Vegetable “Meat” Loaf

I read reviews of this dish online, and they were all pretty good. In fact, it gets five stars (the highest rating)! I think this turned out okay, but boy, was it a lot of work. I dirtied up so many dishes and pots! And I chopped veggies like there’s no tomorrow! The “loaf” smelled really good while baking, but it didn’t really hold together too well when it came to slice it. Toby and I both weren’t really fans of real meatloaf, so I guess it’s understandable that we didn’t go gaga over this. The ketchup topping didn’t go very far on my loaf, so I put extra ketchup on the table for us to use. I made mashed potatoes to serve with this, along with a salad and rolls. I will be eating the leftovers for lunch, so I will see if I love it any more then.

rating: 8

Vegetable “Meat” Loaf
(Cooking Light, March 2012)

serves 6
hands-on time: 60 min.
total time: 1 hour, 47 min.


Meat loaf:

1 large red bell pepper
1 large green bell pepper
2 pounds cremini mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup 1/2-inch asparagus pieces
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 cup panko
1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 tbsp ketchup
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 oz. fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Cooking spray


2 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp vodka or vegetable broth
1/4 tsp Dijon mustard


1. Preheat broiler to high.
2. To prepare meat loaf, cut bell peppers in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 12 minutes or until blackened. Place in a paper bag; fold to close tightly. Let stand for 10 minutes. Peel and finely chop. Place bell peppers in a large bowl.
3. Reduce oven temperature to 350°.
4. Place about one-fourth of mushrooms in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until finely chopped. Transfer chopped mushrooms to a bowl. Repeat procedure 3 times with remaining mushrooms.
5. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add mushrooms to pan; sauté 15 minutes or until liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms to bell peppers. Wipe pan with paper towels. Add asparagus and onion to pan; sauté 6 minutes or until just tender, stirring occasionally. Add onion mixture to mushroom mixture.
6. Arrange breadcrumbs in an even layer on a baking sheet; bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until golden. Add breadcrumbs and the next 8 ingredients (through eggs) to mushroom mixture, stirring well. Spoon mixture into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray; press gently to pack. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until a thermometer registers 155°.
7. To prepare topping, combine 2 tablespoons ketchup and remaining ingredients in a small bowl; brush ketchup mixture over meat loaf. Bake an additional 10 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes; cut into 6 slices.

per serving: 338 calories

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