Thursday, March 01, 2012

Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Updated Veggie Meat Loaf...SOOOO Good!



Last year I posted a vegetarian meatloaf that I made for my vegetarian daughter that even my red-meat loving husband would eat.  Shortly afterwards, my husband and I gave up meat as well, so the vegetarian meatloaf has become a staple in our house.  Without the fat from ground beef, the soy crumbles just didn't want to stick together.  It wasn't pretty, but it was delicious.  I have tinkered with the recipe over the last few months to try to keep it from falling apart after slicing, and last night it came out PERFECTLY!  I've had several people ask for the recipe lately, so I'm posting the latest version.

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.


I also made Brussel Sprouts.  I think Brussel Sprouts are the new Sun-Dried Tomatoes.  They are EVERYWHERE!  Top Chef, Magazines, Restaurants...every menu I've looked at lately has them.  I think chefs have finally figured out how to cook them.  The boiling and steaming that we did 20 years ago just intensified the rubber shoe taste, so I was firmly in the 'I DON'T LIKE BRUSSEL SPROUTS' camp.  But a couple of years ago I tried some at ChaCha's restaurant here in Nashville, and my eyes were opened to the yumminess that comes from letting them caramelize, and sweeten, thus eliminating the bitterness of the past.

My problem in cooking them is since we are meat-free in our house now, I had to find a way to cook them without the bacon drippings that made them so good.  I've tried roasting them a couple of times, but didn't use enough oil (my go-to spray on Pam wasn't sufficient), so they just dried up and didn't taste like anything.  Last night I didn't spray the oil on, I tossed them with 2-3 Tbsp. of olive oil.  (I had a pretty big bunch of sprouts...it doesn't take a whole lot of oil, just enough to lightly coat them).  While they were roasting at 350 degrees (cut side up for 20 minutes, then cut side down for the rest of the time), I sauteed a large red onion with garlic, pine nuts and rosemary, then tossed them together and voila...they were amazing!  Almost as good as the huge bowl I ate at ABC Kitchen in NYC this week!  My husband and daughter, who have not jumped on the brussel sprouts bandwagon with me, even ate a couple, which was a success in my book.  They didn't eat a lot, but that just meant...more for me!

I use small brussel sprouts, pull off the outer edges, trim the stem a little and cut in half.