Black bean, quinoa and walnut loaf

When my youngest daughter is home, that’s when I come up with my best ideas for vegan recipes. You got it, she’s vegan!

The loaf featured above is 100% vegan and was part of our Christmas meal. It was absolutely delicious. My husband John, who isn’t vegan or vegetarian, loved it. The loaf can be served as a main course or a side dish. It tastes great as is or with mushroom gravy or cranberry sauce. It also holds together well – just like meatloaf.

In this recipe, the moist and dry ingredients are perfectly balanced. When I made it, I soaked the dry black beans overnight and I didn’t use any metal cans at all.

This loaf hits all the high notes for nutrition. It’s made with black beans, quinoa, black rice, chia seeds, rolled oats and walnuts. It’s also made with mushrooms, but you don’t really taste the mushrooms in the loaf, instead they are in there to add depth and a savoury taste. You can also substitute the mushrooms with zucchini.

If you attempt at making this recipe, measure the ingredients carefully and divide the mixture to make two loaves – that way, you will obtain the right texture. The black beans, quinoa and rice can be prepared in advance and kept in the freezer or refrigerator. The loaves also freeze well.

Last but not least, the tablecloth in the picture above was handmade by my dear aunt and Godmother, Evangéline. She is 105 years old and she is still as beautiful as ever. Merci tante Line pour le cadeau!

Bon appétit!

Black bean, quinoa and walnut loaf

Makes two medium-size loaves

Level: Moderate

Oven: 350°F / 180°C

Ingredients

dsc_0039
Black rice

Base

  • 3 tablespoons whole chia seeds + ½ cup warm water
  • 2 cups black beans that were soaked and boiled* (see note) or pre-cooked beans from a can strained and rinsed.
  • 2 cups cooked red quinoa** (see note)
  • 1 cup cooked black rice, cooked according to package
  • 2 cups fresh brown mushrooms (or zucchini), chopped
  • 1 large-size leek, chopped
  • ½ cup celeriac (celery root), grated
  • 2-3 garlic buds, pressed
celeriac
Celeriac or celery root

Spicy sauce

  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon soya sauce (naturally fermented; reduced salt)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Crumbs

  • 1 cup natural rolled oats + 1 cup walnuts – mixed in blender or processor to obtain crumbs. I like to keep the walnuts more on the chunky side.

Spices

  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • Pink salt and ground pepper, to taste

Notes :

* Dry black beans: 1½ cups dried beans normally makes 2 to 2½ cups after they soak. To avoid running short, I soaked 2 cups of dry beans and froze the leftovers. Put the dried beans in a large bowl, cover with water and soak them overnight. Strain and measure exactly 2 cups of soaked beans. Add them to a big pot and cover them with an inch of salted water, bring to the boil then simmer over medium heat with lid half on for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until tender. Taste for tenderness. When done, strain and rinse.

** Quinoa: 1 cup dry quinoa normally makes 2½ cups cooked quinoa. To cook 1 cup of dry quinoa you need 2 cups of water. For this recipe, measure exactly 2 cups of cooked quinoa. Freeze or add leftovers to another dish. Quinoa is very easy to make and you don’t need to rinse it. Click here for instructions on cooking quinoa.

Procedure

Line 2 loaf pans with parchment paper or use non-stick loaf pans. Mix the chia seeds in a small bowl with warm water and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes – it will gel up. Partially process the prepared black beans in processor or blender or mash with fork or hand masher. Some beans can be left whole. Put prepared beans, quinoa and rice in a big bowl and mix well.

In a non-stick pan (don’t add butter or oil), sauté over medium heat, the mushrooms, leeks, celeriac and garlic until the water from the mushrooms has evaporated, about 15 minutes. When done, add this to the bean, quinoa and rice and mix well.

In a small bowl, whisk the spicy sauce and add this to the mixture. Mix well. Add the gelled chia seeds. Mix again.

Add the blended oats and walnuts. Add the spices. Mix well with clean hands, turning and squeezing the mixture between your fingers. The mixture should hold well together. It should feel moist, slightly crumbly but not mushy. If you find it dry, drizzle a little extra olive oil.

Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. For the first 30 minutes of baking, make a tent with an aluminum foil that loosely covers the loaves. Remove foil for the next 30 minutes of baking. Rest on cooling rack for at least 15 minutes before slicing. Slices can be reheated in microwave. Can be stored in refrigerator straight in the pan and covered with foil. It tastes great the next day.

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Julie Zimmer

Julie has extensive experience in nursing practice and education in a wide range of fields from intensive/coronary care, to medical-surgical to community and public health. Julie has Bachelor Degrees in Psychology and Nursing, and a Master’s Degree in Community Health Nursing Education. She has taught in faculties of nursing and in various communities in Toronto, Canada and in Geneva, Switzerland, and is a consultant to the International Council of Nurses (ICN). Julie also has years of experience teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) in addition to coordinating an English department in a Swiss private school.

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