Vegetarian Meatloaf

Posted on

2013-07-02 09.05.12

When you think of meatloaf, ground beef or poultry normally comes to mind. To some people, vegetarian meatloaf is an alien concept. Its hard to visualize eating vegetarian meatloaf with mashed potatoes.  The idea seemed intriguing enough to me to want to try it.  The 9 days commenced last week, the preparation mourning period for Tisha B’Av (commiseration of the destruction of both temples via fasting). Those who do observe the 9 days refrain from eating meat/poultry, drinking wine, going to concerts, doing laundry (except for washing undergarments, linens, baby clothing and socks), buying new clothing, visiting spas, drinking wine, etc. To some people I know, not eating meat for 9 days is a tragedy unto itself.  As someone who eats vegetarian dishes 85% percent of the time, forfeiting meat for over a week is not so agonizing. Besides, after eating a heavy meat meal on July 4th, a vegetarian break is much needed.  I suppose the 9 days doesn’t have much affect on my Jewish vegetarian friends anyways (yes they do exist; even the religious ones).  For those who have recently adopted vegetarianism, this vegetarian meatloaf recipe will help them with the transition. Even if you are a carnivore, you will enjoy this vegetarian rendition just as much. I used breadcrumbs to hold all the ingredients together as I normally would when making regular meatloaf. For a more celiac friendly version, you can use gluten-free breadcrumbs or pulverized gluten-free crackers. Like regular meatloaf, vegetarian meat loaf makes a for an all-American comfort food for vegetarians. This vegetarian loaf recipe is both vegetarian and vegan.

For this recipe, you will need:

  1. 1 cup of cooked chickpeas
  2. 1 cup of cooked lentils
  3. 1 large onion chopped
  4. 3 cloves of garlic minced
  5. 2 lbs of cremini mushrooms coarsely chopped
  6. 1 eggplant sliced (if you don’t like eggplant, you can use 2 large bell peppers)
  7. 1 cup of breadcrumbs
  8. 1/4 cup of  tomato paste + more for sauce
  9. 2 tablespoons of mustard
  10. 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
  11. 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil
  12. 1/2 teaspoon of paprika
  13. 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
  14. Salt and pepper for taste

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Sautee the garlic, onion, eggplant, and mushrooms in olive oil for a few minutes, until vegetables are very soft. Using a ricer or a food processor, mash lentils and chickpeas till smooth. Transfer mixture to a large shallow bowl.  Combine vegetables, bread crumbs, spices, tomato paste, basil, salt and pepper with the lentil chickpea mixture. Mix well using your hands if needed. Press into a lightly greased loaf pan. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven when done. Whisk tomato paste, balsamic vinegar and mustard in a bowl. Spread evenly on top of the meatloaf. Return meatloaf to oven and bake uncovered for 15 minutes or until done.

Yields 6 servings

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