Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Vegan Meatloaf Thing

If memory serves, I have hosted Christmas at my house for the past six years. There are several reasons for this, some happy (I love food and decorating and my baby brother), and some not so happy (avoiding my abusive father at all costs). I've never regretted the decision to open my doors on Christmas, as hectic and stressful as the day can be. But at the same time, the tradition feels oddly lonely. I don't know anyone else my age who hosts Christmas. It's one of those little niggling things in the back of my mind that makes me realize my life's experiences aren't quite in harmony with those of my peers. But that's all okay. I'm not complaining.

Except for this one thing.

I was chatting with one of my coworkers--who kind of has a stick up her butt, but that's beside the point--about our Christmas plans, and when I told her Christmas was at my house, she asked what I was going to serve. I told her I wasn't entirely sure yet, which was true. I told her that the only thing anyone requested was mashed potatoes, so I was trying to build a meal from there. I told her I would probably serve some kind of meatloaf thing and maybe some Brussels sprouts or something.

Dudes. She was super rude. About me and my damn meatloaf.

Now, I don't go around making a fuss about being vegan, because I know it makes people uncomfortable and is basically social suicide. So notice that I didn't tell her I was making vegan meatloaf. I told her I was making some kind of meatloaf thing.

The judgement--oh my god.

Somehow, this woman was deeply offended that I would serve meatloaf to my family on Christmas. I don't know which part of my plan bothered her, whether it was the meatloaf or the feeding people or the feeding people meatloaf, but my plans clearly did not meet her approval. So much so that when we were getting in our cars to leave, she told me she hoped I figured out something else to make.

Fuck you too, lady.

But you know what? I made my meatloaf thing, and it was damn delicious.

Some people just suck.

If you're surrounded by sucky people and you need to show them up with a top-notch meatloaf thing, then I've got the recipe for you. Alternatively, if you have a teenage brother or a houseful of relatives or, like, some friends who eat food, I've also got the recipe for you. Read on:

Vegan Meatloaf Thing


2 tsp olive oil
1/2 red onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 3/4 cup cooked red lentils (slightly overcooked--should be mushy but still defined)
15oz canned great northern beans
1 1/4 cups breadcrumbs (I used vegan panko)
2 flax eggs (2 tbs flax meal + 5 tbs water)
2 tbs liquid smoke
2 tsp low sodium soy sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 tbs tomato paste
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp oregano

1/4 cup tomato paste
4 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbs maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt


1. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions, celery, and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent, stirring occasionally.

2. Stir all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Add everything to a food processor and pulse until combined but still chunky. (I have a dinky "chopper" instead of a food processor, so do mine in batches. A potato masher or your hands would probably work too.)

3. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper. Leave some overhang for easy removal. Press the meatloaf-y glop into the pan, leveling out the top.

4. Stir together the ingredients for the glaze. Spoon it over the loaf and spread it out.

5. Bake at 375 for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean (it might have some glaze on it).

6. Remove from the oven and cool slightly before lifting out of the pan with the parchment paper. Slice and serve.

Adapted from https://jessicainthekitchen.com/vegan-meatloaf-gluten-free/