Sunday, May 22, 2011

Chickpea Cashew Surprise Loaf

Chickpea Cashew Surprise Loaf

My friend Lisa and I started a discussion group on Goodreads (a social networking site for readers) called Vegan Cookbooks and Cooking where we discuss many topics related to vegan cooking along with our favourite recipes from the hundreds of vegan cookbooks out there. One of our members recently told us about this fantastic website and program called the Magical Loaf Studio designed by Jennifer McCann author of Vegan Lunchbox and Vegan Lunchbox Around the World. On the website you can plug in a variety of ingredients and SHAZAM! - Out pops a recipe with your chosen ingredients in the correct proportions for an Adventist style loaf.  As soon as I took a look at the website I was dying to give it a try and tonight was the night!  I picked all my favourite ingredients along with the seasonings I thought would complement them and it actually turned out really moist, flavourful and delicious. I encourage everyone to give this a go and kudos to Jennifer for creating such a simple, yet effective way to create a custom veggie loaf.

As an accompaniment to the loaf I made mashed potatoes, sautéed broccoli, all topped with the Silky Chickpea Gravy from Appetite for Reduction. The gravy was hearty and quite strongly flavoured with thyme but we all enjoyed it and there’s a lot leftover for tomorrow. I had to add quite a bit of extra water to thin the gravy because it was quite thick. Here follows the recipe for the loaf I created but there are endless variations if you want to try it for yourself.

Chickpea Cashew Surprise Loaf


1/2 cup cashews
2 TB olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
1 cup mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
2 cups cooked garbanzo beans, partly mashed
1 cup dry whole wheat bread crumbs
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
2 TB nutritional yeast flakes
2 TB ketchup
Several dashes vegetarian Worcestershire Sauce
2 TB soy sauce


Preheat the oven to 350º. Spray a loaf pan or 8x8 square baking pan with non-stick spray and set aside (an 8x8 pan makes a crisper loaf).

Grind the cashews 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 Chickpea Cashew Surprise Loaf make a great sandwich filling.


My cooking challenge partner and friend Kathryn continues her exploration of Appetite for Reduction with three yummy recipes including those OMG Onion Rings that I want to stuff my face with!   Check out her post at her blog The Hedgehog in the Kitchen.