Vegetable "Meat" Loaf

Photo: Johnny Autry; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross

Vegetarians and carnivores alike will love this ingenious twist on meat loaf. The meaty-flavored, umami-rich recipe received our Test Kitchen's highest rating. Ordinarily you wouldn't pack a meat loaf into the pan, but since we're using a vegetable mixture, you will to make sure it holds together.

Yield: Serves 6 (serving size: 1 slice)
Total:
Recipe from Cooking Light

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Recipe Time

Hands On: 1 Hour
Total: 1 Hour, 47 Minutes

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 338
  • Fat: 21.2g
  • Saturated fat: 4.3g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 5.1g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 10.1g
  • Protein: 17.5g
  • Carbohydrate: 22.6g
  • Fiber: 4.9g
  • Cholesterol: 72mg
  • Iron: 2.6mg
  • Sodium: 535mg
  • Calcium: 197mg

Ingredients

  • Meat loaf:
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1 large green bell pepper
  • 2 pounds cremini mushrooms, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup 1/2-inch asparagus pieces
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Cooking spray
  • Topping:
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon vodka or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Preparation

  1. 1. Preheat broiler to high.
  2. 2. To prepare meat loaf, cut bell peppers in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 12 minutes or until blackened. Place in a paper bag; fold to close tightly. Let stand for 10 minutes. Peel and finely chop. Place bell peppers in a large bowl.
  3. 3. Reduce oven temperature to 350°.
  4. 4. Place about one-fourth of mushrooms in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until finely chopped. Transfer chopped mushrooms to a bowl. Repeat procedure 3 times with remaining mushrooms.
  5. 5. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add mushrooms to pan; sauté 15 minutes or until liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms to bell peppers. Wipe pan with paper towels. Add asparagus and onion to pan; sauté 6 minutes or until just tender, stirring occasionally. Add onion mixture to mushroom mixture.
  6. 6. Arrange breadcrumbs in an even layer on a baking sheet; bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until golden. Add breadcrumbs and the next 8 ingredients (through eggs) to mushroom mixture, stirring well. Spoon mixture into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray; press gently to pack. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until a thermometer registers 155°.
  7. 7. To prepare topping, combine 2 tablespoons ketchup and remaining ingredients in a small bowl; brush ketchup mixture over meat loaf. Bake an additional 10 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes; cut into 6 slices.
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