Saturday, January 19, 2013

Neat Loaf w mushroom gravy

 Okay. Let me start by saying... I've made a lot of Neatloafs and I'm trying to master a gluten free version. Here are some ingredients I've tried as a base: ( know, rather than ground beef.)
oat flour, oats, GF breadcrumbs, quinoa flakes, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, garbanzo beans, pinto beans, lentils, organic TVP.

I've learned a few things. Most of these ingredients tend to really soak up flavor.. so you have to keep adding more seasoning until the batter tastes right. Also, it is best to use several of the above ingredients rather than just 2 or 3 because it add texture.. so rather than eating a bean loaf, oat loaf or lentil loaf.. you're eating a lentil-bean-oat-nut-seed loaf. Got it? When these all bake together the moisture tends to soften everything, so it shouldn't be crunchy or overly soft, but be able to hold its shape and provide a small variety of texture components. I used to add ground flax seeds, because they make a good egg replacer, but I dont think its necessary. Everything will bind regardless, and the flax makes it kind of mushy.

1 c garbanzos
1 c pinto
1 c lentils
3/4 c oats
1 small onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 carrot, shredded
1 c mushrooms, chopped
1/2 bell pepper diced
3 cloves garlic
1/3 c sunflower kernels
1/3 c walnuts
1/2 T cumin
1/2 t coriander
2 T Tamari
1 lemon, juice
salt & pepper
fresh parsley

other additions you may want to try adding: sage, thyme, rosemary, mustard, apple, raisin, vegan Worcestershire.

Sauce to Top
1 part ketchup
1 part apple butter
dash of balsamic vinegar

You can pulse all of this in a food processor until it is coarsely mixed, but not mushy. Don't make a paste!  Taste it. If it doesnt have good flavor now, it may be bland when it is done baking. Chances are it may be a little starchy and bland now, and a lot of the flavors will develop more in the oven.. but still.. dont be afraid to add more tamari, cumin, mustard or herbs. Then stir together the Sauceand set aside.

Line a loaf pan, or whatever your using, with parchment and spray it. Pack in the neatloaf batter & generously top with the sauce. Bake in the oven at 425deg for 40minutes. Sometimes I will pull it out, cut the loaf into 4 or more pieces, then stick the peices back in the oven on a tray (try to stand them up) to crisp up more of the edges.

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