Sunday, 19 September 2010

Mushroom Tofu loaf served with Chipotle runner bean ragout

Although meatloaf is of European origin, I have always associated it as part of American cuisine. So it will not be a surprise to some of you that I have never seen a meatloaf up close. But D having lived in the States for a couple of years vouched that visually this vegan 'Mushroom Tofu loaf' looked pretty close. It wasn't just about the way it looked though, it was about taste too.
I’ve mentioned before that D is not keen on tofu (or tempeh), so he was the perfect guinea pig. I asked him what he thought of the flavours and texture of the loaf. He actually said he could not detect the tofu, the texture and flavours were good and was very happy eating it. He added he was actually enjoying the accompaniment of the chipotle runner bean-mushroom more with its smoky and warming undertones.

I was still grinning at the way the loaf turned out to think about the ragout. Having never used tofu as a binding agent, I was very impressed with the way the loaf came out in tact. I was honestly actually expecting it to collapse somewhere in the middle. If you do decide to have a go at making the Mushroom Tofu loaf (and I strongly recommend that you do so) just bare in mind that it is rather substantial. It should really be made for a gathering of friends and family; not for two people, unless of course your planning to make it ahead for the working week, which of course we have. It will keep us fed and happy for at least another 3 evenings.
Now onto the ragout - I don’t know how often the Mexican chipotle chile has mingled with the quintessentially British runner bean, but here in this ragout they are just loving each other. I was rather pleased with this fusion dish too, and it was also a nice way to eat the runner beans still growing in the garden plot.
Mushroom Tofu Loaf
Serves 6 - 8
Ingredients3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely sliced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
50g chopped walnut or Brazil nuts
50g rolled oats
150g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
500ml vegetable stock
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
500g firm tofu, pressed of excess water and crumbled
3 tablespoons arrowroot or cornflour
140g stale brown bread crumbs
In a large pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally until soft and golden brown. Transfer to a bowl. Set aside
In the same pan, heat the remaining oil. Add the nuts, oats and mushroom. Saute for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are tender. Stir in a small amount of stock, turn up the heat and loosen stuck on bits. Add the remaining stock and cook for 10 minutes . Add the soy sauce, mustard, tomato paste, vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. Continue to cook until the mixture is thick. Add to the bowl with the onions and set aside. Season to taste.
Add the tofu and arrowroot or cornflour to a food processor; puree until smooth. Add to the onion mixture and blend in enough breadcrumbs to make a thick paste; mix well/ tip gently into a non-stick or lightly oiled loaf pan measuring 9 by 5 by 3 inches. Press down firmly to pack in the mixture into the pan. Bake for 40 minutes. For optimal result, let the loaf cool for an hour or two before slicing; or make a day ahead and reheat. Adapted from Ken Charney’s The Bold Vegetarian Chef
Chipotle runner bean-mushroom ragoutServes 4
Handful of runner beans, topped and tailed, then sliced into 1 inch diamond shapes
2 chipotle chiles1 medium onion, finely sliced
3 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
200g chestnut mushrooms
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon mushroom sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook the runner beans in salted boiling water, until tender. Drain and set aside.
Split open the chipotle chiles, remove the seeds and soak in hot water until soft (about 30 minutes). Mince the chiles and set aside.
In a large pan, cook the onion in the oil over medium heat until soft and lightly browned. Add the garlic, mushrooms and the minced chipotle chiles. Cook for 5 minutes, then add stir in tomato paste and mushroom sauce and 300ml water. Bring to a boil. Cook until the liquid is reduced by about half mushrooms are tender. Stir in runner beans and cook for a minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat and serve immediately. An idea inspired by a recipe from Ken Charneys The Bold Vegetarian Chef.


  1. ooo Fab! I have never had meatloaf growing up before either. Really want to make this though, Mushrooms are my most favourite food and it looks like it would be great in sandwiches. Too many recipes too little time!

  2. I can understand why the loaf made you smile, it's a beauty:)

  3. This mushroom tofu loaf sounds like a keeper. I expect left overs would be good ... a thick slice in a toasted sandwich with fresh tomato and you think? mmmm. Or...maybe a slice fried up in the morning with an egg, on toast. Oh I am getting hungry now))))

  4. Wow! As always, your food looks amazing. Yum.

    Andouille sausage is a cajun sausage they put in gumbo, beans, stews, etc. I found a vegan version. It is good and spicy. :)

  5. Oooh, that looks delicious! I've tried using silknen tofu as a binding agent before, I've always been impressed (and I'll admit it, a bit bemused) at the results. This is definitly on my list of things to eat this week!

    The chipotle runner bean ragout looks lovely too. Runner beans are used a lot in Mexican cooking, but they're usually podded beans, rather than the younger green pods (the roots are often eaten too).
    Have a lovely week!

  6. Oh how you are making me hungry here. That ragout looks especially tempting :)

  7. Wow! Both the recipes look great. Yumm!

  8. 2 dishes that look perfect for me!
    I love tofu loaves. Yours seems absolutely perfect. Thank you for those recipees.

  9. thanks for stopping over, thank looks really good. Im your new follower, love ya to follow back
    Mr Monkey

  10. I love these sort of roasts - to me it is a nut roast but I can see that nuts don't necessarily star here! My mum used to make meat loaf which is maybe why I love it - she often made it with tomato sauce but chipotle stir fry is a new way to serve it for me - sounds perfect for this loaf

  11. This is beautiful! Wonderful for Sunday lunch, and I can see this our on table for Thanksgiving dinner. :o)

  12. Beautiful looking dish! Looks delcious, and the runner bean ragout looks so flavorful!!

  13. Haha I've only had meatloaf once in my life so I tend to associate it with Europe. :P

    I love this, though! It looks great. :)

  14. Thank you Vegetarian Girl.
    I think this would be good in a sandwich
    A good way to use up!

    Thank you so much Patty

    I am so pleased to read that you approve, I was wondering if the tofu would make you think twice about it, but honestly alothough a lot has gone into it, you don't know its there.

    I think I would have to agree with you and say it would also be good in a toasted sandwich with fresh tomato and basil or parsley :D
    Oh my even with an egg, on toast. I am liking your suggestions :)

    Thanks for letting me know Krys.
    You did have me wondering about the 'Andouille sausage'. I 'm liking the sound of it too.

    Thank you so much littleblackfox.
    I've never cooked with silken tofu yet, its always been the firm variety.

    I have no doubt you will enjoy this loaf, if you get round to making it.

    I didn't know that runner beans were used in Mexican cooking, so appreciate you sharing this info. Thanks!

    Thanks Jacqueline.
    The ragout was very nice, D went up for seconds :)

    Thank you so much Rachana.

    Thank you so much spécialiste de l'éphémère.
    I am so happy to read that you like both dishes.

    Thank you so, so much for coming by Mr Monkey.
    I really appreciate it.

    Thanks Johanna.
    I kinda agree with you. In the past the number of loaves i've had, have always contianed a large amount of nuts, but this one has very little and a lot of tofu. Yeah I now I should've really served it with a tomato sauce, but a girls gotta experiment now and again and I Had a lot of runner beans to use. still do :D

    Thank you so much Tracy.
    I think this loaf would grace any roast dinner, whether its a Sunday lunch or Thanksgiving dinner. :o) Thank you.

    Thank you so much Morgan.
    Thee runner bean ragout really was flavorful!!

    Thanks Mo.
    Funny your experience of meatloaf is European. Funny old world.

  15. you've inspired me to give tofu a try. I love how my Chinese friend marinates and fries it but I've never had the same success. I like the idea of blending it though.

  16. Nic,
    I am so, so pleased. And sincerely hope you and G enjoy this loaf. It really is pretty good and honestly, you won't be able to detect the tofu at all.

  17. I'm starring this to make later. I've made veg meatloafs with pre-packaged faux beef crumbles, but this looks much better and much more wholesome. I love mushrooms, too, so this sounds ideal.

  18. Thanks Jessica.
    I do hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Please come back and let me know how you found it. I'd be really interested to know.

  19. I'm on the search for a tasty loaf to make for Christmas - something savoury that would go well with the usual Christmas accouterments - cranberries, stuffing, etc. Think this would work?

  20. Monica.
    I really recommend this loaf. It was really lovely. And certainly one to make when you have a crowd to feed.
    Happy Christmas to you.

  21. I am so happy to have found this recipe Shaheen! We only have meat once a week now. I would like to use more tofu as a protein source (and my husband is happy to as well), but we like it disguised and have been marinading it before using it in stir fries only. We both love mushrooms and, reading what you say about not actually tasting the tofu, it sounds (and looks) very tempting. Thank you!

  22. Thank you Susan.
    I am so pleased to read your comment and so happy that you like this recipe. I just hope you like it as much as we did.

    Also itd wonderful to read that your husband is open to new ingredients, most menfolk I've met are not always game. Happy experimenting and eating.

  23. What a brilliant recipe! I love your side...absolute heaven for a vegetarian like myself...I will have to make this as well...brilliant!


  24. This look so good!!! (and Thanks you for your comment on my blog)

  25. Thank you L'Acadienne Veg.

  26. Both of these recipes are just for my family. They are so right. You do have great recipes here.

  27. We found this loaf recipe to be excellent after it was refrigerated for two or three days. The flavour developed and it had a firmer texture. When I next make it, I might add a small chopped chili or a bit of hot sauce. Thank you Shaheen.

  28. Thank you Judith.
    Its always good to hear from you and how you found some of my recipes. I agree with you about the addition of chilli or hot sauce.

  29. Inspirante this recipe of Mushroom Tofu Loaf. I am sure that Xavier (my son who's eleven month's) is going to like. I try !

  30. Thank you Suzy.
    Wow, it sounds like your son is already acquiring a fine taste.


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