1940s Thanksgiving Part II: Chickpea Meatloaf with Maple Glaze

Sunday, November 26, 2017

I used to love meatloaf as a kid, and honestly my mom probably loved making it because I was a picky eater and she worked AND took care of us brats, so it was a quick and easy dinner.  In the 1940s, women were dealing with a lot.  As stated in my previous post, most food was rationed and the goal was always to make enough food to feed your whole family on a very tight budget.  Stretching ingredients was a learned skill, and meat wasn't as abundant or affordable as it once was, so filling out your meat with breadcrumbs and various vegetables allowed you to make a meat dish while using less meat.  Maybe you only had a pound of ground beef for the whole week to feed your entire family on, so only using a portion of that and adding in bread crumbs, etc. would make it go a LOT farther.

Meatloaf consistency is pretty easy to imitate.  Ground beef is honestly one of the easiest textures to recreate with plant-based products, so this was a breeze.  I used chickpeas for this meatloaf, but honestly you could use Beyond Meat or LightLife (both of which I have used extensively for my recipes) to give it a more meaty texture.  The secret to giving this meatloaf that "meat" flavor? Always liquid smoke and vegan Worcestershire sauce. I add a splash of both to most of my dishes that are supposed to be meat replacements and you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference.

I adapted this recipe from a mix of authentic 1940s meatloaf recipes and got the idea to use chickpeas as a base from Connoisseurus Veg.  I didn't really know how I was going to like it, because foods that are too chickpea heavy aren't usually my favorite, but I left this loaf a little lumpy and I kept it in the fridge overnight so that it would be sufficiently solid. I am really pleased with how it turned out and it was sooooo easy.  It tasted very meaty and honestly, tasted like something my mom would have made.

2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
1/2 white onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups breadcrumbs
3 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. liquid smoke
splash of soy sauce
1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp. tomato paste

For the glaze:
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 tsp white wine vinegar
3 tbsp maple syrup
splash of soy sauce
1 tsp paprika
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, brush oil on a 9" loaf pan and set aside.
Combine all ingredients for the meatloaf in a large mixing bowl, and stir well until all ingredients are evenly distributed.  In a blender or food processor, blend all ingredients until well blended, but not too much.  I prefer mine to be a very chunky and still have recognizable vegetables.  Just make sure the chickpeas are broken up (I left some of mine intact, makes it a little more rustic and hearty).  Transfer to loaf pan and mold into loaf shape. Put in oven for a half hour.

Meanwhile, combine all glaze ingredients in a bowl and whisk.  Set aside.

Take loaf out of the oven, top with glaze evenly, and return to oven for another 15 minutes.

You'll want this to cool sufficiently so it will solidify before serving. Honestly, the best thing to do is prepare the night before and refrigerate overnight.  Reheat to serve at about 350 for 20 minutes or so.

Hint: This is also great in sandwiches, with a little gravy and stuffing...
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