Mmm… Gravy. Stuffing. Cranberry sauce. Nothing says giving thanks like a spread of your favorite fall foods.
It’s pretty common that most get-togethers this October (and November, for the Americans) will be tucking into a turkey for the main meal. But that doesn’t mean that the surplus of side dishes have to be meaty. Vegans and vegetarians are often accustomed to savoring a salad at holiday functions, but all it takes is a few simple swaps to say thanks to your meat-free friends and family, too. And when it comes to gluten-free, well, toting our own food is generally the mainstay… Which is why i like to entertain. Sometimes I just don’t want to pack my dinner in the ol’ Tupperware. (By sometimes I mean… never).
The solution (of course?) is having a gluten-free, vegan main dish that even the turkey eaters will be talking about.
The selenium-rich mushrooms make another appearance, this time alongside pecans, almonds and loads of flavor. Like pecans, almonds are high in vitamin E, and are a good source of protein, fibre, and magnesium, which improves blood, oxygen and nutrient flow through the body.
Mushroom Nut Loaf
This recipe is relatively flexible in terms of the nuts and herbs. I love swapping the pecans and almonds for walnuts and heartnuts, and adding savory and sage to the other herbs, as well.
Serves 6 to 8
2 tablespoons (30mL) extra-virgin olive oil
2 small onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups (480mL) chopped cremini mushrooms
1 cup (240mL) almonds, chopped (see Note)
3/4 cup (180mL) pecans, chopped (see Note)
1 tablespoon (15mL) fresh thyme
1/2 tablespoon (7mL) fresh rosemary
1/2 cup (120mL) apple cider
1/4 cup (60mL) sorghum flour
Sea or Himalayan salt
Freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onions and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, mushrooms and nuts. Cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in the herbs, apple cider, and sorghum flour. Mix until smooth, cooking until the mixture has thickened, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.
Use a spatula to scrape the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes, until firm and lightly browned. Let stand at least 20 minutes before turning out of the pan. Serve warm.
Note: Finely chop most the nuts, leaving a couple tablespoons in tact for a nice crunch. (This is easily done in a food processor). The finer chopping aids in a loaf that stays together when slicing. Similarly, if you unmold it too soon, it will not stay together when slicing.