Sunday, September 15, 2013

Day 12: Sunday Night Meatloaf

When I was younger, meatloaf was one of my least favorite foods. Along with beef stroganoff and the yolk part of McDonald's Egg McMuffins, and whatever happens when syrup touches bacon or breakfast sausage, it was one of those foods that made me downright and inexplicably queazy. I turn green. I think it was because to me nothing sweet should go anywhere near meat, and the brown sugary ketchup glaze did the unthinkable.

At any rate, now, as a vegan, I sometimes like to see if I can recreate traditional omnivorous dishes. I viewed meatloaf as a challenge. I came and a conquered. This is a meatloaf that I'll definitely be having again, and which didn't illicit the red flags that real meatloaf once did.

Note: Because I still can't stomach when sweet things meet my meat alternatives, the glaze has cayenne in it, rather than brown sugar. If you were a lover of this sweet glaze, I would just add a tablespoon or two of brown sugar and call it good.

Sunday Night Meatloaf
Serves 4
Time: 1 hour 20 min

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 stalk of celery, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 lb seitan (half of the recipe here)
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/3 cup wheat gluten
1/3 cup parsley
3 tablespoons shoyu
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon mustard

1/2 cup Ketchup
1 tablespoon mustard
1 teaspoon sage
1/2 teaspoon cayenne

Heat the olive oil in a medium sized skillet of medium-high heat. Saute the onion, carrot, and celery until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for an additional 30 seconds, and then add the herbs and saute another 30 seconds. Remove from heat

Preheat oven to 400ºF. In a food processor, grind the seitan until minced. Transfer to a large bowl. Process the sauteed vegetables and add to the bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and combine. Oil a rectangular baking dish, and begin to form the seitan mixture into a loaf form. If the mixture does not want to stay together, continue adding wheat gluten tablespoon by tablespoon until you are able to form a loaf.

Mix all the ingredients for the sauce (remember the brown sugar if you want it to be sweet). With a spoon spread the sauce across the top of the loaf evenly.

Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the loaf is browned on all sides.

For the Brussels Sprouts
1 pound Brussels sprouts, halved and with tough stems removed
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Toss in a bowl. Spread evenly in a baking dish, and roast until tender and browned, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. You can roast them in the oven while the seitan is baking, but put them in about ten minutes after the seitan goes in.

For the potatoes
4 medium red-skinned potatoes, chopped (to keep you honest, since no one needs more than one potato
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Spread evenly in a baking dish, and roast until tender and browned, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes. You can also roast these while the seitan is baking, but put them  in at the same time as the seitan.



  1. This! This is what i have been looking for. I would never believe it was vegan if i didn't make it myself. the texture is exactly on point. My only complaint is that it turned out a tad salty... which im sure is entirely my fault. i could not find vegan Worcestershire Sauce so every time the recipe called for it (both for seitan and loaf) i substituted with low sodium soy sauce (yes, i knew it was stupid when i did it and i did it anyway!). other than that i added a dried basil and a touch more oregano (i like to give my loaf a "meatball vibe"). Even though i took some liberties, i could not have come so close to perfection without this recipe. Thank you, Jess! Even my savage meat-eating boyfriend liked it and commented on the perfect texture.

    1. Aw thank you! You made my day! I'm so glad that you loved it! :)

      Also, just in case..... You CAN buy the Worcestershire sauce from Amazon! I find it's really a great way to get umami flavor, but I also think that Annie's tastes a bit more like steak sauce than real Worcestershire sauce, so if you can't get it, you could perhaps try substituting with A-1 Steak Sauce? I haven't tried this so can't vouch personally, but I think it could work as a substitute and looks to be vegan.

  2. I have been looking for this. My fiancee and son are vegetarian. My son has been wanting a veggie meatloaf but I hadn't heard of seitan until recently. I just have a question about this recipe. Do I cook the seitan before I make this or do I just make the seitan then cook it with the rest of the ingredients? I just want to make sure I do it right the first time.

    1. Hi Arnold! So nice of you to make them seitan meatloaf! :)

      To answer your question: yes, you do make the seitan first. This gives you more of the crumbly "ground beef" texture. Making seitan is basically like making a dough, with wheat gluten rather than flour. You can then boil or bake the dough, but this recipe for seitan is boiled, and has step-by-step pictures: Once done, you can use half the recipe for the meatloaf, and keep the rest for another use. Because no one wants to make seitan all the time, my seitan recipes always make enough for at least two different meals. :) Hope that helps and let me know how it comes out!

  3. Do I cook the seitan before I make the loaf? Sorry for the newbie question, just want to make this right for my vegetarian son.

  4. I know this is an old post but I feel the need to comment. I decided to make seitan for the first time this morning and that I wanted it with brussel sprouts and mashed potatoes. I went to the store for brussels and vital wheat gluten and stumbled accross a Field Roast meatloaf. I then changed my plans to make a homemade seitan meatloaf to compare to the Field Roast brand. I got home and poured myself a bourban and coke while googling seitan meatloaf. Your recipe was the first offering I clicked because the bourban in the name grabbed me. Then I saw your side dishes. It's eerily perfect and my first batch of seitan smells amazing on the stove. Thank you!