Saturday, December 1, 2012

Vegetarian "Meatloaf"

I didn't realize that I missed meatloaf!  Meatloaf is one of the things that I make (used to make) really well; my mom taught me how and I ran with it.  Through trial and error, I found a few things that are my so called "secret ingredients" that make it pretty good!  It also makes me think of my Grandma Kutz EVERY time I make it.  Grandma loved to eat and she loved it when I cooked and she loved me (well all of us, but I was the oldest Grandchild~ we have a special place in Grandma's heart sometimes!)  (sorry Rose), and she adored our meatloaf recipe.  And she liked to shop and I would drag her all over the place when I first learned to drive.  She was a hoot, that Grandma... Anyway, I am apparently digressing, but I realized when I was making this tonight that I missed it.  I miss the smell of it baking, the feel of the mixing, the memories that are associated with it.  So, when I accidentally got a hold of a vegetarian recipe, I was excited!  The ingredients are familiar and close to what I used to use.  I LOVE lentils and rice and onions and with the ketchup and tomato sauce and all, this just seemed right.  I had everything in the house, so I made it this afternoon.

My Grandma Kutz

I didn't realize that I was going to blog about it until I had several requests for the recipe, because I obsessively Instagram my food and post it to Facebook.  Ah another one of my addictions.....  photography, coffee, loseit, instagram, my IPhone...........  need I go on?  Anyway, because I didn't know I was going to blog this, I don't have the process pictures. But I think that is ok, as it is pretty straightforward.

The lentils and rice needs to be cooked first according to package directions.

I made bread crumbs with bread I left out on the counter for a few hours, in the blender.

I also made a few adjustments to the original recipe, which I will note below.

Vegetarian Meatloaf
About 8 servings
Definitely not vegan- sorry guys

3/4 cup dry brown lentils
1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 1/2 cups dry bread crumbs
2 eggs
1 large onion, chopped
1 teaspoon thyme
1/3 cup tomato sauce (called for crushed tomatoes)
2 tsp hot sauce (I omitted this time, grandma wouldn't have liked hot sauce in it!)
2 Tablespoons ketchup
1 Tablespoon soy sauce (I used Bragg's Amino Acids- similar to soy, less salt)
1/3 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 325.  Cook lentils and brown rice according to package directions.  (Next time I am going to figure out how to cook both of them in the same pot.  Start with the rice, then later add the lentils)  Drain and mash lentils

In large bowl, combine mashed lentils, rice, wheat germ, bread crumbs, eggs, onion, thyme, tomato sauce, ketchup, hot sauce, soy sauce and cheese.  Pour into loaf pan or 9 x 9 square pan.

Bake covered for an hour.  (ooops!  I baked mine uncovered)  It was fine uncovered, actually, but if your oven runs hot, you might want to cover it.  It could have gotten a little dry, I'm sure.  BUT the uncoveredness resulted in a nice crunchy edge, which was sublime!

The vital stats:
Calories per serving: 254  4.4 grams fat  Only 280 mg of sodium  8 gms of fiber  13 gms of protein

The smell of this (probably from the ketchup and onion) is so much like my old recipe!  I am going to add a few of my "secret" ingredients next time and see how that is, not to mention the hot sauce.  I think that would be great-- but I never would have told Grandma that!!  :)

Until next time, find comfort in your memories and relive a little bit of joy.

**It occurs to me that you could make both burgers out of this (fry the pattys) or meatballs (bake covered- use really finely chopped onion).  I am late to the game sometimes!


  1. This looks and sounds tasty tasty! I'm going to try it sometime. :)

    1. Hey girl, it was so easy and it makes a lot. YOu could probably halve it AND it occurs to me you could make meatballs from it and bake them, too! Double yum!

  2. That sounds good! I eat poultry so I usually make turkey meatloaf, but I'd like to try this... sounds yummy and I think I have all the ingredients except wheat germ... I wonder if flaxseed would work instead? My hubby would LOVE the hot sauce addition. What are your other secret ingredients?! I sometimes add sundried tomatoes to my meatloaf. Might be good if you caramelized the onions first, too...

    1. Um, well, honey if I told you I'd have to kill you! HAHAHA, jk, well one of them is mustard.
      And another is worcestershire sauce. And caramelizing the onion is genius!! I am also thinking the addition of a little finely chopped portabella mushrooms would be good too. I am not sure if flaxseed would work, but I am guessing it would. I think the wheat germ is a binding ingredient. I am absolutely putting in hot sauce next time!

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks! I miss my grandma, though she's been gone since I was in college. I might post about her if I can find some pix of her.