A savoury bread pudding – a luscious side or a decadent dinner

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Even in my meat-eating days, my favourite part of a holiday dinner was the stuffing. Just smelling sage and rosemary still takes my mind back to childhood holidays.

Since I wasn’t having any sort of dinner gathering this holiday, I decided to have just stuffing as dinner. With just a few tweaks to my mother’s original recipe, I created this dish which is crunchy, savoury, and full of contrasting textures thanks to the chestnuts, lentils and toasty bread. It can still be served as a luscious side in lieu of potatoes or other starches, or it can be eaten as a main course in its own right with lots of colourful veggies.

The dish is easy and only takes two days to make. Kidding!!! You do need stale bread but if you don’t have two days to let your bread get stale, you can toast it.

Let’s get started.


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12-14 oz loaf of stale (or toasted) bread – white or whole grain – cut or torn into bite-sized pieces

3 stalks of celery sliced

1 onion diced

1 cup vegetable broth

100 grams roasted, chopped chestnuts (about 9-11 chestnuts)

½ cup chopped walnuts

¾ cup cooked lentils (about ½ a can if you’re using canned).

1/2 cup margarine

3 tsp poultry seasoning

2 tsp dried sage

1 Tbsp fresh rosemary (or 1 tsp dried)

1 tsp salt

Pepper to taste (I use about ½ tsp)


Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

In a very large pot combine the margarine, onion and celery. Heat on a medium-high heat and sauté until the onion just starts to soften. Add the poultry seasoning, sage, rosemary, salt and pepper and mix to combine. Turn off the heat. Add the bread, chestnuts, walnuts and lentils and mix with the margarine-onion-herb mixture to coat all the bread. Pour in the broth and stir again to moisten the bread (the bread will not be wetted through).

Spoon this mixture into a 9”x9” baking pan and pat it down so it’s compressed and firm.

Bake for 20-30 minutes, depending on your oven. You want some crunchy crust to form on the top.

Serve immediately with colourful veggies and vegan gravy.

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This savoury bread pudding will keep covered in the fridge for 3 days.


Pumpkin zucchini bread

PumpkinbreadI make this bread or variations of it almost every week to have for breakfast. This is a quick bread, but it’s not sweet. It’s intended to be eaten with a nut butter or nut cheese.

This bread is super simple to make and versatile. I’ve substituted applesauce or mashed banana for the pumpkin and mixed up what other fruits and nuts I add. Use your imagination; just don’t mess with the chemistry – the basic mix of flours, baking soda and milk!

Lately I’ve been adding chickpea flour (a/k/a besan or gram flour) to amp up the protein content.


Dry ingredients

2/3 cup regular flour

1/3 cup chickpea flour

½ cup cornmeal

1 tsp baking soda

2 Tbsp chopped walnuts

1 Tbsp pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)

1 Tbsp raisins

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp allspice

½ tsp cloves

Wet ingredients

1 cup plant milk

1 tsp vanilla

¼ cup molasses

½ – 2/3 cup pureed fruit (in this case pumpkin, but try apple sauce or mashed banana)

½ cup fresh fruit (e.g. here I used grated zucchini, but try berries, diced apples or pears etc)


Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a loaf pan.

In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients together.

In a smaller bowl, mix the wet ingredients together.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix to incorporate but no need to mix well. Pour into the loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes. A fork inserted in the loaf should come out clean.

TIP: Pumpkin tends to come in big cans. I dole out 1/2 cup portions of pumpkin in freezer bags and store it in the freezer for up to 4 months. This way, you waste nothing and always have pumpkin when you need it. Ditto zucchini – that grated zucchini in this loaf is from September’s harvest.