Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Cherie's Kitchen Revisited: The best meatless loaf


That means, "I have found it."

My husband Chris was a "meat and potatoes man" before we went vegetarian three years ago and meatloaf was one of his favorite dishes.

I've been searching for a tasty veg alternative since.  I found it in this recipe from "The Engine 2 Diet" by Rip Esselstyn. 

Esselystyn's book advocates a plant-based, vegan eating plan that he says "lowers cholesterol and burns away the pounds."

It's hard to find a plant-based diet plan.  Most offer only a few vegetarian alternatives at best.  But, all the recipes on this plan are 100 percent vegan with no animal products whatsoever.

I also love that Esselstyn has included a chapter  debunking 12 myths about plant-based diets, including:
  • You can't get enough protein eating a plant-based diet,
  • Carbohydrates make us fat, and
  • By eating only plant-based foods, you'll miss key nutrients.
Also, I was able to make this recipe from ingredients already in my fridge, freezer and pantry.  All I needed was a block of firm tofu.

If you're not a fan of tofu, don't worry.  My husband is not fond of it either, but this recipe passed the taste and texture test with flying colors.

Lynn's Meatloaf 
Serves 6


2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
10 ounces firm tofu, drained
1/4 cup walnuts, finely ground
12 ounces vegetarian meat crumbles (I used Morningstar Farms)
1-1/4 cups quick cooking oats
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons ketchup (additional for topping, optional)
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (I omitted this)
1/2 teaspoon thyme, sage and rosemary (or whatever spices you have on hand.)


Preheat oven to 375 F.  Spray a loaf pan with a nonstick cooking spray like Pam.  Saute celery, onion and garlic on high heat in a sprayed skillet for five minutes until tender.  Remove from heat and cool.  Mash the tofu in a large bowl.  Stir in the vegetable mixture and remaining ingredients and mix well.  Spoon the mixture into a loaf pan.  Top with a layer of ketchup (this step is optional, but adds flavor and moisture.)  Bake 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Serve with an Engine 2 Basic Salad of lettuce, mandarin oranges and sweet red bell peppers.

Related links:
Find more recipes and learn all about the Engine 2 Diet at engine2diet.com

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