Many people have been telling me that they wish they could prepare their Christmas dinner a day ahead, always concerned about having time to enjoy the day itself.  It is for that reason that I have created this dish.  The parsnips and carrots are already integrated into this dish, and therefore you only need to prepare some roast potatoes and brussels sprouts on the day. Of course the potatoes can be peeled and cut a day ahead, and the brussels can be washed and crossed in readiness for steaming half an hour before they are served.  The gravy can also be prepared the day before, as can the dessert and pudding from my blog.  So Christmas this year, 2013, can be a relaxed and enjoyable one for all, including your dear self.  This loaf is simply magical, it is so delicious and hearty that I will leave you, your guests and family to be the judge of the taste.  All I can say is happy Christmas holidays, and hope this makes you as merry as it has made us !

Important Note :

The first piece of advice on this magic loaf is to prepare and cook it a day ahead. When it has cooled down, cut it into slices, so that when you re-heat it, the slices are whole and beautiful to the eye.

Serve with my Parsley & Mushroom gravy – see recipe below.


extra virgin olive oil for frying
1 large parsnip, peeled and grated (I used my processor for this)
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1 onion, peeled and grated
1 Romano red bell pepper
a handful of basil, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic
½ cup pearl barley, washed, pre-boiled, and set aside
1 cup mixed nuts –  I used 80% walnuts, the rest pecans (you can improvise with your favourite nuts)
Himalayan salt to taste (available from here in the US, or here in the UK)
2 Tbsp teriyaki sauce (available from here in the US, or here in the UK)
1 349g pack firm silken tofu (available from here in the US, or here in the UK)
1 cup grated vegan cheese of your choice (I used the mozzarella from my book) – this is an optional ingredient
2 Tbsp dried bread crumbs
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp curry powder
1 Tbsp fresh parsley
½ tsp each dried thyme & sage
1 tin of borlotti beans, or other beans of your choice (black beans are my second choice), washed and drained
1 Tbsp tapioca flour
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast (available from here in the US, or here in the UK)
¾ tsp turmeric powder
1 level tsp wheat gluten, or guar gum (wheat gluten available from here in US, and here in UK ; guar gum in US from here, UK from here)



  1. Pre-heat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Then drain your tofu and process until smooth – then set aside in a bowl for incorporating a little later on.
  2. Fry the grated onion, parsnips and carrots until the parsnips and onion soften and become transparent.
  3. Then add the chopped garlic, and stir in the grated pimento (red pepper).
  4. Add the tomato paste, the salt, curry powder, and teriyaki sauce, then cover. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.  Then take it off the heat.
  5. Next, pulse the beans and pearl barley together with the tofu, then add them to your parsnip and carrot mix, and stir gently – all will be very thick at this point.
  6. Now pulse your nuts, but be sure they have form left (we need this for the texture), and place them in a large bowl.  Add the herbs, breadcrumbs, and flour into the large bowl, together with the remaining ingredients.
  7. Once your parsnip and carrot mix has cooled down, spoon the mixture into the dried ingredients in the large bowl, and with clean hands or a large spoon, stir until everything has integrated well.
  8. Now line a Pyrex loaf dish or oven tin (mine was 25 x 11 x 7cm) with greaseproof paper/parchment and then spoon in your mixture and flatten gently on the top.  Place in your preheated oven until totally golden.  Probably this will take anything from 30-40 minutes, but keep your eye on it.  Cut when it has cooled down, and serve with my Parsley & Mushroom Gravy (see below), your roastie potatoes, greens, and any other trappings or relishes, to ensure your Christmas dinner is one that will go down in the archives as a memorable vegan success !  Enjoy, and all Best Wishes for the Festive Season !


Parsley & Mushroom Creamy Gravy


½ cup presoaked cashews
1 cup (250 mL) water
2 Tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley
½ tsp garlic granules (adjust to your preference)
salt to taste
½ tsp nutritional yeast (available from here in the US, or here in the UK)
pepper10 mushrooms, sliced and pre-cooked (gently fried with their juices), and set aside


  1. Place all the ingredients, except for the parsley, in a food processor or liquidizer, and process until smooth.
  2. Then add the parsley, and whizz a little as you don’t want a green sauce, just so that it is incorporated in small pieces.
  3. Heat up very gently and serve with your Christmas log.


All recipes and content © Miriam Sorrell www.mouthwateringvegan.com 2010




  1. Can you recommend a good substitute for barley to make it gluten free. Otherwise I am eager to try this.

  2. OMG that looks absolutely beautiful. One question….how do you recommend that I reheat this for Christmas dinner?

  3. Any suggestions for substitutes for the nuts. My son is allergic to them, but would like to try this. Looks wonderful.

  4. Hi Miriam,
    thank you, I am definitely going to make this especially as I seem to have 95% of the ingredients already in my store cupboard and fridge. However, I am missing wheat gluten, or guar gum. Where would I find this in the U.K. please and is it essential or can it be subbed with something else?
    Thank you

  5. I don’t know why I have never been to your site before but here and I now and I am LOVING it! Awesome place you have here and this looks and sounds amazing!

  6. Hi!
    This looks absolutely delicious – thank you. We will be having this for sure. I have most of the items in anyway.May I just say to Jill above that wheat gluten and guar gum are available from Amazon – it’s where I got mine from.

  7. I would like to make this, but cannot find tapioca flour in Denmark. Can potato flour be used as a substitute?

  8. Hi Myriam, only just two question: how much grammes are “1 level tsp wheat gluten”? and, could it be possible that we enjoy this delicious loaf at room temperature? Thank you in advance.

  9. Patricia Hi, this loaf may be served at room temperature and just heap a teaspoon with the wheat gluten, it is not crutial if there’s a little more, it’s actually better if so, so go ahead, make and enjoy !

  10. Eileen Hi there. You may use cornstarch/cornflour instead (I wouldn’t suggest potato flour in this instance) – if you’re not gluten intolerant, normal plain flour will also do the job. 🙂

  11. Thanks there Pam and look forward to your feedback as and when you’ve made it – meantime, happy holidays ! 🙂

  12. Jennifer Hi there and welcome here – so glad you found my site. I hope you enjoy my recipes and I very much look forward to your future comments on my blog ! 🙂

  13. Jill Hi there – you can find these ingredients on amazon or ebay I guess. Otherwise you may use some breadcrumbs and white flour instead. Meantime, I will try and find some links and put them on the recipe ingredients (I will need an hour from now). Cheers and let me know how it goes !

  14. Susan Hi – can he take sunflower seeds instead ? If so, roast them 1st and then use them as per the nuts. If not use pre-cooked lentils (puy French lentils) instead.

  15. Simple Connie, just make it a day ahead, allow it to cool down in the dish, cut it in portions when it’s cooled down the day before and then heat up with foil on top the following day – when it’s hot allow it to cool down slightly – 15 minutes and then gently serve, it should be fine ! 🙂

  16. Rita Hi, make it with short grain rice instead – same proportions – it will work just as well, but be sure to cook the rice through thoroughly ! Do let me know how it goes as and when. Happy Holidays to you ! 🙂

  17. Looks fabulous. Was racking my brains as to what to cook for Chrismas dinner and here it is. Cannot wait to try it. Only recently found your site following featured recipe from ‘Vegan’ magazine (tasted wonderful by the way). Love it all. Thank you and have a wonderful christmas.

  18. Hi Dawn, many thanks for your kind words, and I will be eager to know how your Christmas dinner has turned out. Enjoy and Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones too ! 🙂

  19. Can’t find Tapioca flour or Guar gum here, what can I substitute with?

  20. Wendi Hi. Use either buckwheat flour or if not gluten free ordinary flour and if you wish wheat gluten too or egg replacer (orgran) – add some extra breadcrumbs too. I think a combo of my suggestions will sort you out. Let me know how it goes as and when, and enjoy !

  21. Hello Miriam, I’ve just taken the loaf out of the oven – smells delicious and looks great. I was having little bites while preparing and all tasted wonderful. I’ll let it cool overnight and then reheat it as you recommended. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us. I love your book 🙂

  22. Thank you so much for this amazing looking recipe! I love healthy recipes and I will look forward to trying it out and sharing it with my followers at TianaGustafson.com. As Arnold says “I’ll be back” 🙂 Thanks again!

  23. Sure thing Tiana, look forward to the pingback ! Happy Holidays !

  24. Yordanka Hi there – all sounds promising ! 🙂 So glad you love my book – just a tiny note for it to pencil in for your cheddars and mozzarella cheese :- double the quantity of agar powder for a dense cheese – the revised recipe did not reach my publishers in time, so make a little note with your pencil. I would dearly love a customer amazon review if you could please spare me a couple of minutes (it would mean so much to me). Best your way and Happy Holidays too ! 🙂

  25. I prepared this today and the taste was wonderful! The only thing I wish was that it had a less “wet” consistency when finished. 🙂

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  27. Glad you enjoyed it Kristina, add more barley and flour for a drier finish ! 🙂

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  29. Basabjit Chowdhury

    parsnip is not available, what’s the alternative?

  30. Pre-cooked chopped mushrooms would do the job nicely I think Basabjit ! 🙂

  31. Hi there
    My granddaughter is gluten intolerant and I would like to have a go at making this recipe. I wondered what alternative ingredients you would suggest to make this delicious sounding recipe Gluten Free. Look forward to your reply 🙂

  32. Hi Carol and welcome here. You may use half a cup of cooked short grain rice instead of the breadcrumbs and guar gum instead of wheat gluten. The change should yield a gluten free loaf for you ! Let me know how it goes and enjoy ! 🙂

  33. Wow! Made it last night and just had it for lunch. Soooo good! Its going into my list of favorite recipes ever! Thanks so much for sharing!

  34. It’s great isn’t it Jennifer – cuts well too, so glad it’s in your favourite recipe list. 🙂

  35. Hi Miriam, this looks amazing and I’d love to try it for Christmas this year. I live in a family of omnivores, though, so I will probably be the only one enjoying it! 🙁 Do you think I could freeze slices of this loaf so I can enjoy it on my own without wasting any? Thanks!

  36. Hi there Julia and welcome here. This is a great one for this Christmas, if I were you because many, many vegans have made this and shared with omnivore families, I would put it on the table, cut into thick slices and may be your family can have a taste alongside their choice of food, you never know they may be tempted, it is afterall a very pleasing dish with wonderful aromas, textures and great taste. I have never tried freezing it, but you have the choice to make a smaller loaf by making half the amount, or try freezing it in portions. The texture may not be 100% the same, but I don’t imagine the taste will suffer too much. Also you can put what you don’t eat in the fridge and eat the rest over the forthcoming days. Hope this helps and best your way ! 🙂

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  38. Can anyone tell me at what point the tofu is added. Thanks

  39. Hi there Russ – sorry for any inconvenience – I have amended the recipe, hope you tried it out, or if not that you would do so at some point. Best wishes for the New Year 2016 !


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