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More than a Meat(less) Loaf

Whenever I get one of those nagging food cravings I usually give in to it right away so I can get it out of my head and get on with my life. That’s how it was with this vegan meatloaf. Despite the fact that it was 90 degrees outside, I just had to turn on the oven.

First I cut up some veggies and got them roasting. For the loaf, I used the recipe for Three-Bean Loaf from Vegan on the Cheap. It’s an easy and versatile recipe that combines minced onion, carrot, celery, and garlic with beans (you can swap different kinds), oats, wheat gluten flour, bread crumbs, and seasonings. That’s it. Just shape and bake at 375 for about 50 minutes. The recipe calls for adding a topping made with ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, and vinegar, but I just added a strip of ketchup on top instead.

As dinner baked in the oven, I inhaled the wonderful fragrance. It got me to reminiscing about my first foray into cooking a vegetarian meal back in the ‘70s. It was a bean loaf I made from a then-rare vegetarian recipe I found in a magazine. I admit that first bean loaf I made wasn’t the greatest, but to me it tasted like freedom. For the first time I felt empowered that I could go vegetarian and never look back.

At dinner that night, I thought about the significance of that first meatless loaf so many years ago and it made my delicious dinner taste all the more satisfying.