Meatless (Meat) Loaf
Picture Courtesy Whole Foods Market
My first concert was Meatloaf. How appropriate, right? My parents took my older brother, Patrick, and I when we were still in elementary school. Mind you, if the concert had been a movie, it would have been rated R for language. That didn't really phase Patrick and I, though. We loved it!
Ironically, I don't really like meatloaf, the food...not the band. I actually love the band. How could you not love "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)" or the just the entire Bat out of Hell album?
Back to the point. My mom used to make meatloaf every now and then for dinner and I remember always being really disappointed in her decision. The thought of meat in a loaf grossed me out. I do have to say, however, in recent years, I gave more thought to the idea of meatloaf. My conclusion...I like meatballs, and meatballs are basically the same thing. So I guess meatloaf is not so bad. It is definitely not my favorite, but not as gross as I once believed.
Then I saw this recipe on Whole Foods website and was intrigued. It's not your average loaf. The idea is meatloaf, but minus the meat. Instead it is filled with nutritious ingredients like quinoa and oats and chickpeas. I am a sucker for strange things. If a recipe is out of left field and something you would never think of on your own, I have to try it out. So I did just that (now that I have really built you up for the exciting world of meatloafs)...
Quinoa Loaf with Mushrooms and Peas adapted from Whole Foods Market
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing
8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup rolled oats
2 cups cooked quinoa ( Learn to Cook: Quinoa)
1 cup frozen green peas
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley and/or 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 cup (about 1 onion) chopped red onion
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Lightly grease an 8-inch loaf pan with oil; set aside.
3. Prepare your quinoa (use directions on quinoa box).
4. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes.
FYI...this is my favorite cooking utensil. This little spatula and I are best friends.
5. Put beans, oats and 1/2 cup water into a food processor and pulse until almost smooth. In a large bowl, combine mushrooms, bean mixture, quinoa, peas, parsley, tomatoes, onion, salt and pepper.
6. Transfer mixture to prepared loaf pan, gently pressing down and mounding it in the middle. Bake until firm and golden brown, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Set aside to let rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
A few notes:
1. Feel free to switch up ingredients. Originally, the recipe called for sundried tomatoes, but I didn't have any so I used a raw tomato. Also, you may hate peas and want to omit them all together. I actually didn't have fresh parsley, so I used dried parsley and dried thyme.
2. Bake a bit longer than recommended. Mine was still very moist in the middle after 1.25 hours.
3. Use as a veggie burger!
4. This was not my favorite recipe as of yet. There is a good chance I may not make it again. (This is the first time I have said that on my blog.) But really, I'd probably prefer meatloaf with meat! However, that said, if you are a vegetarian, you may really enjoy this recipe. I think it would be greatly improved if you played around with the spices.