Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Planet VeGMeL week (Part 1) - GGG Walnut and rice nutroast with a mashed potato crust

Several times I have attempted to recall the first time that my recipe searching brought me to a blog on Planet VeGMeL and I'm almost certain it was when I was searching for a nut roast recipe a couple of years ago. I was totally amazed with the variety of recipes when I stumbled across Johanna's nut roast round up and it was quite a tough decision to pick one to try from the list. If my memory serves me right it was the cheesy nut roast that I selected and thoroughly enjoyed on more than one occasion.

Johanna's posts are always an enjoyable read, full of colourful photos and inventive recipes. Some other recipes I have tried from GGG are Zucchini Koftas (which became when our favourite zucchini recipe a year ago when I had an enormous supply in my garden), Mushroom and chocolate risotto, Mexicali Pie and more recently a veganised version of Broccoli Burgers. There are still plenty of recipes I have bookmarked to try including Haggis, Pea Pate, Chickpea, lemon and mint soup plus many more.

Through GGG I have also discovered other bloggers around the world that I now read regularly and enjoy recipes from such as Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen, Eat me delicious, Diet, dessert and dogs and Fat Free Vegan.

As the first recipe that brought me to VeGMeL was a nut roast I decided one of Joanna's nut roasts would a perfect way to kick off my Planet VeGMeL week. After some deliberation I selected the walnut and rice nut roast, the mashed potato topping was the selling point as I had a feeling it would fare well with my audience.

This was a fairly straight forward meal to bake especially given my walnuts were already shelled, unlike Johanna. There were a few ingredients that needed to be modified in order to make it vegan so the eggs were replaced with a flax seed and water mix and the milk and butter in the mashed potatoes were subbed with soy milk and nutritional yeast. The other minor addition I made was to add a couple of cloves of crushed garlic to the onions when they were almost ready. I was a little concerned with the consistency of the filling as it was quite sloppy and I don't have a 20cm square tin so it was placed into a 24cm round Pyrex dish instead. When it came to serving, it still wasn't as robust as I would have liked, but I did find that it had firmed up lot more by the time I went back for a second helping.

The Nut Roast was served with Mushroom Gravy from Veganomicon and some roasted carrots and steamed broccoli. The nut roast was a very hearty filling meal and the mushroom gravy was a nice complimentary partner although some other people were more interested in trying it with tomato sauce. It probably wasn't my favourite nut roast I have tried however my taste buds have been dampened somewhat due to an annoying case of the sniffles.

During the day I had some thoughts about this week of cooking and the ways it could backfire and realised that it may not be easy after all. For starters, what if I totally stuffed up the recipe and then had to take a photo and blog about something that hadn't worked. And the other more pressing concern I had was, what if I don't like the recipes that I make as the last thing I was intending to do with this week of blogging was to post a negative review about someone's recipe. One thing I didn't anticipate was the issue that just happened which was technology based. The memory card for my camera has been a little flaky recently and it chose last night to cease working. Just as I was finishing off my post and about to upload a photo. How typical!!! So I decided to hold off publishing until my technology woes were rectified and the post was complete with picture in tow.

This week of blogging may not turn out to be quite as easy as I first thought, however I will remain committed to seeing it through to completion... Who's up next?

Quick update: The man didn't try this until lunchtime today and really loved it so I must try this again when I have my full senses back!


  1. I am very honoured to be first cab off the rank in your week of planet vegmel! Great idea for a week of inspiration - maybe I should try it - though it must be hard choosing!

    Glad you find lots of inspiration in my blog - and happy to know I have helped another person with nut roasts as it is a little pet project of mine. I am not sure this is my fave nut roast either but I did love the idea of mashed potato on it. And I love to try out some older recipes too. Good luck with getting your sense of taste back!

  2. Thanks Johanna!!! It hasn't been that hard choosing as there are so many recipes that I had wanted to try. I am trying to balance the selections with a variety of different ingredients and cuisines as it's generally how I focus my cooking each week. Love your blog and I'll definitely give some more of your nuts roasts a try...