Election day is almost upon us, and we’re getting into the spirit here at Veggie Quest! As mentioned in my previous post, inspired by Bill Clinton’s shift to a plant-based diet, I’ve decided to help both Obama and Romney make the transition–or at the very least, eat more veggies. So I’ve taken the liberty of remaking one of each candidate’s meatiest recipes with whole-food, plant-based ingredients.
|YOU DECIDE: Obama chili or Romney “meat” loaf cakes?|
|pollcode.com free polls|
Mitt Romney’s Favorite “Meat” Loaf Cakes Recipe
Adapted from Ann Romney’s recipe for one of Mitt’s favorite dinners: meat loaf cakes with sweet sauce. This veganized version is more tender and fritter-like than traditional meatloaf, and full of holiday flavors like allspice and cloves. It’s also a great way to use up leftover cooked quinoa!
|Serve with mashed potatoes and steamed veggies for the authentic Romney family experience.|
Prep time: 1 hour 10 min (including sauce) Serves: 4 (makes 8 mini-cakes)
¼ c uncooked quinoa + ½ c water (or just use ~¾ c cooked quinoa)
2 c cooked kidney beans, rinsed and drained (you’ll need two 15-oz cans, with some beans left over)
½ c finely diced raw onion
1 c finely diced raw button mushrooms (about ¼ of an 8-oz package)
1 tsp seasoned salt
6 Tbsp corn flour (could try wheat flour if you don’t have corn flour)
1 batch of sweet sauce for “meat” loaves (see recipe below)
Preheat oven to 425 F.
Rinse quinoa, drain well, and combine with water in a small saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes, until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Remove from heat. (Alternatively, if you have leftover cooked quinoa, just measure out ~¾ c and set it aside)
While quinoa is cooking, make “sweet sauce for ‘meat’ loaves” (see recipe below).
Coat a small skillet with cooking spray. Over medium heat, saute diced onions and mushrooms for 6-7 minutes, until both are tender and onions begin to brown. Remove from heat.
In a large bowl, mash kidney beans with a fork until most of the beans have broken open.
Add 1 tsp seasoned salt, and 6 Tbsp corn flour, and 3 Tbsp sweet sauce (recipe below) to the mashed beans. Stir to combine, being careful not to over-smash beans (otherwise cakes will end up wet and sticky). The consistency will look a little dry; this is desirable.
Add cooked quinoa, mushrooms, and onions, and mix gently, preferably with your hands. (This will help keep the quinoa and mushroom bits intact.)
Line 8 cups in a muffin tin with 2-inch-wide strips of parchment paper arranged in X’s. Folding the paper over on itself each time you cut makes this a lot faster!
Press bean mixture firmly into the lined cups, until almost flush with the rim of each cup. Should fill 8 cups.
|Lining and filling the pan|
Bake 5 minutes, then carefully remove each cake from the muffin tin and invert onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Spread approx. 1 Tbsp of sweet sauce over the top of each cake. (You may have a bit left over.)
Bake cakes for another 15-17 minutes, until sides of cakes are lightly browned.
Recipe: Sweet Sauce for “Meat” Loaves
10 dried dates, chopped (*See note below)
½ c ketchup (we actually used tomato-free ketchup, which turned out surprisingly well!)
2 tsp ground dried mustard
½ tsp allspice
½ tsp ground cloves
Using a mini food processor OR a tall plastic cup and an immersion blender, combine sauce ingredients until smooth.
*No mini food processor or immersion blender? Substituting ⅓ c vegan sugar for the dates should work; let me know how it goes!
Veganized Obama Family Chili Recipe
Adapted from Obama’s favorite chili recipe, posted on ABC.com. Portobello mushrooms make a great stand-in for beef, with their meaty texture and umami flavor. Adding almond butter at the end is optional, but it really puts this chili over the edge.
Prep time: 1 hour Serves: 4
1 large onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, pressed or finely diced
3 medium portobello mushroom caps, chopped
4 small tomatoes, chopped
¼ tsp cumin
¼ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp dried basil
1 Tbsp chili powder
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
salt to taste
2 Tbsp almond butter (optional)
Cooked brown rice, red onion, and avocado for serving (optional)
Coat a large, deep skillet or pot with cooking spray, and saute onions, green pepper, portobello mushrooms over medium heat for 12 minutes. Add garlic and cook 3 more minutes. (Add a splash of water as needed to prevent sticking.)
Add tomatoes, spices, and red wine vinegar, stirring to mix.
Cover and simmer 20 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes cook down.
Add beans and cook a few minutes more.
Add salt to taste.
Remove from heat and gently stir in almond butter (if using).
Serve over brown rice, garnished with avocado and red onion, if desired.
So, whose recipe won out? Cast your vote above in the poll above or leave me a comment below!