Veggie Mama's Meatless Loaf
Ever since I left the continental USA in 2007 to move to Hawaii, the holidays have never quite been the same. In the last decade plus I have spent Christmas in some amazing places, like Hong Kong, Shanghai, Mumbai, and Hua Hin (cute little place in Thailand), and my view of Christmas can be summed up in one cliche, home is where the heart is. Except, the way it feels to me
maybe isn't so cliche. It's like my heart is in different places with different people and memories that I have made over the years and not because it's broken, but because it's just that full.
Don't get me wrong, each of the holidays spent away from family makes me ache for a hug from mom, or a smile on my face from watching my sons go crazy with their cousins. But thank goodness for modern technology. I can still see those beautiful smiles, and the cousins can still act so crazy that it's as if the adults in the conversation don't even exist.
One of the things that makes me feel a little less homesick at these times is making food that my mama made when I was a kid. It's truly magical to smell the same smells coming from my tiny oven in a country halfway across the world. It's especially magical that it still tastes like the one I ate on cold, snowy days in Colorado. Especially since the main ingredient is completely different from the one mom used to make.
For this recipe I replaced ground beed with a magical mixture of cooked red lentils and quinoa. I'm telling ya'll that this stuff can replace ground beef in so many recipes. This recipe can be made GF as well, just replace the bread crumbs or cracker crumbs with chickpea or oat flour.
PRO TIP: I use my rice cooker to cook up the quinoa and lentils together and add a vegetable bullion cube to the pot to add extra flavor. Makes the process so much easier (and tastier!). I make extra as well so I have some on hand to make more deliciousness with later.
2 cups cooked red lentils
1 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 cup bread crumbs or cracker crumbs (just make sure they don't contain milk powder)
1/2 cup oats
1 white onion, chopped small
1 C non-dairy milk
1 flax egg (1 tbs ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tbs water and left to sit for 10 mins)
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tsp low sodium soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste
a few dashes of liquid smoke (optional)
1/3 C ketchup
2 tbs mustard
2 tbs brown sugar
1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees C.
2. In a large bowl, combine cooked lentils and quinoa, cracker crumbs or bread crumbs, oats, chopped onion, non-dairy milk, flax egg, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, salt and pepper and liquid smoke (if using). Mix well, making sure to combine all ingredients evenly.
3. If desired, line a loaf pan with baking paper for easy removal and clean up. Add all of the mixture to the loaf pan and smooth out with a spoon.
4. In a small bowl, mix together ketchup, mustard and brown sugar. Spoon mixture onto the top of the meatless loaf and spread evenly with a spoon.
5. Pop into the oven and bake for 1 hour. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing into that big loaf of love. Enjoy!