vital wheat gluten

Mini Vegan “Meat” Loaves

Mini Meat Loaves

Many of you know that when I went vegan I went cold tofurky. I went from eating meat and dairy on a near daily basis to none at all. Zip, zilch, nada. I completely cleaned out my fridge freezer and pantry so I wouldn’t be tempted to keep eating products that were harming my health.

I’ve always been a decent cook, but I used to plan my meals around what cut of meat I had in the freezer or fridge and add sides from there. As you can imagine, I was in for a bit of a shock when I cut all animal products out. I didn’t know how to plan my meals anymore and had about 3 really rough months in the kitchen. Some meals were barely edible. I’m far beyond that point now and feel like I’ve found my vegan groove. I don’t crave meat anymore, but sometimes I enjoy creating “meaty” counterparts since that was the way we ate for so long. These mini “meat” loaves aren’t like seitan or gardein or anything else you’ve had yet. But I think you’ll love them.


Mini “Meat” Loaves

Inspired by a meatball recipe in The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions

  • 1 C. tomato sauce
  • 4 T. almond butter
  • 1/4 C. nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 C. vital wheat gluten
  • 1 very finely diced onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 t. sea salt
  • 1/2 t. ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 C. fresh whole grain bread crumbs
  • 1 t. dried thyme
  • 1 t. dried oregano
  • 1 t. dried parsley
  • 1 t. smoked paprika
  • 1 T. vegan worcestershire or 1 t. vegemite

Glaze: combine the following in a small container:

  • 1/2 C. Hienz organic ketchup
  • 1/4 C. pure maple syrup
  • 1.5 T. Braggs raw apple cider vinegar

Method: Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Water saute the onion and garlic until the onion is nearly translucent, about 5 minutes. Set aside. Whisk tomato sauce, almond butter and worcestershire together. In a separate bowl Mix dry ingredients together including spices. Combine the dry and wet ingredients with a wooden spoon, then add the sauteed onions and garlic. Lightly spray half of a 12 cup muffin tin, this will make 6-8 mini “meat” loaves. Press the mixture into the tins, then top each mini “meat” loaf with some of the glaze. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from muffin tins and let cool for a few minutes before serving.

DinnerI’ll be bringing you my Truck Stop Jo Jo Potato Wedges recipe (pictured above) on Friday the 14th, but in the meantime, stay tuned for my Happy Herbivore Abroad Blog Tour and giveaway on Wednesday the 12th.



Bread Secrets and Rustic Multi-Grain Seeded Loaf

I have a dirty little secret.

Even though I make bread nearly every day, I’m not really a bread maker extraordinaire.

I just don’t have the time for endless kneading, rising and baking. On top of that, store-bought vegan bread is hard to come by and pricey when you do find it.  So I make vegan bread for pennies on the dollar and use some tricky shortcuts on the way…

Plus I have a little slave who helps me in the kitchen.

My bread slave, the Sunbeam Bread Maker. I bought it used at a thrift shop for $15

Rustic Multi-Grain Seeded Loaf

  • 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 C. warm water (add the lower amount and if too dry add more, a tablespoon at a time)
  • 3 C. organic whole wheat flour
  • 1 C. rolled oats
  • 1/4 C.  cracked kamut (you could sub any cracked grain here, even coarse corn meal would do)
  • 1/4 C. millet
  • 1/3 C. sunflower seeds
  • 2 T. sesame seeds
  • 2 T. flax seeds
  • 1 1/2 t. sea salt
  • 2 T. molasses
  • 1 1/2 T. vital wheat gluten
  • 1 1/2 T. active dry yeast (slightly more than you would normally use for a faster rise time)

Add ingredients in order to your bread maker, bosch or large bowl. I just plop in all the ingredients and press any bread cycle to knead the dough and walk away. If you don’t have a kneading apparatus, don’t walk away, the dough needs you to knead it by hand for 10-15 minutes until smooth and elastic.

okay, I really need to wipe this baby down. It’s looking rough from daily abuse!

After my slave bread maker kneads the dough for about 10 minutes, I simply unplug the machine and let the dough rise in there for 45-60 minutes. If making by hand, put dough in a bowl and cover with a kitchen towel and put in a warm place.

While the dough is rising, preheat your oven to 200 degrees.

When 45-60 minutes is up, pull the dough out, shape it into a round and roll it in whole wheat flour.

Put the dough on a baking sheet dusted with a bit more flour to prevent sticking. TURN OFF your oven and set the baking sheet on the middle rack. Set your oven timer for 20 minutes.  When the timer goes off, pull out dough and quickly slash (1/4 to 1/2 inch deep slashes) with a sharp knife, get creative with your slashy marks, it can make bread look professional, but don’t get too carried away because you might end up with mutant bread.

 Put dough back in the oven and set the oven to 350 degrees (no need to preheat). Bake this particular loaf for 35 to 40 minutes, until golden. This is bread is lovely when toasted and served with Cozy Roasted Butternut Soup

When I’m really in a hurry I do sometimes let my bread maker cook the bread for me too, because my machine has an express function, I can have a whole wheat loaf ready from start to finish in less than an hour, but I’ll tell you more about that another day.

If you’re in the market for a bread maker, do try to purchase a used model, it will cost you less and used bread makers are everywhere. Make sure the model you choose still has the dough hook (like an idiot, I didn’t check and mine didn’t have the hook, so I had to order it online) and the recipe manual. You might not need the recipes, but bread makers come in all sizes so you need to know the approximate measurements for loaves that will work in your machine (if you choose to bake in it). An express function is also especially handy for harried cooks.