Celebration Dishes, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes

Nancy’s seasonal mushroom, chestnut, apricot and cranberry nut loaf, with red wine sauce and roasted + steamed vegetables. Vegan .

I’ve worked on this recipe for a while now.   It’s rich, hearty and flavourful.  Quite delicious actually…..

mushroom, chestnut, apricot and cranberry nut loaf served with a rich red wine sauce

It can be made in advance, cooked, cooled, sliced and frozen, or it can be made one day in advance and kept chilled in the refrigerator for 24 hours, before baking.

PS. to freeze, wrap each slice in greaseproof paper when cold, and place in freezer bag.

I served it as the main dish for a roast with all the trimmings, but it’s great with rice and a light sauce, or served cold with salad and pickles.

nut roast

Here is a link to my other festive seasonal offering this winter:

savoury vegan pie (click image for link)




vegan roast

Serves 6-8


  • 350gms. mushrooms ( I used chestnut and shitaki)
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • 200gms. slightly stale bread ( I used brown bread)
  • 150gms. mixed nuts
  • 10gms. dried mixed herbs  ( 4 tbs if already ground)
  • 110gms. unsulphured soft dried apricots
  • 180gms. chestnuts – (cooked and peeled)
  • 60gms. dried cranberries
  • 2tbs. flour ( I used chickpea)
  • 1.5 scant tsps. salt ( I used himalayan)
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 1.5 scant tsps. black peppercorns – coarsely ground
  • 2tbs. linseed/ flaxseed
  • juice 1 lemon
  • 3 tbs. tomato puree
  • 1tsp. vegetable stock powder
  • 200ml warm water


  • Blitz mushrooms briefly in a food processor, until  finely chopped.
  • Finely chop the onion.
  • Peel and crush 3 garlic cloves.
  • In a large heavy casserole, add 2 tbs. oil.
  • Medium heat  – fry onions. 3 mins.
  • Add crushed garlic.  Fry 2 mins.
  • Add  chopped/blitzed mushrooms. Fry for a further 3 mins.
  • Mix salt, ground pepper and chili together in a bowl.
  • Add to sautéing mushrooms.  1 min.
  • Meanwhile, blitz bread, nuts and herbs in food processor until reasonably finely chopped.
  • Slice 150gms. chestnuts and apricots thinly, and mix in a bowl with 50gms. dried cranberries and 2tbs. flour. (Reserve 30gms. chestnuts and 10gms. cranberries for decoration)
  • Add breadcrumbs, nut and herb mix to casserole.
  • Stir in.
  • Add floured apricots, chestnuts and cranberry mix to casserole.
  • Stir in carefully, combining everything evenly.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Finely grind 2 tbs. linseed/flaxseed. Place in a measuring jug.
  • Add juice 1 lemon, 3 tbs. tomato puree, 1 tsp. vegetable stock, and 200ml. warm water.  Stir well, and leave for 10 mins. to thicken.
  • Pour linseed/tomato stock mix into nut loaf mix and combine evenly.
  • Transfer to a lightly greased loaf tin or deep sided pie dish.  Press down to ensure there are no gaps, and then smooth the top.
  • Decorate with reserved sliced chestnuts and cranberries, and drizzled with a few drops of olive oil.
  • Loaf tin size : approx 30cm x 15cm
  • The loaf can be baked in a reasonably flexible way, depending on what else is going on in the oven.
  • Ideally, cook it for about an hour, covered loosely in silver foil, at Gas Mk.6/200C.  Remove the silver foil for the last 15 mins.
  • However, it will survive a hotter oven, if placed near the bottom of the oven.
  • If previously cooked, sliced and frozen, cook straight from frozen, in a tray, covered with foil, for 30 – 35 mins. Remove foil for last 10 mins.



Makes 400-500ml.

rich red wine sauce vegan


  • 15ml.olive oil
  • 20gms. plain flour
  • 500ml. strong vegetable stock ( make it a little stronger than it says)
  • 200ml. vegan red wine
  • 1tbs. tamari
  • 3-4 tsps. agave syrup ( or sugar)
  • 2tbs.tomato puree
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1tbs. finely ground mixed herbs
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper


  • Prepare 500ml. vegetable stock with hot water.
  • In a medium heavy saucepan heat oil on medium heat.
  • Add flour, and heat 2 mins. Avoid burning.
  • Off the heat, slowly add the vegetable stock, stirring constantly to avoid lumps forming.
  • Return to the heat, bring to a gentle boil.
  • Add tamari.
  • Add 100ml red wine.
  • Add agave syrup ( adjust quantity according to taste).
  • Add tomato puree.
  • Add herbs.
  • Add salt and pepper.
  • Reduce heat to minimum. Use a diffuser if necessary.
  • Allow the sauce to reduce. 30 mins.
  • Take off the heat if necessary.
  • When everything else is nearly ready , place sauce back on medium heat, bring back to a gentle simmer and add further 100 ml red wine.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly. Heat 5-10 mins.
  • Serve immediately.

This sauce is rich and warming.  An ideal accompaniment to the robust flavourful nut loaf.

Serve with vegetables of your choice.












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