December 17, 2012

I made beet loaf?


You know how recipes seem to cycle through the blogs, appearing almost simultaneously on the same day. One minute all the blogs have banana bread/banana muffins/banana cupcakes, etc., and the next they're all about peanut stew/peanut soup/peanut pie. Then, every so often, there's a run of beet burgers/beet loaf/beet balls. I've found myself contributing to the surfeit of many such confluences — but never to the ones involving beets. I don't love beets, and I don't hate them. I will eat one or two slices of baked, boiled or pickled beets if they are being served, but I almost never prepare them myself. I like borscht; I like raw beets as part of fresh juice; I like raw grated beets, but sadly, most beets that we bring into the house thinking we might use them, end up in the compost.


Last week I was home alone, and thought it would be a good idea to make a main-dish loaf of some sort that I could eat from all week — just heat and add vegetables — and not have to cook much. As I planned what would go into it, I remembered the beets languishing in the fridge, and decided I   might as well make a beet loaf once and for all. I didn't look up any recipes* because I was afraid that seeing a long list of ingredients that I had to find and measure would make me change my mind, and besides, I had my own list of ingredients that needed to be used up. For example, I had the end of an expired bag of TruRoots sprouted beans, some rather old millet, and the last five remaining mushrooms from a box on the verge of being tossed, as well as a giant jar of mushroom powder that I try to add to as many things as possible. Because I didn't use a recipe, and didn't accurately measure most of the ingredients, you should consider my recipe a guide. The loaf was so good I really couldn't believe it, and I made so much there was plenty left when my husband got home from his travels — he loved it, too. It could easily go into sandwiches or into tacos or nachos or under mashed potatoes for shepherd's pie. Or you could freeze the leftovers for a night when you don't have time to cook. Yesterday I formed some of the leftovers into a burger and sautéed it in a little oil — delicious with sriracha. You could use any beans you want — lentils would be good, and probably any grain, though I recommend trying millet for its taste and texture.


Beet loaf (guidelines) About 12 servings
  • 1 cup dry TruRoots sprouted beans, cooked and drained (or lentils or other beans) 
  • 1 cup dry millet cooked in 2 cups water for 20 minutes, then allowed to sit, covered for at least 20 minutes, fluffed with a fork
  • 1 large onion, chopped 
  • 5 large mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 1 smallish beet, peeled and grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 piece fresh ginger root, chopped,
  • 1 Rapunzel no salt added bouillon cube, mashed into hot beans
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke (more if you really like liquid smoke)
  • hemp seeds (opt.)
  • sunflower seeds (opt. but adds a nice crunch)
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon mushroom powder (opt.)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • herbs and spices as desired (I used crushed red pepper)
  1. Sauté onion until almost soft. Add mushrooms and cook until soft. Add carrots and beets and cook until wilted.
  2. In a food processor, place beans, bouillon, cocoa, garlic and ginger and buzz until well-combined.
  3. Add half the millet and half the sautéed veggies and buzz until well-combined but not puréed.
  4. Place the bean mixture into a large bowl with the remaining millet and veggies and mix. 
  5. Mix in ketchup, liquid smoke, hemp seeds (if using), sunflower seeds (if using), mushroom powder (if using), salt, pepper, herbs and spices to taste.
  6. Press into an oiled 10" x 13" baking dish. Glaze the top with a thin layer of ketchup.
  7. Bake at 350˚F for 45 minutes. Allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Serve with gravy.
* If I were going to look for recipes, I'd search here and here and also here. Try searching for beet burgers as well as beet loaf. I know I've seen recipes on all three blogs, though I've never been in the right mood to make note of them because, you know, they contained beets. Well, I was wrong. Yes, I was.

23 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Who wudda thunk it? Beet loaf is good!

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  2. Hey there!

    I've never had any kind of 'loaf', meat or beet, so I might try this some time soon - it looks delicious! What would you eat this with?

    I thought I might spread a bit of the beetroot (as we call them over here in the UK!) gospel - I recently posted a couple of recipes using beetroot over on my blog.

    One is beetroot pesto - http://highballemys.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/homemade-beetroot-pesto.html

    And the other is chocolate and beetroot cake. I'm vegetarian, so my recipe has eggs, butter, and milk, but I'd LOVE to see a veganised version of it, if you wanted to try! - http://highballemys.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/chocolate-and-beetroot-cake.html

    OK, sorry for the self-promotion, but what can I say - I LOVE beetroot!

    Love,

    Emy
    xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You could eat whatever sides you like — we had sweet potato and broccoli, for example.

      Thanks for sharing your recipes. I'm sure there's a vegan beetroot lover out there who would love to veganize them!

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  3. I was very surprised to see the title of this post! So glad that it came out well for you. It's a lovely color!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You see, I'm willing to try things that I'm skeptical of — even adding beets to a good bean loaf. It was delicious, and my husband was very excited when he detected the slightest beet flavor. He loves beets.

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  4. Yes! You have come to the dark side and now you are going to become a beet lover! Mwahaha! I love that you used millet and mushrooms for this beet loaf, and I also loved that you winged it! It looks fabulous and I'd like a slice, please.

    Thanks for the linkeage! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't get carried away. I do like beets in some forms (esp. juice and borscht) but I'm not expecting to become a beet lover anytime soon. The millet has been looking at me every time I open the cupboard, and it guilted me into using it. It made a great loaf, though — lots of firm texture.

      You know that winging it is the most fun way to cook, though it does make sharing recipes harder.

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  5. Very cool! I acutally love beets but it's been a long time since I've eaten them. They're so good for you! I must have missed all the other beet posts around the web but I've bookmarked this, so we can keep the trend alive.

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    Replies
    1. I'm way behind in my beet post — the others were a while ago. It takes me a long time to work up to trying something I'm curious about but generally try to avoid, like putting beets into things. I think the most recent beet burger appeared on Wing It Vegan. That's the one that pushed me over the edge. The amount I made was way too much, and I need a little break before making it again, but I definitely will!

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  6. Great idea for using beets (and other languishing veggies!). I like beets every which way, though must admit that now that I've tried them raw, that's my fave. But I bet I'd love this loaf, too.

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    Replies
    1. Didn't you make beet burgers on your blog? I thought you did something like this. I think I like raw beets best, too, though the beet loaf was really delicious.

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  7. For the longest time, I didn't care much for beets. But now, I'll at least give them a try and so far I've liked them. Your beef loaf looks like another one of those "try it, you'll like it" dish. :-)

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    Replies
    1. I still don't think of beets when I'm planning what to cook, but with this good experience behind me, maybe I'll change my mind about them.

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  8. I love beetroot, particularly just roasted. I've not made a beet loaf yet, though - I think there's something that puts me off a bit, I don't know why. I'm pretty sure it's an irrational thing to do with the colour - I like all the ingredients in a beet loaf. My boyfriend has some weird food quirks that way - he won't eat 'pate', but he will eat 'spread'. Same with 'gravy' and 'sauce', even when they're both exactly the same thing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can certainly understand the off-putting nature of beet loaf. :) I didn't pay any attention to the recipes for it although the idea intrigued me. I probably should have called it millet-lentil -mushroom loaf, since those things play a far greater role than the beet. But the beet is definitely responsible for the color!

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    2. That's so funny that your boyfriend won't eat gravy but he will eat sauce. My husband is the same way! If I say that something is "gravy," I can be assured I'll be the only one eating it! :)

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  9. With such high praise, this makes me wish I liked cooked beets! Your loaf is so colorful. Although, it does only have one beet in it. Maybe I'll try a beet-free version! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I'm not a big fan of beets either, but really, the loaf was delicious. I was craving it even though I ate it every day. And, yes, it only had one beet. :) Be brave.

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  10. I'm guilty of the languishing beets too- so much so that I've stopped buying them. I'll think of you next time I'm about to pass them up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My husband buys them, but I don't know why.

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  11. I have the same feelings about beets. I do find I like them better roasted. I will have to try this, it's low fat and I need those sort of recipes. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you like it. I know you'll be creative and make the recipe work for you. I'm thinking of turning it into a shepherd's pie with lots of mashed potatoes on top.

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