Friday, April 10, 2009

Almond Loaf

I read a good many vegetarian blogs and websites for recipe ideas. Jack and I are not vegetarians, although we have not eaten “red” meat (beef, pork, lamb, etc.) in over 15 years. I do like the idea of basing our diet on more nutritious, healthful, easy-on-the-planet vegetables and grains so, even though I incorporate fish and poultry into some of our meals, we keep at least two of three meals per day meatless with two days a week being totally meatless.

For several years I kept a subscription to Vegetarian Times magazine until I realized that this magazine, along with many others, was piling up on my kitchen table, unread. Now I peruse their website, use the back issues often, and get a weekly e-newsletter.

The editor of the magazine raved about something called “almond loaf” in the most recent newsletter. I remembered reading about “nut roasts” and “nut loaves” in articles and on blogs, but had never tried one. I was in the mood to attempt something different so, for dinner than night, we had almond loaf.

I have to admit, this almond loaf was great! I really didn’t expect to like it so much. In fact, I didn’t even tell Jack what I was making because I was afraid of receiving his “roll of the eyes” and doubting comments.

We both enjoyed it.

A mixture of ground almonds and breadcrumbs held together and flavored with spaghetti sauce and eggs, then baked in a loaf pan. Honestly, who would have thought it would be so delicious? I really wish that I knew how to describer it better. It very much resembled meatloaf, but tasted slightly nutty (although not like eating a handful of almonds), and unlike anything I’ve had before. I added chopped Portobello mushroom to mine based on the review of a VT reader, and this is the way I will make it from now on.

Ready to go in the oven—a visual resemblance to meatloaf. Well, kind of...

I sautéed Portobello slices in olive oil and garlic, then topped each slice with some of the mushrooms and additional sauce.

This photo is fairly awful (why was the mushroom sliding off of the nut loaf?) but, as I took this first shot, the camera started beeping that the memory card was full. I just put the camera away and started to eat...

Almond Loaf

Vegetarian Times Issue: January 1, 2006 p.45 — Member Rating: 1111

Ground almonds replace the protein and texture of meat in this savory loaf. Try the leftovers in sandwiches with spicy mustard, lettuce and tomato.

Ingredient List

Serves 6

  • 2 1/2 cups whole grain breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup roasted unsalted almonds
  • 1 1/4 cups spaghetti sauce, plus extra for garnish
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 large eggs


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Coat 9x5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray, then coat with 1/2 cup breadcrumbs.
  2. Finely grind almonds in blender or food processor; transfer to bowl. Add remaining breadcrumbs, spaghetti sauce, onion and eggs; mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Press mixture into prepared pan. Bake 40 minutes, or until firm.
  4. Meanwhile, warm spaghetti sauce in microwave. Cut loaf into slices, and serve with warmed sauce.

Nutritional Information

Per SERVING: Calories: 272, Protein: 10g, Total fat: 16g, Saturated fat: 2g, Carbs: 23g, Cholesterol: 71mg, Sodium: 314mg, Fiber: 7g, Sugars: 7g

Yes, it is higher in total fat than I would like, but it’s mostly the good monosaturated fat from the almonds.

And then, the leftovers. For one lunch I warmed almond loaf slices and served them on multigrain sourdough with melted Swiss, baby spinach leaves, and spicy mustard.

For the second lunch again I warmed the slices but this time served them on Tuscan-style bread with melted mozzarella and extra sauce. Both sandwiches were winners.

Amazing. In my forties I “discovered” the absolute joy of olives, artichokes, gorgonzola, and avocados. Now, at age 50, I have found nut loaves. Isn’t food wonderful???