Put Some Pumpkin in Your Vegan Loaf

It’s that time of year where everything is coming up pumpkin spice!  But did you know that pumpkin and other winter squashes can be used in all kinds of recipes, not just pies, cakes and lattes?  You can put
winter squash such as butternut, honeynut, delicata, kabocha, sugar pumpkin, and acorn in dishes where you would add sweet potato, beets or other root veggies.  They are hearty, sweet and packed with
vitamins.  I like to put them in curry, stew and they are a stellar addition to this vegan veggie loaf.

vegan meatloaf ingredients

I recommend using your hands to mix this up. It’s fun and it gives you an idea of the moisture content. You can also play around with the spice mix in this recipe!

Plant Based Twist on Classic

My mom’s meatloaf with mushroom gravy and a side of whipped potatoes was my favorite dish growing up.  But since I’ve moved to a plant based diet, I decided to see if I could create a veggie packed version
that would satisfy my taste buds.

Vegan meatloaf in loaf pan

The crusty, savory outside of the loaf is super important. It’s got to have that nice crust on the outside to be legit.

This veggie loaf is moist with a nice crusty outside and is packed
with flavor.  It’s filling and hearty thanks to the flax and walnuts
and copious amounts of mushroom gravy poured on top definitely doesn’t
hurt.  This is a great dish to curl up to on long fall and winter
nights.  It’s also a great use of pumpkin!

vegan meatloaf with gravy

I was super impressed with myself on this one. It even looks like meatloaf!!

This loaf uses a lot of pantry items with just a few fresh items.  It’s actually super easy to make and I highly recommend making extra gravy!

If you want to learn how to make delicious meals like this and more, then sign up for a cooking class today!  Find a class and time here.

Delightful Recipe

Serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup of roasted and mashed flesh from pumpkin or other winter squash
  • 1 cup of cooked green lentils
  • 3 cups of minced mushrooms (about 22 oz) I used a combination of crimini and shitake but you can use button, or any combination you like
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of dry thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of dry parlsey
  • 1 teaspoon of dry sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup of minced walnuts
  • 1 Tablespoon of Tamari
  • 1 cup of oat flour
  • 1 cup of Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup of ground flax
  • 3 dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 1/4 cups of boiling water
  • 16 oz of sliced button or crimini mushrooms
  • 2-4 Tablespoons of veggie oil (canola, safflower, grapeseed, etc.)
  • 2 Tablespoons of all purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Tamari
  • Salt to taste

Instructions for gravy:

  • To make mushroom stock: In a heat proof bowl, add the dry mushrooms
    and pour the boiling water over them.  Let them mushrooms steep for at
    least an hour.  Then puree the hot water and mushrooms in a blender
    and strain through a fine mesh sieve.  You should have two cups of
    mushroom broth.  Or you can use store bought mushroom stock.
  • Pour 2 Tablespoons of oil in a large sauce pan and heat on high
    heat.  Add the sliced mushrooms and brown on each side.  Make sure not
    to crowd the pan or they will steam instead of browning.  You may have
    to do this in batches to prevent crowding and you may have to add oil
    in between batches.
  • There should still be oil in the pan but add enough oil to pan so
    that there is 2 Tablespoons of oil.  Then add the flour and let it
    cook for a couple minutes until the flour has deepend slightly in
    color.  Then add the mushroom broth and whisk vigorously to prevent
    lumps from forming.  Then add back the browned mushrooms and Tamari.
    Taste and add salt if needed.  Cook until gravy is nice and thick.

Instructions for veggie loaf:

  • Preheat the oven to 370 degrees F
  • In a food processor, mince the mushrooms, onion and garlic.
    Depending on the size of your processor you may have to do this in
    batches.  Or you can always chop by hand!
  • Put in a large bowl with all the rest of the veggie loaf ingredients
    and mix with your hands.  It should feel like a moist dough.
  • Lay a strip of parchment paper into a loaf pan so that it is easier
    to lift out after cooking.
  • Spoon the veggie loaf mixture into the loaf pan and place in the
    oven to bake for 50-60 minutes.
  • Remove it from oven and let it cool for 10 to 15 minutes.  Carefully
    remove from the loaf pan and slice into 1 inch slices.
  • Serve with gravy and roasted or mashed potatoes.

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