Monday, November 22, 2010

Post-Kid Kitchen: Share the Loaf!

I loaf sandwiches.

Every Thanksgiving since Rob and I went vegan, I've fantasized about making a delicious celebratory vegan roast thing. I get in this weird headspace that says it's not Thanksgiving without a proteiny, turkey-replacing entree. The truth is that my husband would gladly eat a big bowl of stuffing and nothing else.

Yes, I know it's not technically "stuffing" if it's not stuffed inside anything. But to me, "dressing" will always be what goes on salad, so I call it stuffing. Also, since the ultimate goal is to stuff it inside ourselves, I'm pretty sure I'm still at least partially right.

Anyway, every year, in my quest for an entree, I've ended up making a Tofurkey. Which is fine, unless you're gluten- and soy-free. Or if you'd prefer something a little less "from a box."

Despite its unappetizing name, loaf seemed like an obvious contender for homemade Thanksgiving protein goodness. It's totally easy to put together, can be made ahead of time, and is made even more delicious when smothered with mushroom gravy. My favorite loaf recipe is Sarah Kramer's "Tip Top Tofu Loaf" (from La Dolce Vegan via Vegan a Go-Go). It's delicious, but so not soy-free.

I put my own spin on this favorite from my pre-soy-free days. The results left me with more than a week's worth of delicious loaf sandwich lunches, and answered my Thanksgiving prayers!

Kick-ass Chickpea Loaf

4 tbsp canola oil, divided
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup
coconut aminos (or veggie broth)
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup ketchup (I used agave-sweetened)
1/4 cup dijon mustard
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 cup gluten-free rolled oats (or gluten-free breadcrumbs)
2 tbsp tahini

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Oil two loaf pans with 2 tbsp canola oil each. Leave remaining oil in pans. If, like me, you don't usually cook with a lot of oil, this will look sick and wrong. But the oil is what gives the loaf its beautiful crispy outside.

Combine remaining ingredients in food processor. Process until smooth. Divide evenly between loaf pans. (The oil will kind of ooze up around the sides of the loaf "batter." It's all good. You totally want this to happen.) Bake 50 minutes. Allow to cool at least 10 minutes before removing from loaf pans and serving. Serves 6.

Leftover loaf makes a delicious sandwich filling - hot, cold, or at any in-between temperature of your choosing!

It's a CLLT!
1/2 slice Chickpea Loaf + Lettuce + Tomato (+ mustard, on rice bread) = YUM!

I'm looking forward to my first Tofurkey-less vegan Thanksgiving! (And as for stuffing, I'm going to gluten-free up Joanna Vaught's Mushroom Dressing with the cunning use of rice bread.)

What are you making for Thanksgiving? And are you Team Stuffing or Team Dressing?