Monday, February 05, 2007

Vegan Meat Loaf

It sure has been cold around here lately. So yesterday when I started thinking about what I was going to bring for lunch today, I knew that I wanted something that fits into that "comfort food" category again. It didn't take me long to settle on meat loaf. I have been wanting to try making a vegan meat loaf for quite a while now, but I never could decide exactly what type of recipe I wanted to try. I've tried a few storebought kinds of vegan loafs and they were all quite good, but I didn't know whether I wanted a recipe that was based on lentils, nuts, tofu, or what. All I knew was that I needed a recipe that was simple, and would hopefully taste somewhat like I remember meat loaf tasting.

It didn't take me long to find exactly what I was looking for over at SusanV's Fatfree Vegan Kitchen. I have been using recipes from her website quite a bit here lately at home. It's a great resource, but you probably already know that. The meat loaf recipe that I found there couldn't be simpler. In fact, I kinda' just made it because I couldn't believe that it could be that simple and be any good. To be honest, I wasn't expecting much when I made it, but HOLY COW! (is it vegan to say that?) This really looks and tastes like meat loaf. I plan on jazzing it up a little bit the next time I make it by adding some chopped onion & green pepper, some spanish rice, and I might double the spices. But for something so easy to make, and for my first attempt at making a vegan version of meat loaf, I have to say that I was really impressed. I highly recommend making this, but I would definitely add the extra ingredients I mentioned. There is ketchup there on the top of the slice of meatloaf, it's a little hard to see in the picture. After I took the photo though, I covered the whole thing with some more ketchup and put the little lunchbox container lid on it. For some strange reason, meat loaf is the only thing that I really eat ketchup on. I don't really care for it on french fries, or burgers or anything else. But on meat loaf, I can't get enough of it. Strange. The recipe calls for spicing the ketchup up a little bit by kinda turning it into a barbecue sauce, but I prefer just plain old ketchup on my meat loaf, so I skipped that step.

To go with this delicious vegan meatloaf, I brought along some steamed mixed vegetables that I just picked up out of the freezer section at my local grocery store. There's broccoli in there, green beans, red peppers & carrots.

I also brought along some homemade mashed potatoes covered with some more of that delicious Bryanna's Vegan Brown Gravy that I have been making non-stop ever since I first tried it last week. I pretty much just keep some of this made and in the fridge at all times now because I like putting it on almost everything. It heats up really fast in the microwave, and if you need to, it's really easy to just add a little bit more water to it and thin it down a little.

For dessert, I just threw in some dates that had been hanging out in my fridge for a little while. I love these things. I usually grab one every time I notice them in the fridge and eat it for quick sweet snack. It's really because of getting addicted to the Larabars that I even tried dates in the first place (since they're the main ingredient in Larabars). If it hadn't been for that, I probably never would have even tried the things, because they're really not that pretty. They sure do taste good though. I have often thought about ordering a big stash of them from www.bulkfoods.com instead of buying tiny little bag after tiny little bag at the grocery store.

So that's it for Monday's lunch. If you liked meat loaf at all as an omnivore, then I highly recommend making this one. And I even forgot to mention that in addition to tasting really good, this recipe was also fat-free! I just think that's amazing.

Thanks for checking in and I'll see everybody on Tuesday.
STEAMED MIXED VEGETABLESMASHED POTATOES W/ VEGAN BROWN GRAVYVEGAN MEAT LOAFDATESFORK & SPOON

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

That looks delicious! Btw, I tried the brown gravy recipe after you linked it, because I really miss gravy with my mashed potatoes. I'm not sure why, but it came out a little thin, and I can definitely taste the nutritional yeast, which is a little weird. Next time I'm planning on adding mushrooms and maybe a little cornstarch if it's still too thin. But still, yum!
I've only been reading for a couple weeks, but I really enjoy your blog. I am a long-time vegetarian who has been reluctant to go vegan because I'm a poor cook, but the recipes and ideas you post give me somewhere to start, and I appreciate it. So thanks!
-Kasi

kennyboy said...

Sometimes mine comes out a little bit too thin also. I'm not sure what's up with that, but I use it anyway. And where I store mine in the fridge and then reheat in the microwave seems to help make it get thicker.

I guess I just finally got so used to nutritional yeast that it just tastes "normal" to me now. When I first started using it though, it took some getting used to. I could always taste it very strongly in things I made with it and I really wasn't even sure if I liked it or not.

Now, of course, I love it and cook with it all the time. I even like it straight out of the container on popcorn.

Hopefully, you'll become addicted to it as well. :o)

Brooke said...

Hey Ken, did you use the oats or the breadcrumbs in this meatloaf? And do you think a hard-core omni would really like this? I'm thinking of making it for my hubbie tonight.

wendy said...

Have you tried The "Larabar" recipe at http://bunnyfoot.blogspot.com/2006/02/homemade-lara-type-bars.html ? I'm planning on doing it soon.

Okra Mary said...

I'm making that meat loaf tonight! I'm thinking about making a bunch of changes, though, but the recipe seems to lend itself to little changes.

Speaking of dates, I also love the Larabars, but I started making my own. For some reason, they aren't spot on, but they're pretty good. I mix 1 part dates to 3 parts cashews, then add a little more "wet," like maple syrup, juice and sometimes coconut.

kennyboy said...

I've seen that Larabar recipe and it's another one of those things that I wanna' do but just never get around to. I did the math one day as if I purchased dates & cashews from www.bulkfoods.com and made the cashew cookie type bar and it would cost me 36 cents a bar to make them homemade.

brooke I used the oatmeal when I made mine. If I were making it for an omni I would DEFINITELY add the onions & green peppers and some spanish rice (if you like it). I fed some to an omni and they were surprised that they liked it. They agreed the additions would make it a lot better. One warning though, I guess it's because their systems aren't used to such large amounts of soy protein, the omni I fed some to yesterday informed me today that they would not be eating that anymore because even though they liked it, it gave them terribly painful gas. Hehehehehe

It didn't bother me.

Anonymous said...

Kennyboy --
I second the question on the breadcrumbs or oats. I'm making this on the weekend. I think I'll use some "Italian" breadcrumbs I happen to have on hand. Like you, I feel that catsup is essential to neatloaf.

Thanks for the great blog. You're inspirational.

kennyboy said...

Thanks.

I used the oatmeal because I always used that back when I used to make meatloaf. Breadcrumbs sound yummy too though.

I also want to whip a batch of this up sometime strictly by the recipe and leave off the ketchup and then cool the whole loaf down and crumble it up to use in other recipes like lasagna or spaghetti sauce. It looks like it would be an easy way to make your own "beefy" crumbles.

Veg-a-Nut said...

Wow! Your meatloaf looks wonderful. I have been in the mood for meatloaf for a couple weeks. I made Bryanna's recipe last week. I put ketchup on it before I baked it. It was weird. Almost to much like real meat. It was good. I agree bell pepper seems to jazz up the meatloaf. Great blog!

Dori said...

Adding the veggies to the meatloaf sounds like a great idea. I used Bryanna's meatloaf recipe before with the ketchup several times and life it very well too.... I even crumble up leftovers ans add some to pizza or sandwiches. I think if your gravy calls for cornstarch it may break down at a certain temperature and lose it's ability to thicken.... I remember reading about what causes it to break down but I don't remember all the details.

robiewankenobie said...

you like loaf? i gots some loaf magic fer ya...check out this awesome link via vegan lunchbox:

http://www.veganlunchbox.com/loaf_studio.html

Melanie said...

mmm, we just LOVE nutritional yeast! i'm going to try this gravy recipe, i have been trying to work out a decent meatless gravy for quite a while. our main consumption of nutritional yeast is in the form of a crust for skillet-fried tofu slices (a favorite after-school snack) and in the popcorn seasoning mixture i make - margarine, korean chili paste, nutritional yeast, a pinch each of onion powder, garlic powder and oregano. melt together in microwave, pour over fresh popped corn.

wendy said...

I made larabars...I used coconut, peanut butter, and dates. I put it in my vitamix and blended adding stuff until it looked like it would hold together. My kids votes them better than the real thing...too cool.

Liz said...

I also love meatloaf and have made one based on TVP. It was tasty but sorta fragile - a little too dry. I can never decide if I want a tomato based or brown (mushroom) gravy on my meatloaf, since I love it both ways.

Liz said...

I was inspired to make this meatloaf for dinner tonight. The weather was absolutely awful today, and comfort food seemed like a good idea. I took your suggestion of adding green pepper & onion, which I cooked for a few minutes in a little olive oil before adding to the mix. I also have a bag of dried vegetables, chopped tiny, that I got from www.bulkfoods.com and I added about 1/2 cup of that, plus an extra 1/2 cup of water.

I used a tomato based sauce for the top. I had an open jar of pasta sauce and I used that, with some tomato paste & ketchup to thicken it up a bit.

The loaf was FANTASTIC! The tomato sauce was perfect. I had steamed green beans and mashed potatoes with it, and I made Bryanna's brown gravy. I had a can of mushrooms so I added some of those to the gravy. I couldn't believe how simple and good it was, because I really wasn't expecting much.

Thanks for the inspiration, Ken. I'm going to have to freeze half of the loaf and will have the rest for lunches & dinners the next couple of days.

kennyboy said...

Glad to hear someone else liked it liz.

It is amazing how simple that recipe is and how much it actually resembles meat loaf.

I didn't expect much when I made it either, but that recipe is definitely a keeper for me now.

I want to make a loaf sometime too and leave out the onions, peppers, the ketchup on top and all of that stuff and then crumble the whole thing up and use as a ground beef replacement in spaghetti sauce, lasagna, pizza, etc. I think it would work good.

:o)

kristen said...

This sounds so good. Can't wait to try it tonight!

I also wanted to say thanks for your awesome blog! :)