So many people love vegetarian food these days, and quite right too cos it’s a far cry from nut cutlets and soya mince of old, and it’s very nutritious and better for the planet as a rule.
Forget all that though, this bonnie vegetarian haggis is just unbelievably delicious, I had to stop myself eating the whole lot of mixture before I baked it.
This needs to be good and onion’y and peppery, it needs some robust shouty flavour to bring together all the other ingredients, so don’t skimp on those, or on the salt.
You can use this mix to stuff peppers with or to make veggie sausages. It’s beautiful with creamy mashed potato, mind you, what isn’t?
Listen, don’t panic at this list of ingredients, I promise this is a major doddle to make!
Heat the oven to 180 deg c. TBH I never know whether it’s C or F, it’s just 180 on my oven! I’ll find out…
Unless you’re an avid grater-of-things this is best made using a food processor with the finest grating attachment. You want the veg grated really finely so the mixture sticks together better.
In a big pan, like a large oval cast iron one, gently fry the onion, garlic and allspice in a massive glug of olive oil, til translucent. Mean time, using the food processor, finely grate the leeks, carrots and celery then add those to the pan, turn up the heat and cook for 10 mins til everything is softened.
Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the rest of the ingredients and another glug of olive oil – you need the butter and oil otherwise it’ll be like a great big biscuit! Taste it and add more salt and pepper if needed – remember this should be PEPPERY!
Butter a 6in (15cm) pudding basin and press the mixture in hard, you want it to be compacted. Place the bowl inside a cast iron cooking pot with 2in of boiling water in the base, put the lid on or cover with foil and bake for 60-70 mins.
Turn it out onto a plate and serve.
By the way, you can make mini haggises (haggii?) in small pudding basins, to prevent you from eating the whole giant haggis yourself, as I did.
For Christmas day you can roll it into a thick sausage shape and encase in puff pastry with holly leaf shapes on top, brush with egg (if not vegan) and bake until golden.
Lentils are rich in iron, folate and B vitamins. Folate is critical for brain and nervous system health and particularly so for developing embryos. B vits are key players in energy production and iron helps transport oxygen around the body.
They also provide protein and fibre and help to stabilise blood sugar. Lentils, like beans, are also a fantastic source of the little-discussed mineral, Molybdenum. Molybdenum plays an important role in nervous signalling and brain function, and in these days of high stress and of poor foods that degenerate the brain it’s vital to give the pathways a big helping hand.
Jing, Crivens, help ma boab! A vegetarian haggis the noo!