Grain Loaf

Sometimes you just want a good, old-fashioned Sunday dinner, but you need it to be healthy for your heart. A few years ago, I really wanted to serve something which resembled traditional meatloaf. My son, Daniel, and I were working hard to cut our grocery costs and use only ingredients that we had in the house. 

When we saw that we had some leftover cooked steel cut oats, rice, and millet in the fridge, we got creative and invented Grain Loaf. This tasty vegan loaf features the flavor of meatloaf, without the cholesterol or artery-clogging fat of the traditional version.

The great thing about this loaf is that you can use up leftover grains, like oatmeal and rice, and serve in in a brand new way. Your family will beg for more and the dish will have cost you just pennies.

This recipe is special!

  • It will remind you of a big, Sunday, after church, “please-pass-the-biscuits”, family lunch
  • It is incredibly forgiving. You can substitute different spices or brands of barbecue sauce all you want and it sill still turn out great every time!
  • It’s versatile. As long as you have 8 total cups of grains, you are “good to go”! I’ve used various proportions and combinations of grains and it doesn’t matter. It always sticks together and tastes great.
  • It tastes even better the second day! If you want a “meatloaf” sandwich that will have your co-workers begging to become vegan, then this is it. Cut a big slab of leftover grain loaf, stick it between two pieces of good bread, and watch them drool and beg for the recipe.

Get ready for the taste of American comfort food with none of the risks and all of the flavor!

Ingredients

This recipe makes enough for two loaves. I made one traditional loaf and one heart-shaped loaf (because it was featured for our family’s Valentine’s Day dinner).

Serves 8-10
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  

  • 4 cups leftover steel cut oats (You can sub cooked thick cut, Old Fashioned Oatmeal)
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice  
  • 1 cup cooked millet
  • 2 tbsp. reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp. chili seasoning
  • 1 tbsp. no salt spice mix
  • 1/2+ cup egg replacer mixture (2 Tbsp. egg replacer with 8 Tbsp. warm water.) 
  • 3 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 cup Easy, Spicy Blender Barbecue Sauce – divided use.  (Here’s our recipe).
  • 1/2-1 cup gluten free flour, whole wheat flour, or rice flour

Begin by mixing the three grains in a large bowl. Then, add the spices, lemon juice, and soy sauce.

I know it seems like a large amount of seasoning.  But, remember that your base is just rice, millet, and oats.  So, you need to add some flavor. Steel cut oats will give you the best texture for this dish.  But, if you have leftover cooked old fashioned rolled oats, then go for it!  Don’t use the finely cut instant oats.  It won’t give you the “meaty” texture that this dish needs. 

 Place 2 tbsp. of egg replacer (I recommend Ener-g brand) in a small bowl.  Whisk in 8 tbsp. of very hot, tap water.  Let is sit for 5 minutes.  It should thicken to resemble the consistency of eggs.  If it is too thick, add more hot water, 1 tbsp. at a time, until you achieve an egg consistency.  

Add the egg replacer to the bowl of mixed grains and spices. Mix in the tomato paste, and 1/2 cup of the barbecue sauce.  Mix well. 

Add enough flour to get the mixture to stick together like meatloaf – 1/2 cup was plenty for me. You may use any kind of flour you would like. I have used whole wheat flour, almond flour, rice flour, or Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free flour mix. Each has worked equally well.


Place one half the mixture in a large loaf pan that has been sprayed with PAM or lined with parchment paper.  Push on the mixture with the back of a spoon to compress. 

Place the second half of the mixture into another loaf pan and press it firmly into place using the back of a spoon.

Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.  Top the loaves with the final 1/2 cup of barbecue sauce.  Place back in oven for another 20 minutes.  Remove and let sit for at 20 minutes before slicing. The longer you wait, the firmer it will become. I wait until it’s cool enough to easily hold together while flipping onto a pretty serving platter.

 It slices easily, looks like meat, and (most importantly) tastes fantastic!

NOTE: This loaf slices even better the second day after it has been refrigerated overnight.

Instructions

  • Mix the three grains in a large bowl. Then, add the spices, lemon juice, and soy sauce.
  • Place 2 tbsp. of egg replacer in a small bowl.  Whisk in 8 tbsp. of very hot, tap water.  Let is sit for 5 minutes.  It should thicken to resemble the consistency of eggs.  If it is too thick, add more hot water, 1 tbsp. at a time, until you achieve an egg consistency.  
  • Add the egg replacer to the bowl of mixed grains and spices. Mix in the tomato paste, and 1/2 cup of the barbecue sauce.  Mix well. 
  • Add the flour a little at a time until the mixture sticks together easily.
  • Place one half the mixture in a large loaf pan that has been sprayed with PAM or lined with parchment paper.  Push on the mixture with the back of a spoon to compress. 
  • Place the second half of the mixture into another loaf pan and press it firmly into place using the back of a spoon.
  • Bake loaves covered with foil at 375 degrees for 40 minutes. 
  • Remove foil and decoratively top the loaves with the final 1/2 cup of barbecue sauce. 
  • Place back in oven for another 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and let sit for at 20 minutes before flipping onto a serving platter and slicing. 
  • Serve with additional barbecue sauce on the side.

Happy eating!

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