Gone Vegan

Lindsay Hutton discovers the politics and pragmatics behind a meat and dairy-free diet.

This past weekend, I attended a bit of an Easter/Passover potluck hosted by a university gal pal I hadn’t seen in far too long.  The first year that I knew her, I considered her my scholastic nemesis. She and I took many of the some political science courses but she was as far right as I was left: she comes from big Alberta cattle and oil money and was just as much of a smart-alecky mouthpiece in class as I was. Tutorials resembled a verbalized, female Spy vs. Spy cartoon.

Long story short, a professor with an odd sense of humour paired us up for a group presentation and we became great friends, despite the fact she lovingly regarded me as her “wackjob commie” friend and to me, she will always be my dearest bloodsucking capitalist. I’ve since forgiven her for dressing me in a lavender bridesmaid getup five years ago that, in the words of my boyfriend at the time, made me look like a fairy godmother from hell. (Note: this wasn’t the reason I broke up with him a month later, but I’m pretty sure it made the list, if memory serves.)

Nonetheless, I was looking forward to the party. Rich folks always have the good wine, after all. And apparently potlucks are very au courant with the moneyed set. Apparently catered dinner affairs are so vulgar and pre-Madoff fracas. Recessionista chic, non? 

As this past weekend was also my birthday, I didn’t really have much energy to head to the market and battle the holiday food shoppers, so I poked around some recipes and decided to whip up a jazzy, vegan version of a good ol’ homestyle meatloaf with some basic cupboard rudiments and odds and ends from the crisper. You know, the kind your Mum would make a sandwich out of and pack in your lunch the next day? As a vegan, nothing says party like making a traditionally beef-based dish meat-free to incite the wrath of bunch of folks whose Daddies made their fortune on the cattle industry.

Lindsay’s Recessionista “Meat” Loaf

2 cups of prepared mushroom of veggie broth

1 clove of garlic, crushed

2-3 minced shallots (or one small cooking onion)

½ green or red bell pepper, minced

½ cup ketchup
1 tsp of red chili paste, or a pinch of chili flakes

2 cups of textured vegetable protein flakes (TVP)

1 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1 tbsp each oregano and parsley

½ tsp each salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

1. In a mixing bowl, combine the prepared broth, ketchup, soy sauce and TVP. Let stand for about 15 minutes until the liquid is absorbed.

2. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

3. Pack mixture into a 5”x9” loaf pan lined with tinfoil and/or sprayed with cooking spray. Bake 40-45 minutes at 375 degrees, then place the oven on broil for five minutes to brown the top.

It went over screamingly well. A bit of spice and the bite of the shallots blended with the earthy flavours of the TVP and broth made for a gorgeous, satisfying dish. Even my friend’s burly, offensive cousin who looked as though his masculinity was being threatened by its very existence (he mentioned something about beef being good for men’s testosterone levels – I’m serious) went back for seconds. 

Questions? Comments? Need an address to send a belated birthday present? Shoot me a line at lindsaygonevegan@gmail.com!