Vegetarian meatloaf is a tasty and nutritious meal and yet simple to prepare. A few basic ingredients are all that is required to make this versatile dish
Meatloaf has been a popular dish enjoyed by families worldwide. With the main ingredients being meat, however, vegetarians have been denied the tasty meatloaf experience. With a little culinary flair, traditional meatloaf recipes can be adapted and this means that exciting and interesting vegetarian alternatives can be created. These are likely to be enjoyed by the whole family and not just by vegetarians.
Ingredients for Vegetarian Meatloaf
Vegetarian meatloaf can be created using a wide variety of vegetarian ingredients. This means that a tasty meatloaf dish can be cooked from simple vegetarian staple items. Seasoning such as yeast flakes and miso enhance the flavor of the foods used. Ingredients suitable for vegetarian meatloaf include:
- Nuts: One of the most traditional vegetarian alternatives to meatloaf is a nut loaf. Nuts are rich in protein, have a distinctive texture and adapt well to many culinary uses. Nuts can be used in meatloaf style dishes with great effect.
- Tofu: The soft texture of tofu makes it ideal for vegetarian meatloaf. Tofu is a bland taste and will absorb flavors such as herbs, spices and other seasoning to make a tasty dish. Tofu is simple to prepare and can be used in place of meat in many meatloaf recipes.
- Lentils: These are readily available, cheap and nutritious. Lentils are an excellent cupboard ingredient for vegetarians as they are easy to prepare and extremely versatile. Lentils can be used in place of meat in many traditional recipes. Lentils have a rich texture that creates a satisfying vegetarian meatloaf. The lentils can be cooked and mashed into a purée or simply cooked and used whole, depending on the texture of meatloaf required. Lentils combine well with other ingredients and complement many seasoning styles.
- Textured vegetable protein: Also know as TVP, textured vegetable protein works well in many meatloaf recipes. TVP comes in different shapes and sizes. It is created from soy beans and is high in protein. TVP is available in both flavored and neutral versions. Flavored TVP is an ideal ingredient for when time is short as no additional seasoning is required.
- Vegetables: A satisfying meatloaf can be created using a selection of vegetables. This is a useful way of using up any vegetable leftovers. The vegetable mix can be bound with other ingredients such as eggs, breadcrumbs and rice. Various seasonings can be used to adapt a vegetable meatloaf depending on the vegetables used.
The main ingredients listed above can be used on their own as a substitute to meat in recipes or combined to create interesting vegetarian alternatives to traditional meatloaf.
How to Serve Vegetarian Meatloaf
Vegetarian meatloaf can be served in a variety of ways. A vegetarian meatloaf can be served with other vegetables and a sauce or gravy for a substantial and filling meal. A lighter meal can be created by serving a vegetarian meatloaf with a side salad. Vegetarian meatloaf makes a tasty and nutritious filling for sandwiches and rolls making it ideal for packed lunches. Vegetarian meatloaf can be served hot or cold.
Storing Vegetarian or Vegetable Meatloaf
Leftover meatloaf can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days. Vegetarian meatloaf can also be frozen. This is useful for occasions when a single portion of vegetarian food is required. Vegetarian meatloaf can be reheated in the microwave or traditional oven. As with any chilled or frozen food, when reheating it is essential that the meatloaf is heated right the way through.
Vegetarian meatloaf is surprisingly easy to make and is a versatile dish. It is ideal for high days and holidays as well as being a useful vegetarian standby. By adapting meat recipes old family favorites can be given a new lease of life.