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Tofu Meatballs or Meatloaf

What you need: 

1 (14 ounce) container low fat tofu, frozen, thawed, drained, and mashed until just crumbly
1 pound fresh mushrooms, grated in food processor
1 bunch parsley, chopped
1 medium-large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
3/4 cup mixed grains, rolled or ground (cornmeal, rolled oats, 7-grain cereal, etc.)
1-2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
2 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon salt-free seasoning blend (I like Mrs. Dash's steak mixture)
1 teaspoon black pepper
1-2 teaspoons liquid smoke flavor
splash dry red wine, as needed for moisture

What you do: 

1. I would suggest making these early in the day, then reheating when ready to serve. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line cookie sheet with Silpat for balls or grease loaf pan for loaf.
2. Cook grated mushrooms, covered until they release most of their moisture. Drain, and reserve liquid for another use; add mushrooms to the crumbled tofu.
3. Cook onions and parsley together until softened, but not browned, and add to mushroom mixture. Add raw garlic. Add all the other ingredients except wine. Stir gently. Mixture should be thoroughly moist but not mushy or runny. Add at least a splash of wine for flavor.
4. Form mixture into balls and place on prepared cookie sheet, or add mixture to prepared loaf pan. Bake for at least 1 hour. Balls or loaf should be well browned, with a crunchy crust. Bake for another 20-30 minutes when reheating.
I like to bake these "long and low" because I think they develop more flavor that way. I once used a Grape Nuts type cereal for most of the grain mix and the flavor of the cereal was unpleasantly pronounced. I don't add salt. There's plenty in the soy sauce/tamari. I've only used the recipe for tofu balls, but it would certainly do well as a loaf also.
Source of recipe: This recipe was inspired by "Tofu Loaf." http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=7688.0

Preparation Time: 
45 minutes, Cooking time: 80-90 minutes
Cooking Time: 
80-90 minutes
Servings: 
1
Recipe Category: 

SO HOW'D IT GO?

A couple notes about the tofu...  Recipe says 1 pound of tofu.  I used a 14 oz container of low fat, extra firm tofu which I drained before freezing.  After it thawed, I drained it again before crumbling.  If you skip the freeze/thaw step, the tofu won't hold its texture & will be mushy instead of crumbly. 

I've used all kinds of things for the whole grain mixture...  wheat germ, oat bran, rolled oats, grits...  Everything has been good except for the overload of Grape Nuts!

Also, the longer you bake these, the better they are.  I like a really crunchy crust because it holds up to the sauce that way.  It's actually a 2-step baking process.  An hour at 300 degrees, and then at least 30 minutes more before serving.  I just leave the pan in the warm oven & then crank the heat again for round 2.  Sometimes, I use a higher temperature during the second baking if I'm in a hurry.  Remember to turn them all over before the second baking so they won't be so flat on one side.  Use a tongs for a pinch test to get the degree of crunch you want.

It's not super clear in the photo, but the best size to roll these is golfball.  I haven't tried making them bigger because I think they'd end up burned on the outside to get them baked all the way through.

The leftovers make a fabulous burrito filling... 
Crumble them into a casserole dish, cover with a layer of chunky salsa, a layer of refried beans, and a layer of chopped jalapenos.  Bake at 350 degrees (covered) until heated through.  Scoop onto a tortilla & sprinkle with fresh cilantro & lettuce.

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