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Gluten Free, Soy Free, Protein-ful Vegan Loaf?

plllog
8 years ago

Hi Everybody! I haven't been around here for quite awhile. (I've been cooking!) I hope you can help with the above title. I need to produce a meatless main dish with protein that will serve all of my picky eaters. It must be absolutely gluten free and soy free for medical reasons (not fads), as well as vegan for the no-meat people.

I did find one recipe for a red bean and lentil loaf on the web that sounded more like real food than many, and it tasted pretty good, but the texture was lumpy mush. The thing needed eggs! But, of course, even though I can get soy free eggs (i.e., no soy chicken feed), I would really like to keep things vegan so that there will be something for whoever shows up. The recipe I did had flaxseed "eggs". Not sticky enough.

So, analyzing my feeling that it needs eggs, that would be protein for the sticky glue and fat for solidity and body. Is that right?

In searching the web, I found a mention of using garbanzo flour in place of eggs. That makes sense because garbanzos have protein and are pretty rich for beans. I'm wondering if I should try using garbanzo flour to thicken the mix, or if I should substitute white beans (highest in protein) and garbanzos (higher in fat) for the red beans (and adjust the color!).

Any advice would be very welcome. I'm hoping to make a solid loaf that can be sliced, but am open to other things that can be made ahead and don't require a lot of a la minute finishing. If you have a great recipe, that will also be gratefully accepted.

Many thanks for your help.

Comments (23)

  • grainlady_ks
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Seeing the whole recipe may be helpful, if you have time to post it.

    Rice flour might be another good choice since it is also used as a thickener and won't add much in the way of another flavor, and you can make your own in a coffee/spice mill. For this application, any kind of rice will work; unlike baking where short- or medium-grain rice are the better choices over long-grain rice. It won't matter all that much whether you use brown or white rice; and it probably won't take much, either - maybe a tablespoon or two.

    Another egg substitute that might work well as a binder that will also hold moisture is 1 T. chia seeds + 3 T. water - allow to sit 15-minutes before using. That is the substitute for 1 egg. Chia gel (which is generally a 9:1 ration of water to seeds) is probably too thin to make a good egg substitute. I keep white chia seeds on hand to use in some baked goods as a binder or egg substitute since the white chia seeds "look" better in some foods than the dark ones. Chia seeds can also be milled into a flour in a coffee/spice mill and that might be a good addition (1-2 T. chia flour).

    Bean flour can have a very strong "beany" flavor. Small white beans have the least beany flavor, as a general rule-of-thumb, especially when adding bean flour to baked goods to increase the protein. And as always, mill your own, if at all possible, because fresh is ALWAYS best. Freshly-milled bean flour will have the most nutrition possible. Oxygen and light will quickly destroy nutrients and degrade the oil and is why I avoid using commercial flours of all types. Relying on commercial flour is a HUGE nutritional mistake - whether it is gluten-free or not.

    Are you making a free-form loaf or in a loaf pan? That might make a difference in how well it slices. And if using a loaf pan, choose a size that isn't so big you end up with a short, squatty loaf. Allowing the loaf to rest for 10-15-minutes after it comes out of the oven before slicing it may be another way to prevent it from crumbling.

    -Grainlady

  • plllog
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Grainlady, thanks so much for the advice! I'll pick up some chia seeds next time I'm at the store. I've never cooked with them before, but they're a big component of my favorite storebought snack. :) I should learn.

    I realized just now that perhaps I wasn't very clear though. Your message can also be read either way, too.

    CLARIFICATION: I'm trying to make a meatless meatloaf, not a bread.

    The recipe has cooked red beans and lentils, sauteed onions, garlic and celery, carrots, walnuts, almond meal, tomato sauce, lots of spices, herbs and seasonings, and two flax "eggs".

    I don't mind if the loaf tastes somewhat beany, and I can adjust the flavor (amp up the tomato and spices). Do you think adding dried mushrooms would bother the anti-gloppiness crusade?

    Re rice flour, I'm thinking the starch would be great to hold together baking, but would it also hold together this kind of heavy, beany, nutty thing? Maybe it would. Maybe it would suck up some of the moisture and make glue, and looking at the ingredients condensed in a sentence (below) rather than strung along in a complex process, I see that there really isn't anything gluey in it at all. Rice flour in place of breadcrumbs, right? (I have lots of rice and a spice mill.)

    For that matter, I have some nicely stale gluten free matzah. Maybe breadcrumbs from that? Or is it the gluten rather than the starch that makes breadcrumbs hold stuff together? I didn't even think about the things that go into actual meatloaf, like breadcrumbs or rice.

    I am using a meatloaf pan, and did let it rest. The recipe actually calls for a longer resting period.

    I totally understand about the fresh milling, but I run up against what I can handle. If I had to start with fresh milling everything I just wouldn't cook and bake. I've been trying to work myself up to that point, but I'm nowhere near there. Instead, I do my best with airtight canisters inside the cupboards. It might not be ideal, but it's what I can handle. Even making my own bean flour for this (especially the cleanup) is something I just can't deal with while preparing a feast, for a dish that's already complex and meant for only a few people. I can handle the few tablespoons of rice in the spice mill, or the matzah in the FP, and you've convinced me that I need starch as well as fat, but there's a breaking point.

    I think I'd be more confident with the idea of milling if I could be more sure of the texture of the flour. I use many different grinds for different purposes and when I've looked at home grain mills they don't really have the specificity I'm used to. Perhaps, if I were younger, I'd be willing to just take the flour I'm given and make it work, but I'm really too busy to deal with that and want things to come out right the way they always have.

    Just getting a somewhat nutritious vegan dish out (I refuse to wimp out with pasta) will be a triumph over lots of experiments and dead ends.

    Many thanks for the advice.

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  • grainlady_ks
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I really did understand what you are trying to make... :-)

    Some recipes suggest meatless "meat" loaves be formed in a (free-form) mound on a baking sheet or pan, and some use a regular loaf pan, or if you have one, a 2-part meatloaf pan.

    Maybe it is something as simple as using tomato paste or gluten-free/soy-free ketchup, instead of tomato sauce to reduce the liquid and still maintain the flavor. Since tomato paste and ketchup is more concentrated than tomato sauce, you would probably use much less. I use tomato powder so I can make it any concentration I like when I mix it with water. I could also add it without adding ANY water at all. Such useful stuff..... You could mix all your ingredients EXCEPT the tomato product, and add it last until you have the consistency you think will work. Maybe even reduce the flax egg to one.

    Coconut flour is another option, and it is like a "sponge" when it comes to an ingredient that soaks up a lot of hydration, and it would only require a very small amount - 1-2 teaspoons. Coconut flour is a lot like gelatin, which holds 10-times its weight in water, but vegan.

    Mushrooms are another good idea for a meaty flavor, and you can use chopped dried, or dried mushrooms ground into a powder. America's Test Kitchen did something vegan/vegetarian recently with mushroom powder (you can make your own with dried mushrooms and a coffee/spice mill or a mini food processor or blender) and all the reasons why it works so well. I'll have to look up the science. It was in one of Becky's vegetarian dishes.

    I cook a simple vegetarian substitute for ground beef that works as a base product for things like sloppy joes or a casserole, but I've never thought about using it to make meatless "meat" loaf. I'd probably add some sprouted adzuki beans for a meaty color and texture. May have to give that a try..... I make bean or sprouted bean/seed patties, which are nice for individual servings. I'd also make "meatless meatloaf" in a muffin tin for individual portions. That may also be a way to avoid the heavy, wet, texture.

    Ground Beef Substitute
    1 c. lentils
    1 c. rice
    4 c. water
    Cook like you would cook rice.

    I use cannellini (white kidney beans) in recipes as a chicken substitute.

    Cooked grains, ground nuts, and bread crumb mixtures baked in loaf pans were popular during WWI and WWII as ways to save on meat. I'll have to find my rationing recipe booklets and see if they have some that would work or could be up-dated.

    -Grainlady

  • sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Grainlady has some good ideas. I've tried the sprouted adzuki and that does add a different level of flavor being on the way to plant matter. Layering also adds a good texture to a loaf.
    Rather than all in a solid grind/mix, making a base layer 1/2 way, then a mushroom onion celery inch, then a spinach bean mix for example. Topped with more of the bottom mix and tomato/herb.
    I make a mixed grain, nut, and mushroom dressing at thanksgiving with lots of veggie. Leftovers i make a veggie loaf packed into a small bread pan like a pate. It would need some experimenting to be what you are looking for but close.
    Around that same time, early November, i was looking for a good veg burger and found that veg burger wars are going on in NY. A few recipes on-line look really good. One restaurant had a version as a special one night a week, then needed to add it to the daily menu as it became so popular.
    No need to rush out and buy a spice grinder but do look for one. Usually under 20$ and will handle small one cup batches very quickly. Great for whole spices ground fresh.

  • plllog
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Oh, thank you both so much for the further, interesting ideas!

    Grainlady, I remember you from when I was here before and pretty sure you knew what I was talking about. I just realized in reading that it was ambiguous and put the clarification for anyone else. People are still e-mailing me about posts I made five years ago. :)

    I don't have tomato powder, but will look for it. Substituting paste and spice for sauce is easy, and I was thinking in that direction. Powder would be even better for firming things up, I'd guess. Can't do the coconut due to allergies. Perhaps tapioca? It firms up my mom's apple pie excellently!

    I think you're right about the second flax egg being a source of too much wet.

    I think dried mushrooms will be a good idea. Mushrooms and tomatoes for the umami. :) I was worried about texture, though, and I think your suggestion to grind it makes a lot of sense. Then it can soak up the liquids without becoming rubber. :)

    Can one sprout beans at home without growing unwanted molds? They have dried adzuki beans at the store. I don't do a lot with sprouts because my attempts back when they were first popular brought more allergens than nutrition. You probably have more refined techniques, now.

    They had hard red winter wheat berries in bulk at the store--no commitment to a fifty pound bag--so following your prompt, I bought some. It occurred to me, after my protests yesterday, that I've been using a lot more whole wheat flour and new recipes for them, and I could start the whole home ground thing there, where I don't have expectations to begin with. The next batch of pizza dough will be fresh ground. :) So thanks for the push!

    SLEEVENDOG, thanks for the advice. How do you keep the layers stuck together when you slice the loaf? Stuck together like a pate sounds great. :)

    Funny about the veg burger wars in NY! We had that 25 years ago in SoCal. The best ones had a lot of vegetables in them rather than being mostly grain. The two best, however, are long gone. :(

    I do have a battery op spice grinder that was a gift and seems to work pretty well, on spices at least. No lumps and an even texture.

    Summary: Reduce liquid wherever possible, add stabilizers and thickeners.

    If I get a chance, I'll do another test run tomorrow.

  • grainlady_ks
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Ambient temperature can cause mold when sprouting. For instance, once the ambient temperature gets around 70-degrees, I can't grow wheatgrass (or other grains I grow into grass) any longer because it develops mold, even with improved air-flow and frequent rinsing. Wheatgrass starts with sprouted wheat and then you allow it to grow into 6-8-inch grass. I juiced my last pot of wheatgrass this morning because the ambient temperature is getting much warmer than the normal 64-degrees we keep it in the winter. But I have lentils sprouting so I can make waffles tomorrow, and I also have quinoa sprouting. They both sprout fairly quickly.

    You can avoid some of the mold problems by soaking the grains/seeds/beans in an acidified water bath overnight for the initial soak, and use the same acidified water for rinsing them. Rinsing 2-3 times a day will also help prevent mold, as well as good air-flow and making small batches.

    Once sprouted, do a good job rinsing the sprouts and removing the hulls, if any are left. Check out information from SproutPeople.org for great videos and how-to information.

    I like to store sprouts in storage bags suggested by SproutPeople.org - PEAK Fresh USA Produce Bags (see link below). They keep sprouts fresh a lot longer in the refrigerator than anything else I've ever used. When reusing these bags, make sure to sanitize them.

    Acidified Water: 1 t. citric acid powder per 1-quart of water. (I make up a gallon at a time.)

    I sprout a lot during the winter and use them in our diet as a primary source for fresh food, and any leftovers are dehydrated. This method neutralizes the hard-to-digest phytic acid and makes them easier to digest and increases the nutrition. Sprouting also takes the "gas" out of beans if they are sprouted before they are cooked, or sprouted, then dehydrated, and cooked later. They also cook quicker and some even rehydrate by adding them to hot water. I use dehydrated sprouted beans, or mill dehydrated sprouted beans into flour, instead of bread/cracker crumbs in things like tuna/salmon patties, since going wheat-free.

    There are all kinds of things you can make with wheat besides flour. A great little book "No Wheat Grinder Wheat Recipes" by Cindi Van Bibber (available at her web site) uses a cooked wheat base (you cook the whole grain) and a blender to make all kinds of baked goods, main dishes, meat dishes, salads, side dishes and desserts.

    Unfortunately for me, other than growing wheatgrass, I have been wheat/gluten free since Jan. 2013, but I store and use a VERY large variety of grains/seeds/beans. I also grow micro-greens for fresh food in the winter, which begin life as sprouts.

    If you are going to try to mill enough wheat flour with a coffee/spice mill, you will need to mill small amounts at a time and be sure to allow the mill to cool between batches or you risk burning out the motor. Only a real grain mill is designed to mill large quantities of grain. You can set most grain mills to mill everything from very fine flour (fine enough to make a Chiffon Cake) to very coarse flour (almost like semolina). I have a bevy of grain mills, a corn mill, and flaker mill and have milled my own flour, cornmeal and grits and made my own flaked cereals for close to 25-years. I make all my own cereal (cooked and cold varieties) for pennies.

    Let us in on the recipe when you get it perfected. :-)

    -Grainlady

    Here is a link that might be useful: Peak Fresh USA Produce Bags

  • plllog
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Wow! Grainlady, thanks for all the great information! You have also identified my problem with sprouting. When it gets down to 64 degrees in my house for longer than a brief period overnight in the dead of Winter, I start to cry. We've had practically no Winter this year. With no heat on, the house hasn't gotten any lower than 69 recently, and most days is over 72 degrees. My kitchen is the warmest room. Even back when I tried sprouting, in a less insulated house, I don't think it stayed cold enough.

    When I lived abroad I learned to cook wheat the way one would rice. I'll check out Van Bibber for her ideas.

    Re milling, I thought I could dip my toe in using a blender. I've read good things about using one, and I don't mind the toll on the blender. I don't require a perfect flour for pizza. But I don't use enough of any particular flour to want a flour only mill. I'd really like one that would grind anything from 00 (though that might be asking too much) to corn meal to beans to nuts, and would be relatively easy to clean and operate. The Mil-Rite Special with changeable wheels looks like it might be close enough, and it's a slow grind, though it also looks like it belongs in a building shop rather than a kitchen, but I'm nowhere near ready for that kind of investment. While I admire your methods, I don't want a bevy of mills. :) I can cope with my bevy of citrus reamers, but they're pretty compact. :)

    I have pintos, black eyed peas and garbanzos on hand. I might just try a version with those and see what I get. If I get it to the point of being good rather than merely edible, I'll for sure post a recipe.

    Many thanks!

  • grainlady_ks
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Unless you have a Vitamix with the DRY BLADE container, you will not be able to "blend" hard grains into flour without over-heating the blender and over-heating the flour (which damages and destroys the nutrients).

    You won't be able to blend dry beans into flour even WITH a Vitamix dry blade container, and certainly not with a regular blender. You will end up with a tiny bit of flour and chunks of beans - which will be impossible to use for anything. If your blender has a plastic bowl (container), the hard grains and beans will ruin it and probably destroy the blades as well.

    It's essential you have a grain mill for milling dry beans into flour, and not all mills are capable of doing all hard beans (such as large garbanzo beans) or hard flint corn and popcorn.

    A Nutrimill is the most versatile and would be my first choice. It does a coarse grind that is similar to semolina (I would use this grind for milling durum wheat for a wholegrain semolina for making pasta). This same coarse grind is used for a fine-grind of cornmeal (you can use dent, flint or popping corn for cornmeal). This mill will also do a fine grind, and everything in between fine and coarse, but can't mill tiny or oily seeds like chia seeds, poppy, flax, amaranth, teff, etc. (I use a Porkert Poppyseed Mill or my electric Coffee/Spice mill for those).

    A Wondermill is the next choice for an electric impact mill that will give you decades of service, but it doesn't mill cornmeal, only corn flour, and no small seeds. It will mill garbanzo beans and a large assortment of beans/peas.

    I mill split green peas to make "instant" split pea soup with the flour. Black beans and pinto beans milled into flour can be used to make "instant" refried beans (cooks in about 6-minutes). You will find a lot of information and recipes in Rita Bingham's books "Country Beans" and "Natural Meals in Minutes".

    The Family Grain Mill (with or without the electric motor option) is a great mill in a lot of ways, but canNOT mill popcorn or flint corn, garbanzo beans and tapioca pearls. You will get finer flour if you mill it on a coarse grind first, then switch to a finer grind and mill the coarse flour into fine flour. Fine flour is essential for making cakes, cookies, and pastry. If you use coarse flour for making bread, you will get coarse bread. Fine flour = fine-grained bread.

    The Wondermill Jr. does a wide variety of grains/seeds/beans/nuts, but you have to use different milling heads for different things (stone heads and stainless steel burrs).

    I use a Corona Corn Mill when I want medium- or coarse corn meal, or coarse grinds of other grains. It's what I use to mill grain for "cooked" cereal (cream of rice, cream of wheat, cream of barley), or for multi-grain/bean/seed blends similar to 5-grain, 7-grain, 9-grain, 11-grain cereals. Be sure to sift out any fine flour or you will have "glue" in your cream of rice cereal. Because it is a burr mill, you will never get really fine flour.

    You could, however, sprout and dehydrate the beans until completely dry, and then possibly blend it into a flour since they are softer.

    The only other way to use a blender successfully is the method described in "No Wheat Grinder Wheat Recipes". The PRE-cooked (still damp) wheatberries are blended with other ingredients, and that's how you are able to use a blender successfully. Many of the recipes in the book start with 2-cups of the pre-cooked wheat base, and it takes a fairly good high-speed blender to blend that amount of cooked grain.

    I do have these instructions that might help you out:

    How to Make Flour Without a Grain Mill
    (This method is for grain only - wheat, spelt, rye, etc., not beans.)

    Step 1
    -Pour 1/2 c. of whole wheat berries into the coffee grinder.
    -Adjust the settings of the grinder to maximum cup and finest grind.
    -This ensures the grains will be ground for as long as possible, as fine as possible.
    -Grind the berries through two cycles on the coffee grinder.
    (Be careful - the grinder can get hot, so take your time and allow the grinder to cool down between grindings.)

    Step 2:
    -Pour ground flour into a small food processor.
    -Process for one full minute.
    -Pour ground flour into a bowl or bag, to be measured from for the recipe.

    I wouldn't endorse this method because the flour is going to be overheated and the nutrients destroyed, which is why we choose wholegrain flour in the first place. In the time it would take you to mill enough flour for loaf of bread using this method, I could mill 50-pounds of grain in my Nutrimill.

    -Grainlady

  • westsider40
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Oh, for heaven's sake, do the pasta. :)

  • plllog
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    ROTFL!!

    Westsider, I might if it weren't Pesach. :) The gluten free pasta isn't chametz anyway, but it would look really bad...

    Grainlady, thank-you for the further info. I think I have a much better understanding of mills now. I get it about the nutrients. But I have a feeling this is going to be more work than I can handle. Just the sifting--while it has some relationship to certain Pilates exercises--could be too much. At least my King Arthur whole wheat flour, even though it's not as nutritious as just milled, isn't twinkies. :) Thanks too for the info about the cooked wheat version. I just have a little spice grinder. It's not sufficient to make flour. I'm not doing 5 cups (in grams) a tablespoon at a time!

    I'm soaking some beans to make a test run at a reconfigured loaf.

  • plllog
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Well, actually, I guess it's not really that far from a twinkie, but then I add other nutritious things to it...

  • grainlady_ks
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I'd like to suggest this simple to make, and yummy recipe.....

    Yield: 4 servings @ approximately 80-cents per serving

    Sautéed Chickpeas with Broccoli & Parmesan

    2 T. oil
    1 small, thin-sliced onion
    salt and pepper
    2 c. chopped broccoli, including stalks
    1 (10.5 oz.) can chickpeas, drained & rinsed (I've used other beans I've had on-hand like black-eyed peas, cannellini, pinto or black beans)
    1/3 c. chicken or vegetable broth (I use homemade)
    1/4 t. crushed red pepper
    1/3 c. Parmesan shavings

    In a large skillet with a lid, warm oil over medium heat. Add onion (can also add garlic, if you'd like), salt and pepper, sauté 4-5 minutes. Toss in broccoli; sauté 3 minutes. Add chickpeas, broth, pepper flakes. Stir once, cover and cook 3-minues. Uncover. Season with black pepper and sprinkle with Parmesan shavings to serve.

    186 cal.
    10 g. fat
    9 g. protein
    16 g. carb
    5 g. fiber
    5 mg cholesterol
    855 mg sodium (you can cut that by using low-sodium broth and rinsing canned beans well)

    You can add corn to this recipe, and a lot of other vegetables. The corn + beans = a complete protein.

    I serve it with gluten-free cornbread.

    -Grainlady

  • plllog
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Thanks, Grainlady. It looks like a good recipe (though what corn?), and at some point I'm sure to do something like it, but it's too unwieldly for a third protein at a large meal, so it'll have to wait for another season. I make a Lebanese style hummus (Arabic for chickpea, not puree) dish, which is sauteed with eggplant, tomatoes and pomegranate molasses, which is also very good.

  • westsider40
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    JC, good to see you again, mucho bueno.

  • plllog
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Great to see you too! And coming in with a laugh first thing!

    The good news is that the pressure is off. I'm still going to try to perfect the loaf, but I'm down to one vegan for P-day, and I can use regular matzah meal and egg substitute if I need to. :)

    Bean and Lentil Loaf Mark II is in the oven. I think it is much improved. When I get a new recipe, I always follow it once. :)

    This version has dried garbanzos and black eyed peas, half and half, which I soaked in the fridge overnight, then cooked until they were good and plump, and dried green lentils, which I just cooked until they swelled. I think one of the problems with the previous version is that it called for canned, and they weren't cooked enough, as well as there being too much other moisture. In this version I also added half a teaspoon of chipotle powder, and accidentally used basil instead of parsley flakes (didn't actually read the label, not knowing I had a bottle of dried basil that looked like the parsley. :) )

    Since I already had ground the flaxseeds (not freshly enough for Grainlady, but not so long ago) I decided to use them, but didn't add the water to make "eggs". I also added half a cup of brown jasmine rice, uncooked, to soak up liquid as it releases, and two tablespoons (ish--it spilled into the bowl) of tapioca starch. And the color needed adjustment, so I took the suggestion to use ketchup instead of tomato sauce, and then was liberal. I also pureed the mixture more. The recipe called for coarse, but I think it was too coarse last time. This time, it's a lot more more textured than a nut butter, but handles like one. It looked the consistency of a meatloaf or pate'. Actually, about the texture of hummus if you don't add oil. :) I think the garbanzos helped the texture a lot. And the mixture tastes really good out of the mixing bowl. By the time I was done mixing, the rice was already softening.

    So, now that I've made it, I will say I have more appreciation for what Grainlady was saying about milling beans and legumes. I bet if the beans and lentils were made into flour and then just enough water to make them into the paste were added, they'd hang onto a lot more of their nutrients (my lentil sludge (i.e., water) got contaminated and I had to throw it out :( ). And since they'd be so smooth, the vegetables and nuts could provide the texture.

    I'll post the results later, and the recipe if it's good. :)

  • plllog
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Success!! Oh, thank-you all so much for the ideas! Next time, I'll substitute gluten free matzah meal for the rice because some of it was a little too toothsome, and I'll use white or black beans for their higher protein content.

    About 45 minutes into cooking, the surface started to look a little dry, but the edges didn't, so I brushed on some meatloafy ketchup. That made a nice glaze. After another quarter hour cooking, it came out perfectly:

    I let it rest while I finished some work. It unmolded perfectly and was still steaming from the bottom-became-top. The edges were firm and it held its shape. (Pardon the inelegant dish.)

    I used a scalloped knife to cut it. the crisp sides didn't crack and it made a clean, servable slice.

    I should have put it crust side up. The end piece was all crunchy goodness. (Sorry about the overexposure. I retook it, but this one looks better.)

    The taste is excellent and the color is great. There was a time during the mixing when it was looking a little olive drab. :) The texture is a little soft (like bean paste), but pleasant. Crumbs instead of rice might stiffen it a bit more, but it's fine. Definitely needed the crunch of the salad, however, especially because every slice can't be a crunchy end. :)

  • plllog
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I got the original recipe here:
    http://vegan-magic.blogspot.com/2012/06/bean-and-lentil-loaf-low-fat-gluten.html
    where credit is given to Anne Sheasby's book "High fibre cooking".

    Here is the version I did tonight, written as for a non-cook as much as possible:

    Food Processor, scale, large mixing bowl, strainer or slotted spoon, two pots, mixing bowl, measuring cups and spoons, wooden spoon or other cooking spoon, 9" loaf pan (mine is shiny aluminum), prep bowls, cutting board and knife, pastry brush (preferably silicone)

    Dry Garbanzo beans, about 200 g cooked weight
    Dry beans (black eyed peas tonight, white or black beans another time), about 200 g cooked weight
    400 g cooked weight dried green lentils

    1 onion, about the size of a fist, chopped
    2 stalks of celery, chopped
    1 large or 4 small cloves of garlic, squished and chopped or pressed
    Oil for sauteing (I use Extra Light Olive Oil)

    Carrots, about 8 peeled baby or one large
    1/2 c. walnut pieces
    1/2 c. almond meal

    2 TBSP tapioca starch
    2 TBSP ground flax seeds
    1/2 cup crumbs (better idea than rice)

    3-4-ish TBSP Simply Heinz tomato ketchup (if you're picky--any would do), plus more for brushing on later

    Be generous on the measures with the spices. Not heaping, but a little rondure. :)
    1 tsp ground cumin
    1 tsp ground coriander
    1/2 tsp chili powder
    1/2 tsp chipotle powder
    1 tsp smoked Spanish paprika
    1/2 tsp black pepper, not too fine
    1/2 tsp Morton's table salt (I say go for the iodine when cooking because who wants goiter?)
    1 very very generous tsp dried basil
    1 tsp dried thyme

    Day before: Rinse and sort beans, well. Put beans in a heavy pot, cover with water, bring briefly to a boil and let cool, then put in fridge overnight.

    Day of:Pour off some of the bean water until it's only about a third of the way up. Bring to a moving simmer and cook the beans through to tender. Should take about the time it takes for the water to boil off/be absorbed. About 20 minutes. Add back more bean water if needed.

    Rinse and sort lentils, well. Cook about a cup of lentils to 3-4 cups of water. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes until they puff up.

    Saute onions and celery. When the onions start going transparent, add the garlic. Continue to cook until soft but not carmelized (brown).

    Put the walnut pieces in the food processor and pulse until small. Add the almond meal and pulse a few more times to mix. Put nut mixture in mixing bowl.

    Put carrots in food processor and pulse until small but not minced and loosing their water. Add to mixing bowl.

    Add the crumbs to the mixing bowl.

    Measure and combine in a prep bowl: seasonings, spices, herbs, flaxseed and tapioca (i.e., the small amounts of dry stuff). Mix well with a fork.

    Set oven to 350 degrees F.

    Drain both the beans and lentils. Measure out 400 grams of the lentils and 400 grams of the beans. Put equal portions in the food processor with a portion of the sauteed mixture equal to the proportion of the beans/lentils. That is, if you're putting in a third of the beans and a third of the lentils, use a third of the sauteed vegetables.

    Turn on the FP and let it run until a paste develops. Scrape down the sides once or twice. It's done when looking from the top (lid off) it seems well blended and doesn't have big pieces of anything showing. About the texture of stiff hummus. Empty into mixing bowl and repeat until done.

    Mix the contents of the bowl with your wooden spoon until everything is well distributed. Add the ketchup, and mix. Pour the spice mixture all around the bowl so that it's well spread out, and mix bringing the outside edges in, until all the spice mix is well mixed in and distributed.

    If you think it needs more color, add another squirt of ketchup.

    Prepare the loaf pan by generously oiling it (or spray oil). Not enough oil for puddles, but so there's lots on the sides and bottom. Don't do this ahead or the oil will all run down. The oil is for making the crust as much as keeping the loaf from sticking.

    Put the bean mixture in the pan and smooth the top. Try to get the sides not to stick up so they won't burn.

    Place in the middle of a 350 degree oven on convection/bake if you have it, or else convection or bake. Set the timer for 45 minutes. If the top is at all dry looking, use your pastry brush to cover it with a thin layer of ketchup. Bake a further 10-15 minutes.

    When it's ready the edges will just be getting dark and will be pulling away from the sides of the pan. Remove from oven and put on a rack. Let it cool and rest for at least 20 minutes.

    When the pan's edges are cool enough to touch, place your plate over the pan, grab the edges of both and invert. Garnish as you please. A scalloped or serrated knife will probably cut the cleanest, or choose a thin blade. Just don't press down so hard it squishes.

    Since I wasn't having company, I went for the practical and unmolded my loaf onto the top of a long Ziploc container. That made it easy to just put the container over the loaf for storage in the fridge.

    Edit: Left off the lentils from the ingredients.

    This post was edited by plllog on Tue, May 6, 14 at 1:10

  • plllog
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I can now say that it still tastes good cold (one of my big tests). And for the non-vegans, it apparently is also good reheated with a slice of cheese melted on top. :)

  • grainlady_ks
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    WHOO HOO! May I suggest pan frying leftover slices in a little coconut oil as an alternative method for reheating. -Grainlady

  • plllog
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Thanks, Grainlady! The pan fry sounds like a good idea, but since I'm allergic to coconut the oil doesn't come into my house. Is there an alternate that you suggest? Ordinarily, I'd just use extra light olive oil.

    Re SOAKING: My beans were really really dry, especially the garbanzos, and would have taken days to plump up soaking in the fridge. You don't have to do the boil first step if you're using packaged beans, which are usually only a little dry. I also learned afterward that fewer nutrients than I had thought are lost into the soaking water, especially if it's cold, and that the flatulence producers are lost into the water, so if you're affected by beans, not using the bean water for cooking (i.e., using fresh) should help. Or something like that. :)

  • grainlady_ks
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    By all means, use whatever fat you like..... Personally, I never heat olive oil because it takes a good-for-you medium-chain fatty acid and the heat quickly oxidizes it making it a harmful free-radical. Other options for me if I couldn't use coconut oil would be ghee/butter, chicken fat, or lard. It really takes very little and will probably brown and crisp a little even in a dry pan. I haven't had any vegetable oil or shortening in my home for nearly 30-years. I don't even bother with olive oil these days because I use it so infrequently it's wasted money.

    There are any number of ways to prepare beans. Find one you like that works best for you. America's Test Kitchen even has an interesting method where Bridget Lancaster brines them first - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRDL2C6M1_o.

    I generally sprout beans and then cook them, or do a long soak (24-hours at a warm room temperature) with whey for a lacto-fermentation, or lemon juice in the soaking water as a fermentation method if dairy is an issue.

    Sprouting increases the nutrition, neutralizes phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors and breaks down difficult-to-digest complex sugars. They also cook much quicker if they are sprouted first, which is a great energy saver. Sprouting also increases the protein and lowers the glycemic impact of the sugars.

    FYI - Garbanzo beans are high in omega-6 fatty acids compared to omega-3 fatty acids, so I use them sparingly. I avoid this ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 problem by using chana dal for many dishes calling for garbanzo beans. Chana dal are also very low-glycemic and won't raise blood sugar like garbanzo beans. http://mendosa.com/chanadal.html

    -Grainlady

    Here is a link that might be useful: Nourishing Days

  • liz_h
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    That loaf looks really good! This one looks good, too. I haven't tried it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llv-Jutv7zs

  • plllog
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Thanks, Liz.

    Here's a link to a much easier to follow version of the recipe in Word.