Today we will be preparing a non-meat loaf with tofu which is rich in plant protein.
Tofu, which is made of soybeans, is a well-known food in east Asian kitchens. It is gaining popularity also in western world as more people adopt flexitarian / vegetarian / vegan diets.
Tofu is a good source of calcium, iron and selenium and contains 8 essential amino acids.
Even though it is often listed in cheese category, in my opinion, this might be misleading especially for those who are not very familiar with it. Because it taste nothing like conventional cheeses. Therefore, when it is not used how it should be, it can fail the expectations of those who are looking for a substitute for traditional cheeses.
Good news is it is possible to prepare delicious meals with tofu, but it doesn't taste much in its natural form. That's why it is often marinated before use. It is spiced with various herbs and spices. It can be cooked, grilled, baked as it can be eaten uncooked.
I often buy natural tofu and marinate or spice it myself. We also like very much smoked tofu.
One of my favourite meals with tofu is this non-meat loaf, which I read about in "Eat to Live Cookbook" by Dr Joel Fuhrman. I've made a few changes on the original recipe due to our palate and needs. I serve it with oven roasted potatoes and some tomato salad.
Ingredients (for 6):
Non-meat Mushroom Tofu Loaf:
250 g onions
60 g celery stick
400 g mushrooms
1 - 1 1/2 Tbsp salt-free meat loaf spice (*1)
1 Tbsp oregano
50 g water
40 g arrowroot powder (*2)
2 tsps Bragg's Liquid Aminos (*3) or low sodium Soy Sauce or Tamari
400 g organic natural firm tofu (with no added salt, sugar or spice)
100 g chopped walnuts
100 g brown rice
80 g whole wheat bread crumbs
1 kg potatoes
A few sprigs of rosemary
Freshly ground black pepper
Very little salt
500 g cherry tomatoes
150 g green or red pepper
75 g scallions
Freshly ground black pepper
Fresh lemon juice
(*1) You can buy any no-salt added meat loaf mixture of your preferred brand, or you can simply prepare your own special mixture. When I don't have any ready to use meatball spice at home, I prepare one using ground cumin, sweet paprika, black pepper and allspice.
(*2) Arrowroot powder (aka arrowroot starch) is a thickening agent often used to thicken baby formulas, puddings, soups ... etc. It aids digestion, boosts immune function. You can substitute with potato stach or cornstarch.
(*3) Bragg's Liquid Aminos, is an alternative to soy sauce and tamari. It is rich in amino acids, containing 16 of the 20 found in nature. It is not fermented, made of non-GMO soybeans and purified water. It can be substituted with low sodium soy sauce or tamari.
Mushroom Tofu Loaf:
- Cook brown rice for the cooking time specified on the package. It is usually around 30 - 45 minutes according the type of the rice. Drain and let it cool to room temperature.
- Chop onions, celery and mushrooms into small pieces. Transfer all into a non-stick pan.
- Sauté vegetables until they are soft, stir occasionally. If/when needed add 1 - 2 Tbsps of water to prevent them from sticking.
- Add meatball spice and oregano 1 - 2 minutes before turning the heat off.
- Drain tofu. Pat it dry with paper towel.
- Melt arrowroot powder in 50 g of water. Add Bragg's Liquid Aminos and mix all.
- Mix tofu and arrowroot water in a high powered blender.
( Thermomix owners => Mix tofu and arrowroot water for 5 seconds on Speed 5-6.)
- Add walnuts into blender and blend until smooth.
( Add walnuts into TM Bowl and mix for 5 seconds on Speed 5-6.)
- Transfer tofu mixture in a large bowl. Add cooked vegetables, rice and bread crumbs.
- Mix all with a spoon or by hand.
- Cover a loaf pan (11 x 30 cm) with baking paper. Add mixture to pan and spread evenly.
- Bake in preheated oven at 180°C for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes.
- When the end of cooking time of your non-meat loaf is near, start washing potatoes with a brush. Do not peel them. Cut them into pieces.
- Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and very little salt. Add rosemary leaves and mix all. Transfer into oven tray previously covered with baking paper.
- Cook in preheated oven at 220°C for 25 minutes.
- Chop all the ingredients and dress with lemon juice and pepper. Serve at room temperature.
- Turn loaf out.
- You can place loaf in a serving tray with potatoes.
- Slice and serve with roasted potatoes and tomato salad.