by Sally Kingsford-Smith
Vegan Mushroom Loaf
This yummy loaf is one of my family’s favourite meals. It’s morphed over time to accommodate various food intolerances and taste preferences and originally started as a vegetarian dish with eggs and cottage cheese in it too.
While I've been meat free for absolutely ages (over four decades ago I discovered that my body was much happier without meat: I had less bloating, no bothersome constipation, more energy etc) I recognise that it’s not everyone’s choice. My approach to eating is that we each need to make food choices based on our individual needs and beliefs while still eating food that is as nourishing to our bodies and minds, and as environmentally responsible as possible. So I don’t try to convert everyone to vegan or vegetarian diets but I certainly recommend introducing a lot more vegetables and vegetable based protein into your diet.
1 small red onion – finely diced (quick and easy in a food processor)
1 medium zucchini – grated and squeezed
2 sticks celery finely chopped
¼ cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons pine nuts and/or sunflower seeds and/or pumpkin seeds
1/2 bunch parsley finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Black pepper - to taste
Tamari - to taste
About 10 medium mushrooms chopped finely (Portobello make the loaf moister; large caps make it firmer)
500grams firm organic tofu (moosh in food processor but not too much)
*Feel free to customise and joosh up herbs etc to suit your tastebuds
1) Turn the oven on to 180°C
2) Oil or line with baking paper a loaf tin (12 x 27cm - I use an old bread tin – makes the edge of the loaf all lovely and crunchy)
3) In a large mixing bowl combine all the ingredients – it’s fun to mix it with your hands
4) Spoon it into the loaf tin and pat down with the back of the spoon.
5) Bake for about 40 minutes, remove from oven and let stand for 5 – 10 minutes.
6) Cut into slices, serve and enjoy! Plain, or with a home made tomato sauce (you can make a simple one made with good quality passata and olive oil).
This recipe is also vegan, egg free, dairy free, wheat and gluten free and it’s easy to leave out the nuts if you have an allergy or intolerance!
Mushrooms are a great source of dietary fibre, protein, vitamin C, folate, iron, zinc, manganese, copper, selenium and a range of B vitamins.