This moist and flavorful gluten-free quinoa loaf with a clove-spiced date sauce will be your new go-to recipe for the holidays!
Festive and easy to prepare, it’s the perfect partner for stuffing, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie.
I’ve also included a make-ahead option, so you can spend more time with your friends and family, and less time in the kitchen!
Best of all, this scrumptious centerpiece is secretly packed with stellar nutrition. I’m talking complete plant-based protein, fiber, minerals, and prebiotics. So you can feel warm and fuzzy about serving this dish to your guests! Just don’t tell ’em it’s healthy; let them think they’re eating something decadent. 🙂
It’s also low fat and vegan, making it perfect for Forks Over Knives and McDougall fans.
In fact, I already made this tasty loaf for my pre-Thanksgiving dinner with my parents, and they both loved it—even my meat-eating dad!
Needless to say, I’m going to serve this loaf for Christmas dinner, too. Because frankly, it’s easier to make than a lot of veggie burger recipes, tastes amazing as leftovers on a sandwich, and the date-clove sauce—holy moly! Not only could I eat it with a spoon (okay, I have 😉 ), but it’s also out of this world swirled into pumpkin hummus.
So this holiday season, whether you’re hosting or bringing a dish to someone else’s soireé, look no further than this tasty quinoa loaf!
- 10 Medjool dates, chopped
- ½ c ketchup
- 2 tsp ground dried mustard
- ½ tsp allspice
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- 6 Tbsp water
- ⅔ cup spiced date sauce, divided
- ¾ c cooked quinoa (see Notes)
- 2 c cooked kidney beans, rinsed and drained (you'll need 2 15-oz cans, with some 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 (omit if following ETL)
- 6 Tbsp finely ground cornmeal, + 1 Tbsp if needed (see Notes)
- Place ingredients in a blender or mini food processor, or use an immersion blender with a tall plastic cup. Blend until smooth, pulsing and scraping as needed. This may take a little while, and it doesn't have to be perfect! Add extra water as needed to help the sauce blend.
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Line a medium loaf pan (8 x 4 inches) with parchment paper.
- Coat a small skillet with cooking spray (or use a nonstick pan). 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, 6 Tbsp cornmeal, and 3 Tbsp date sauce to the mashed beans. Stir to combine, being careful not to over-mash beans (otherwise loaf will end up wet). The consistency will look a little crumbly; this is desirable. If it doesn't, gradually add cornmeal 1 tsp at a time (up to 3 tsp/1 Tbsp) and gently mix.
- Add cooked quinoa, mushrooms, and onions. Mix gently, preferably with your hands.
- Press bean mixture into loaf pan.
- Cover with foil and bake 20 min.
- Uncover and spread ¼c of date sauce over the loaf, leaving a ¼-inch margin around the edges.
- Bake uncovered for another 15-20 minutes, until edges of loaf are lightly browned.
- Cool on a rack for 15 minutes, then lift from pan by the parchment paper. Slice and serve with remaining date sauce.
- If your blender has trouble with dry dates: Soak dates overnight in the fridge in water to cover. Use 4-5 Tbsp of soak water instead of 6 Tbsp plain water.
- Whole Foods has precooked quinoa in the freezer section, which I keep on hand. Then I just thaw and measure out what I need. Otherwise, cook from dry according to package directions.
- I used this finely ground corn meal, which has the consistency of flour. If you have medium or coarse grind cornmeal, put about half a cup in a food processor or Vitamix, and process until flour consistency is reached. Measure and use as called for in the recipe. Thanks Pioneer Thinking for the tip!