If you're looking to avoid processed store-bought mock meats, making a meatless homemade nut loaf is one way to go. Cashews have a rich depth of flavor, and this simple vegetarian and vegan recipe lends itself well to carry additional spices, so add in whatever you have and whatever you like. Vegetarian nut loaves are always great topped with a bit of ketchup and served with a side of mashed potatoes and gravy.
Try this homemade cashew nut loaf for a meat-free Thanksgiving or Christmas entree.
- 2 tablespoons vegan margarine
- 2 large onions (chopped)
- 3 cups cashews (raw)
- 4 cloves garlic
- 5 slices bread (whole wheat works best)
- 1 3/4 cups soy milk
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Optional: drizzle of olive oil or ketchup
- Pre-heat the oven to 400 F and lightly line or grease a large (one-pound) loaf pan. Set aside.
- Heat the vegan margarine or oil in a skillet, and saute onion until soft, about 4-5 minutes. Then set aside.
- In a food processor or a strong blender, pulse the cashews and the garlic cloves to chop, then add bread and sauteed onions until well combined. Next, add in the soy milk, Italian seasoning, celery seeds and a generous amount of salt and pepper. The mixture should be a little chunky still, and moist, but not wet.
- Spoon the blended cashew mixture into the prepared loaf pan and lightly smooth the top with a spatula or the back of a spoon.
- Drizzle your loaf with olive oil and ketchup if you'd like (I like a lot of ketchup on top of my vegetarian loaves!) and bake in the pre-heated oven for about 30-35 minutes, or until the loaf is firm and the top is lightly browned.
- If the loaf is too brown without firming up, you can reduce the oven temperature and cover the top of the loaf with foil to prevent more browning.
- Allow your loaf to cool slightly before serving, as this will help the loaf set and firm up a bit more (although even a crumbly loaf can be a mighty tasty loaf!).
Serve your cashew nut loaf topped with extra ketchup and a side of mashed potatoes, top it all off with your favorite vegetarian gravy, add a side salad, and you've got yourself an awesome vegan dinner.