During Meatless Meals week my nephew’s wife suggested a vegetarian “meat” loaf she had made from the Cooking Light website. I didn’t get a chance to make it then, but decided to add it to the schedule on a Meatloaf Monday.
Warning: this meatloaf was a lot of work. The written recipe calls for hands on time of an hour, and it is all of that (if not more). You have to roast the peppers, brown the breadcrumbs, chop and sauté the mushrooms, chop and sauté the onion and asparagus, toast the walnuts and perform other miscellaneous measuring, grating and chopping.
All the while I kept asking myself “How is this going to taste?” Have to admit I was skeptical that this would replicate the ‘normal’ meatloaf experience. The first bite was disappointing. It just wasn’t meatloaf. But…the second bite was better with the subtle flavors of mushroom, cheese, nuts, breadcrumbs, peppers and asparagus all combining in delicious ways. By the end of the first piece I was ready for a second! If you are a committed carnivore I’m not sure I would recommend this, but it is definitely an interesting twist on an old favorite and worth the effort if you want to try something a little different.
While the loaf was good, the salad I paired this with was great! Last night I made the pear, endive and goat cheese salad from the NY Times*. This was amazing…well as amazing as a salad can get. The flavors of the endive, pear, shallots, goat cheese and simple vinaigrette just about melted in your mouth. This one is highly recommended – to carnivores and vegetarians alike.
* In case you are wondering I used a paring knife to prepare the pear salad that I paired with the main course.