I’ve been working on this recipe for over a year now.  I could fill a book with the mishaps on this one but one particular story stands out more than the others.  It involves my sister, Julie, our beagle Hobbes and a college located in the boonies of New York State.

Long story short:

It was our daughter’s first year in college, parents weekend and which also happened to be the pagan celebration of Halloween.

In order to attend parents weekend, we needed a dog sitter in our home for the 14 year old beagle with serious dementia issues.

Julie offered to stay and we were grateful.  My first thought was to try and make things as easy and enjoyable for her as possible.  After all, Halloween is one of her favorite holidays and she was spending it with the geriatric.

What could be better than a vegan version of meatloaf, I thought?

Off to the kitchen…

Time was not on my side.
We were not Vitamix owners yet.
The chickpeas, for the hummus portion of the dish, were grinding away in the food processor like nobody’s business.
I added a significantly large portion of water to the processor, so as not to break another kitchen appliance and to get that hummus made lickity split.

Finally, the dish was put together.  It looked scrumptious.
And as an added bonus, I also made a chick pea salad that I knew Julie liked.
Oh yeah, my sister was going to have a great weekend!


Who could have anticipated the freak storm that would leave a foot of snow and a loss of power for two days?  Fortunately, Julie cooked that quinoa dish before all of that happened. Unfortunately, what she got was a slurpee mess.

Yup, the extra water did this dish in.  Hey, it was a themed weekend for her,  a little unexpected crystalline water on the ground and a little steamed in the only dinner this carnivore had available.  Oy Vey…

Sorry, Julie!!

Mistakes are our greatest learning moments. After several tries, I have finally mastered this recipe.  I hope you like it!

4 cups cooked quinoa (about 2 cups dry but measure once cooked)
4 oz portabella mushrooms
1 cup onions, diced
2 large cloves garlic, diced
1 green pepper
1/2 red pepper
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 egg replacer (or 1 egg for vegetarian version)
1/2 cup of a spicy hummus (my chipotle – version II recipe or store bought)
1 cup bread crumbs (I use Italian flavored)
1/2 roasted red pepper
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp fresh basil
1/2 tbsp fresh parsley
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper(optional)
4 tbsp flour ( I use tapioca flour to give the top a crispness)

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 9×12 pan.  Cook quinoa.  Roast red pepper and place in bag to cool before skinning. Spray a large skillet. Add mushrooms, onions, garlic, green pepper, and half red pepper. Add a little salt to sweat out the water that occurs naturally in veggies, cook about 5-8 minutes on medium heat. In a large bowl, combine veggie mixture with quinoa and the remaining ingredients.  Place in 9×12 pan and cook for 1 – 1/4 hours. Set aside to rest about 5-10 minutes before serving. This dish is just as good cold.

What are some of your greatest learning moments? Please, leave a comment!