The Savory Pecan Loaf
with orange–cranberry glaze
Still deciding on a meat-free dish to make for Thanksgiving? Look no further. This hearty Pecan Loaf is the perfect entree to serve your vegan guests. Leave the processed Tofurky in the store freezer and gather a few whole food ingredients to create this healthy and delicious meal for the holidays. It’s both filling and flavorful with a surprisingly meaty texture and may very well end up as the talk of the table this year. If you have any leftover cranberry glaze, just add a touch of balsamic vinegar and a pinch of sea salt for a superb dressing to serve over fresh salad.
Pecan Loaf Ingredients
1 cup onion, diced
1 cup celery, diced
½ cup carrots, diced
½ cup mushrooms, diced
1 cup pecans
1 cup oatmeal (quick oats)
1 cup brown rice (or quinoa)
⅓ cup pear, peeled and roughly mashed
1 cup cannellini beans (or bean of choice)
2 tbs psyllium husk powder (as a binder – found in most grocery or natural food stores)
1 tsp ground sage
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp garlic granules
½ tsp sea salt
Prepare and place the diced onion, carrot, and celery into a bowl. Place diced mushroom into a separate bowl, and set them aside while you make the ‘meaty’ mixture.
Place the pecans, oatmeal, psyllium powder, sage, oregano, garlic and salt into a food processor and blend for about 10-15 seconds. Add the brown rice, blend another 10-15 seconds. Add the mashed pear and beans, blend another 10-15 seconds. The texture should be moist but still crumbly. Do not over process. It should resemble cooked ground turkey. Place mixture into large mixing bowl and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Take the celery, carrots and onions and place into a well heated sauté pan. Cook until they become slightly soft and the onions are translucent, about 4-5 minutes. If they begin to dry out, add 1-2 tablespoons of water to deglaze the pan (unsticking any vegetables), add the mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool for a few minutes. Add sauteed veggies to the ‘meaty’ mixture and stir until well combined.
Press mixture ‘firmly’ into a loaf pan that is lined with a piece of parchment paper. Place into oven for 40 minutes (longer will dry it out too much). Remove and let cool before carefully removing. You may need to run a knife along the edges before trying to remove the loaf. The top will be dry, so be sure to spread the orange-cranberry glaze over it for a beautiful presentation.
Makes about 1 ¼ cup
1 cup fresh cranberries (or frozen)
½ cup water
½ cup dates, chopped
1 tsp orange zest
½ cup fresh orange juice
Place cranberries, water, dates, and zest into a small sauce pan over high heat, bring to boil, lower heat and simmer for about 15 minutes or until cranberries burst open and the liquid is syrupy. Remove from heat, add orange juice and mix well to combine. Pour into a blender and blend until smooth. Leftovers will keep for up to 7 days in a sealed glass container in the refrigerator. Can be used as a fruit spread or a salad dressing (½ cup glaze mixed with 1 tbs balsamic vinegar and a pinch of sea salt).