Sunday, May 20, 2012

Veggie Meatloaf Nirvana

Lentil Loaf, Potato with Mushroom Gravy, Broccoli Raab
Wow. I am so excited about this recipe. First, I love meatloaf. It's the ultimate comfort food. Throw in some mashed potatoes and gravy, some fresh bread, and hot damn.

The sad thing is, I've never been able to find a good veggie meatloaf recipe. Most of them are made with TVP (textured vegetable protein), which is terrible for you, and the ones that are bean-based tend to dry out easily.

After eating at a vegan restaurant this last Friday and tasting yet another piece of disappointing, dried out veggie loaf,  I decided I had to give this recipe a try.

A rainbow of yumminess
The recipe is from Alex Jamieson's book The Great American Detox Diet, which is a new one on my rotation of favorite vegan cookbooks. You may know Alex from the film Supersize Me (she was the horrified vegan girlfriend of Morgan Spurlock). I've loved everything of hers that I've tried, and she is just an awesome person, to boot!

One of my favorite things about this recipe is that she uses lentils, which I think naturally have a meaty texture. Lentils are also very high in protein, which is great since I'm in the middle of training for a 4-mile swim and want something that makes for a good recovery meal.

I also love that this recipe is full of vegetables—the whole rainbow—and has no oil. It does use olives and walnuts, which add a little fat, great flavor, and texture.

All prepped and ready for baking!
It calls for instant oats, but I just threw regular oats in my blender to cut them up a bit. Worked like a charm.

All of the chopping aside, this was super easy to throw together, although you need to be mindful of preparations and cook time, if you want to eat at a decent hour. I had made the lentils ahead of time and happened to have some cooked brown rice on hand, so everything came together relatively quickly. The cooking time is an hour (40 minutes covered and 20 minutes uncovered), and it needs to sit for another 10 or 15 minutes out of the oven so it can set.

I promise you will not be disappointed. It is so moist and delicious, and it's got such a wonderful flavor. The walnuts add an unexpected crunch. I served it with a boiled potato, broccoli raab, and the Happy Herbivore's Everyday Mushroom Gravy.

The loaf tasted even better the day after, with the flavors all having a chance to meld together. Tasted good cold, too.

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