This sweet potato nut roast is the perfect food to bring on a picnic or pack in your lunchbox. It is full of goodness and flavour and tastes better than a meatloaf! You don’t have to be a vegetarian to enjoy this as it is packed with delicious nuts, light spices, lentils and sweet potatoes. Add kale or spinach and you have a superfood. The feta cheese combines perfectly with the sweetness of the potatoes, the aroma of the spices and the nutty taste and texture of the lentils and nuts. Nut roast isn’t just for Christmas!
The sweet potatoes are roasted for extra flavour, the lentils are cooked in salted water, while the rest of the ingredients are prepared in a pan.
Once the leeks and garlic are softened by sweating in a covered pan, the spices are added and cooked for a minute until they become aromatic. The kale or spinach is only added raw as this will cook in the oven. Kale can be very tough and can take a while to cook but to avoid that, separate the leaves from the stalks and discard the stalks. Massage the leaves between your fingers for one minute. This tenderises them and makes them ready to eat so you can use kale in salads and dishes straight away.
Mix all the remaining ingredients together and place in lined loaf tins, pressing down with the back of a spoon.
Cover with extra baking paper to keep the top of the roast from going too brown. Cook in the oven for 40 minutes then remove the paper and cook for a further 5 minutes to lightly brown the top.
Turn it out onto a plate garnished with salad leaves or spinach and top with roasted pumpkin seeds. Delicious served with quinoa salad.
- 500g sweet potato
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup/200g dried brown lentils
- 2 leeks
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh turmeric, grated or 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 2 cups/200g nuts, chopped
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts left whole
- 1 cup/ 125g feta cheese
- 2 large handfuls kale or spinach
- ½ red pepper, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped
- ½ cup/50g quinoa flakes or quinoa flour
- 5 medium eggs
- pumpkin seeds, to garnish
- 2x1lb loaf tins, lined
- Soak the lentils overnight. Cook the lentils in 1 litre of boiling water and simmer for 15 minutes or until just cooked but not mushy. Drain and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 180˚C.
- Prepare the sweet potato. Peel and dice and toss in olive oil and seasoning. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes turning half way through.
- Slice the leeks lengthways and dice. Add the leeks and garlic to a pan. Cover and sweat in olive oil for 5 minutes.
- Add the spices and stir for 1 minute stirring continuously. Add the red pepper and stir fry for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat.
- Chop the nuts by hand or gently in a food processor. You don't want them too small as you want to feel the texture in the roast.
- If using kale then massage the leaves with your hands to tenderise them. Shred the kale or spinach with a knife and add to the pan.
- Add the nuts, eggs, quinoa flakes, lentils, herbs, pine nuts and seasoning to the pan and stir until well combined. Crumble the feta and fold into the mixture.
- Turn the mixture into the lined tins and press down with the back of a spoon. Cover with baking paper.
- Turn the oven down to 160˚C and cook for 40 minutes. Remove the baking paper and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes until lightly browned on top.
- Leave for 5-10 minutes and then turn the roast out on a garnished plate of salad leaves. Top with roasted pumpkin seeds.
- The nuts listed are the recommended ones for this roast but you can use any of your choice.
- Red lentils may also be used but cook them for less time as they tend to become mushy when overcooked.