From our Winter 2015/2016 issue. Be the first to read the next issue of Positive Life in print – Subscribe.
By James Burke
For the past two years, we have been organising a vegan, Christmas themed meal in the cosy upstairs dining room of Cornucopia, offering a set menu which includes an almost traditional plum pudding and custard so this issue’s recipe comes from what we serve there. The tempeh and Brazil nut roasts are individual, protein packed patties served with a rich plum sauce, resting on a creamy roasted cauliflower puree designed to soak up the flavours. I like to have some steamed garlicy greens on the side. In the recipe for the tempeh roasts, you’ll notice that it calls for either vital wheat gluten or tapioca flour. Both work very well but offer very slightly different results. I prefer the texture of the vital wheat gluten flour, but using the tapioca flour is a perfect way to create a gluten-free alternative. For the sauce, you will see the addition of beetroot powder at the very end but it’s added just for colour and as it can be difficult to source, don’t worry if you can’t get a hold of it, though local health food stores are your best bet! Happy cooking!
Tempeh and Brazil Nut Roast
Serves 3 to 4
- 50ml rapeseed oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 125g roasted Brazil nuts, chopped
- 400g tempeh, diced
- 35g vital wheat gluten flour or 35g tapioca flour
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat oven to 200 Celsius. Heat the oil in a medium sized pan and fry the onion for 5-7 minutes over a medium heat until lightly browned. Add the garlic and continue cooking for 5 minutes.
As they’re cooking, prepare the tempeh by finely dicing or mincing in a food processor. Place the diced tempeh into a medium mixing bowl then add the cooked onion, garlic and rapeseed oil. Pour the flour and salt into the bowl, and stir until thoroughly mixed.
Use your hands form into oval shaped patties (6 X 100g/8 X 75g). Place onto a baking tray and into preheated over. Bake for 20-25 minutes until heated through. Remove from the oven and serve with the roast cauliflower puree and spiced plum sauce.
Roasted cauliflower puree:
- 1 medium cauliflower, about 1kg in weight
- 120ml unsweetened soy milk, slightly warmed
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt
- 95 ml cold pressed rapeseed oil
Prepare the cauliflower removing the leaves and core. Break or chop into little pieces, place in a bowl and sprinkle the salt over. Add 15mls of the oil and mix to coat, then place on a baking tray and into the oven for 25 minutes until the cauliflower has browned and is very soft.
About 10 minutes before the cauliflower is ready, place the soymilk into a small saucepan and gently warm over a low heat. Once the cauliflower is ready, remove it from the oven and carefully place it into a large jug. Pour the warmed soymilk over the cauliflower and puree with a stick blender.
Once blended, slowly pour in the remaining 80ml of the oil, blending all the time until it achieves a lightly emulsified and smooth texture.
Spiced Plum and Beetroot Sauce
Makes about 500ml of finished sauce
- 1kg plums
- 4 cloves garlic
- 40g ginger
- 400ml red wine vinegar
- 200ml water
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
- 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
- 4 star anise
- 2 cinnamon stick
- 100ml tamari or shoyu soy sauce
- 100g agave syrup or apple concentrate
- 2 teaspoons beetroot powder
Quarter the plums, remove the stone and place into a medium saucepan. Roughly chop the garlic cloves and ginger and also add to the saucepan. Pour in the red wine vinegar, salt, chilli flakes, Sichuan peppercorns, star anise and cinnamon stick.
Cover the saucepan with a tight fitting lid, place over a medium heat and bring to a boil. Once boiled, reduce the heat and simmer for another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the sauce has been simmered, remove from the heat and pass the mixture through a fine sieve. Reserve the liquid and place it into a smaller clean saucepan.
Add the remaining soy sauce and agave/apple concentrate. Bring this mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Stir regularly, as at this stage the sauce will be thickening up and therefore most likely to stick to the bottom of the pan.
Once the sauce has been simmering for the 5 to 10 minutes it will have reached a sticky and glossy consistency. Now sift the 2 teaspoons of beetroot powder through a sieve and into the sauce and whisk to mix the powder thoroughly into the sauce. The sauce is now ready to serve.
The sauce can be cooled and stored for up to 2 weeks in a refrigerator.