Monday, March 5, 2007

Lazy Sunday Dinner: Soyloaf and veggies

Guess I just wanted comfort food--last week was a very stressful one for me. I called my mother when I was planning meals Saturday and asked her how she makes her meatloaf. I love the veggieloaf generator over at The Vegan Lunchbox and intend to try one of the combinations eventually. But my mother’s meatloaf isn’t like most people’s meatloaf, because it’s mostly meat and isn’t tomato-y or mushy. I wanted to try to make it vegetarian–a soyloaf. She happily obliged me with the simple recipe.

To round out the Sunday evening meal, I slow-roasted organic tomatoes (again, yes–I’m in love with them, poor tomato-averse husband); cooked vegetarian CSA collard greens using the recipe I have posted previously; and toasted a couple of Hawaiian rolls. (The rolls are outside our usual eating habits, but I went to Kroger–a very rare thing for me–with a friend and was entranced by the idea of slightly sweet rolls . . . and they sold a pack that only had 4 rolls in it, so I got it.)

I also wanted to cook carrots to go with dinner . . . sweet carrots, to complement the salty soyloaf and slightly bitter greens. My husband loves carrots, too, so they were a nice balance to the tomatoes he would eat but wouldn’t like. For whatever reason, though, I’m not a giant carrot fan, so I wasn’t terribly excited about making them. For a change in consistency and to perk up the idea of carrots in my mind, I decided to try using our nifty new-ish immersion blender to whip the carrots in their pot. It was a very successful experiment.

And speaking of experiments, I’m now testing whether I can manage to add red wine back to my diet without pain. I did have a few twinges of pain after the meal, so perhaps the tomatoes and wine were too much acid together. But it was nice to have a small amount of wine with dinner. (We had tried a wine from Four Vines called Anarchy and loved it, so we decided to try a couple of other types from them. The Zinfandel was good–not great like the Anarchy, but good.)

My husband is trying out new photography equipment, so this picture’s a bit stark. (See the photographer’s umbrella reflected in the glass of wine?)


Hearty Onion Soyloaf

I must admit I cringed when I saw the ingredients in the Lipton onion soup mix I used in this recipe. Partially hydrogenated fat? MSG? Yuck. I’m hoping to find a better onion soup mix made entirely from natural ingredients when I retry this recipe. But I did have very pleasant childhood memories from the scent of the soyloaf as I mixed and baked it.

~2 lbs. ground soy (similar to ground beef–I used two tubes of sausage-style soy, and they were a little too pork tasting–with thyme, I think?–and very salty. The end result was good and will be great in sandwiches, but I’ll try a different variety next time)

Note: This soyloaf is pretty similar in texture to hamburgers. It's firm. It would probably work well to make into patties for burgers, actually. It's not in the least mushy, so if a soft loaf is what you're going for, this one isn't it.

one egg (two eggs–or add some milk or soymilk or whatever–if the consistency seems too dry when you mix it all together)

1/8-1/4 c. Italian bread crumbs (amount depending on desired consistency)

one packet of onion soup mix

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all the ingredients together in a big bowl. The easiest way to mix it is to use your (clean!) hands.

Shape the mixture into a loaf, and spray a baking dish with a little non-stick spray. (This may not be necessary, but I was worried my loaf would stick to my dish.) Put the loaf in the dish.

Bake 40-55 minutes–until your loaf is firm and turning brown on the outside.

“Wow, these are carrots?” Carrots

Put a large pot of water on to boil. Toss a bit of small bit of salt in it.

Unless you have carrots fresh from the earth, peel your carrots. I used three bunches of organic (much smaller than ‘conventional’) carrots in two shades of orange. I think parsnips would make a lovely addition, though I don’t think they’d need to boil quite as long.

Cut your carrots into ~1″ sections. When your water is boiling, add the carrots to it. Partially cover your pot. Boil your carrots for ~20 minutes.

When the carrots are done, turn off the eye, drain the carrots in a collander, and return them to the pot while they are still steaming hot.

I had about three servings of carrots. I added 2 tsp. butter, 2 tsp. heavy cream, three dashes of ginger, two dashes of nutmeg, a dash of salt, and about 2 tsp. of dark brown sugar (the organic kind, which is redolent of molasses). I used my immersion blender to mash most–but not all–of the carrots into a puree with the flavorings. If you don’t have an immersion blender, get one. I’m just kidding, though really, I do love ours and am very glad we got one. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you could try using your regular blender (melt the butter if you do that), your food processor, or (for a chunkier consistency) your potato masher. My husband and I both loved these carrots. They were flavorful but not overpowering.

Oh, and the rolls didn’t seem nearly as exciting once I had a flavorful meal put together. Good lesson to learn.


CactusFreek said...

That looks really yummy. I can't eat soy though. I just can't stand the taste of it! :oÞ

:-) said...

The picture looks like you created a DIVINE meal! Love all of the colors.
I really do need to get more creative...I've tried looking at different cookbooks/sites, etc. Right now I'm on an eggplant kick, because they were on sale.

~~Midnight Raider~~ said...

Yum! Looks absolutely delish!