Need an entrée that will please all palates? This holiday vegetable loaf is it. The combination of the quinoa, oats, mushrooms, and nuts provide this dish with the perfect "meatloaf" texture — and it's speckled with cranberries, so it's perfect for the season. Finish it off with your choice of our cranberry glaze recipe or a traditional meatloaf glaze. Recipe created as a guest post for Sweet Simple Vegan by Yvonne's Vegan Kitchen.
Holiday Vegetable Loaf With Cranberry Glaze [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
For the Loaf:
- 1 cup filtered water
- 1/2 cup quinoa, uncooked
- 2 tablespoons flax meal
- 6 tablespoons filtered water
- 2 cups Crimini or Porcini mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
- 1 small carrot, peeled and finely chopped
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup almond milk
- 1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon coconut aminos or tamari
- 1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon rosemary, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon sage, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme, finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
For the Cranberry Glaze:
- 1 1/2 pounds fresh cranberries, washed and dried (about 5 cups)
- 2 cups filtered water
- 3/4 cup Medjool dates, pitted
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2, plus 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4, plus 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
- 4 tablespoons orange juice
For the Traditional Meatloaf Glaze:
- 3 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 1/2 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
To Make the Loaf:
- Rinse and drain quinoa. Place the quinoa and 1 cup of water in a small saucepot and cover. Cook the quinoa over medium heat. Once it has reached a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer. The quinoa should be cooked in about 15 minutes when all the water is absorbed. Keep an eye on it, so it doesn’t burn. Set aside to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Line a loaf pan with parchment paper. First, cut two pieces of parchment paper — one piece for the length of the loaf pan, from rim-to-rim, and one piece for the width of the loaf pan, rim-to-rim. Spray the loaf pan, then place one parchment piece down. Respray the parchment and lay the other piece of parchment over crosswise, like an "x." Spray the parchment again.
- Prepare the flax egg. In a small bowl, combine the flax meal with 6 tablespoons of water, mix and set aside to thicken.
- Prepare the loaf batter. Measure out 3/4 cup cooked quinoa (store leftover quinoa in the refrigerator to eat later). Place the quinoa in a food processor with the mushrooms and walnuts, and process until it comes together and resembles the same texture as ground meat.
- Place the loaf batter in a large mixing bowl and add the remaining ingredients to the bowl, including the flax egg. With clean hands, toss all the ingredients until fully combined.
- Pour the veggie loaf mixture into the loaf pan and pat down well, spreading evenly. Flatten the top.
- Place the loaf pan in the center of the oven for about 1 1/2 hours.
To Make the Cranberry Glaze:
- If your dates are too hard, soak them overnight in filtered water.
- Add the filtered water and dates into a high-powered blender and blend until smooth. If it’s a little chunky, that’s fine.
- Wash and dry the cranberries.
- In a medium saucepot, combine the coconut sugar, date/water mixture, and cranberries. Mix.
- Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Add the cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg.
- Stir to combine and simmer for about 7-9 minutes. You will notice that some cranberries will remain whole and some will burst.
- Add orange zest and juice. Taste and add zest and juice to taste and allow to cool.
- Blend half of the sauce. Add the blended mixture back to the pot, mix it well, store in a glass container, and chill to thicken. As the mixture chills, the natural pectins in the fruit will thicken the sauce/glaze.
To Make the Traditional Glaze:
- Combine ketchup, vegan Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, and stir together with a spoon.
- 10 minutes before removing the loaf from the oven, brush the top of the meatloaf with the traditional glaze, spreading it evenly to coat. If you use the cranberry glaze, use only a little over 1/4 cup of it to spread. Reserve the rest of the cranberry glaze to serve on the side.
- Allow the loaf to cool for about 10 minutes prior to cutting.