Trying out new things is kind of my jam and even if they don’t turn out photo-worthy, they are almost always tasty and I will always consider that a success. Always.
There are some vegan meat brands, like Beyond, which work very well as a direct meat substitute if you want to make vegan meatballs or Bolognese, but that’s not always available and that’s when you have to get creative and experiment a little bit.
Recently I wanted to make meatloaf, like old school, 1980’s style meatloaf with the retro feel but updated for, you know, the 21st Century vegan.
It tasted delicious but it wasn’t all that pretty. #Notsorry
My problem when creating this vegan meatloaf dinner was that I tried to make it too healthy, or rather too calorie-friendly and that impacted the structure of the vegan meatloaf. Oh, and maybe it had something to do with the vegan mince I used from Verdino, it isn’t an exact substitute so it needed more magic than I gave it.
I did use all the meatloaf classics: panko crumbs and vegan eggs to get that goopy loaf consistency, but again I think my problem was that I didn’t use enough for it to bond properly so it was pretty much a loose vegan meat…thing rather than an actual meatloaf.
But I used cumin and garlic, salt, black pepper, paprika, barbecue sauce and all the works so it was wicked tasty, but getting it out of the loaf pan turned out to be a whole ordeal and it was more like a burger meat meal rather than a loaf.
Because I was going for the classic TV dinner vegan meatloaf meal, I added mashed sweet potatoes with steamed broccoli and cauliflower on the side. They were all easy and delicious, as you can see. No problems there.
My advice? The first time you attempt to make a vegan meatloaf, add what you need to get the right consistency so that later you can make the appropriate adjustments. Had I done that, it wouldn’t have taken 9,000 hours in the oven only to STILL come out loose and yummy.
But the barbecue sauce on top? It was AMAZING. I used a mixture of ketchup, barbecue sauce, Sriracha and gochugang with brown sugar and dark soy sauce for an incredible sauce/glaze that totally made us forget that it was loose and not loaf-like. So…yay?
This was an all right first attempt at vegan meatloaf but next time I’ll use Beyond meat and I’ll go the Full Monty rather than worrying about keeping it calorie friendly.
The good news is that it was tasty and when paired with an ice cold beer, it’s like I was one of my favorite sitcom dads from the 90’s.