Mama’s Stuffed Veggie Loaf (Gluten-Free)
You know how some meals have the ability to transport you back to your childhood?
Maybe it’s warm cookies with milk or a nice, big bowl of Cocoa Puffs, where you get to slurp up the chocolate milk after eating every little round ball of chocolately goodness?
Okay, so I may have more than one thing takes me back in time, but for now we’re going to focus on meatloaf. Mama’s stuffed meatloaf, to be exact. I always loved my mom’s meatloaf and my favorite part was finding the ooey, gooey cheese that she cleverly stuffed in the middle.
Man, I just couldn’t wait to get to that cheese.
Now that I’m older, I realize that Cocoa Puffs and ground beef probably aren’t the two healthiest options for my diet…nor are they a good combo…bleh, sorry for that visual. I know cheese really isn’t the best for you either but I just can’t get away from that stuff.
So I created a healthier loaf to help balance out the cheese. The ingredient list is a little length but the end result is worth it.
Mama’s Stuffed Veggie Loaf (Gluten-Free)
Click to Print this Recipe! Inspired by Mama
- 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15 ounce) can red beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup beluga lentils, soaked overnight and rinsed
- 1/2 cup quinoa, soaked overnight and rinsed
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced (approx. 1 cup)
- 1 bell pepper, diced (approx. 1 cup)
- 1 small sweet potato, cooked and separated from skin (about 3/4 cup)
- 1/2 cup oat flour
- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced (approx. 1 tablespoon)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire (Annie’s Naturals is vegan)
- 2 tablespoons ketchup or tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 4 slices of cheese (I used colby jack) or vegan cheese
- 1 egg, beaten (substitute 1/2 cup warm water + 3 tablespoons ground flax for vegan version)
Makes 2 Veggie Loaves
Fill two separate pots with 1 and 1/2 cups of water each and bring to a boil over medium heat.
Place the pre-soaked and rinsed quinoa in one and lentils in the other and cook for about 15 minutes.
To save a little moola, you can use a food processor to grind up whole oats into oat four yourself.
If you don’t have a food processor, I highly recommend getting one as it can save a lot of time chopping veggies and mincing garlic for you.
Also, I find microwaving the sweet potato in a paper towel for about 5 to 6 minutes (depending on the size) is the quickest way to prepare it.
Next, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat in a sauté pan. Add the garlic and onion and sauté for several minutes. Then add the diced bell pepper and continue to cook for another 3 minutes before setting aside.
Preheat the oven to 350°F and remove cooked quinoa and lentils from stove. After allowing them to cool for several minutes, place both of them in a large bowl and stir to combine.
Next, combine the drained and rinsed black and red beans in a food processor and pulse until a chunky texture is achieved.
Add the black and red bean mixture to the large bowl and stir to combine.
Then add the other two tablespoons of olive oil, Worcestershire, chopped walnuts, ketchup, sweet potato, and seasonings and mix together.
Lastly, add in the beaten egg, oat flour, ground flax seed and cooked veggies then stir to combine.
Once you are done preparing the loaf, grease two small loaf pans or one casserole dish, for example an 8 x 8” dish. Spread about 1 cup of the mixture (or half of it if you are using one casserole dish) into the bottom of the loaf pan and smooth down with the back of a spoon. Then layer the slices of cheese on top.
The first time I made this (in the picture above), I divided the slices of cheese but the second time, I just placed the whole two slices on top so that every piece would have some cheese in it. I preferred it the second way but feel free to make them hunt for the cheese if you like! Finally, add another cup of the loaf mixture on top and spread with the spoon until smooth.
Cook in the preheated oven for 45 minutes and serve warm so cheese is nice and gooey!
You can’t go wrong with anything that has cheese stuffed inside, am I right?
Although making this loaf requires a little bit of labor, you are able to get two loafs with about 4 servings from each loaf. I made one which we ate for dinner one night and lunch the next day and then froze the other one (after cooking it) in a Ziploc Freezer container. After defrosting in the refrigerator, all I did was microwave it for about 3 minutes and dinner was served. If you want to make one instead of two, simply half the recipe and use only one can of beans (red or black) instead of both.
What meal takes you back to your childhood?
Oh wow this looks awesome! I would love to make a pan of this and have it throughout the week as a healthy and quick packed lunch for work. I loved meatloaf as a kid, but now tend to make it with ground turkey to lighten it up a bit. Spaghetti with homemade meat sauce, lasagna and chicken pot pie were some of my favorite childhood meals! :)
Holy moly this looks fabulous!
Some meals that bring me back to childhood…Mom’s lasagna, taco night, spaghetti and meatballs!
I’ve never heard of cheese in the middle of meat/veggie-loaf, but it looks wonderful. I’m definitely bookmarking this to try later!
The one meal that brings me back to my childhood is chili. My mom makes the absolute best chili, and when I go home, she tries to make it at least once while I’m home because she knows I love it so much. :)
Texans are known for their chili! I have always had chili with beans and I found “original” Texas chili never had beans in it! They don’t know what they’re missing! :)
Are you kidding me!!? I’m still picking my jaw up from off my keyboard! This looks amazing! I adore regular meatloaf ( my mom actually makes the best yet)! But with this meatloaf…those veggies…and that cheese in the middle!! Can you tell i’m excited?
totally making this this weekend!
Enjoy your hump day :)
Haha, you made me laugh with your comment! Let me know how it turns out if you end up making it! :)
This sounds SOOO fantastic! The addition of cheese in the middle is genius :).
I must have missed out as a kid, I have never had cheese stuffed meatloaf. This sounds so good and healthy!
That looks like a hearty comfort meal with ooey gooey surprise inside. Love! My mom never made meatloaf though we did have meatballs in certain Mexican soups. and it tacos. drool. taco nights are always special in our family. we don’t have them too often.
Now you got me craving this lentil loaf and cocoa puffs. if only we can make a healthy version of the cereal. darn.
That looks soo delicious! Lasagna and other pasta dishes take me back to my childhood :)
Ooooh a healthy “meat” loaf! I love it!! I especially LOOOVE the layer of cheese in the middle :) I need me some of this! Maybe I’ll make it for the inlaws this coming week while we’re visiting!
Loaves make the best meals. I literally just throw whatever veggies and grains I have in the cupboard into them and hope they turn out. I love how you put the cheese in the middle.. I’ll have to try that!
That loaf looks great! I’ve just been told I can’t eat legumes otherwise I would be running to make this :)
Bummer! Sounds like they are recommending the Paleo diet for you!
I stared at the picture for a few seconds on Foodgawker trying to decide if I liked the idea of veggie meatloaf or not. But after thinking it over, I think I do like it! :) I like veggie burgers, and this has cheese… so, yes. Definitely like it. Thanks for the recipe Sarah!
It is just like a veggie burger but you can avoid the extra carbs from a bun! Thanks for coming by and I hope you get a chance to try making a veggie loaf! :)
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Stuffed shells! This stuffed veggie loaf looks mighty tempting.
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