This recipe took a few sideways steps over the years. I grew up eating my mom’s meatloaf – of the cow variety. When hubby and I became vegetarians, I learned about a mock meatloaf called cottage cheese loaf. It was tasty – after all, most recipes contained gobs of cottage cheese, eggs, and butter/margarine – but far from healthy. My very favorite version repeatedly received rave reviews. But hold the phone! ~ there was another necessary morph coming. I next needed a vegan version without unhealthy levels of fats. (Vegan doesn’t necessarily mean healthy, you know…potato chips are vegan.) We ate some “interesting” concoctions as I played with ingredients trying to get the taste I remembered. Now I get rave reviews over my vegan version!
- 1 c. walnuts
- 4 ½ c. semi-crushed cereal (see note)
- 1 c. water (if you aren’t trying to eat completely fat-free, I recommend replacing 2 T. of the water with olive oil for better texture)
- 2 large onions (at least 2 cups worth once it’s chopped)
- 2 boxes Mori-nu Lite extra-firm tofu, drained
- 4 ½ T. Ener-G egg replacer powder
- 3-4 T. “chicken”-style seasoning
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9″ x13″ pan with olive oil. Chop walnuts in food processor; set aside. Semi-crush cereal flakes in food processor or with potato masher (depending on which cereal you use); set aside with nuts. Chop onions in food processor and place in skillet to simmer with 1 c. water until onion is softened – about 5 minutes. (If you prefer a drier end product, decrease the water by 2-3 T. My family likes a very moist loaf.) In large bowl, mash tofu with a potato masher until the consistency of small-curd cottage cheese. Stir “chicken” seasoning and egg-replacer powder into tofu. Add the reserved nuts and cereal; mix until evenly distributed. By this time, the onions should be ready. Do not drain the water off of the onions, but pour them both into the tofu mixture. Stir vigorously until everything begins to stick together quite well, as the water and egg replacer powder come together. Scrape into prepared pan. Flatten and smooth into corners. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour (or if preparing ahead, bake for only 45 minutes, reheating at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes). This also freezes well. Thaw before reheating in oven.
NOTE: If you prefer using “Special K” or “Product 19″ cereals you may, but to avoid refined sugars, etc., that they contain, you may use something like Kashi “Good Friends” cereal* or another flake cereal* from the health-food section of your grocery store.
*will most likely need food processor to crush.