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My husband’s meatloaf was one of my favorite meals back in the day when I ate animal flesh.  I no longer make any effort to try and duplicate those types of meat dishes but I do enjoy trying to replicate their spice profile in my recipes.

My better half’s bovine loaf had a Mexican flavor and as the meat began to denature, the spices began to exude, permeating the entire house. It left me salivating.

This tempeh loaf includes the vegetables and spices that were incorporated in his recipe.

I put the kibosh on trying to get plant-based dishes to taste like their meat counterpart a long time ago and that includes attempting to replicate holiday meals. The focus of my Thanksgiving feast will be a whopper (pun intended) of a salad. This loaf would accompany the salad perfectly.

Serves  4-6

1 onion, finely diced
1/2 c carrots, finely diced
1/2 c celery, finely diced
1/4 c red pepper, minced
1/4 c green pepper, minced
2 tsp garlic, minced
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
(2) 8 oz. pks tempeh, crumbled
1/2 c vegetable broth
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 c cooked brown rice
1/2 c bread crumbs
sea salt, to taste

Heat oven at 350°.
Heat a large skillet on high for a minute. Add enough water to coat bottom of skillet.
Add veggies and garlic. Lower heat to medium and cook for 10-15 minutes until veggies soften, stirring often.  Continue to add water as needed to keep vegetables from burning.
Add spices. Mix well.
Add tempeh, tomato paste and broth to skillet. Cook about 5 minutes.
Transfer to bowl.
Add rice and breadcrumbs.
Adjust seasoning.
Transfer loaf to a greased or parchment lined loaf pan.
Bake for 30 minutes covered.
Remove foil and cook for an additional 15 minutes or until loaf is fully cooked.
Cooking times will vary depending on size of loaf pan used.

It’s possible to get through the holidays without overindulging in junk food, but you need to have a plan.
SURROUND yourself with unprocessed food so your choices are healthy.
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