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.