Wednesday, March 13, 2013

BBQ Vegetarian "Meatloaf"

This is a weird concept, a vegetarian meatloaf.  Mine wasn't actually vegetarian because I used chicken stock since that's what I had on hand, but you could easily use a vegetable stock instead.

I had no idea what I was getting into since it was a complete experiment.


Daily Garnish Cranberry Orange Lentil Quinoa Loaf (for the quinoa-lentil mixture)
and Healthful Pursuit Gluten-free + Vegan Lentil “Meat” Loaf (for the rest of the concept)

I combined the two recipes to come up with my version.  I wasn't excited about the fruit in the first recipe, that's why I followed the second recipe for the remaining concept. 


makes 1 9x5 loaf
  • 1 cup dry lentils
  • 1/2 cup dry quinoa
  • 4 cups liquid (I made chicken stock using instant paste)
  • seasonings

  • handful of mushrooms, minced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced (from a jar!)
  • 1/4 onion, minced
  • handful of carrot, minced
  • couple handfuls of spinach, cut finely
  • 1 tsp tamari/soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/4 c flax seed meal
  • 2 eggs
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/2 c BBQ sauce, plus more for topping

Quinoa & Lentils Directions

I cooked the quinoa and lentils on the stove during my lunch hour.  I've cooked quinoa in the rice cooker, but I didn't know if the lentils would cook up correctly in there, so I figured the stovetop method would probably work best.  On a whim I added some dried bell peppers, a shake of curry powder, dried lemon peel, and celery seed to flavor the quinoa and lentils.   

Rest of the Loaf Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

For all the veggies, I pulled out my full-size food processor and whizzed each one up separately until they were minced.  Then I sauteed them in a little olive oil over medium heat to soften them. 

Put the cooked veggies and everything else in a big bowl and mix it all together with your hands.  Put it into a greased loaf pan and pat it down firmly.  Top with some additional BBQ sauce. Bake for 55 minutes. 


Everybody liked this.  Husband Jeff was surprised he liked it so much.  Sonny D ate pretty much a full piece for dinner.  Of course it helps when you use delicious BBQ sauce.  I used Smoky Jon's, a super-local brand (comes from about a mile away from our house).

Husband Jeff and Sonny D don't care for mushrooms, but they are a source of umami (savoriness) so I figured they would give a meat-like quality to the dish.  That's the same reason I included soy sauce.  Nobody complained about the mushrooms, so I will continue to add them when they seem necessary. 

Before I added the eggs I tried the mixture and it was delicious.  I really liked the flavor so I was excited for the actual meal.  I was also excited because this meal was full of protein and veggies. 

I baked it for the indicated time, but it still didn't seem like enough to really dry it out to be solid.  The mixture was still pretty wet when I pulled it out of the oven.  Next time I would bake it in a wider dish and maybe cook it a bit longer so it can really firm up.

The leftovers were definitely more firm, I was able to actually slice it.  And it reheated fine in the microwave. 

Question For You

What is your current favorite ingredient to cook with?  I know I've talked about it before, but right now I love frozen pepper stir fry, which is only peppers and onions.  It's so nice to have it on hand since it's the basis for many recipes.  Plus it's in my freezer, so it's not going to go bad like the onion I found in my hanging produce rack recently. 

Wanna Chat?

I turned off the 'leave a comment' feature, so if you want to share what you're thinking about this or anything else, drop me an email at jhk1013 (at) It's so much more cozy than a comment, plus we can have a real conversation!