Vegan & Gluten-Free Mini Meat Loaves with Spicy Balsamic Glaze

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Vegan meat loaf. That was easy. Back when I first started this blog, I came up with a vegan meat loaf inspired by a Bobby Flay recipe. I used Gimme Lean “Beef” for the meat substitute and it was delicious.

But gluten-free, vegan meat loaf? That was a different challenge. Sure I could make one with lentils or nuts but that’s not what I wanted. I wanted a meat loaf that tasted like the one that Bobby Flay inspired one so I kept trying. Then it hit me – I love, love, love the taste of my Trudy’s Beefy Burgers so why not use that as the base for a meat loaf recipe? Genius!! It would have all the “beefy” flavor that those burgers have and be gluten-free and delicious.

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So I did that. I kind of made a mash-up of my original Vegan Meat Loaf and my Trudy’s Beefy Burgers. The toughest thing about making a vegan meat loaf is getting it to hold together so that you can slice it. Not only did I add a flaxseed gel and gluten-free bread crumbs (quinoa flakes would work also) but I decided to make them individually sized. Mini meat loaves! That way they would be smaller, cuter and hold together better. It’s also adorable for presentation when everyone gets their own little meat loaf.

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Before I baked them, I seared them in a skillet on both sides. That gets you a really crispy crust and like the original, I topped them with a spicy balsamic glaze. So good!

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The Mini Meat Loaves held together beautifully, they were beefy flavored and very reminiscent of the meat loaf you get in a diner. They got rave reviews from a friend who has been missing meat loaf too. Score!

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I served them with gravy and of course, mashed potatoes. The next day the leftovers were even firmer and better. If you have been missing meat loaf and need a recipe that is both vegan and gluten-free, my Mini Meat Loaves with Spicy Balsamic Glaze is for you. Enjoy!

 

Vegan & Gluten-Free Mini Meat Loaves with Spicy Balsamic Glaze

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GF
Makes about 9 mini loaves

 

For the Mini Meat Loaves

1 ¾ cups water

1 “beef” bouillon cube

2 cups TVP granules

2 Tbs. ground flaxseed + 1/3 cup warm water

4 Tbs. vegetable oil. divided

½ medium onion, minced

½ cup mushrooms, chopped

1 bell pepper, finely diced

3 gloves garlic, grated or finely minced

1-15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained

¼ cup oats

2 Tbs. arrowroot

½ cup ketchup

2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar

2 Tbs. vegan, gluten-free Worcestershire sauce

2 Tbs. fresh parsley, chopped

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. dried thyme

1 tsp. kosher salt

½ tsp. black pepper

½ tsp. paprika

¾ – 1 cup gluten-free bread crumbs

 

For the Spicy Balsamic Glaze  

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

¼ cup ketchup

¼ tsp. red pepper flakes

 

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil and dissolve the “beef” bouillon cube in it to create a broth. Place the TVP granules in a bowl and cover them with the boiling broth. Let them sit for 15 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.

In a mug or small bowl, combine the flaxseed and warm water. Stir and let sit for 10 minutes until it becomes a gel. This is your binder.

In a skillet over medium high heat, heat 2 Tbs. of oil. Add the onion, mushrooms, bell pepper and garlic and saute until the veggies are tender and the mushrooms are browned, about 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. Wipe out the skillet so you can use it again.

Add the black beans to a large bowl and mash them. Add the oats and arrowroot to the beans and mix. Mix in the cooled veggies and then add the ketchup, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, herbs and spices to the mixture and combine using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.

Add the TVP and the flaxseed gel to the bean mixture and mix until everything is well combined. Add the bread crumbs, ¼ cup at a time, mixing it in with the spatula or your hand until the meat loaf mixture is at a consistency that feels like it is holding together.

Cover the bowl and refrigerate the mixture for at least 30 minutes. When you are ready to make the meat loaves, remove the mix from the refrigerator and score the mixture into 9 equal portions. Shape each portion into a small football shape until you have all the mini-meat loaves on a plate.

Heat the remaining oil in the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mini-meat loaves to the pan and let sear on each side. Cook until each side is browned and getting crisp. You will have to do this in batches to fit them in your skillet.

While they are cooking, combine the ¼ cup of ketchup, ¼ cup of balsamic vinegar and ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes in a small bowl. Place the seared mini-meat loaves on the baking sheet. Brush the glaze over the tops of the loaves with a pastry brush or the back of a spoon. Bake for 25 minutes or until the meat loaves are browned and cooked fully through. Let the loaves sit for 10 minutes before serving so they can set. Serve with gravy and your favorite sides.

 

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The “V” Word: Say it. Eat it. Live it.

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Vegan & Gluten-Free Mini Meat Loaves with Spicy Balsamic Glaze
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Vegan and gluten-free mini meat loaves with a spicy balsamic glaze
Ingredients
  • For the Mini Meat Loaves
  • 1 ¾ cups water
  • 1 “beef” bouillon cube
  • 2 cups TVP granules
  • 2 Tbs. ground flaxseed + ⅓ cup warm water
  • 4 Tbs. vegetable oil. divided
  • ½ medium onion, minced
  • ½ cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, finely diced
  • 3 gloves garlic, grated or finely minced
  • 1-15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • ¼ cup oats
  • 2 Tbs. arrowroot
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. vegan, gluten-free Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbs. fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • ½ tsp. paprika
  • ¾ - 1 cup gluten-free bread crumbs
  • For the Spicy Balsamic Glaze
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil and dissolve the “beef” bouillon cube in it to create a broth. Place the TVP granules in a bowl and cover them with the boiling broth. Let them sit for 15 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.
  2. In a mug or small bowl, combine the flaxseed and warm water. Stir and let sit for 10 minutes until it becomes a gel. This is your binder.
  3. In a skillet over medium high heat, heat 2 Tbs. of oil. Add the onion, mushrooms, bell pepper and garlic and saute until the veggies are tender and the mushrooms are browned, about 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. Wipe out the skillet so you can use it again.
  4. Add the black beans to a large bowl and mash them. Add the oats and arrowroot to the beans and mix. Mix in the cooled veggies and then add the ketchup, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, herbs and spices to the mixture and combine using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
  5. Add the TVP and the flaxseed gel to the bean mixture and mix until everything is well combined. Add the bread crumbs, ¼ cup at a time, mixing it in with the spatula or your hand until the meat loaf mixture is at a consistency that feels like it is holding together.
  6. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the mixture for at least 30 minutes. When you are ready to make the meat loaves, remove the mix from the refrigerator and score the mixture into 9 equal portions. Shape each portion into a small football shape until you have all the mini-meat loaves on a plate.
  7. Heat the remaining oil in the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mini-meat loaves to the pan and let sear on each side. Cook until each side is browned and getting crisp. You will have to do this in batches to fit them in your skillet.
  8. While they are cooking, combine the ¼ cup of ketchup, ¼ cup of balsamic vinegar and ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes in a small bowl. Place the seared mini-meat loaves on the baking sheet. Brush the glaze over the tops of the loaves with a pastry brush or the back of a spoon.
  9. Bake for 25 minutes or until the meat loaves are browned and cooked fully through. Let the loaves sit for 10 minutes before serving so they can set. Serve with gravy and your favorite sides.

 

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6 Responses to Vegan & Gluten-Free Mini Meat Loaves with Spicy Balsamic Glaze

  1. il January 12, 2015 at 10:35 pm #

    Hi Rhea. I cook for a client who always has me make recipes from the “V” word! They’re the best!

    I usually make about 6 servings of any recipe and divide it in half to feed 3 people two times. Typically, some of the meals get frozen to be eaten at a later date.

    My question in regard to this recipe is; would you recommend baking the loaves completely before freezing, or just searing them and brushing on the glaze and then freezing for my client to bake. If so, would you recommend baking at the same temp. for 25 minutes? different temp? longer period of time?

    I appreciate any advice you can offer! Thanks!

    • Christine Scalfo January 12, 2015 at 10:37 pm #

      That should have been from Christine, not il. Not sure what happened!

    • Rhea January 13, 2015 at 2:48 pm #

      Hi Christine, I would bake the loaves completely before freezing and do the glaze when you are putting them back in the oven. If you freeze them, let them thaw and come to room temp, glaze them and back in the oven at same temp for 20 minutes or so, until it’s warmed through. If you’re worried about it getting dry, cover it with foil until the last 5-10 minutes.

      • Christine Scalfo January 13, 2015 at 3:12 pm #

        Thanks a bunch, Rhea! I appreciate it! I’m going to have to make these for myself too!

  2. Emma April 29, 2014 at 10:54 am #

    Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • Rhea April 29, 2014 at 1:42 pm #

      My pleasure Emma! xoxo


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