This delicious veggie loaf won't fall apart on you. It holds together really well, just like a classic meatloaf. This loaf hits all the high notes for nutrition. It’s made with black beans, quinoa, black rice, chia seeds, rolled oats, and walnuts. It’s also made with mushrooms, but you don’t really taste the mushrooms in the loaf, instead they are in there to add depth and a savory taste. You can also substitute the mushrooms with zucchini. The loaf can be served as a main course or a side dish. It tastes great as is or with mushroom gravy.
Black Bean, Quinoa, and Walnut Loaf [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
For the Base:
- 3 tablespoons whole chia seeds, plus 1/2 cup warm water
- 2 cups black beans that were soaked and boiled (see notes)
- 2 cups cooked red quinoa (see notes)
- 1 cup cooked black rice, cooked according to package
- 2 cups fresh Brown mushrooms or zucchini, chopped
- 1 large-size leek, chopped
- 1/2 cup celeriac (celery root), grated
- 2-3 garlic cloves, pressed
For the Spicy Sauce:
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
For the Crumbs:
- 1 cup natural rolled oats plus 1 cup walnuts, mixed in blender or processor to obtain crumbs
For the Spices:
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- Pink salt and ground pepper, to taste
- Line 2 loaf pans with parchment paper or use non-stick loaf pans. Mix the chia seeds in a small bowl with warm water and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes – it will gel up. Partially process the prepared black beans in processor or blender or mash with fork or hand masher. Some beans can be left whole. Put prepared beans, quinoa, and rice in a big bowl and mix well.
- In a non-stick pan (don’t add butter or oil), sauté over medium heat, the mushrooms, leeks, celeriac, and garlic until the water from the mushrooms has evaporated, about 15 minutes. When done, add this to the bean, quinoa, and rice and mix well.
- In a small bowl, whisk the spicy sauce and add this to the mixture. Mix well. Add the gelled chia seeds. Mix again.
- Add the blended oats and walnuts. Add the spices. Mix well with clean hands, turning and squeezing the mixture between your fingers. The mixture should hold well together. It should feel moist, slightly crumbly but not mushy. If you find it dry, drizzle a little extra olive oil.
- Bake in350 F preheated oven for 1 hour. For the first 30 minutes of baking, make a tent with an aluminum foil that loosely covers the loaves. Remove foil for the next 30 minutes of baking. Rest on cooling rack for at least 15 minutes before slicing. Slices can be reheated in microwave. Can be stored in refrigerator straight in the pan and covered with foil. It tastes great the next day.
1 1/2 cups dried beans normally makes 2 cups after they soak. To avoid running short, soak 2 cups of dry beans and freeze the leftovers. Put the dried beans in a large bowl, cover with water, and let soak for 12 hours or overnight. Strain and measure exactly 2 cups of soaked beans. Boil the soaked beans in salted water with lid on for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until tender. Strain again. 1 cup dry quinoa normally makes 2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa. To cook 1 cup of dry quinoa, you need 2 cups of water. For this recipe, measure exactly 2 cups of cooked quinoa. Freeze or add leftovers to another dish.