Thursday, November 4, 2010


Note from Sara:  My side business gets pretty crazy during the holidays, so over the next several weeks, I'll be posting recipes from some amazing substitute bloggers.  This week, my friend John has generously stepped up to the plate.  He's one of my favorite writers ever (seriously), so definitely check out his blog!

Neatloaf: A Tasty Vegetarian, Gluten-Free Fake Meatloaf

You’re about to witness a groundbreaking moment here on the Blah to Ta-Daa blog. I’m humbled to not only be invited by Sara to cross post a tasty supper recipe, but also to be the first dude to volunteer in the history of the Blah to Ta-Daa blog. I am honored and quite excited.

As yet another short preface, please don’t be scared of this recipe because it’s vegetarian or the name sounds funny. Sadly there’s no other way to describe it other than “fake meatloaf”. If you give it a chance you might really enjoy it.

Short backstory: One of my favorite places to eat in San Diego was Jyoti-Bihanga, a tasty vegetarian/vegan restaurant run by the Sri Chinmoy folks. If you aren’t familiar with them, I’ll tell you this - they make a fantastic fake meatloaf, they call it Neatloaf. You can imagine how excited I was when a friend of mine e-mailed me the recipe, so now I can have delicious Neatloaf in the comfort of my own home here in North Dakota.

Since I cook for a Celiac sufferer, I make the recipe gluten free by simply replacing the Special K with gluten free corn flakes or one of the gluten free Chex varieties that are on the market. This can change the consistency a little bit, but keeps the recipe well within the realm of deliciousness.

at Deaf Dogs and Benevolent Gnomes

Here are the ingredients for the Neatloaf:
4 large eggs
1/4 cup Lipton Onion Soup Mix
1/3 lb low-fat ricotta cheese
1/3 lb firm tofu (squished up into small pieces)
1/4 cup vegetable oil, of choice
1/3 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup cooked brown rice
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon rosemary
4 cups Special K cereal (substitute GF corn flakes or Chex to make gluten free)
1 1/2 tablespoons garlic

Here are the ingredients for the sauce:
1/2 cup ketchup (you can also substitute catsup)
1/8 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup molasses
1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
Cayenne pepper (to taste - a pinch is plenty for me)

  1. Heat oven to 300°F.
  2. Saute the onions and garlic (in just a little bit of oil).
  3. Beat eggs in bowl, the mix together all ingredients except Special K.
  4. Mix well, and add Special K last.
  5. Turn into a 9 x9 baking pan sprayed with cooking oil. 
  6. Bake 1 hour.
  7. While Neatloaf cooks prepare sauce, whisking together all sauce ingredients in a bowl. I typically like a lot of sauce so I double the sauce part. 
  8. Remove loaf from oven, pour sauce over the loaf and cook an additional 10 minutes.
  9. When loaf is done, if you can avoid the temptation, it’s best to let it sit for 10-15 minutes.
  10. Best served with mashed potatoes and gravy and a side veggie.

It’s a bit of a complicated recipe, but don’t get scared, it’s not hard.  I usually double the recipe and use two loaf pans – one is for dinner that night and leftovers, the other one goes in the freezer for super easy dinner down the road.  If you do freeze a loaf pan, cover with aluminum foil and reheat in the oven.  The leftovers also freeze really well and make delicious lunches, definitely a highlight in the household. 
Note from Sara:  This is not John.
This is Alycia, his lovely girlfriend, and one of my best good friends.

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  1. Hurrah! Awesome post, John, you did me proud! :)

  2. Awww shucks. Thanks for the opportunity to contribute!!!

  3. This really is one of my favorite dishes that John cooks. Being a vegetarian doesn't mean that you can't have meatloaf - an excellent comfort food when it's cold out!

  4. This really is one of my favorite dishes that John makes - an excellent comfort food when it's cold out!

  5. Great Post and something I might actually try. El Gaucho, I am impressed,

  6. I eat at Jyoti Bihanga often-the only thing I ever order is their Neatloaf and have for many years. Needless to say I was thrilled to find this recipe. I went out, got all the ingredients and followed this recipe to the T. It tastes NOTHING LIKE THE NEATLOAF. I wasted so much time preparing this recipe on my day off, energy, and MONEY. Cannot recommend this as there are some serious flaws in this recipe. Don't know what they are, don't care. Tossing it.


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