Cashew and Chestnut “Roast”

0021Mmmmm….

Cashew and chestnut roast? Really??

Heck yes, says I.

This was somewhat of a pain in the ass to make but you know what? It was well worth it. I just had to do a whole lot of pureeing before I could assemble the damn loaf, and my two-year-old is scared to death of anything that makes a loud obnoxious noise so… you know… there was lot of pausing to comfort and console.

I took this recipe from The Compassionate Cook and made it my own, which is usually what I do with everything I cook because so many recipes have onions in them and I hate onions, dammit. Well, mostly I hate onions. I can eat Vidalia and Cipollinis if they’re cooked until they’re mush but that’s about it. Please enjoy!

Here’s what you need:

2 tbsp olive oil

4 cloves garlic, minced (or more, if you’re me)

1 tsp dried, crushed rosemary

1 tsp dried thyme

1 1/4 cup ground cashews

1 cup carrot puree (you know, boil til soft, then puree. Or mash. That would work also.)

3/4 cup bread crumbs (Trader Joe’s has organic bread crumbs! I found that out last night! Woot! However, if ya wanna go gluten free, make your own bread crumbs with a couple of dried up old heels from a loaf of gluten-free bread)

3/4 cup vegetable stock or broth

3 tbsp whole wheat flour (again, if you’re a gluten-free gal or guy, use chickpea flour here)

4 tbsp water

1 cup chestnut puree (Trader Joe’s has these already steamed and peeled! Again, woot!)

1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350.

Heat the oil in a fry pan, then toss in your garlic. Only cook for about 2 minutes, until the garlic becomes fragrant, otherwise it will burn and become bitter. While the garlic is cooking, place into a large bowl the cashews, carrots, bread crumbs, half of the salt, and veggie broth. Mix well, then add in the garlic and olive oil.

In a small mixing bowl, mix the flour with the water until a smooth paste forms. Use a little more water if necessary. Add to the cashew mixture. Mix well.

Mix the other half of the salt with the chestnut puree.

Spoon half the cashew mixture in the bottom of your loaf pan that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Make what looks like a shallow grave. Spoon the chestnut mixture into the shallow grave, being careful the chestnuts do not touch the sides of your pan. Place the rest of the cashew mixture on top and press down lightly so you can’t see the chestnut stuff. You want this to look like a nice uniform loaf. (Another name for this roast would be Chestnut Surprise.)  Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, depending on your oven and whether you are using a glass or metal pan. You’re not an idiot, right? Just make sure it’s brown on top, the let it cool for about 15 minutes.

**Two side notes: 1) I’ve actually made this without the chestnut stuff inside back in the day when I couldn’t find chestnuts to save my life. You basically skip the layering step, so instead of a surprise inside, you get nothing. Plus, the loaf is a tad bit smaller but so what, really. Still delicious!  2) If you want to, you can chop one medium-sized onion,  toss it in the oil until soft, THEN add the garlic and proceed.

While it’s cooling, make this yummy gravy! You will need:

2 cups of vegetable stock or broth

3 tbsp nutritional yeast

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp thyme

salt and pepper to taste

2 tbsp corn starch mixed with 1/4 cup of water

In a sauce pan, whisk together first 6 ingredients over high heat. When it begins to boil, pour in starch/ water mixture. Let come back to a boil, then boil for about one minute, or until thickened. Done!

I served mine with mashed potatoes and corn. It looks like a meatloaf so you can even make sandwiches the next day for lunch if you want to.

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