Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Vegetarian Meat Loaf...it's delicious, REALLY!



Last month I downloaded the movie, "Food, Inc." to my computer, thinking I'd watch it during spring break, but never got around to it and completely forgot I had it, until last weekend. I plugged in my earphones, and watched it on the balcony in North Carolina, mostly through my fingers as I had to cover my eyes for a large portion of it. I must admit, it has completely changed the way I feel about the food I eat, and the food I serve my family. I see my daughter's point...she has been a pesca-vegetarian for almost a year (she eats no meat but does eat fish), basically because of the way they treat the animals they grow for our food supply. Even my carnivorous husband is coming around. He hasn't even seen the entire movie, but after seeing the first hour and listening to my recaps, he hasn't had meat, pork or chicken in over a week. That is monumental for him.




H really never liked meat very much, so it wasn't such a difficult thing for her to give up. But the other day she mentioned that even though she never really liked it when she ate meat, she was craving meatloaf. I used to make a really good turkey meatloaf, but it had been years since I'd made it. I looked up recipes for vegetarian meatloaf and they were all over the board...made with lentils, black beans, or vegetarian ground beef. I decided to try the soy crumbles instead of beans, because I wanted to try to duplicate the flavor and texture of ground beef. I just tinkered with my old meatloaf recipe, and it smelled delicious while it was cooking. H loved it and even J said he liked it, and didn't make me throw the leftovers away...so I would call it a success!


Vegetarian Meat Loaf

Click HERE for printable recipe



Ingredients
* 1/4 cup Bullseye Hickory Smoke Barbecue Sauce
* 3/4 cup Heinz Ketchup
* 1 (12 ounce) package vegetarian burger crumbles
* 1 red, yellow, or green bell pepper, chopped
* 1 minced red onion
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
* 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
* 1 egg, beaten (or 2 egg whites)
* 1 teaspoon dried thyme
* 1 teaspoon dried basil
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (or 1 teaspoon dried parsley)
* salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a 5x9 inch loaf pan.
2. Heat saute pan over medium low heat, add 1 TBSP of olive oil and saute the onion, peppers, and garlic (seasoned with salt and pepper) until soft and translucent. 
3.  In a bowl, mix together the barbecue sauce and the ketchup. Mix 3/4 of the mixture with the vegetarian burger crumbles, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and egg.  Add the onion mixture.  Season with thyme, basil, parsley, salt, and pepper. Transfer to the loaf pan (sprayed with olive oil), and press down to make it as compact as possible.

3. Bake 45 minutes in the preheated oven. Pour remaining barbecue sauce over the loaf, and continue baking 15 minutes, or until loaf is set and sauce is heated.

I buy these crumbles at Publix, in the produce section where the Tofu is...other stores carry different brands and they're all pretty similar.