Difficulty: 2 (1=super easy; 2=easy; 3=moderate; 4=a little harder; 5=challenging)
1 TBS oil or water
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped celery
2 cups bread crumbs
1 1/2 cups finely chopped (or food-processed) walnuts
1/2 cup chopped parsley
2 TBS mustard
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 cup soy (or other) milk
1/2 cup organic brown sugar
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup molasses
1 small can mandarin oranges (pineapple rings cut into quarters work, too)
PREHEAT OVEN TO 350 DEGREES
Saute first three ingredients until onion is tender. Lightly mix with the rest of the loaf ingredients.
Form into a loaf or ring in a round casserole dish. Garnish top with orange or pineapple slices.
Bake 45 minutes.
While loaf is baking, make sauce. Combine all ingredients in a medium sauce pan. Mix and cook on medium heat, stirring until thick. (This can boil over if not watched.) Spoon over loaf after baking 15 minutes. Baste every ten minutes. Make extra or use extra for pouring over grain when served.
Serve with brown rice, couscous, millet or any favorite grain. Even good on mashed potatoes.
This is a recipe I adapted from a traditional "meatloaf" that my mother always made me for my birthday when I was growing up. The sauce makes it very sweet and I loved it. Made with walnuts, you can hardly tell the difference between the two versions. I've brought this to potlucks and people question that it's vegan.
I haven't tried it with other nuts, but if someone has a walnut allergy, you could try pecans or almonds.
Gluten-free update: I used some old gluten-free bread that was in the freezer in place of the regular bread crumbs and it's great! I think there is a gluten-free bread crumb item on the market, too.