Cannelloni, risotto and lasagne are all wonderful things…but they are NOT a decent alternative to a roast dinner for vegetarians, not to mention vegans! If you want to make a vegan version of this Sunday favourite, you can easily put a bit more effort into making the vegetables the star of the show. Or, if you’d prefer, you can complete the picture with a serving of plant-based protein. Here I’ve opted for a packet of vegan sausage mix formed into stuffing-style balls. These are cheap, quick to cook and an excellent base for adding other ingredients or flavours such as nuts, cranberries and fresh herbs – depending on the season or what would suit the accompanying vegetables.
The beauty of a roast dinner is that it can be very flexible in terms of components and construction, but here is what I did for today’s lunch for you to use as a guideline…
Ingredients to serve 2 people
- 1 medium onion, quartered with skins on
- half a butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 1 sweet potato, cut into batons
- 2 small beetroots, topped/tailed and quartered
- 2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
- a good bunch of kale, roughly chopped
- 1 packet veggie sausage mix (I used Just Wholefoods Banger Mix)
- A few tbsp vegetable oil (such as rapeseed or sunflower)
- A few stems of fresh thyme
- Salt and black pepper
- Boiling water
- Place the onion, squash, sweet potato, beetroot, garlic and thyme in a roasting tray. Drizzle with oil, mix to coat and roast in a medium oven (around 200°C/180°C fan) for around 45 minutes, until tender.
- Add boiling water to the sausage mix – see instructions on packet for amount, leave to stand for around 10 minutes then form into balls (I made 8). If your roasting pan is big enough, add to the veggies about half way through their cooking time. If not, place in a separate roasting pan, and drizzle with a little oil to prevent them from sticking. When I am roasting veg, I tend to give them a good stir every 10-15 minutes to make sure they are getting cooked evenly and not drying out too much.
- When the veggies are nearly done, rinse the kale, boil or steam until tender (how long depends on how fresh it is) then drain.
- Assemble all of the ingredients together on your plates and enjoy – preferably with a generous pour of vegetarian gravy made with onions, mushrooms or red-wine.