Christmas recipes: lentil loaf, roasted carrots, Nutella Christmas tree and bundt cake
As per usual, Christmas in the Vanneste household is a collaboration between my Mom and myself. The rules speak for themselves, I provide everything veggie friendly and she feeds the carnivores. This year, I opted to make a lentil loaf, roasted carrots, a Nutella Christmas tree and a bundt cake. Everything turned out delicious and I would repeat all recipes in a heartbeat. Especially, THE CAKE!
For the lentil loaf, I opted for a recipe from Oh She Glows: Glazed Lentil Walnut Apple Loaf. For the carrots, I chose a recipe that I've made before from Lauren Caris cooks: Maple Mustard Roasted Carrots with Roasted Garlic Cashew Cream. Both recipes came out amazing and complement one another just perfectly.
Glazed Lentil Walnut Apple Loaf
- 1 cup green lentils
- 1 cup finely chopped and toasted walnuts
- 3 T ground flax + 1/2 cup water
- 3 minced garlic cloves
- 1 1/5 cup diced onion
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 cup grated carrots
- 1/3 cup peeled and grated apple (I used 1 Pink Lady apple)
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup oat flour
- 1 t dried thyme
- salt and pepper
- red pepper flakes to taste
- Soak the lentils for at least 2 hours. 1 cup of dry lentils will become 2 cups of soaked lentils.
- Preheat oven to 160°C.
- Rinse the lentils and cook for 6 mins in the pressure cooker on high with 1 cup of water. Make sure the lentils are slightly over-cooked. Mash lentils slightly with a potato masher.
- Toast the walnuts at 160°C for about 8-10 mins. Set aside. Increase oven temp to 180° C.
- Whisk ground flax with water in a small bowl and set aside.
- Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sautee the garlic and onion for about 5 mins. Season with salt, now add in the diced celery, shredded carrot and apple, and raisins. Sautee for about 5 mins more. Remove from heat.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix all ingredients together. Adjust seasonings to taste.
- Grease a loaf pan and line with parchment paper. Press mixture firmly into pan. Whisk glaze ingredients and then spread half on top of loaf. Reserve the rest for a dipping sauce.
- Bake at 180°C for about 40-50 mins, uncovered.
Note: I made a small loaf, 2 heart shaped loafs and 4 muffin size loafs. They all came out fabulous.
Maple Mustard Roasted Carrots with Roasted Garlic Cashew Cream
- 6 carrots
- 3 T maple syrup
- 2 t Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper
- Dried cranberries (the original recipe called for pomegranate seeds)
- Flaked almonds
- 1 cup cashews
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 head of garlic
- 1/4 t garlic powder
- The night before you prepare this dish, place the cashews in a bowl and completely cover them with water. Leave overnight or for at least 8 hours.
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Chop the carrots in quarters length ways. Mix together the mustard and maple syrup and toss the carrots in the mixture so they are completely coated. Lay on a flat baking sheet so they are all next to each other. Roast for 20-35 mins until golden brown and soft.
- To prepare the garlic, chop a small amount off the top of the whole bulb leaving the bottom intact so it stays together. Drizzle a little olive oil over the exposed ends, and season with pepper and salt. Wrap the whole bulb in tin foil and roast for 30 mins with the carrots. Once roasted, use a knife to remove the soft flesh from each clove. It should slip out easily and be very soft.
- To make the cashew sauce, drain and rinse the cashews that have been soaking for at least 8 hours. Then add to a food processor with the water salt, garlic powder and roasted garlic cloves. Blend until smooth!
- Serve the carrots with the cream, fresh parley, flaked almonds and dried cranberries.
For the first dessert option, I made a Nutella Christmas tree, which has been popular on the Gram! I saw it and I instantly knew I had to make it for Christmas Eve. It came out so yummy! I initially made it for its looks, but it ended up tasting as good as it looks. I found the recipe over on the Bosh TV channel: Homemade Nutella Christmas Tree .
Homemade Nutella Christmas Tree
- 2 cup roasted hazelnuts
- pinch of salt
- 1,5 cup melted chocolate
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup plant milk
- 2 sheets puff pastry
- olive oil for brushing
- Preheat oven to 135°C.
- Spread the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and roast for 15-20 mins. To remove skins, wrap warm hazelnuts in a kitchen towel and let them sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Rub them vigorously in the kitchen towel.
- Increase oven temperature to 200°C.
- Blend all the Nutella ingredients together until smooth.
- Spread the Nutella on a sheet of puff pastry to create a Christmas tree shaped triangle. There'll be some leftover, but (mixed with extra milk) this makes for a great dip.
- Lay the other sheet of puff pastry on top, press down slightly then trim off the excess pastry.
- Now, make even cuts down both sides of the triangle, leaving some uncut space in the center, to keep the tree together. Gently twist each strip from the bottom to top to create tree branches.
- Brush the pastry with olive oil so that when you bake it, it goes golden brown (no need for eggs!). Bake for 20-30 mins at 200°C.
For the second dessert option, I vigorously searched for a bundt cake recipe that was chocolatey and festive enough. I found this recipe and after one failed edition, the second edition exceeded my expectations! It was finger-licking good! I adapted the recipe from Anna Banana's recipe: Cherry Chocolate Bundt Cake.
Gluten-free Cherry Chocolate Bundt Cake
- 2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (I used gluten-free all-purpose flour from Organ)
- 1 1/2 cup brown sugar (the original recipe called for brown caster sugar, which I didn't have)
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 2 t baking powder (I used aluminium-free baking powder from Nature's Choice)
- 1 1/2 t baking soda (If you use normal baking powder, you only need 1 t baking soda)
- 1/2 t salt
- 1 cup soy milk + 3 T white vinegar
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup water
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 T vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cup pitted cherries
- 3 T maple syrup
- Preheat the oven to 170°C and grease the bundt cake pan with oil or vegan butter, dust with some flour and set aside.
- Whisk the soy milk with the vinegar and set aside to curdle.
- In a large bowl, mix together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt.
- Add in milk, oil, water and mix all together.
- Stir in vanilla, maple syrup and mix until well-combined.
- Pour mixture into large cake pan and bake for 70 mins. Set cake aside and allow to cool.
- For the cherry syrup, in a small pan, place cherries with maple syrup and a splash of water. Then cook on a small heat until cherries release juice and are soft.
- Use sieve to separate juice from cherries and bring the leftover juice to boil on a very low heat. Set aside to cool down a bit. Once cake is cool, poor cherry syrup over it!
I hope you all enjoyed a very Merry Christmas with your family and loved ones.