Thursday, October 13, 2011

Luscious Loaf

There's something about fall that causes this palpable shift in what we crave and what our bodies are telling us to eat. The moment the leaves turn, I want apples, squash, pumpkin and savories. Even in the middle of a 75-degree day, I'm wishing for meatloaf.

I remembered the tastes I liked best about traditional meatloaf and ramped it up a bit. There were some leftover baked beans sitting in the crockpot, so I dumped them in. The result was unexpectedly terrific.

Meatless Loaf with Baked Beans

1 cup or less ketchup (I used bottled "tomato sauce" from the Indian store)
1/2 package veggie burger crumbles
1 green pepper, chopped finely
1 cup or more canned vegetarian baked beans
1 cup soft bread crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
2 Tbl. fresh basil (or 1/2 tsp. dried)
1 Tbl. fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp. dried)
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oven to 325F/165C. Grease a loaf pan or an 8x8 pan.

Mix together all ingredients in a large bowl, adding ketchup a little at a time. Make sure your final product clings together and isn't too soupy. If it is, add a bit more of the bread crumbs.

Put it into the pan and bake for 45 minutes. At this point, cover the top with some more ketchup, if you like, and cook for 15 minutes longer.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Sweetest Potato

I love sweet potatoes. But I'm a little tired of eating them candied, sugared, or casseroled. So why not soup?

Here's my version of sweet potato soup that got rave reviews here at home. It's super low fat, and it's got this great mixture of flavors that make you feel like you're being treated instead of deprived of fat.

Sweet Potato Soup
Oil for frying (or water if you want to go oil-free)
1 large yam or sweet potato (about 3 cups), peeled and cubed
3 cups vegetable broth
1 Tbl. maple syrup
1/4 tsp. frehly ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. Adobo seasoning
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Topping ingredients:
1/2 cup apple sauce
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 Tbl. lemon juice
2 Tbl. maple syrup

Heat the oil or water in a saucepan and add the potatoes and Adobo seasoning. Brown and cook for about 5 minutes.

Add broth, maple syrup, and spices. Cover and cook until potatoes are soft.

In the meantime, mix together the topping ingredients. If you'd rather use fresh apples, dice a pie apple, such as a Granny Smith.

Puree the soup. Now either add the topping directly or spoon it on top of the soup after it's in the bowl.