You know those meals that seems very gourmet, could easily be served for Thanksgiving dinner, but are really not very hard to make? This is vegan meat loaf one of them.
The work is all on the prepping with this one, because you actually cook it in the crock-pot. Just lots of chopping, a little mixing, and some brief whisking.
My parents were coming into town for a night on their way back from my sister’s house. They were driving 10 hours and had 8 more to go the next day, so I figured a nice, hearty, healthy meal would help them destress and decompress from the drive.
The secret to this vegan meat loaf…nuts. Yup, no meat. No faux meat. Not even lentils or bread. Just nuts.
(So technically, this is a vegan nut loaf. But the name vegan nut loaf – sounds a little redundant. I guess there could be eggs hidden in it if it were just veggie. But anyway…).
I was blown away by this recipe and look forward to playing with it in many variations in the future. And it made a ton! We each had a few slices at dinner and we had leftovers for lunch and dinner (including nut loaf and sauerkraut sandwiches – OMG) for a few days.
I could talk on and on and on about this one, but I’m going to stop rambling and just share the recipe for you 😉
Vegan Meat Loaf aka Nut Loaf
adapted from Quick and Easy Vegan Slow Cooking by Carla Kelly
1 cup each of chopped pecans, almonds, and cashews
1 medium onion, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
4 large cloves of garlic, chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
1 to 2 tbsp of spice mix (equal parts fennel, thyme, rosemary, oregano, sage)
2 bay leaves or 2 tsp bay leaves
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup ground chia seeds
1 cup ground almonds
1 cup ground pecans
1/2 cup brown rice flour
3/4 cup ground flax seeds
1/8 cup arrowroot powder (or more flax seed)
2 cups low sodium veggie broth
*for “ground” seeds and spices, stick them in a blender or coffee grinder*
1/2 cup tomato paste
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp molasses
sea salt to taste
Line your crock pot with parchment paper or foil to place the loaf on, so it won’t stick and will be easier to remove.
Toast the chopped nuts in a large pan on the stove on medium-low heat. For 8-10 minutes. Stir frequently so they do not burn. You’ll know they are done when you can smell them. They smell a bit like cake 🙂
Combine onions, garlic, green onions, celery, carrots, spices, chia seeds, flour, ground nuts, flax seeds, and arrow-root powder in a bowl. Mix together.
Add in the toasted nuts and mix evenly. Stir in the vegetable broth until the entire mixture is evenly coated and slightly damp.
Transfer into your crock-pot and press the top down until it is smooth.
Cover and cook on low for 5 hours. At the 5 hour mark, whisk together the tomato paste, molasses, sea salt and balsamic vinegar over medium high heat on your stove. Spread over your loaf and cook for one more hour.
Transfer it out of the crock pot and let it cool for 10 minutes before slicing and devouring 😉