I will admit that this loaf does not look appetizing. And it probably doesn't sound appetizing either. Nothing called "loaf" ever does.
What you don't know is how flavorful this combination of brown rice, mushrooms, carrots, celery, pumpkin seeds, chickpeas and spices can be. It's nothing pretentious, nothing fancy, just good, solid food. It's the kind of satisfying meal that makes you hunker over the plate and scarf down every bite.
I didn't have time to make a gravy, so we ate it meatloaf-style ... with ketchup. It could have used some more binder to make it more loafy, but it was really delicious anyway. If loving a squishy loaf is wrong, I don't want to be right.
The recipe came from the Magical Loaf Studio program via VeganLunchbox. The program is super cool. You select different options for proteins, carbs, spices, etc., so you can build the recipe using things you already have on hand, and every time you'll end up with a new and different loaf.
Here's what I used to make the Magical Maggie Loaf.
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
2 TB olive oil
One onion, diced
One large garlic clove, minced
Two celery ribs, diced
One cup mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
2 cups cooked black beans
1 cup cooked brown rice
1/4 to 1/2 cup vegetable broth, as needed
1 heaping TB flaxseed meal
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 TB nutritional yeast flakes
2 TB ketchup
Several dashes vegetarian Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp. salt
Preheat the oven to 350º. Spray a loaf pan or 8x8 square baking pan with nonstick spray and set aside (an 8x8 pan makes a crisper loaf).
Grind the pumpkin seeds into a coarse meal using a food processor or spice/coffee grinder. Place in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
Sauté any vegetables you've chosen in the olive oil until soft. Add to the large mixing bowl along with all the remaining ingredients. Mix and mash together well, adding only as much liquid as needed to create a soft, moist loaf that holds together and is not runny (you may not need to add any liquid if the grains and protein are very moist). Add more binder/carbohydrate as needed if the loaf seems too wet.
Press mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until cooked through.
Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then turn out onto a plate or platter and slice. Serve with potatoes, vegetables, and vegetarian gravy, if desired. Cold leftover slices of make a great sandwich filling.