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Cashew & Quinoa Loaf Recipe

I love this loaf! It is the ideal main dish to serve any time of year and it takes the place of meat for a family or company supper. This savory loaf is packed with pleasing textures and flavors. The red peppers and vegan cheese make the presentation so colorful too.

homemade cashew loaf

Cashew & Quinoa Loaf Recipe

Makes 5 to 6 servings

Ingredients

Loaf:
• 1-1/2 cups raw cashews
• 1 cup (packed) fresh whole grain breadcrumbs (about 2 slices, see note)
• 1-1/2 cups cooked and cooled quinoa (see note)
• 4 tablespoons wheat germ, plus more as needed
• 1 cup diced onion
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 2 teaspoons vegetable broth, plus more as needed
• 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil (optional)
• 1 teaspoon tamari
• 1/2 cup unsweetened almond or cashew milk, plus more as needed
• Zest of one large lemon
• 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
• 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
• Freshly ground pepper

Filling:
• 1/2 cup diced onion
• 1 cup diced sweet red pepper
• 2 tablespoons water or vegetable broth, plus more as needed
• 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil (optional)
• 1/2 cup shredded vegan cheese (optional)
• 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
• Freshly ground pepper

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a 9x5 loaf pan with unbleached parchment paper, allowing a 2 to 3 inch overhang on the two lengthwise sides of the pan.

2. Put the cashews in a blender or food processor and process until they become coarse crumbs.

3. To make the loaf, stir together the cashews, breadcrumbs, quinoa and wheat germ in a large mixing bowl until combined.

4. Put the onion, optional olive oil, tamari and vegetable broth into a medium sauté pan and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes or until the onion is translucent. Add a bit more broth as the mixture gets dry. Add the garlic and sauté one minute more.

5. Add the onion mixture to the cashew mixture and stir together until combined.

6. Put the almond milk, lemon zest, marjoram, salt and pepper into a medium bowl and stir together until combined. Stir the almond milk mixture into the cashew mixture. If the cashew mixture seems dry, add more almond milk, one tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is slightly wet, but holds together easily. Or, if the cashew mixture seems too wet, add more wheat germ one tablespoon at a time until the mixture holds together. Set the cashew mixture aside.

7. For the filling, put the onion, sweet pepper, optional olive oil and broth into a medium sauté pan and cook for 3 minutes, or until onion is translucent. Add a bit more broth as the mixture gets dry. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and transfer to a medium bowl. Cool for 10 minutes, then stir in the optional vegan cheese.

8. Firmly press half of the cashew mixture into the prepared loaf pan. Top with the filling. Using a rubber spatula spread the filling over the cashew mixture in an even layer. Top with the remaining cashew mixture, spreading it into an even layer with the spatula.

9. Fold the excess parchment paper over the top of the loaf and press down. This will keep the loaf moist while baking. Press down again to make the loaf more compact. This will help the loaf to hold together.

10. Bake the loaf for 20 minutes. Remove the loaf from the oven and peel back the parchment paper covering the top of the loaf. Bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until the loaf is slightly golden in color, firm to the touch and heated through. Remove the loaf from the oven and cool for 15 minutes.

11. Turn the loaf onto a serving platter and carefully peel off the parchment paper. Cut the loaf into very thick slices, using a serrated bread knife and wiping the knife clean after cutting each slice.

12. Serve warm. Refrigerate any left over loaf. This loaf makes great sandwiches the next day!

Notes:
• I like to use the sprouted-style bread for this recipe.

• To cook quinoa: Thoroughly rinse 1/2 cup quinoa under cold running water. Place in saucepan with 1 cup of vegetable broth. Cover and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 15 to 17 minutes.


Laura Theodore is a 2014 TASTE award-winning television personality, radio host, vegan chef, cookbook author and recording artist. She is author of Jazzy Vegetarian Classics: Vegan Twists on American Family Favorites and Jazzy Vegetarian: Lively Vegan Cuisine Made Easy and Delicious. Laura is the on-camera host, writer and co-producer of the popular cooking show, Jazzy Vegetarian and hosts the weekly podcast radio show, Jazzy Vegetarian Radio.