BBQ 'Meat' Loaf

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Ingredients 

  • 150g (1½ cups) sweet potato, cubed
  • 250g (9oz) portobello mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red (bell) pepper, diced
  • 2 tsp dried sage
  • 2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 125g (1 cup) walnuts, finely chopped
  • 50g (1 cup) panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 x 400-g (14-oz) can chickpeas (garbanzos), drained
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Sea salt and black pepper

For the BBQ glaze

  • 230g (1 cup) tomato ketchup
  • 3 tsp English mustard
  • 5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 3 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp allspice to garnish
  • Handful of fresh sage, sautéed
  • Fresh cherry tomatoes, halved

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F). Line a medium-sized loaf tin with greaseproof paper. Steam the sweet potato until the flesh is soft. Add the mushrooms to a blender and blitz until they are finely chopped.
  2. Place a large non-stick saucepan over a medium heat. Add the oil and, when hot, add the mushrooms. Sauté them for around 5 minutes so that you get rid of some of the water inside them and get them nicely golden.
  3. Next add the onion, garlic and red (bell) pepper to the pan, plus the herbs, spices and a pinch each of sea salt and black pepper. Sauté the mixture for a further 5 minutes, stirring often.
  4. When you’ve got a nice colour on everything, add the sweet potato. Sauté the mix for a few more minutes before adding the breadcrumbs, chopped walnuts, chickpeas (garbanzos) and lemon zest. Stir until all the ingredients are well combined. Turn the heat off, then use a potato masher to lightly mash the mix, breaking down any large chunks of sweet potato and the chickpeas. Spoon the mixture into your lined loaf tin, compacting it in as much as you can. Place the ‘meat’ loaf on the bottom shelf of your oven and let it roast for 40 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, make that lovely BBQ glaze. Add all the ingredients to a small saucepan with a pinch each of salt and pepper and mix well. Place over a low heat and allow it to bubble away for around 10 minutes. Stir every now and then. Once your glaze has thickened, turn off the heat and set aside until the ‘meat’ loaf is cooked.
  6. Once your ‘meat’ loaf has been in the oven for 40 minutes, take that baby out. Let it stand for around 10 minutes before placing a flat baking sheet on top. Carefully, while holding the tray in place with one hand and the loaf tin with the other, turn the tray upside down so that the ‘meat’ loaf comes out.
  7. Lift off the loaf tin and peel off any greaseproof paper that has stuck. Pour lashings of the BBQ glaze over the ‘meat’ loaf, then place the tray back into the oven for a further 10 minutes so that the glaze caramelizes over the loaf. Serve immediately, topped with cherry tomatoes and sautéed sage leaves.

Serves 6, cooks in 90 mins, difficulty 5/10.

If you have a nut allergy, use pumpkin seeds in place of the walnuts.

Plants Only Kitchen by Gaz Oakley (Quadrille, available in Hardback and eBook) Photography: Simon Smith
 

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