I am always looking to “plantisize” a familiar dish that will appeal to those that may be new to plant-based eating , transitioning or are , like me, in a “mixed relationship”. This recipe definitely fits all the criteria: easy to prepare, very similar in texture to the “m” version and best of all – delicious! If you prefer this over spaghetti and tomato sauce, give the Veggie Neat Ball version try. Either way, this dish does deliver a tasty mouthful and will keep you coming for seconds..
Makes 1 small loaf Serves 4-5
Prep time: 25 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes
½ cup bulgur
1 cup of water
2 Tbsp. flax meal mixed with 6 Tbsp. of hot water
1 cup shredded carrots , approx. 2-3 small carrots
1 small onion, finely diced
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. each of dried oregano, thyme and basil
1 cup of chickpeas, mashed in food processor
2 Tbsp. of strong mustard
2 Tbsp. of tomato paste
fresh ground pepper
Preheat oven to 375 F
- In a small pot combine bulgur with 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, stir and reduce heat to low; cover and let simmer for about 10-12 minutes. Take off heat and let rest.
- Mix together 2 tbsp. of flax meal with 6 tbsp. of hot water; stir and let sit for few minutes, until mixture thickens (this is called a “flax egg”)
- Heat a sauté pan on medium heat. Sauté onions, carrots, garlic and hot pepper flakes in a little vegetable broth or water , until translucent; approx. 3-4 minutes
- In a medium bowl combine cooked bulgur, mashed chickpeas, sautéed vegetables, flax eggs, herbs, mustard, tomato paste and ground pepper. Mix thoroughly.
- Pat mixture into a silicon loaf pan. This makes a small loaf, so there will be room on all sides in the pan.
- Bake for 30 minutes until slightly browned
- Let rest for a few minutes before slicing
- Serve with your favorite tomato sauce or salsa. Enjoy!
If you don’t have a food processor, use a potato masher or fork to mash-up the chick peas to a fairly smooth consistency.
1 flax egg= 1 Tbsp. of flax meal mixed with 3 tbsp. of water
This mixture also makes great veggie neat balls. Shape into 16 balls, about golf ball size, (or less, if you like them bigger) and bake for 30 minutes on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet at 375 F.
Veggie Loaf (and Neat Balls) will keep well in the refrigerator for a few days. I think, it gets better the next day and makes a great lunch option as well.