Monday, February 23, 2009

No-Meat Loaf

I still love the meatloaf recipe I first created to get the Kiddo used to meat. She still eats at least two servings in a sitting. So do the rest of us. That hasn't changed.

What has changed is that I've been electing to go meat-free a few more times per week. Even though we buy our meat grassfed and direct from the farmer, it's still a good practice to eat a little lighter on the food chain now and again. To that end, I made a version of my meatloaf in a vegetarian format. This shift was inspired by a vegan loaf recipe I love from Eden Alley. Their recipe is a lot different, but arguably better, in some ways.

My take is very similar to the Meatloaf Florentine recipe, but uses mushrooms and "beef-like" tofu product for the meat. It is not vegan since the recipe calls for some Parmesan. I can't give up cheese.

No-Meat Loaf
2/3 cup brown rice
1-1/3 cups vegetable stock
8 oz. "beef" style tofu (tube)
1 tbs. olive oil
5 oz. spinach
6 oz. mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
2 oz. sundried tomatoes packed in oil
1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 tbs. chopped basil
1/2 cup grated parmesan
salt and pepper to taste

1 28 oz can of roasted tomatoes (I use Muir Glen)
1 small shallot, diced
1 tbs. olive oil
2 tsp. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. red chili flakes
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the rice in the vegetable stock. Cool rice to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Saute the onion for a few minutes until just turning golden. Add the mushrooms and cook until mushrooms are soft. Add the garlic and saute for another minute. Add the spinach leaves, turning down the heat. Fold in the spinach, just until it wilts a bit. Remove from heat and place in bowl.

Add the "beef" soy, rice, bread crumbs, herbs, cheese, sundried tomatoes and salt and pepper. Mix with hands (hey, it's not raw beef). Press into a loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Heat oil for topping in sauce pan. Add shallot and saute for about three minutes. Add the tomatoes with juice and brown sugar. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes. Adjust with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the fresh basil just before serving.

Serve each slice of no-meat loaf topped with chunky tomato topping.

This recipe is a great one for using "pantry goods" like canned tomatoes, rice, bread crumbs. I'll be adding a variation that uses lentils, too. Or at least a lentil dish ... have lots of those around to use up!


Chiot's Run said...

Very interesting. I like meatloaf, this reminds me I should have some (well actually venison loaf around here thanks to my dad).

I don't really do tofu meat like products. I figure if I'm going to go vegetarian I'm going eat vegetables, not vegetables that taste like meat. I also prefer to eat minimally processed food, and beef from the local farm is far better in that respect than tofu-beef from the grocery.

I have made a meat free meatloaf before with mostly mushrooms, it didn't taste "meaty" but it was definitely good. Doesn't stick with you like real meat either. I find I really like it with some tomatoes on top, so that topping sounds delicious. My fire-roasted tomatoes from the garden would be fantastic.

ExpatChef said...

It's not for everyone, definitely. I do like the meat version, I have to admit. But I respect vegetarians and how hard it is to make that food choice.

You can sub in grated firm tofu for the "meat-like" substance if you want to go meat free but don't like the "meat-like tube stuff." The tofu should have a lighter taste that is good, too.

Venison loaf sounds good!

JessTrev said...

Ah! That's what I'll do with the venison my brother wants to give me.

Tx for the recipe - I 2nd the commentary about soy faux meat products but will try it with standard tofu. I've been really wanting to make a veggie loaf.

mollyjade said...

Expat, have you seen the Magical Loaf Studio? The woman who does Vegan Lunch Box made a multichoice loaf template based on some SDA materials. I never liked meatloaf as a kid, and I haven't brought myself to try a vegan version yet. But this might be good for finding a non-fake meat version for those who want it.

ExpatChef said...

Thanks, MollyJade! I made a recipe with pumpkin seeds, lentils and brown rice to try. Though, I kind of want some squash in there. Hmmm.


ExpatChef said...

Mrs. Chiot, I keep meaning to tell you how much I love your dog icon!

Rachel said...

this looks delish, B. I'm integrating beans/legumes into our diet more and more - after eight long years of siege, my husband has learned to like the legume!! I'd love to try a variation of this with pumpkin and lentils, too.

Max mickle said...

Wow!! These meatloaf recipe truly succulent. I would love to have some of these. Thanks for the recipe. I an going to try it next weekend.