When in doubt, always have a reliable recipe you can make as an alternative entree for the holidays. If you don’t have a staple vegetarian entree to make for yourself, your family, or for Friendsgiving — then this is it. The Best Vegetarian Nut Loaf.
I remember the first plant-based holiday season I experienced, about 9 years ago, when I was experimenting with that lifestyle to see what worked for me and my health goals, and what didn’t. To this day my body loves eating as plant-rich as possible, but I’m not vegan or go by any food labels — as you guys know it’s all about eating whole foods that make you feel good. One of the common questions, we get around this time of year is how to make a substantial, hearty, delicious, and non-laborious vegetarian entree for the holiday. I listened, and we served it up today.
This truly is, the Best Vegetarian Nut Loaf…which can also be enjoyed year-round. One of the most difficult challenges with making a vegetarian nut loaf is the texture. Too often it crumbles to the point where it’s unrecognizable as a loaf or it’s far too moist, or the flavor is just “off”. I was thinking back to two popular NS recipes, the Grain-free Walnut Bread and the Meatloaf and had an ah-ha moment — I combined two aspects of each recipe to create the best texture I’ve ever had in a vegetarian loaf. The ingredient (s) that take this loaf over the top is the combination of dried ground thyme, dried ground sage, and dried ground oregano which are synonymous with the holiday. This loaf is…
Dense and hearty texture
Doesn’t fall apart
Simple to make (in a blender!)
Makes for great leftovers during the week
(nutrition) stripped and how this will be your new favorite veggie entree, year-round:
- Plant-rich and vegetarian-friendly protein: the combination of nuts, eggs, and nutritional yeast are rich in protein and yield about 8-10g of protein per serving (depending on how many slices you get out of the loaf). Not familiar with nutritional yeast, click here to read more from the food index.
- B Vitamins: the nutritional yeast is the star ingredient that contains over 200% DV of all B vitamins just in 2 tablespoons! B vitamins are crucial for energy production, metabolism of nutrients, hair, skin, and nails; nervous system function, and a host of other processes in the body.
- Fiber: nuts, rice, vegetables, and flaxseed all contribute to the fiber content in this loaf, which keeps you feeling full, satisfied, and your blood sugars stable. Read more about the health benefits of flaxseed and why I like to sneak this soluble fiber-rich ingredient into dishes.
- Optimizer option: serve this nut loaf with my Pomegranate Cranberry Sauce — cranberries are natural diuretics (i.e. they release fluids from the body), which may be needed to support your body in releasing extra sodium that may take place during holiday meals. These powerful red gems are not only high in antioxidants, but have also shown to have anti-inflammatory benefits, cardiovascular benefits, immune support, and digestive system benefits (H. pylori).
If you try this recipe, I wanna hear about it, so let’s chat! Leave a comment it, rate it (this helps me improve future recipes), and don’t forget to tag a picture #nutritionstripped to show how you love and try these recipes on Instagram! I’d love to see what you come up with and how you share this with friends and family this season.
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon dried ground thyme
- 1 tablespoon dried ground sage
- 1/2 tablespoon dried ground oregano
- Sea salt and black pepper
- 3/4 cup almond butter
- 4 whole eggs
- 1 tablespoon tamari (or soy sauce)
- 1/2 cup walnuts, ground
- 1/2 cup pecans, ground
- 1 cup cooked brown rice or basmati rice
- ½ cup nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Make sure to have a well-greased bread pan or silicon bread pan (recommended size is 9×5′) on standby.
- In a medium-hot skillet, add olive oil, onions, sea salt and black pepper. Cook for 5-8 minute or until soft. Add garlic, cook for 3 minutes until fragrant, followed by onions, celery, and all ground spices. Add carrots in and cook until they are tender, then take off the heat.
- In the meantime, prep your blender or food processor (blender recommended) by adding the whole eggs, almond butter, and tamari, blend this mixture until combined (about 45 seconds).
- Add the cooked onions, celery, carrots, and spice mixture into the blender, blend for 45 seconds. Pour this wet mixture into a large mixing bowl and add the ground walnuts, pecans, cooked rice, nutritional yeast, and flaxseed.
- Pour the loaf mixture into the bread pan, bake at 350 degrees F for 60 minutes. I recommend checking the middle of the loaf with a tester stick (i.e. a knife) at the 40-minute mark to adjust based on your oven settings.