Brief description of Recipe
This is a recipe I use on a regular basis to use up leftovers and other bits and bobs.
Most of us are aiming to live a green and cruelty-free life, and to not create waste if at all possible. This recipe is a great vegetarian or vegan way of using up leftovers. This is less of a recipe and more of a road-map, as each time you make the nutloaf it’ll be different.
How about celebrating Zero Waste Week with a good big roast?
List of ingredients
You’ll notice no weights, temperatures and times in this guide to making my nutloaf, because it is totally up to you what you put in, as it’s adaptable to your preferences and what food you have available. You’ll have to decide at what temperature to cook it at, and for how long, and that will depend on the size of your loaf, the shape, how wet the mix is, and your own preferences. The breadcrumbs and peanut butter are the base… the rest is optional!
Preparation and Method
Gather together your ‘dry’ ingredients:
plus optional cooked rice
sad mashed potato
spare cooked cauliflower
uneaten bulgar wheat
diced sweet pepper etc etc (what’s in your fridge?)
and ‘wet’ ingredients, such as tomatoes (fresh or tinned)
leftover soup or stew
red wine and optional egg.
Seasoning can include soy sauce
or whatever takes your fancy.
First mix a dollop of peanut butter into the breadcrumbs, wiping them together so they are really well mixed.
Then add the dry ingredients and mix well so you have a colourful bowlful.
Then add the moister ingredients which help stick the crumbly bits together and mix well.
If you put a lot of wet ingredients, your nutloaf will be very close textured and dense, if only a few, the texture will be more open and crumbly when finished. An egg or two will help it stick together but isn’t always necessary.
Grease a baking tin or dish with margarine or oil, and I sprinkle a few sunflower seeds (homegrown of course!) or sesame seeds, or even sliced mushroom (looks pretty when you turn it out) into the bowl where they stick to the fat and help the loaf turn out more easily as well as look attractive!
Spoon the mix into the container and push it down firmly with a fork, making the top as flat as possible. Pushing the mix down into the bowl firmly is an important part of making a good nutloaf.
I cook it initially in the microwave to heat it all the way through, and then turn it out onto a baking tray and pop it in the oven to crisp the outside and cook it through.
The nutloaf mix can also be made into burgers and grilled or fried if you prefer. I’ve found that if you get a circular plastic hommous pot, you can push a dollop of nutloaf mix into it, and this can be swiftly banged down into a frying pan, forming a burger shape.
I also enjoy doing creative things like a bi or tri-coloured loaf, by splitting the basic mix into two or three, and mixing each batch with different coloured foodstuffs. One layer of mix could have tomato or grated carrot, one layer with spinach and unloved broccoli florets, another with chopped red pepper or grated beetroot.
For Christmas you could try putting in a portion of stuffing into the centre as you put it into the tin, or a layer of cranberries.
Be creative, have fun making it and enjoy eating it with a sauce and/or fresh vegetables, roast potatoes or parsnips or salad.