Sunday, 24 January 2016

Making a Yummy Vegan Roast.

Being a proper northerner, I bloody love a good roast dinner. One of my favourite things about the winter months has to be a nice roast of a Sunday evening. It's something that was a regular occurrence as I was growing up and has continued to be a regular winter habit now I'm older.

My General Life - Making a Vegan Roast

When I went veggie, one of my thoughts was around whether or not I'd be able to enjoy a good roast. However, it was summertime and so wasn't really an imminent issue. By the time winter came, I'd become more more accustomed to my new lifestyle and so the thought wasn't so daunting. 

In the run up to Christmas, I taste tested multiple veggie roasts in order to pick something that could take the place of Turkey in my Christmas dinner. Quite honestly, I really enjoy nut roasts and so they took centre stage. I've not gone as far as making my own yet (although I'm sure it's really easy) as I find that the shop bought ones do the job just nicely (I've tried ones from Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Aldi and Netto!)

For me, it's all about the accompaniments; the veggies, the stuffing, the bread sauce and most importantly the gravy! But fear not, I've  managed to adapt pretty much all of these in order to make them veggie and vegan friendly whilst not compromising on taste. 
My General Life - Making a Vegan Roast
Most veggies in a roast dinner are already veggie and vegan friendly as long as you don't coat them in butter (Vitalite will work just fine) and choose vegetable oil over goose fat (according to Food Unwrapped, vegetable oil makes for the crispiest roastie!). Although there's one veggie accompaniment that I was determined to still have, and that my friends is sprouts and bacon.

My General Life - Making a Vegan Roast

How might this work I hear you cry? Well, fortunately for us veggies, you can buy bacon crumbles that thankfully haven't been anywhere near a pig, making them suitable for veggies and vegans alike. They are crispy and so add a nice bit of crunch and work brilliantly alongside shredded sprouts.
My General Life - Making a Vegan Roast
I adore bread sauce, I'm not sure if it's just a northern thing but if you haven't tried it you really need to. Bread sauce is fine for veggies, but as it's packed with milk it's not so vegan friendly. Thankfully, it's reasonably easy to whip up a dairy free version that everyone can enjoy. 
My General Life - Making a Vegan Roast
♥ 1 onion - peeled
♥ 4 cloves
♥ 2 bay leaves
♥ a sprinkling of ground nutmeg
♥ 500ml dairy free milk (almond, soy, oat etc)
♥ 1/2 loaf (ish) bread

My General Life - Making a Vegan Roast
My General Life - Making a Vegan Roast
♥ push the cloves into the onion and place in a pan along with the milk, bay leaves and nutmeg.
♥ carefully bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes
♥ remove from the heat and leave to cool for 10 minutes
♥ in the mean time, blitz the bread in a food processor to make chunky bread crumbs
♥ remove the onion, cloves and bay leaves from the milk
♥ add the breadcrumbs to the infused milk, stir together
♥ if the mix is too runny - blitz more breadcrumbs and add
♥ if the mix is too thick - loosen with a little more milk
♥ serve
My General Life - Making a Vegan Roast
I am a gravy fiend. I could literally drink the stuff in place of tea (I get that from my Mother). And so I like to think I'm now reasonably well practiced at making a delicious, cruelty free, vegan friendly gravy. 

My General Life - Making a Vegan Roast
♥ 1 onion - peeled and sliced
♥ 1-2 tbsp oil
♥ 1 tbsp flour (rice flour will work too)
♥ 500ml vegetable stock
♥ 1tbsp soy sauce
♥ salt and pepper to taste

My General Life - Making a Vegan Roast
My General Life - Making a Vegan Roast
♥ gently fry the onion in the oil until they become translucent (5-10 minutes)
♥ add the flour to the pan and stir into the onion/residual oil
♥ slowly add the vegetable stock, stirring as you do in order to prevent lumps
♥ bring to the boil and allow to simmer gently for 15 minutes (or longer if you want to reduce it)
♥ add the soy sauce and season with salt and pepper
♥ blitz in a blender if you want a smooth gravy, or leave the onions as the are if you want to go rustic
♥ serve as is or simmer for a while to reduce and thicken


Seriously, I really don't find there is any more effort involved in making your roast a veggie or vegan one that there is in making a traditional roast. There's no reason why you should miss out just because you don't eat animal products.

What are your favourite veggie or vegan treats for your Sunday roast? I'd love to hear your thoughts either in the comments below, or you could drop me a tweet @mygenerallife.

While you're here, why not check out my previous post: RECIPE | Dry Roasted Chickpeas.

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Jordan xx