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Easy Meat-Free Nutloaf

Meat-free Nutloaf

What to make for Christmas dinner this year? I thought we could buy some already made mock meat but they can be a little intense texture wise, a little expensive and not always practical if you are serving a big table. So this time I decided to try a nutloaf.  Sure, it isn’t exactly fancy food but there is something hearty about it that sounds just about right for this holiday. Everyone’s budget is a little tighter, so making things from scratch can save money. It can also be a creative project for the entire family.  So why not make this good old American classic a special dish? 

What I love about it is that you make the loaf (make extra ones to freeze) then you can dress it in all kinds of ways. Start with a rich gravy (see recipe below) with garlic mash potatoes but why stop there? Break out some tomatoe sauce, green onions, garlic, capers, and any herbs you like, pour it over the slices of nutloaf and either heat up in a pan or bake for 10-15mn at 370F and voila, you have a rich Italian dish (see second photo).  You can make it Mexican with salsa, cilantro, chiles, vegan cheese. You can also prepare a coconut curry sauce and serve it with vegetables for a touch of India or Indonesia but obviously not for Christmas dinner! Don’t forget that you can always use leftover slices for sandwiches, melts etc. Get creative!
This recipe makes between 8-10 slices of nutloaf.

The ingredients below are to make the basic recipe, but you can add other vegies you have on hand, as long as they are diced for added flavor and texture.

1 12oz firm tofu package
¼ cup nutritional yeast
3 Tbl ketchup (Annie’s organic)
2 Tb Dijon mustard
1 cup of chopped onions
3 cloves of garlic
½ cup walnuts
¼ cup of rolled oats
1/4 cup gluten flour
1 cup mushrooms sliced
Salt, pepper, cayenne to taste
2 tsp paprika

Putting it Together:

  1. Ligthly oil a loaf pan. Turn oven to 380F.
  2. In a food processor, blend the tofu, ketchup, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, mustard (depending on the size of your processor, you may have to do this in 2 batches, I had to).
  3. Slowly add the rolled oats, then the gluten flour, pulsing in batches.
  4. Pan fry the garlic, then chopped onions, then add the sliced mushrooms, salt and pepper for a few minutes.
  5. Mix the tofu mixture with the sauteed mushrooms. Add a little water if needed.
  6. Pour the mixture into the greased loaf pan, flatten to make sure it is level.  Drizzle a little olive oil on top making sure it is spread evenly.
  7. Bake for 1 hour. Let it cool off before slicing.
The loaf will be moist and a little dry at the same time, so make sure to have some gravy or sauce with it (see the vegan mushroom gravy recipe below).
If you want it moistier, add more vegies and reduce the amount of gluten flour.
If you are gluten intolerant, substitute the gluten flour with a mix of oat and tapioca flour.
You can also add some ground flaxseed to bind everything together.
You can’t mess this one up!
  3 Tbl onion powder
2 Tbl oil (or vegan butter)
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper
5 cups diced mushrooms
1/4 cup soy sauce (or tamari)
2 cups plain soy milk
2 cup water with vegetable broth
1/2 cup wheat flour (or GF flour if you don’t eat wheat)
  1. In a medium pot, heat up the oil, add the garlic, mushrooms, pepper and soy sauce for 5 minutes over medium heat.  Slowly add the soy sauce and Soy milk, continue to simmer.
  2. Mix the flour and into the water with broth with a whisk making sure that there are no lumps.
  3. Slowly stir this into the pot, constantly whisking until thickened, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Reduce heat to low and let gravy simmer for another 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
 Pour the gravy over the nutloaf and serve immediately.

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