Eat Your… Veggie Loaves

Wrapping Up The Holiday

I love the holidays for one simple reason: food and family. All of the women in my family are fabulous cooks, so I admit, I am really spoiled during the holidays. I’ll miss the creamed corn, the butter beans, the candied sweet potatoes, and the deviled eggs this year because it’s time for my first Thanksgiving with the future in-laws!

Laura’s parents are wonderful, and the food we had during Christmas last year was delicious. But I can’t help but crack up when she tells me things like “I never liked creamed corn when I was a kid, because my mom got it from a can.” [said after having fresh creamed corn at my grandma's] or “I never liked butter beans when I was a kid because my mom didn’t cook them long enough.” [said after having butter beans cooked southern style]. :-)

It will be an adventure for sure. Just to be safe, we’re stashing some organic sweet potatoes in our bags and making some of my grandma’s famous candied yams. Gotta show those yankees how it’s done, right?

This is the last article of the holiday meals series. Next month’s feature will be vegan desserts, after which my time is up! I hope you all have enjoyed my articles here over the last 5 months.

Vegetarian “Meat” Loaves

Besides turkeys and hams, one other centerpiece of holiday meals is the meat loaf. I can’t show you how to make a veggie turkey or a veggie ham, but I can show you some great recipes for vegetarian “meat” loaves. The recipes below are the most outstanding that I could find. Each one has something unique to offer. As a bonus, I have included my grandma’s recipe for candied yams at the end of the article. Enjoy, and happy holidays!

Meatloaf with Beef-Like Mushroom Gravy — Requires TVP (textured vegetable protein) which may be hard to find if you don’t have a natural foods store or a Whole Foods nearby. All other ingredients are standard.

Feelin’ Fancy Tempeh Loaf — If you can find tempeh at your local grocery, I guarantee you this loaf is fantastic.

Happy Herbivore: Vegan Meatloaf — Requires a commercial product “Gimme Lean Beef Style” (fake ground beef) and soy milk, which may be hard to find depending on your grocery options.

Method: Vegan Meatloaf — All ingredients are standard and should be available at any supermarket.

Gluten-Free Meatless Loaf — There are two recipes presented here. The first version requires fake ground beef or seitan, while the second requires TVP.

Vegetarian Meatloaf — Regular ingredients, with a chick pea base.

Thanksgiving Tofu Loaf — Requires arrowroot powder and agar flakes, which are thickening agents found at natural food stores. This recipe is an interesting diversion from the others.

Lentil and Mushroom Loaf — In my world, this is the perfect veggie loaf. Mushrooms… mmmm.

MaeMae’s Candied Yams


4 medium sweet potatoes
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 stick of butter
1 cup water
1 tsp vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 F. Cut sweet potatoes into 1/4 inch thick slices (lengthwise so they are big). Melt sugar, butter, water, and vanilla extract together. Place layers of sweet potatoes in a lightly greased baking dish, then pour liquid ingredients on top. Bake for 45 minutes until done.

Note: I have not tried this recipe. As with many grandma recipes, the secret is usually the cook herself, and not the instructions. This is what she told me to do from memory; you may have to make your own adjustments as needed.

Thanks to Flickr user chiffonade for the following photo of her Thanksgiving Tofu Loaf (see linked recipe above).

Thanksgiving Tofu Loaf

See you next week!

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Now Playing: Strangeways, Here We Come by The Smiths.

Ben is a graduate student at NCSU studying Crop Science with an emphasis on Sustainable Agriculture. Official foodie credentials are non-existent, other than the fact that he has been cooking for himself since he was 12 years old. You can find his personal blog at, photos and videos at bengarland’s Flickr photostream, and his plans for a self-constructed earthen home and organic farm over at Our Farm Adventure.