Editor’s note: What follows is one of the recipes found in Carla Kelly’s Quick and Easy Vegan Slow Cooking.
Still moist, as a good meatloaf should be, yet hearty and satisfying, this traditionally flavoured loaf is made extra “meaty” by the inclusion of grated seitan. It is great served with Garlic and Onion Mashed Potatoes, Maple-Touched Chili Brussels Sprouts, and Mushroom Gravy. Even real meat-and-potatoes people will go back for seconds of this loaf. Try one of the flavour variations for a less “old-school” meatloaf taste. It is truly delicious served hot, or cold at a picnic. The slices reheat well, and it is freezer friendly. The longer it stands, the easier it is to slice.
Serves: 6 to 8
Preparation time: 30 minutes
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
1 tablespoon seeded Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 teaspoon Marmite
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
1 cup cooked millet, packed (see note)
1 pound seitan, preferably dark, store-bought or homemade, grated, or commercial soy crumbles (about 4 cups)
3/4 cup vegetable stock, store-bought or homemade
3/4 cup Simple Tomato Sauce, or canned
Salt and black pepper
3/4 cup vital wheat gluten
1. Line the slow cooker insert with two sheets of foil placed in opposite directions, leaving enough foil at both ends to serve as handles. Spray with nonstick spray.
2. Combine the onion through the tomato sauce in a large bowl. Taste and season with the salt and pepper as required.
3. Stir in the wheat gluten. The mixture will look damp but will not feel wet and will hold together when pressed.
4. Transfer to the slow cooker and press in the mixture evenly, smoothing the top.
5. Cover, set heat to low, and cook for eight hours, or until firm and browned.
6. Uncover, cool for 10 minutes, remove using the foil handles, and let stand 10 minutes prior to serving.
Note: If you are cooking millet specifically for this dish, start with 1/3 cup dry; it will triple in volume when cooked.
Mexican-inspired “not-meat” loaf
Substitute ketchup for the Dijon mustard, reduce the soy sauce to one tablespoon, and add one tablespoon hot sauce (as hot as you like). Reduce the carrot by half and add 1/2 cup corn kernels when you mix everything together. Substitute equal amounts of cumin and coriander for the thyme and sage.
Asian-inspired “not-meat” loaf
Add one tablespoon grated fresh ginger and 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro with the onion. Instead of the thyme and sage, substitute 1/2 teaspoon each of coriander, ground ginger, and cardamom, plus a pinch of turmeric.
Italian-inspired “not-meat” loaf
Substitute ketchup for the Dijon mustard, reduce the soy sauce to one tablespoon, and add a tablespoon of homemade or store-bought pesto. Reduce the carrot by half and add 1/2 cup finely chopped black olives, capers, or both when you mix everything together. Instead of the thyme and sage, substitute equal amounts dried basil and oregano.
Recipe adapted from Carla Kelly’s Quick and Easy Vegan Slow Cooking (The Experiment). Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.