Monday, June 27, 2011

Vegan Loaf with Pinto Beans

Sometimes plain ol' beans get kinda, well, plain and old. Don't get me wrong - I love those tiny little nuggets of goodness. But sometimes when I stare into the cupboards and all I see is brown rice and beans, I really don't want another rice bowl, despite how darn tasty they may be.

Enter the vegan loaf.

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This wasn't a loaf, per se, because I cooked it in a square pyrex dish and not a loaf pan, since my loaf pans are apparently stowed away in boxes somewhere. But it ain't a pie, and it sure ain't a casserole, either. So loaf it is. A square, not-too-tall loaf.

So instead of making rice and beans, I made this loaf out of pinto beans, ground oats, breadcrumbs, veggies and seasonings, and it turned out SO much more exciting than a bowl o' beans would have been. But I happen to think that anything you can slather in ketchup is exciting.

Logan sat down to his plate with a gigantic smile on his face, and he said, "you made Logan food!" The vegan loaf, mashed potatoes and veggies all amount to comfort food (which is apparently Logan food), and it also ended up being excellent Allysia food as well. Bellies were happy.

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Vegan Loaf with Pinto Beans

Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium carrots, grated
Generous 1/2 c. walnuts
1/2 c. oats
2 c. cooked pinto beans (or 1 can, rinsed and drained)
3/4 c. breadcrumbs (about 2 slices of toasted bread)
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp ground flax
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground thyme
1/4 tsp vegan Worchestershire sauce
Pepper, to taste

Directions:

1. Heat the oven to 350 F. Lightly oil an 8x8-inch pan, or a loaf pan.

2. In a medium-sized frying pan, warm the olive oil at medium heat. Sautee the onion, garlic and grated carrot until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Set aside.

3. Meanwhile, grind the walnuts in a food processor until crumb-like in texture. A few chunks are okay! Place ground walnuts in a large mixing bowl and set aside. Using the same food processor, process the oats until well-ground, like a coarse flour. Pour into mixing bowl. Use the food processor one more time to pulse the beans until they're a little sticky and paste-like, but still with some texture. Pour beans into mixing bowl.

4. Add the cooked vegetables to the mixing bowl, as well as the breadcrumbs, nutritional yeast, ketchup, soy sauce, ground flax, cumin, thyme, Worchestershire sauce and pepper and mix well.

5. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and press down firmly. Bake for about 1 hour, until the top gets crispy and browned and the whole thing is cooked through. Let it sit for 15 minutes before slicing.

This loaf tastes great alongside mashed 'taters and veggies for a real old-school feast. I enjoyed this loaf with ketchup, but there's no doubt in my mind it would be excellent with gravy as well!

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This meal, aside from having great comfort food value, is also easy on the wallet. Because what could be cheaper than beans, oats, and bread? Bread is especially cheap if you're super cool and make it yourself. Even potatoes are cheap goodness. I'll be all about the inexpensive meals in the next couple of months, as I prepare for nearly two months of travel with a minuscule income in the meantime. Because no one takes piano lessons in the summer. I'm not complaining! :)

In other news, we're just about done moving - down to the final stages of scrubbing it clean. After a weekend of hauling things, my arms have transformed into jelly. I'm not sure what's worse, all of that heavy lifting, or meticulously cleaning the neglected nooks and crannies of this old house we're leaving behind.

Here's to the final stretch! Cheers. :)

5 comments:

  1. Two months of travel sounds pretty awesome!!!!

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  2. I'll admit, I'm not crazy about loaf-meals... but shape this mixture into burgers instead, and then we'd be talking! ;)

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  3. Jolene, I'm really excited! I've never really done any extended traveling before, or crossed the border as an adult!

    And I don't know what it is, but I've always been attracted to loaf meals! I used to actually request meatloaf as a kid, and I think my mom thought I was crazy.

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  4. Your loaf looks delicious! Right up my alley. I came to your blog after you commented on mine, will definitely keep reading!

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  5. Yay! Yeah, I love finding out there are other vegan musician folk out there - there sure aren't any where I live!

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