Vegan Love Loaf – Recipe

 Last year I set out on a mission to save money by cooking more meals at home. I not only wanted to save money, but also benefit my little ones by teaching them how to create and make their own meals along the way.

 It is a little tricky at first to wrap your head around making a quality, home-cooked meal when you’re so used to eating out and snacking on lara bars. So I make an action plan to make Every meal at home.

Each meal I created needed to contain healthy ingredients that the kids would enjoy as much as the adults. This Love Loaf recipe is a winner, for sure. It tastes great and sure does hit the spot! And what a great meal to cook for Valentine’s Day!

I present to you my vegan Love Loaf with caramelized onion mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy. 🙂

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So here’s what you need:

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Love Loaf Ingredients:

  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 14 ounces extra firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 4 tablespoons tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 1/2 tablespoon rubbed sage
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt (to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 3/4 cup quinoa flakes (or quick oatmeal)

 

Preparation:

Wash a small sweet potato, bake at 400°F for 45 minutes. When it is done allow to cool, then peel and set aside.

Add the onion, carrot, and celery to the food processor. Pulse until finely minced. Transfer the minced veggies to a large heated, oiled (or you could use water) skillet. Add minced garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally on med heat until they become tender (about 10 minutes.)

Add the drained beans and mash as they cook. Remove from heat once all of the beans are mashed.

Add the sweet potato, tofu, tamari, nutritional yeast, and all other seasonings to the food processor. Process until smooth. Add quinoa flakes. Pulse until blended well.

Using a rubber spatula, add tofu mixture to the veggies and stir well.

Preheat the oven to 375°F

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and add the entire mixture to the sheet. Have FUN with this one! You can shape it like your topical loaf, a heart, or whatever funky shape you desire. I was feeling lovely and so I shaped mine into a heart.

Here’s how it looked before it was cooked.

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Love Loaf. 🙂

And here’s the finished product-

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For the Mashed Potatoes:

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Ingredients:

5 lbs red or gold potatoes (I don’t peel mine, but you could if you prefer them that way)

1/4 cup Earth Balance, (or coconut oil) divided

1lg sweet onion, minced

1/2 cup pine nuts

1/4 cup tofutti vegan cream cheese

1/4 cup vegan sour cream

1/4 cup almond milk

freeze dried scallions and fresh parsley for garnish

Preparation:

In a large pot, bring 8-12 cups of water to a boil. Add a pinch of salt and carefully add the quartered potatoes to the boiling water. Cook for about 40 minutes.

While the potatoes cook, sauté the onions in 3 tablespoons Earth Balance until golden and translucent. Add the pine nuts to the onions and continue to sauté until pine nuts are toasted (about 4 minutes) remove from heat.

When potatoes are done cooking, carefully drain them and add back to their pot. Add the caramelized onions, pine nuts, vegan cream cheese, vegan sour cream, and almond milk. Mash the potatoes to blend a savory, creamy, delicious side dish. Top with scallions and additional pine pines if you would like, and garnish with fresh parsley. Enjoy!

These yummy potatoes are a family favorite. While my vegan food used to get turned down at family event, I’m now asked to make and bring things. 🙂 Although I think you could eat these just the way they are, gravy is always a nice touch, especially for this Holidays.

If you would like the gravy recipe, which you MUST try because it is by far the BEST vegan gravy I’ve ever had.. you can find it Here. I hope you love this meal as much as we do!

Rebel really wants a plate!

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The Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen – Shoppers’ Guide to Pesticides

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Have you been trying to incorporate more organic nutritionally dense produce into your life? Are you feeling like you’re spending too much money on organic? Wondering if it’s worth it?

Two-thirds of washed produce samples in recent government tests had pesticide residues. Did you know A single grape sample contained 15 pesticides. Single samples of celery, cherry tomatoes, imported snap peas and strawberries showed 13 different pesticides a piece.
 Or how about the fact that a conventional head of lettuce contains 68 different pesticide residues?! 68!!

The USDA’s most recent pesticide monitoring data included hundreds of samples of packaged baby food. Which was found to contain acetamiprid, a neonicotinoid pesticide, as well as carbendiazim, a fungicide.

The USDA found 6 different pesticides in apple juice, including DPA, which was banned in Europe in 2012.

I encourage you to do further research on the toxicity and dangers of pesticides and fungicides used by big agra today.

So are ALL conventional fruits and vegetables dirty? … Not quite.

EWG’s Clean Fifteen™ for 2014 – the produce least likely to hold pesticide residues – are avocados, sweet corn, pineapples, cabbage, frozen sweet peas, onions, asparagus, mangoes, papayas, kiwis, eggplant, grapefruit, cantaloupe, cauliflower and sweet potatoes. Relatively few pesticides were detected on these foods, and tests found low total concentrations of pesticides.

Notable findings:

  • Avocados were the cleanest: only 1 percent of avocado samples showed any detectable pesticides.
  • Some 89 percent of pineapples, 82 percent of kiwi, 80 percent of papayas, 88 percent of mango and 61 percent of cantaloupe had no residues.
  • No single fruit sample from the Clean Fifteen™ tested positive for more than 4 types of pesticides.
  • Detecting multiple pesticide residues is extremely rare on Clean Fifteen™ vegetables. Only 5.5 percent of Clean Fifteen samples had two or more pesticides.

I want to share with you The Environmental Working Groups’ Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen Shoppers’ Guide to Pesticides.

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Print this awesome guide out and stick it right on your fridge! Keep yourself up to date as the levels change each year.

It is good to know that you can save some money by buying conventional on some important staples that could have 0 pesticide residue.

Although,  wouldn’t recommend buying conventional sweet corn because it is almost certainly genetically modified. That’s another crazy way they are messing with our food supply. I’ll go more into that in a future post.

I hope you are able to use this tool in your daily life. It has definitely saved me some money since I started to use it. I used to let it slide when buying strawberries, bell peppers, and cucumbers because they are so unbelievable expensive for organic. I also used to avoid every item on the clean fifteen list unless it was organic. Ironic, huh! Knowledge is power.

Vote with your dollars. When you can, buy organic. If you can’t AVOID the dirty dozen.

Much love & light to you,

Angie