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Christmas "Neatloaf"

This "neatloaf" looks beautiful as a centerpiece on the table at Christmas. Don't be put off by the list of ingredients, it's worth the effort! It’s full of flavour and loved by everyone (omnivorous friends and family too). It can be made ahead of time and can be served hot or cold. It will definitely be on our table on Christmas day.



2 tablespoons flaxseed meal

1 cup mushrooms, sliced

1 large red onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 carrots, finely diced

2 celery stalks, finely diced

1 cup mixed nuts - walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts

1 cup cooked or tinned chickpeas, well rinsed

½ cup cooked brown rice

200g butternut pumpkin, cut into 1cm pieces and steamed

½ cup dried cranberries

½ cup shelled pistachios, chopped

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

2 tablespoons coconut aminos

2 tablespoons brown rice flour

1 tablespoon red miso

3 tablespoons nutritional yeast

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes

1 tablespoons fresh sage

1 tablespoons fresh rosemary

2 tablespoons fresh thyme

2 tablespoons fresh parsley

1 teaspoon Sea salt

freshy ground pepper

Soybean or bean curd sheets*


¼ cup tomato paste

1 tablespoon tamari

1 tablespoons maple syrup

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

½ teaspoon garlic powder

Pinch of chilli powder


1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

2. Mix the flaxseed meal with 4 tablespoons of water and set aside.

3. Pulse mushrooms in food processor until finely chopped. Sauté mushrooms in a frying pan on a medium to high heat until caramelised.

4. Pulse onions, garlic, carrots, celery until fine and add to mushrooms in frying pan. Fry until they begin to caramelise and most of the water has evaporated off. Once softened, place in a large mixing bowl.

5. Pulse nuts until finely chopped, add chickpeas and pulse once or twice to break up some of them. Add to mixing bowl along with flaxseed mixture and the other neatloaf ingredients (except bean curd sheets). Mix until well combined (you may want to use your hands). The mixture should still be a little chunky, not a puree.

7. Place one or two sheets of soybean sheet into to a loaf tin lined with baking paper. Lightly press into the corners. Place handfuls of neatloaf mix into the soybean sheet until full. Fold soybean sheet and then baking paper over the surface of the neatloaf. Weigh down with a couple of butter knives. Bake for 25 to 30 mins.

8. Meanwhile, mix everything for the glaze.

9. Take the neatloaf out of the oven and allow to cool. At this point the neatloaf can be refrigerated until needed.

10. Carefully turn the neatloaf right way up, remove baking paper and brush the glaze over the top and sides. Bake again for about 15 minutes, being careful not to let the glaze burn. Let cool before slicing.

11. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary and toasted slivered almonds

*Soybean or bean curd sheets are available either on the shelf or in the freezer of any Asian supermarkets. Check the ingredients and make sure they are oil free. You can make the recipe without these (using baking paper) but the bean curd sheets add that “skin” look to the neatloaf.

Serves 6-8

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