Meatless Monday Recipe: Yummy Veggie Meatloaf

| 11/21/2011 12:03:16 PM

It's the week of Thanksgiving! I'm looking forward to the festivities with my and my husband's families, which will tend toward the traditional Thanksgiving meal. But I know for vegetarians, these family meals can sometimes be awkward—with the turkey, sausage stuffing, potatoes with meaty gravy and Brussels sprouts cooked with ham, vegetarians can leave the Thanksgiving table feeling hungry. If you're vegetarian, bring your own delicious options to the Thanksgiving table. Maybe you'll start some new traditions.

I've never had Tofurkey, but it's the go-to Thanksgiving joke for non-vegetarians. Although it may be delicious, if you're looking to show off how satisfying veggie options can be, you might want to go a different route. I went to a dinner party a few years ago hosted by a friend of mine who leans in the "hippie" direction. On the menu? Vegan meatloaf. I will admit, I was not excited. I don't like regular meatloaf. Why in the world would I want a vegetarian knockoff??? But when I tasted it, I was amazed. This was not a mushy meat wannabe! Made with whole grains and legumes, this vegetarian meatloaf was rich and hearty and tasted like late autumn. Unlike most meatloafs (in my opinion), it had texture and bite and a boatload of flavor. Below, find a few recipes--one that features lentils, one chickpeas and one with vegetarian crumbles.

Whether you'll be enjoying the traditional Thanksgiving turkey dinner or something more unique, I hope you have a wonderful upcoming holiday!

Heaven's Banquet Classic Lentil Loaf 
This nutritious, delicious entree from features lentils and superhealthy bulgur wheat.

Lentil Loaf 

1 cup brown lentils
1/2 cup bulgar
3 cups unsalted vegetable stock OR 3 c. water + 2 vegan vegetable bouillon cubes
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 - 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 small carrot, peeled and grated
1 stalk celery, diced
1/2 cup minced red bell pepper
1 tsp gr coriander
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground rosemary
1/2 tsp thyme
2 Tbsp unsalted tomato paste
1 Tbsp tamari soy sauce or Braggs liquid aminos
1 cup fresh bread crumbs: tear 4 slices stale bread into chunks, and whiz in a blender to make crumbs
Black pepper

1.Cover the lentils in boiling water and let soak for one hour
2.Drain lentils
3.Bring lentils and bulgar to a boil in the vegetable stock, reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is absorbed or cooked away
4.Meanwhile, sauté the garlic and all the vegetables in the olive oil
5.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
6.Add the lentils and bulgar, breadcrumbs, tomato paste, and tamari or Braggs to the sautéed vegetables
7.Add salt and pepper to taste
8.Cook for 5 - 10 minutes, stirring, until the mixture is quite thick
9.Press mixture into the oiled loaf pan, and bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes
10.Serve with Cashew Gravy or Chickpea Gravy