Friday, September 12, 2008
Neat Loaf Secrets Revealed
First of all, this picture doesn't do the food justice. I don't know how to photograph food. Well, I don't really know how to photograph anything... Anyhooo... if you have never had neat loaf, you probably have no idea what I am so excited about nor would you understand why I am so excited. In short, neat loaf is a vegetarian loaf that these Sri Chinmoy chain restaurants served that is so so so so good. It's the best vegetarian loaf I have ever had and it's good even compared to real meat loaf.
Neat Loaf is the signature dish on the restaurant menu and the recipe used to be closely guarded. They have a cook book for sale but the neat loaf recipe is not in it. Basically, the neat loaf is the ultimate money maker for these restaurants. I have tried many many many loaf recipes and they've all been disasterous. Seriously, I have been trying to make a decent vegetarian loaf for 7 years! The dude on the receiving end of these loaf experiments can tell you they were not good. So, imagine my delight and surprise when I randomly searched the internet for the neat loaf recipe and FOUND IT! Apparently, someone from within the group got mad at the group and decided to spill the beans.
So, here is the recipe. Even if you have no interest in the loaf, try out the sauce. It is a tangy yummy bbq sauce and some may argue the best part of the loaf.
NEATLOAF - The real deal
2/3 envelope Lipton Onion Soup Mix (the whole packet measures 1/4 cup, so use slightly less or use the whole packet if you like the onion soup mix taste) - for vegetarian version substitute dry soup mix without beef bouillion
1/3 LB low-fat ricotta cheese
1/3 LB firm tofu (mashed into small pieces)
1/4 cup vegetable oil of choice
1/3 cup onions
1/2 cup cooked brown rice
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. basil
1/4 tsp. rosemary (fresh is good)
4 cups (dry measured) Special K (note: this approximately equals 4 oz or 113 grams of the cereal by weight)
1 1/2 tbsp. garlic
FOR THE SAUCE:
1/2 cup ketchup
1/8 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup molasses
1/8 cup to 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (to taste)
Pinch cayenne ground pepper (to taste)
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Sauté onions and garlic.
Beat eggs in a bowl, and then add all other ingredients except the Special K. Mix well and then add the Special K last. Put in pan that is sprayed with cooking oil.
Bake for 1 hour. Pour sauce over loaf after 1 hour, and bake for 10 more minutes.