If you are looking for something a little different to try this Christmas, or want a different Meatless Monday idea – why not give this Vegetarian Christmas Roast a try?
- 75g dry basmati rice
- 65g dry Puy lentils
- low-calorie cooking spray
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 celery stick, chopped
- 2 tsp chopped fresh herbs (eg parsley, thyme, rosemary, sage), plus chopped parsley to serve
- 1 tsp paprika
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 1 tsp Marmite or yeast extract
- ½ x 400g can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and coarsely grated
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 15g pecans, roughly chopped
- 1 level tbsp reduced-fat Cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
For the sauce
- 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary, plus sprigs to garnish
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 x 400g cans peeled cherry tomatoes in juice, juice reserved
- Put the rice, 150ml boiling water and a pinch of salt into a small saucepan over a high heat.
- Cover and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 25 minutes, by which time all the water should have been absorbed.
- Turn off the heat and leave for 5 minutes, still covered. Uncover and set aside.
- Meanwhile, put the lentils into a saucepan of cold water, bring to the boil over a high heat then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside.
- Spray a non-stick saucepan with low-calorie cooking spray and place over a low heat.
- Add the onion, celery, herbs and some seasoning then stir, cover and cook for 10 minutes or until soft. Uncover, stir in the paprika and cook for 1 minute more. Stir in the tomato purée and Marmite or yeast extract.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4.
- Spray a 450g loaf tin with low-calorie cooking spray and line with non-stick baking paper.
- Tip the cannellini beans into a mixing bowl and crush into a paste with a masher.
- Add the cooked vegetables, carrot and egg and mix well, then stir in the rice, lentils and some seasoning to taste.
- Spoon the mixture into the loaf tin and lightly level the top.
- Sprinkle with the pecans and cheese and bake for 45 minutes.
- To make the tomato sauce, spray a saucepan with low-calorie cooking spray and place over a medium heat.
- Add the rosemary and garlic then, when they start to sizzle, add the tomato juices from the cans and simmer, stirring now and then, until reduced and thickened.
- Stir in the cherry tomatoes and simmer for 2 minutes. Garnish with rosemary sprigs, season to taste and keep warm.
- Lift the roast out of the tin and leave it to sit for 5 minutes before slicing.
- Scatter over the parsley and serve hot with the tomato sauce and your favourite vegetables or side dishes