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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Meatless Loaf


A few years ago I had the pleasure to cook for our church camp meeting.  I was looking for something that would satisfy everyone for Sabbath Dinner.  We were going to have cold plates and I needed a vegetarian roast that I could serve to the majority of diners.  Having no nut allergies in the group I found this recipe that I thought would satisfy the hunger of the great unaccommodating masses that thronged the dining room after the sermon on Sabbath.  Everyone seemed to enjoy this loaf and I had several requests for the recipe (which is always a compliment).  I'm sure there were a few who thought it was nasty but it never reached my ears, ha, ha. 

This "Meat" Loaf is a tasty alternative to the heavily laden egg and cheese vegetarian roasts and loaves that I usually make and like.  It has the advantage of not only being vegetarian but can easily be made vegan with the substitution of plant-based milk for the dairy milk and it can even be gluten free with the use of gluten-free bread crumbs or oatmeal.  You do need a food processor or food grinder to get the vegetables and nuts ground but in a pinch it can be done by hand with a little patience and a sharp knife.

Feel free to use your favourite seasonings in this recipe.  The original called for sage but I just about always use savoury when sage is called for in a recipe.  Some kind of Italian seasoning would taste good as well and don't forget, if you like spicy, to add some chili or cayenne pepper to liven up the taste. 

I found the original recipe on the internet but I cannot find the original source to give credit as I haven't changed it very much.  I have searched for it but to no avail.  If I do find it I'll give the credit.  


Meatless Loaf 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease or pan spray a 9x5-inch loaf pan or an 8- or 9-inch square dish.    

In the bowl of a food processor grind or chop very fine: 

1 cup diced potatoes
1 cup sliced or diced carrots
½ cup diced onion
1 cup nuts (walnuts, pecans, etc... or a mixture of several)
1 clove garlic, (optional)

Remove from processor and place in large mixing bowl.

Add and mix well: 

1 cup dry bread crumbs or oatmeal
1 cup milk, dairy or plant-based
1 teaspoon. salt
½ cup tomato soup or tomato sauce or tomato juice
3 tablespoon oil
½ teaspoon sage or 1 teaspoon summer savoury (I always use savoury)

Bake in prepared pan for at least 1 hour.  The thicker the mixture is in the pan the longer it will have to bake. It took 1 hour and 15 minutes in the 8-inch pan.   I like to cover the dish with foil wrap for the first 45 minutes as this will ensure the oats or dry bread crumbs on the surface will not dry out before they cook and bake.  

Remove from oven and let set about 10 minutes before serving.



Before you grind the vegetables, have them diced so the motor on your food processor or blender won't have to work so hard.  The nuts are fine left whole.


I used the blender to grind the vegetables and nuts.  I added some of the milk to make the grinding easier.  I would have normally used my food processor but the motor on my mixer has died (a moment of silence, please) so I can't use the processor attachment until the mixer has been repaired. 

You can see how finely the vegetables were ground.  There shouldn't be any large chunks in the mixture.  Mix the remaining ingredients together with the vegetables.


The final mixture is quite wet.  
This will allow the oatmeal or dry bread crumbs to absorb the liquid and cook properly.


 I used an 8-inch dish to bake the roast.  
A loaf pan would work just as well but will need a few extra minutes to cook through.


Covering the dish for the first 45 minutes helps the oats or bread crumbs on the surface absorb the liquid instead of drying out.


I cooked the roast for 1 hour and 15 minutes because the middle was not completely cooked in the recommended 1 hour.  After setting for about 10 minutes it removes easily from the pan.  The roast is somewhat softer than one made with eggs or cheese but as it cools it becomes quite solid.   Today I served it warm with a topping of tomato sauce.  


 
This was delicious with potatoes and vegetables. 


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