October 2, 2012

Quinoa & Black Bean Loaf with Cauliflower "Mashed Potatoes"

Fall has officially arrived and I couldn't be more excited!  Autumn is absolutely, positively my favorite time of year.  

Fresh air, bright colors, cool evenings....not to mention pumpkins, cinnamon, and the anticipation of winter hibernation.  It's enough to make me want to curl up with a cup of tea by the fireplace.

This meal reminds me so much of all that fall brings to mind for me - comfort, warmth, coziness.  

My mom used to make meatloaf and mashed potatoes when I was little.  She still does, but now I just can't help being repulsed by the smell of meat cooking - so needless to say, it's kind of ruined for me.  

However, I knew I could replicate it someday, without all the artery clogging fat that comes with the meat and eggs in her original recipe.

The Lentil Walnut Loaf we made a few times was definitely up there in terms of a vegan loaf.  Great texture and flavor, however, remember how freaking difficult it was to make???

Well I came across this gem of a recipe on the Happy Herbivore site - which contains tons of amazing low-fat, whole-foods, plant-based recipes - you must check it out.  When I saw her Hippie Loaf recipe, I was so excited to try it.  Not only because the ingredients looked amazing, but unlike the Lentil Walnut Loaf, it looked incredibly easy to make!

So how did it turn out?  Well let's just say I will be making this over and over again this fall and winter - possibly even next summer.  

It was so freaking good.  

Plus, just like my mom's meatloaf, this loaf is packed full of protein with the quinoa and black beans.  But unlike my mom's meatloaf, it's not full of saturated fat and cancer/heart disease promoting animal products.  It has a ton of fiber and only 240 calories for 1/4 of the loaf!  Amazing!

The obvious accompaniment to any loaf is mashed potatoes - am I right?  Well I had some cauliflower that needed to be used up, so I decided to make mock mashed potatoes instead. 

Cauliflower mashed potatoes are a great low-carb alternative to actual mashed potatoes - even though complex carbs are absolutely amazing for you and you should eat as many as you can.  The low-carb part had no appeal to me, but I just wanted to change things up a bit.  I've tried to make cauliflower mashed potatoes before, but I screwed them up.  

This time, however, they turned out amazing.  

I could seriously eat the entire bowl.  And I don't even really like cauliflower.  

That's probably because the cauliflower is so creamy, so smooth, so garlicky - there is no way to tell you aren't eating creamy mashed potatoes.  So delicious.

I really love this meal and I think you will too.  It's simple, easy, and perfect for these upcoming autumn evenings.

Flavorful, warm, and comforting.  Fall meal perfection.

Love & Kale,


Cauliflower "Mashed Potatoes"
Creamy, smooth, garlicky - you'll never miss the potato. 
Serves: 4 (or 1 Ali)

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 - 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup - 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 2 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  1. Steam cauliflower and garlic cloves in a steamer, lid on, for about 15 minutes, or until fork tender (do NOT overcook!)
  2. Place cauliflower and garlic in a food processor or blender (I used my Vitamix) and pulse a few times.  Add remaining ingredients and process/blend until smooth.  
  3. Serve with additional fresh cracked black pepper and ENJOY!

Steam cauliflower and garlic cloves

Creamy, smooth, garlicky - YUMMY!!

Quinoa Black Bean Loaf
Click here for the Happy Herbivore Hippie Loaf recipe.

Quinoa Black Bean Loaf

Fall meal perfection.

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