Go Retro with Meetloaf!

Meet (adjective)
1. suitable; fitting; proper.

(Via dictionary.com, which surprisingly — and gratifyingly — did not note this as an archaic usage.)

Meatloaf when I was growing up was made with a jar of Ragu and saltine crackers (not to mention meat). I’m not sure what was used prior to the advent and discovery of prepared Ragu sauce. You could probably make the recipe below using a store-bought sauce, but I hit on the idea of making this meatless loaf (or “meetloaf” as it is “fitting, suitable, and proper” for vegetarians) after one time when I had some filling left from making stuffed bell peppers. I made it into a sandwich the next day, thinking that it reminded me of a cold leftover meatloaf sandwich.

So, if I want to have meetloaf (as I call this soy version) sandwiches, then I had to come up with a meatless loaf. I had used Smart Ground (from LightLife) for the stuffed bell pepper. Lightlife makes another soy meat substitute called Gimme Lean. I decided to try it because it comes in a tube, indicating that its texture is less crumbly than the Smart Ground and might hold together better. It’s very sticky. It comes in at least two versions: I use “Sausage Style” Gimme Lean for this recipe.

For the meetloaf I sauted a chopped onion in a small amount of olive oil, then added 1 15oz can of tomato sauce and a small amount of water (so the sauce doesn’t cook down and thicken too much). I then added 1 tsp marjoram, 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp paprika,  and a pinch of hungarian hot paprika, and black pepper. If you want, you can run fresh garlic through a garlic press and saute it along with the onions. I simmered for at least 10 mins, maybe 15.

Combine the sauce with the Sausage Style Gimme Lean in a bowl. Stir and break up the soy thoroughly before added the 1/2 cup of panko bread crumbs and 1 Tbls olive oil. Grease loaf pan with 1 Tbls olive oil. Spoon the mixture into the loaf pan and bake 350 for 1 hour. Let sit for 5-10 minutes after taking it out of the oven.

Meetloaf, cooling (slightly) on the counter before serving.

Meetloaf, cooling (slightly) on the counter before serving.

It’s good hot from the oven, but leftovers also make good cold sandwiches. Stuffed into pita pockets, it’s perfect picnic food for hot summer days. 🙂 If you want something warmer and spicier for those picnic pitas, try next week’s recipe for Spicy Meetball Pitas!

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