Vegan Loaf Recipe
So many friends and family have turned to eating a vegan diet daily or are becoming flexitarians, so I developed this delicious Vegan Loaf recipe that can be made ahead. You could serve the vegan loaf as a midweek meal, at a sit down dinner, for a BBQ gathering or even a lunch box addition. The vegan loaf is as delicious hot as it is cold.
As Greeks and Cypriots, we are not strangers to adopting a vegan diet, yes the stereotype of just lamb eaters has been broken! Over the Orthodox Easter period and before taking communion, we can choose to eat a vegan diet and break the fast with lamb, ok the stereotype lives on. There are many Mediterranean dishes in the cuisine that cater for vegetarians and vegan, but I was looking for something different. I wanted a talking point, a recipe that disguised a lot of vegetables and beans for reluctant veggie eating kids and this recipe does just that.
My veggie burger recipe is delicious and is easily made into a vegan burger by omitting the egg which I add in for nutritional value not for its binding qualities. But some friends’ children will not try it as it contains beetroot, even though it doesn’t taste of beetroot. So I have devised a vegan loaf that can easily be made into patties, styled into a loaf or formed into a sausage shape or even cooked in a Christmas tree tin, well it is Novembermas yes that’s the new buzz word for talking about Christmas in November.
The combination of sweet potato and courgettes makes the loaf moist and the chickpeas, adzuki beans and the tahini paste act as nutritional binders.
This is a great recipe if you want to get ahead. The mixture can be made up to the point of baking, cooled (stored in a sealed plastic bag so the mixture doesn’t crust over) and kept in the fridge overnight. This can be done for convenience or once made it can be baked straight away. The benefit if you do need to get ahead is that the mixture the next day bakes to a light and fluffy consistency, you are not compromising on anything.
The flavours are subtle and can stand up to anything served on the side, I made dairy free versions of my Harrisa Yogurt and added ready made Mint Sauce to dairy-free yogurt for a Creamy Mint Sauce option and the vegan loaf went well with both. Equally added to a Sunday Roast or festive table with gravy and all the trimmings, your vegan eaters will be very happy.
You can add to this whatever you fancy – sage, Italian herbs, curry powder, Herbs de Provence or anything else you enjoy.
- 2 red onions, quartered
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
- 2 courgettes, topped and tailed and chopped
- olive oil
- 1 tin aduki beans, rinsed
- 1 tin chickpeas, rinsed
- 100g oats
- 1 Tablespoon tahini paste
- 2 teaspoons za'arta
- optional 2 teaspoons chilli flakes or to taste
- Grease and line a 25cmx25cm brownie tin.
- Add the red onions, sweet potatoes and courgettes into a food processor and blend till smooth, remove the vegetables and keep the blending bowl to one side you will need it again.
- Add olive oil to a frying pan and sweat the vegetables down until all the water has evaporated and the vegetables have softened.
- Return the mixture to the blender and add the beans, chickpeas, oats and pulse to blend everything together.
- Make-ahead tip:
- At this stage, you can cool the mixture and keep it refrigerated for a couple of days.
- To cook straight away:
- Add the mixture to the prepared tin and press gently with the back of a metal spoon to smooth the top.
- Bake at 180 degrees for 25 minutes or until the mixture has browned on the top.
- Cut into rectangular loaf sized pieces and serve with a salad, in a burger bun or pita bread or as part of a Sunday roast meal.
To turn this mixture into a nut roast add chopped almonds, pecans or pistachio nuts.
I garnished the top with crushed chillies before cooking.
You could add nuts to the top of the loaf, but about ⅓ of the way through the cooking time cover the top with foil so the nuts do not burn.
Za'atar is a combination of ground oregano, sumac, cumin, salt, pepper and sesame seeds. Some varieties have marjoram and thyme so it is a great spice to add flavour via just a couple of teaspoons.