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

Bread pudding use this one3.jpg

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.


Bread pudding ingredients.jpg

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.

bread pudding meal.jpg

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


Spread it on thick! A creamy, herbed cheese


Growing up, my nickname was Mäuschen or Little Mouse because I loved cheese so much. So could I have just one go-to vegan cheese recipe? No way! I have several. Here’s another.

This creamy, spreadable cheese is flavoured with herbs and is wonderful on crackers or as shown here on toasted bread with a topping of braised onions and apples.

Ingredients for the cheese

1 cup raw cashews soaked for 2-4 hours

2 Tbsp hemp seeds

½ cup water

½ tsp miso paste

1 Tbsp lemon juice (about ¼ of a lemon)

½ to ¾ tsp sea salt

¾ tsp dried minced onions (you can substitute 1 Tbsp fresh, minced chives if you have them)

½ tsp garlic powder

1 -2 tsp fresh dill finely chopped

1-2 tsp fresh, chopped parsley (optional)


Add the cashews, hemp seeds, water, miso, lemon juice, salt, garlic powder and minced onion (do not add fresh chives if you’re using these!) to a blender and process until very smooth. Have patience and persistence – the smoother the better.

Add the fresh dill and any other fresh herbs you’re using and stir to combine

Store the cheese in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Let it sit for a few hours before serving to let the flavours blend. This cheese will keep for a few days in the fridge.

You can find two more vegan cheese recipes – for a ricotta and a mozzarella-style cheese in my easy 3-cheesey lasagna recipe.

To make the braised onion and apples

1 onion sliced

1 ½ apples cored and diced – do not peel. You can use any kind of apple, but I would go for a less expensive variety for this dish.

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp maple syrup


Heat the olive oil on medium heat in a large frying pan or other wide-bottomed sauce pan. Add the onion and cook until it starts to soften – about 5 minutes. Add the apple and maple syrup and continue to sauté on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally for about 15-20 minutes. The onions will become golden and the apples will be soft but still in pieces – you don’t want to make an apple sauce!

Serve on top of the spreadable cream cheese or you can even mix it into the cheese and then spread on bread or crackers.