Black Bean & Quinoa LoafI’ve dabbled with vegan dinner loaves in my kitchen for years now, combining ingredients like cashews and quinoa and mushrooms and hazelnuts and lentils and oats and almonds and broccoli into edible terrines. As a cook, I’m satisfied by the building, the fusion into a single pan, and then the ultimate joy of slicing and eating. Ideally, whatever loaf is made should be greater than the sum of its parts. Texture and taste are so important: they’re the prizes for this loaf race.

And so I’ve now tried the “Black Bean & Quinoa Loaf,” from The Lovin’ Forkful. Dave says, “I’m surprised how much I liked this.” The cook (me) says, “It’s ugly.” The batter looks like mud. But let’s get beyond that.

A food processor is essential for this recipe. Chop the vegetables in the processor, then sauté them before they get folded into the loaf. This was a wise step, ensuring deeper flavors. The heft of this loaf is provided by the cooked quinoa and black beans and the rolled oats. I seasoned with salt and pepper throughout the assembly, to get it right before it baked.

The vegan magic trick of the “chia egg” was a fun blast. This was the gelatinous goo that helped hold the loaf together.

Lining the loaf pan with parchment paper was necessary, to help lift the cooked loaf from the pan.

The finish line? Texture: not too dry. Hooray! Taste: rich, deep, satisfying. Yippee! We kept slicing more, eating more. You’ll win with this one.

Onion (1) = .53¢
Carrot (1 medium) = .72¢
Canned Black Beans (19 oz.) = $2.56

PREP TIME: dedicate two hours to quinoa and gelling chia and chopping and sauteing and baking
rich, deep, satisfying

Next time, I need to make use of my open bottle of red wine. What to do? Make cookies! I’ll make the “Ring Biscuits with Wine and Fennel Seeds,” from Rachel Eats. Come back to my site next week, to see what happens.