Thursday, July 29, 2010

Vegetarian BBQ Loaf with Baked Beans

   We are getting ready to go out of town for a week, so this was my let's-try-to-use-up-all-of-the-food-in-the-house meal.  When I looked in the fridge and saw we had carrots and celery for vegetables (and not much else) I immediately thought of making a veggie "meatloaf".  Then I realized that's sort of a winterish dish, so I thought I'd put a summer spin on it by using BBQ sauce and accompanying it with baked beans.  It's hard to find a good BBQ sauce that doesn't have high fructose corn syrup.  Most have that ugly ingredient number one on the list.  It's worth it to take the time to find a good one that doesn't have HFCS and isn't too high in sugar.  (Finding one without sugar is nearly impossible--let me know if you know of a brand that makes doesn't have it!)
   I've made a lot of variations of veggie loaves/patties/balls and I love that you can vary your ingredients based your mood or what you've got on hand.  This version turned out really well and I'll definitely make it again.
Gather your ingredients:

Vegetarian BBQ Loaf

3 carrots
2 celery stalks
1/2 onion (I used 1/2 'cause Tim isn't a big fan of onions--feel free to use the whole thing)
1 cup walnuts
2 eggs
1/3 cup BBQ sauce + more for topping
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari (or regular soy sauce)
1 teaspoons stone ground mustard
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups whole grain bread crumbs (not pictured) 

Step 1:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Oil spray a loaf pan and set aside.  

Step 2:  Peel your carrots and cut them into large chunks.  Cut your celery and onion into large chunks.  Put them in your food processor and process until they are chopped.  Add the walnuts and process until you have a mushy-textured mixture. Set aside.

Step 3:  In a medium bowl, beat the eggs.  Add the BBQ sauce, tamari, and mustard and stir to combine.  Add the cheese and breadcrumbs and knead the mixture with your hands until it is well mixed and holds together.    

Step 4: Transfer mixture to loaf pan and press it down.  Spread the top with BBQ sauce.  Bake for 45 minutes.  Allow to stand for 15 minutes before serving (this gives the loaf a chance to set).  Slice and serve.  

Yield:  8 servings 

I'm not sure how I could make this loaf look pretty, but trust me, it tasted good.  Tim gobbled up 3 helpings and Meghan, who is being Miss Picky these last few days, ate some as well. 

The baked beans were from 1,000 Vegan Recipes and were delicious, too.  They were sweetened with maple syrup and extremely tasty.  I'd call this clean-out-your-pantry dinner a big success.  

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