Vegetarian chef Eddie Shepherd has some tips to take the stress out of Christmas dinner, and a special recipe for a knock out nut roast!

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Ladies and gentlemen, you may start your advent calendars. Christmas is right around the corner and promises a week of fun-filled festivities with friends and family. It’s not all fun and games though, Christmas can bring some stress with it, not least in the kitchen on Christmas day.

If you’ve seen our #TerryTheTurkey ad and you’re inspired to try an alternative to turkey this Christmas, Vegetarian Chef Eddie Shepherd – the award-winning vegetarian chef and author – is here to help with our Knock Out Nut Roast recipe, as well as hints and tips on how to reduce your stress levels when it comes to cooking Christmas dinner. Over to you, Eddie…

Try out Vodafone’s Knock Out Nut Roast recipe

“I wanted Vodafone’s knock out nut roast to be modern, but still recognisable. I kept many traditional elements like hazelnuts and cranberries, but I used black beans to bind the mixture together, helping to keep it moist and giving it a dramatic colour.

“I wanted Vodafone’s knock out nut roast to be modern…”

I use feta cheese, roasted squash and lots of fresh parsley as the primary flavours. Then I form my nut roast into a cylinder wrapped in tin foil before roasting it, this helps to keep it moist and gives it a more presentable shape than the traditional ‘loaf’ shape.

“If you wanted to jazz up a more traditional recipe, one of the simplest ways would be to boost the amounts of fresh herbs and spices. I really like the addition of cinnamon in my recipe – the use of spices feels Christmassy whilst really boosting flavour.”

Fancy saving #TerryTheTurkey and his pals this Christmas? Why not give Eddie’s nut roast a try for yourself! Check out the recipe below, and let us know how you got on – just tweet us with the hashtag #TerryTheTurkey

Vodafone’s Knock Out Nut Roast

Butternut Squash, Feta and Hazelnut Roast. With Cranberry ‘Glass’, Vanilla Mayonnaise, Beetroot and a Mulled Wine Reduction

250g Cooked Black Beans
One Butternut Squash
400g Feta
100g Breadcrumbs
3 Free-Range Eggs
75g Dried Cranberries
50g Chopped Hazelnuts
4 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Parsley
2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
Zest and Juice of One Lemon
Salt and Pepper to taste

Place 2cm peeled butternut squash cubes in a roasting tray and dress with a little olive oil and a pinch of salt. Then roast the squash in the oven at 200°C for 35-40 minutes, until soft all the way through each cube.

Use a blender to mix the cooked black beans to a rough puree. Then mix in the breadcrumbs, eggs, cranberries, hazelnuts, parsley, cinnamon and lemon into the black bean puree.

Finally crumble the feta into the black bean mixture and add in the roasted butternut squash, mix these through by hand, without breaking up the squash. Season the mixture to taste with salt and pepper.

Roll a quarter of this mixture using grease proof paper to form a tube about 5 cm thick. Wrap this paper tube within a layer of tin foil to keep the shape. Repeat this process for the rest of the mixture.

Bake the finished cylinders in the oven at 180°C for one hour, then allow to cool. Carefully remove the foil and paper and slice the nut roast into portions.

To serve drizzle with a little olive oil and warm the portions of the nut roast in the oven at 180°C for 5 minutes or until hot through.

Additional Elements/Tips from Eddie Shepherd

Vanilla Mayonnaise

The Juice of Two Lemons
40gml Plain Soy Milk
1 Garlic Clove Chopped
20g Dijon Mustard
Seeds of one Vanilla Pod
150g Cold pressed rapeseed Oil
Large Pinch salt

In a jug blend together; the lemon juice, soy milk, garlic, mustard and vanilla seeds. Then gradually drizzle the oil into this mixture while continuing to blend it. Finally season the mayonnaise with salt to taste

Mulled Wine Reduction

250g Mulled Wine
100g Sugar

Combine the mulled wine and the sugar in a pan and warm to a simmer over a medium heat. Allow the liquid to gradually reduce by about 2/3 to 130g, this should take around 5-8 minutes.

Cranberry ‘Glass’

200g Cranberry Juice
35g Caster Sugar
25g Kuzu Starch (also known as Kudzu)
2g Citric Acid
Zest of One Orange

Combine all the ingredients in a pan and warm over a medium heat while stirring.

After a few minutes the mixture will thicken and turn translucent, at this point it is ready to be removed from the heat. Spread some of the thickened cranberry mixture thinly on a non stick sheet, then place the sheet in a dehydrator or a low oven set to 60-70°C.

Allow the cranberry sheet to dry out overnight in the dehydrator or low oven, then remove the dried cranberry glass and store in an airtight container.

Beetroot Powder

2 Beetroot

Peel the beetroot and slice as thin as possible. Then place the beetroot in a dehydrator or a low oven set to 60-70°C. Allow the beetroot to dry out overnight in the dehydrator or low oven, then once dried beld it to a fine powder in a food processor and store in an airtight container.

To Serve

Dot some of the vanilla mayonnaise on each plate then add a generous swirl of the mulled wine reduction.

Warm two slices of the nut roast and place them in the centre of the plate.

Top the nut roast with a piece of the cranberry ‘glass’. Then finish the dish with a few fresh salad leaves and a sprinkling of the beetroot powder.

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