Vegan Mystery Loaf

Vegan Mystery Loaf

Meatloaf is a vegan natural. Despite its carnivorous title, classic meatloaf is usually 50% vegan anyway so then you only have to use 50% effort to make it totally vegan  (disclaimer: I do not do math, I write). The other beauty of a mystery loaf is that you can get away with changing up the ingredients, depending upon what you have on hand or the whim of your kids if they want to play mad scientist in the kitchen. Yesterday’s leftover refried beans don’t have to be next week’s mystery.  Made too much tofu scramble this morning? Toss that in too!

I do have to admit that I did not grow up with meatloaf. In fact, I can’t clearly remember whether I ever ate it at all.  But I love vegan meatloaf and so does my daughter who considers it like savory banana bread.  And what kid does not love bread?

So whether you mix it up or play it straight, a mystery loaf can be a little bit of everything. And who can resist a mystery slathered in ketchup?  Not our kid.

Gather the Ingredients

4 cups water

2 cups rice

½ cup red lentils

1-oz dry mushroom medley

½ cup dry split pea soup

Salt and pepper to taste

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

1 8 oz. package of tempeh, chopped

2 TBSP canola oil

3 tsp fresh oregano

3 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup walnuts, chopped

2 TBSP vegan sour cream

1 TBSP miso

1 cup ketchup


Prepare the Loaf

Preheat oven to 350.

Add four cups of water to a four quart pot. Add rice, red lentils, and mushroom medley. Bring water to boil and then reduce heat to medium low. Cook with the pot covered until rice is nearly cooked. Then add the split pea soup. Cook until water has been completely absorbed and remove from heat. Set aside.

Sauté onion and tempeh in the oil until the tempeh has thoroughly browned. Add the garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Mix until warmed and set aside.

Toast the walnuts in a heavy pan until lightly roasted.  Add to the onion and tempeh mixture.

Blend the rice mixture and onions until nearly smooth. Mix in the vegan sour cream and miso. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Vegan mystery loaf mixture

Place mixture into a baking pan. Place into oven at 350 for 30 minutes.

Mystery loaf in baking pan

Pull out the loaf and slather with ketchup to cover.

ketchup on mystery loaf

Cook for another 30 minutes until the loaf begins to separate from the sides of the pan. Remove from oven and let cool for at least 10 minutes.

Serves eight.

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