The Boy Enjoyed His Mushrooms

Alternate titles: Raw and Restaurant Ready
Love the Loaf
Who Needs the Beef?

Tonight we experienced a Gena’s Raw Nutloaf a la Gena from Choosing Raw – who is a total genius.   Her recipes sound so wonderful that they have me lusting after new kitchen equipment, despite a desire to get rid of, not acquire, new things.  I recently gave in and got a food processor.  I would still like a juicer and a dehydrator but decided to TRY one of her recipes that calls for a food processor and a dehydrator and use the oven on low.  The result was spectacular.  Truly.

Back to the winning title… Although my son was dubious as he helped me grind everything up this morning, he really enjoyed this entree which is mostly baby portabella mushrooms and nuts.  It makes me wonder.  Does he not like mushrooms?  Or does he not want to SEE mushrooms…. or FEEL that rubbery consistency?  Apparently it is one of the latter because he relished this fabulous ‘meat’loaf… as did I!  Whizzed into textural oblivion, the mushrooms with all their nutrients and ability to satisfy became innocuous and found their way into his belly.

Here is the recipe with a few tips and pointers.  I doubled the recipe because dinner without leftovers is time half wasted!

Gena’s Raw Nutloaf :
2 cups portabello or baby bella mushrooms, roughly chopped
2 tbsp bragg’s liquid aminos
2 tbsp olive oil

1 cup almonds
1 cup walnuts
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried sage
Dash onion powder (I left this out – don’t have it and didn’t want to add more moisture with fresh)

2 dates
1/2 red bell pepper (I used green because it was all I had)
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp Bragg’s Liquid Aminos

2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes

1/4 cup chopped parsley

Place the mushrooms in the Bragg’s and olive oil and store in an airtight container overnight.

mushrooms marinated overnight in Bragg’s and olive oil

Grind the nuts, salt, thyme, sage, and onion powder in a food processor till very processed: it should be starting to look like a coarse nut butter. Add the pepper, lemon, dates, and Bragg’s. Process again till the mixture is even. Set aside in a mixing bowl.

Remove the mushrooms from the marinade, reserving a few tablespoons of it. Put the mushrooms, celery, and tomatoes in the food processor (no need to wash after you remove the nuts!), and process till the mixture is finely chopped.

mushrooms and celery about to get very well acquainted in the food processor

Add the mushroom/celery/tomato mixture to the nut mixture, throw in the parsley, and knead well with your hands, just as you would mix regular meatloaf!

When it’s all well mixed, place into a small loaf pan (I used one that was about 5-3/4″ x 3″ x 2-1/8″). Place in a dehydrator at 115 degrees for eight hours (you can also place in an oven at 150 with the door slightly ajar).

Side by side but the light is uneven – they actually looked the same

The lowest my oven goes is 170 degrees.  So I turned it off and then back on again at several points during the 8 hours.  My oven will also not stay slightly ajar so I propped it open with a remnant of the dark side of Easter…

It’s a sugar wide instead of a sugar high : )

When the loaf is done, slice into twelve slices. (One twelfth was not enough for any of us.  Good thing I made 2!)

The completed but not burned loaves

The loaves became very dark – almost black on top.  My husband thought they were brownies!  Only the top 1/8th of an inch was dark with a lighter brown color underneath.  The marks in my loaves were made about halfway through the cooking with a fork as I thought that might assist the loaf in drying a bit.

The final result was slightly mushy and in fact could be used as a patee, but however you eat it, I think you will be very pleased with the results!!

A truly delicious and satisfying loaf. Love the Loaf!

11 responses

  1. I hadn’t thought of using the oven on low instead of a dehydrator!!! It’s the sole piece of fancy equipment lacking in my kitchen, now I’m not sure I really need one. I wonder if you free formed the loaf and put it on parchment paper like I did my meatloaf in my pre-vedge life if you would get a crispy crust all over and less pate-ness? I might have to find out for myself!

  2. That’s a great idea Somer! It’s worth a try because this is so yummy – I didn’t mind the pate-ness but some might prefer a little more heft. It was kind of a pain to keep turning the oven off and on and I’m not sure that 170 degrees preserves all of the raw goodness. I wish I could figure out how to do the off and on automatically – could get a thermometer and figure out how often it must go off and on and make all kinds of cool things….

    • Now I want pate. And I don’t have that thought very often. I guess I’d better make this. Think I’ll wait until the impending heat wave passes…. After that I too shall try it in the oven. The beautiful dehydrator I got as a birthday gift is back in its pretty box and on its way back to the store from whence it came.

    • You are welcome, although I truly can’t take credit for this recipe – only the willingness to give it a whirl. So worth the time!!

  3. Hi there! Wondering if, using mushrooms picked “in season” and dehydrated yourself might help with moisture levels (and save time/cost; ) on assembly?

    • I think that’s a great idea – would probably speed the process up. It did strike me that I was using a lot of energy keeping my oven on – albeit at a low temp – for 8 hours!! Thanks for the suggestion!

  4. Pingback: Crispy & Floppy Veggie Chips | my sister's pantry

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