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A Cleaner Christmas Potluck: Vegetarian Embutido

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Words & Photos by Bea Faicol

The guilt in eating a guilt-free (read: healthy) meal during the holidays is that you’re denying yourself the rightful indulgence of a yuletide spread. After all, ‘tis the season to celebrate and lay away all cares—diets included.

But what if the fatty favorites we love during Christmas were both wholesome and whole flavor? Hungry for an indulgent yet healthy Christmas classic, THE START asked Corner Tree Café’s Chiqui Mabanta to prepare a guilt-free vegetarian Christmas potluck. The result? Christmas Vegetarian Embutido, the Filipino version of Corner Tree’s Vegetarian Nut Roast, accompanied by mashed potatoes, grilled Baguio beans, and carrots.

Given that Corner Tree Café has successfully served green-minded yet undeniably good vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free food for some time now, we were bound to help ourselves to numerous servings of the embutido. Your meat-loving guests will too.

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1 tbsp. Olive oil
100 grms. White onion, chopped
125 grms. Cheddar cheese, cubed
100 grms. Cashew nuts, ground
100 grms. Peanuts, ground
50 grms. Fresh breadcrumbs
150 grms. Cooked red rice
100 grms. Red bell pepper, finely diced
5 Spring onions, chopped
1 tsp. fennel seeds, finely chopped
100 ml water
50 grms. raisins
2 eggs
Salt and pepper to taste

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1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Saute onions in oil until transparent. Add red bell pepper, saute, then set aside to cool.

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2. Mix all the other ingredients with the cooled onion mixture except the eggs. Season with salt and pepper and add eggs to the mixture.

3. Put mixture in a greased loaf pan lined with wax paper. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for around 40-45 minutes.

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4. Once cooked, remove the foil and brown the top. When done, cool the loaf, then slice (around 2 cm thick).

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