Thanksgiving is Here!

Mushroom and Nut Loaf

This is the first vegan version of the bean and nut loaf that I have made. I must acknowledge Roz Denny’s The Ultimate Vegetarian Cookbook as my inspiration and starting point. This loaf uses kidney or baked beans, something that Southerners might just have cans of in their pantries. If you do make it with baked beans cut back on the additional BBQ sauce. But if you make it with kidney beans, I recommend making my recipe in advance. It is real spicy.

This loaf will do well the next day if you decide to toast it in the oven or saute a piece or two in the pan. It’s versatility is akin to the meatloaf of my omni days but now cruelty-free.

It is served here on a bed of sauteed kale but you can serve with roasted sweet potatoes and celery root. If you don’t have celery root for the recipe or the side, please feel free to use celery. There is a wonderful herb-onion gravy here also that takes only 15 minutes to make.

Mushroom and Nut Loaf

1 cup kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup pecans halves
1 cup walnut pieces
10 ounces mushrooms, chopped
1 large onion finely chopped
1/2 cup sweet potatoes, cleaned, peeled and cut into tiny dice
1/2 cup celery root, cleaned, peeled and cut into tiny dice
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tbs barbecue sauce
1 cup kale, chopped
2 Tbsp water
1 tbsp flaxseed, ground
1 tsp salt
1/2 tbs black pepper
2 tbs non-dairy butter
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 cup fresh thyme, finely chopped
2 tbs fresh sage, finely chopped

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

2. Mix water with ground flaxseed in a small bowl and set aside to allow it to gel. This is your “flax-egg”.

3. Toast nuts in dry skillet then place them in a food processor. Process nuts until there are tiny pieces (not butter). Empty processor (place nuts to the side).

4. Add non-dairy butter to skillet until melted. Add diced root vegetables (sweet potatoes and celery root). Saute for 3 minutes on high.

5. Add onion, mushroom and garlic to pan and saute for another 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

6. Add vegetables to the food processor and include kidney beans. Process for a minute or two and push mixture down along the side walls.

7. Empty mixture out into a medium bowl and gently stir in the nuts, barbecue sauce, raw kale, onion powder, thyme, sage and more salt and pepper to taste.

8. Pour mixture into a prepared bread pan (sprayed with vegetable oil) and smooth the surface.

9. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another hour.

10. Test loaf in center with a toothpick. If any loaf sticks to the toothpick it needs to go back in.

11. Pull loaf out when finished baking and let cool for 15 – 20 minutes on a rack.

12. Place a light cutting board on top of bread pan and holding the sides of the bread pan close to the cutting board flip it over. The loaf should fall loose from the pan onto the cutting board. Slowly lift the bread pan and you should see a clean, firm loaf.

13. Slice pieces and serve with sauteed kale or roasted root vegetables (ideally more celery root and sweet potatoes).

Servings: 6

Herb-Onion Gravy

Herb-Onion Gravy

1 tbsp non-dairy butter
1 cup onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup vegetable broth, heated
1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
1 tbsp fresh sage, chopped
1 tbs whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper

1. Heat non-dairy butter in medium pan.

2. Add chopped onions and garlic and saute on medium-high until lightly brown on the edges.

3. Stir in flour over onion mixture and cook for 1 – 2 minutes.

4. Pour vegetable broth slowly over onions and using a wire whisk incorporate the onion mixture throughout. Throw in herbs and continue stirring slowly.

5. Gravy will thicken in about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

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