Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Meatless Monday Loaf (Gluten Free)

This loaf isn't just for Mondays it's flavoursome any day of the week! It's especially good with roast potatoes, slow baked tomatoes and wilted spinach with a smathering of brown onion gravy (but that's just my opinion!) This creation was a combination of a few different recipes that I worked together, so I cannot claim it as entirely my own creation (but I guess that's true for most recipes, an idea here, an idea there...)
It's a solid, hearty loaf, so feel free to adapt it to suit your own particular tastes. But don't leave out he cacao powder (or cocoa powder) as it really makes the flavour of this dish! If the mixture is too dry, add some water, if it's too wet, add a bit more besan or almond meal. As with most baking, the quality of the ingredients, the humidity of the day etc will all effect the recipe, so do it by feel.

Thumb length piece lemon grass
a couple of slices of ginger
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon vegemite
1/4 cup cacao (or regular cocoa powder)
2 tablespoons ground sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons ground pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup almond meal
1/2 cup besan flour
1/2 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup chopped spinach
1 chopped onion
handful chopped mushrooms
2-3 porcini mushrooms soaked in 1/4 cup boiling water
chopped fresh oregano, parsley, and thyme
balsamic vinegar
polenta to dust

Soak porcini mushrooms in boiling water, and set aside.
Saute onions, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, and carrot until soft. Add mushrooms and spinach, cook for another couple of minutes, then set aside.
Mix besan flour, almond meal, cacao powder, and ground sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
Drain porcini mushrooms and reserve liquid. Chop and add to vegetable mixture, then add all to dry ingredients, using your hands to mix through.
Add vegemite to reserved poricini liquid and blend to smooth consistency. Add to mixture, and combine thoroughly. Add 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar. If mixture is too dry, add some more (it should be like cookie dough).
Preheat oven to 180C
Grease and line a loaf tin with greaseproof paper.
Spoon mixture in and press firmly down.
Add a splash more balsamic over the top of the loaf, and dust with polenta.
Cover the top, and bake in the oven for approximately 50 minutes.

Leave for 5 minutes, and then gently pull out from loaf tin. Cut into slices and serve with gravy!
P.S Leftovers are also really good in a bun with dijon, lettuce, and tomato.

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