
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Recipe type: Lasagne
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 6
  • 450g silken tofu
  • 450g frozen spinach (frozen weight)
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Leaves from 1 large bunch of basil, blitzed in food processor with 3 tablespoons of pine nuts
  • zest of a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 700g mushrooms, diced. (I used flat mushrooms and white cup, but whatever you have is fine)
  • 50g cashews, soaked if necessary, and blended with enough water to cover
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 700g potatoes, sliced thinly.
  • ½ a portion of cheese sauce recipe (see intro)
  • 1 cup of passata / blended canned tomatoes
  1. Thaw and squeeze as much of the water out of the spinach and mix in a large bowl with the tofu, the onion - finely chopped; the nutritional yeast, salt, basil & pine nuts, lemon zest and juice and set aside.
  2. Make the cheese sauce as linked to in the introduction.
  3. Saute the mushrooms in a large pan in their own juices, mix in the cashew cream, tamari and lemon juice. Cook until liquid has evaporated and mushrooms are tender.
  4. Meanwhile steam the potatoes until just tender - about 7 mins.
  5. Take a large lasagne dish. Layer as follows:
  6. cup of passata / blended tomatoes.
  7. A third of the Potatoes
  8. Half of the Spinach tofu mixture
  9. Half of remaining potatoes
  10. All the mushrooms
  11. Remaining potatoes
  12. Remaining spinach tofu mixture
  13. Cheese sauce (about half of the quantity the recipe makes)
  14. Place in a moderate oven - 180 for about 30 minutes or until hot and bubbling and top is browning.

Vegetable & Pasta Bake

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This is slightly different to the other pasta bake on this site in that it’s a different sauce – this one is based on a Susan Voisin’s recipe from but with a lot less nooch, but more lemon and miso, plus some sweetness from maple syrup.   I managed to photo it this time before we demolished it. 🙂   I added steamed broccoli, cauliflower, peas and sweetcorn to it this time, but you can add any vegetables you like, it’s a great way of using up already cooked veggies from the fridge too and then you save even more prep time. Either way this is a pretty simple and quick weeknight meal.  I added a lovely crunchy breadcrumb and walnut crust on this one too which adds a good texture contrast.

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Vegetable & Pasta Bake
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Recipe type: Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4-6
  • SAUCE:
  • 1 ÂĽ cups water
  • 1 cup soymilk
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch or potato starch
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 tablespoon miso
  • 1 small jarred roasted red capsicum
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 250g broccoli florets
  • 250g cauliflower florets
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • ½ cup frozen sweetcorn
  • 1 large red onion
  • 275g wholewheat pasta e.g. fusilli / penne etc
  • 2 cups fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs
  • 8-12 walnut halves - depending on size
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • Blended all together thoroughly in a food processor.
  1. Put a very large pot of water on to boil for the pasta. You will be combining everything in the pot later so make sure it's big enough.
  2. Put all the sauce ingredients into a blender, (or a jug and use a stick blender) and blend on high for 10 seconds or until completely smooth.
  3. Pour into a saucepan and heat gently, stirring frequently with a whisk until the sauce is thick and smooth. Remove from the heat.
  4. Add the pasta to the water if it's boiling.
  5. Prepare your vegetables and add to the water for the last 5 minutes of cooking time.
  6. Make your breadcrumb topping.
  7. Once the pasta and vegetables are cooked, drain, return to the pan and pour over the sauce. Mix thoroughly.
  8. Pour into a large lasagne dish, top with your breadcrumb mixture.
  9. Place in the oven at 180 for 30 minutes or until top crisp and sauce is bubbling.


Vegetable Moussaka

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The UK supermarket Waitrose does an AMAZING Vegetable Moussaka which I used to LOVE when I was living there (and still eating cheese). This  is my attempt at a dairy free version, and I’m really happy with it.  This is not a particularly speedy dish – a bit like lasagne – there are a few steps before assembly, but it’s really worth it.  The sauce on the top is also on this site here.

Vegetable Moussaka
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Serves: 6
  • 1 or 2 eggplants (500g), slicked ½ cm thick
  • 1 very large potato (400g), sliced ½ cm thick
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup French style / Puy lentils
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp bouillon powder
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 3 medium roma tomatoes, diced
  • ½ glass red wine (about ⅓ cup)
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ÂĽ tsp allspice
  • ÂĽ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp marjoram
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 small jar (375g) tomato pasta sauce
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • ½ cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 serving Creamy White Sauce for topping
  1. Place lentils in a small saucepan with the bay leaf and bouillon powder, and water. Bring to the boil and then simmer until tender, around 20-30 minutes.
  2. Heat sandwich toaster, and grill the eggplant slices until soft and slightly charred, and the potatoes until tender. Set aside. If you do not have one, you can grill or bake the slices in the oven.
  3. Make the Creamy White Sauce.
  4. Spray a pan with a little oil and sauté the onion, for 5 minutes; add garlic and cook another minute. Add the chopped tomatoes, wine and spices. Once broken down, add the jar of sauce and keep on a low simmer. Once lentils are cooked and tender (should be hardly any water left, stir them into the mixture with the fresh herbs and lemon juice. Season to taste and remove from heat
  5. In a lasagne dish, put a thin layer (ÂĽ) of the lentils on the bottom, top with eggplant, more lentils, then a layer of potatoes, then lentils, eggplant, lentils then the white sauce. Top with breadcrumbs if you like.
  6. Bake at 180 for 30 minutes, covering with foil half way through if necessary (if top browning too much).
  7. Allow it to stand for 10 or so minutes prior to serving.



Cashew and Mushroom Nut Roast

Well seeing as Christmas is fast approaching I thought the obvious recipe to share would be the nut roast I make every year.  It has changed a little over the years, the main overhaul 2 years ago when I made it vegan by removing the egg, but also mixing the mushrooms in to the mix rather than as a separate layer, as I found it would always break in two when I sliced it.  This is an OLD recipe.  From a Sarah Brown book called Vegetarian Kitchen published in 1984.  So to say this has passed the test of time is an understatement!

Cashew and Mushroom Nut Roast
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Christmassy Nut Roast
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: British
Serves: 6
  • Spray of olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 225 g cashew nuts
  • 110 g fresh breadcrumbs (in processor)
  • 1 tsp chia, 1 tsp flaxmeal mixed with ⅓ cup water
  • 3 medium parsnips, cooked and mashed
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • ÂĽ - ½ tsp sage (optional)
  • 1 tsp marmite dissolved in 1 cup boiling water / 1 cup vegetable stock
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 225 g mushrooms - finely chopped
  1. Pre-heat the oven at 180 Celsius.
  2. Heat a large frying pan with a spray of oil, and fry the onion and garlic until soft. Add the mushrooms and continue to sauté until the liquid has been released and evaporated.
  3. Grind the cashew nuts in a nut mill, blender or mincer until they resemble breadcrumbs, place in a large mixing bowl and add the breadcrumbs.
  4. Mix in the mashed parsnips and herbs.
  5. Add the fried onions and mushrooms; be sure to scrape the pan so that any remaining liquid goes in, don’t lose that flavour!
  6. Add the chia/flax mixture
  7. Dissolve the vegemite in the hot water or stock and add to the other ingredients. Mix very thoroughly and season well. The mixture should be like a thick cake mixture.
  8. Grease a 900g loaf tin or line with baking paper. Spoon the mixture into the tin and press down firmly.
  9. Cover with greased foil and bake for one hour.
  10. When cooked, remove from the oven and let it stand for 10 minutes before turning it out.
  11. NOTES: Timesavers:
  12. Make sure you put the parsnips on to cook first if you haven’t got them cooked already.
  13. Make the dry ingredients first - breadcrumbs, then the ground cashews in the processor, then add to your bowl.
  14. Then use processor again to chop the onion and mushrooms, add that to your frying pan.