When I first mixed up a batch of the Chickpea Cutlets, it reminded me of when I had to help my mom make dinner as a youngster. One of my jobs back then was to mix together the ingredients for meatloaf. It looks surprisingly similar.
For this meatloaf version, I changed up some of the spices and added onion, celery, and carrots. I also shaped them into mini loaves. Mini food just looks so cute. But really, it was to make sure that the center firmed up and doesn’t come out too mushy.
Home-style Vegan Meatloaf
Makes 4 mini loaves
Adapted from the Chickpea Cutlets recipe in Veganomicon
1/2 small white onion, finely chopped
1 celery rib, finely chopped
2 small carrots, finely chopped
1 15-ounce can chickpeas
2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup water
Ketchup for glaze
Heat sauté pan to hot, add 1 teaspoon olive oil. Sauté onion until translucent, then add the carrots and celery. Cook for about 2 minutes; set aside and let cool.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Place in a large bowl, and smash with a fork. Add the rest of the ingredients including the cooked vegetables. Mix together and knead for a few minutes until strings of gluten have formed and everything sticks together in a big ball.
Divide the ball into 4 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a small loaf. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and lightly oil. Place the loaves on the tin foil and brush both sides with oil. Bake for 20 minutes. Turn over and glaze the top with ketchup. Bake another 10 minutes until firm. Cut into slices and serve with wasabi mashed potatoes or your favorite sides.