Saturday, May 16, 2009

Veggie Meatloaf with Checca Sauce

Last night, as I was contemplating what breakfast would be, I remembered that I had black raspberries in the freezer and that they are one of my favorite stir-ins for yogurt.  Oh yes!  Better yet, these little gems were hand picked and frozen for me by my mom!! So…thank you mommy for a scrumptious breakfast this morning!!  :-)

I like to first swirl in some of the black raspberry juice into the yogurt, I used TJ’s whole milk plain European style yogurt.

foodblog 001

I topped the base with a sprinkling of ground flax seed, a few tablespoons of wheat berries, and black raspberries.

foodblog 002

Veggie Meatloaf with Checca Sauce

Andy would have died if I had made this while he was home. Our family room and kitchen connect (which has its good points) but it also is a source of conflict when I want to cook (all the time) and Andy wants to rest or watch TV (all the time). See what I mean? This recipe took me about 2 hours to make start to finish, but is so worth it. I think I'd probably become a vegetarian if I were single.

foodblog 025

I slightly adapted the recipe listed below.
Checca Sauce:
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved (I used a 15 oz can of diced fired-roasted tomatoes)
  • 3 scallions, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 8 fresh basil leaves
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper
Lentil Loaf:
  • 3/4 cup lentils (about 5 ounces)
  • 3 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice, rinsed well
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 1 1/4 cup frozen vegetable medley (carrots, corn, peas)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 box frozen spinach, thawed, drained, and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup cubed whole milk mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tomato, sliced

For the Checca Sauce:

foodblog 006

Combine the cherry tomatoes, scallions, garlic, basil, and oil in a processor. Pulse the tomatoes until they are coarsely chopped, being careful not to puree. Set aside. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.

foodblog 015

For the Lentil Loaf:

Place the lentils in a large saucepan of cold water. Bring the water just to a boil over high heat. Carefully drain the boiling water and rinse the lentils. Meanwhile, in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat, bring the broth to a boil. Add the rice and return the liquid to a boil. Decrease the heat to low, cover the rice, and gently simmer without stirring for 10 minutes. Stir in the lentils and onion.

foodblog 004

Cover and continue cooking without stirring until the rice and lentils are tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes longer. Turn off the heat. Sprinkle the vegetable medley over the rice and lentils and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff the rice with a fork. Cover and let stand for 5 more minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread 1 tablespoon of the butter over a 10 by 4 1/2 by 3-inch loaf pan.

foodblog 010

In a large bowl, gently mix the lentil mixture, spinach, 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese, eggs, 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, basil, salt, pepper, and half of the checca sauce. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan.

foodblog 011

Arrange the sliced tomatoes in a row over the lentil mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Dot the top with the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter.

foodblog 013

Bake uncovered until the loaf is heated through and the topping is melted and starting to brown, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes. Slice the loaf into 2-inch slices, arrange on plates, and serve with the remaining checca sauce.

foodblog 019

foodblog 026

Recipe courtesy of Everyday Italian

1 Jessica Blog signature

1 comment:

Steph (I am Bee) said...

vegan meatloaf? hell yeah! i once had a raw vegan meatloaf... that was , well, interesting... haha