Vegetarian Thanksgiving “Meat” Loaf

19 November 2011 § 10 Comments

Last year, our best friends moved back to Australia.

And we miss them. Particularly during the holiday season because as fellow ex-pats and exiles, they were our “family” over here in America. We’ve had the best Thanksgivings with them over the years, enjoying their company and sharing really good food. Central to each celebration was Abi’s legendary nutloaf and I’m delighted to share this recipe with you.

This is perfect should you have vegetarian guests this Thanksgiving, or in case you need an extra, delicious side dish.

I know what you’re thinking: “Um… nutloaf. Thanks but no thanks…”, but bear with me, Abi knows her stuff. She is one of those people who excels at everything she does, from nurse to fundraiser to chef to food stylist to mother to friend. I miss her dearly.

That said, it is her nutloaf I miss almost as much as her! But in the spirit of giving, she has shared the recipe and for this we must give thanks.

Although this is a perfect Thanksgiving veggie option, I guarantee even the most committed carnivores will be tucking into it. And with some cranberry relish or a dash of A1 Sauce, the leftovers make the best sandwiches. EVER.

The ingredients can be assembled / mixed a day in advance and then cooked on Turkey Day. (Or Nut-Day, if you will). However if your oven space is at a premium, it can be cooked the day before. It will keep about 5 days.

Ingredients for one loaf – will serve 8 vegetarians and carnivores alike

  • 1 cup dry brown rice (to make 2 cups of cooked rice)
  • 1 large brown onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups of assorted mushrooms – shitake and brown mushrooms – cleaned and diced
  • 1 packet of Smart Grounds original (you can buy at Whole Foods)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup roasted nuts (whatever you like I used a mixture of walnuts, pine nuts, and cashews)
  • 2 cups fresh bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup Italian flat leaf parsley finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh herbs – Thyme or Marjoram
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp Soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • Pepper and salt

First of all cook the brown rice, this takes about 45 minutes so you might want to do this in advance.

Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease the loaf pan (I used a 1lb pan – approx 10″ by 5″).

Then in a large skillet fry the onion in a glug of olive oil until soft, then add the garlic cloves for another minute.

Add the mushrooms and fry until soft. Then add the Smart Grounds and heat through. Remove the skillet from the heat.

In a large bowl lightly beat 3 eggs. Add the olive oil, nuts, roasted nuts, the rice, the bread crumbs, the herbs, salt and pepper.

Then add in the mushroom mix. Place in a the loaf tin.

In a small skillet melt the butter and mix in the soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce and boiling water. Once mixed, pour into the loaf tin and poke the surface with a fork to let the liquid seep through. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350° for 1- 1 ½ hrs.

Serve sliced like meatloaf with veggies and gravy or as a perfect side dish. And as suggested earlier, try it cold on Friday in a sandwich served with cranberry relish or A1 Sauce. Delicious!

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§ 10 Responses to Vegetarian Thanksgiving “Meat” Loaf

  • I’ve actually never made a nutloaf, although I’ve eaten a few different versions before. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Cookie says:

    I don’t usually like this veggie food, but the fact the recipe is from you, means I will try making it, and probably like it! We have 2 vegetarians coming for Thanksgiving dinner.

  • Ann White says:

    Looks good and look forward to making it for Christmas but what is the equivalent to Smart Grounds in UK?
    Thanks for the recipe I’m sure Dom will enjoy it. xx

  • Joe says:

    I always do a vegetarian “Friendsgiving” after we’ve all returned from celebrating with our respective families. I’ll let you know how our new meat-free main turns out this year! And, thanks–

  • Hannah says:

    This does look good! The sandwich is sounding particularly appealing.

    Our best friends moved to Australia, too, and we’re very excited to finally go visit them next month (and to get some warm weather!).

  • momo says:

    Hi Lisa
    Please what are ” smart grounds ” For your European Fans ??? And could you use Veggie stock instead of a cup of water.
    I must say that it sounds delish !!! and I luv nuts
    ok I know that I am a bit ” Nuts ”
    by the way mum made a SUPER SUPER Tarte Tatin when I was home last ( by special request after reading your recipe ) Luv Tante Mo xxxx

  • Mum and Momo – Smart Grounds are a textured veggie protein that resembles minced “meat” – you should be able to find it in a health food shop. Not sure if Quorn do a version of it. Will check online and let you know

  • […] A good turkey alternative is vegetarian nut “meat loaf”. […]

  • mscharley says:

    I used this recipe with a couple of changes, and it turned out great. I didn’t do the butter/water/Worstershire/soy sauce gravy-thing, but instead I just poked a few holes with a fork, put a *little* Worstershire and soy sauce over the loaf and covered with foil then baked for an hour and ten minutes. It cooked fine, and it was moist. The reason I didn’t make the gravy was because my loaf pan was overstuffed and I was afraid it would overflow. I don’t know why my loaf was so BIG, but i’m sure I probably had either too many mushrooms, or too many crumbles.

    I am curious about how good it would have been if I had of followed the directions to the tee (I’m sure it would’ve been even better with the butter), but maybe next time. Either way, I’m so glad I made it. Tastes so delicious and I wish my omnivore husband would try it, but he hates mushrooms, so I’m sure that won’t happen. Oh well, more for me!.

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