25 January 2013

Vegetarian magic loaf

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Jennifer from Vegan Lunch Box created this interesting site where you pick ingredients from different categories and it gives you a recipe for a dinner loaf. You can read more about how she created it here.

I made this the day after our fridge was fixed, so I didn't have a lot vegetables available. I've never had meatloaf, so this wasn't an imitation meatloaf to me, just an easy lunch. I made some rosemary potatoes to go with it. I really wanted some roast carrots with this, I'll make it again after I've filled up our fridge.

It's a little dry on its own, so I made a quick gravy with chicken flavour stock, nutritional yeast and cornflour. I didn't take a photo of the gravy because it really didn't look appetizing. I don't know if gravy ever does, no matter how good it tastes. For a really good gravy recipe, try the Brown Gravy from Happy Herbivore. I tried it the first time for Christmas and it's incredibly delicious, especially with potatoes.

Here's the recipe I got from the Loaf Studio with the ingredients I had available.

1/2 cup cashews
2 TB vegetable oil
One onion, diced
One large garlic clove, minced
Two celery ribs, diced
2 cups cooked garbanzo beans, partly mashed
1 cup uncooked quick oatmeal or oat bran
1/4 to 1/2 cup liquid from cooked or canned beans, as needed
1 heaping TB flaxseed meal
1 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. dried rosemary (I had fresh rosemary, so I used that instead.)
2 TB nutritional yeast flakes
2 TB ketchup
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 TB soy sauce

Preheat the oven to 350º. Spray a loaf pan or 8x8 square baking pan with nonstick spray and set aside (an 8x8 pan makes a crisper loaf).
Grind the cashews into a coarse meal using a food processor or spice/coffee grinder. Place in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
Sauté any vegetables you've chosen in the vegetable oil until soft. Add to the large mixing bowl along with all the remaining ingredients. Mix and mash together well, adding only as much liquid as needed to create a soft, moist loaf that holds together and is not runny (you may not need to add any liquid if the grains and protein are very moist). Add more binder/carbohydrate as needed if the loaf seems too wet.
Press mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until cooked through.
Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then turn out onto a plate or platter and slice. Serve with potatoes, vegetables, and vegetarian gravy, if desired.
Cold leftover slices of make a great sandwich filling.

Let me know if you try out your own magic loaf, I'd love to see some variations.


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