Sunday, April 22, 2012

Quinoa Loaf

When Tallulah was first born I joined a Vegan Families listserve - that's right a listserve. It was actually a Yahoo Group but I got all the messages posted by members as emails. That was only 5 years ago. I didn't have a Facebook account at the time, I couldn't work out what I'd use it for and I don't think Twitter had been invented. So, we maybe twenty families, would stay in touch by emailing the list moderator who would approve our emails which were then sent to everyone else in the group. It was great. There was a lot of talk about B12 and Plunket and the Lamb and Beef Board, who seemed to sponsor almost every pamphlet on iron.

As well as being vegan a few of us were also doing Baby-Led Weaning which was relatively new. So, we were able to share what was going on and any new information we found.

At one stage, around the time of the Terror Raids, an undercover police officer joined our listserve. No one is quite sure what they were hoping to find out, apart from chocolate cake recipes. There was a bit of this type of thing going around at the time and the group was closed down for a while but eventually it started up again. Everyone had to re-join and we all found out how hard it is to prove you are not an undercover police officer via email, but in the end the list got up and running again

One of the best things that used to happen on the listserve, is that sometimes around 5 o'clock, someone would email, 'What's everyone having for dinner?' And our Inboxes would be flooded for a minute with everything from: Baked beans on toast to Marinated tempeh with hoisin sauce. One of my favourite recipes was sent by Amanda Reid, an amazing yoga-teacher and nutritionist. You can catch up with her at Samadhi Yoga It was for quinoa loaf. It is fast and yum and leftovers are awesome for lunchboxes.

Quinoa is a wonder food. Well people call it a wonder food. I was never that taken by it - it tasted decidedly, erm, grassy. That was until Amanda shared her secret - stock! She put me onto Rapunzel Vegetable Stock which you can buy at Countdown. It is easy and yum. I started adding it to my quinoa and I began to realise what all the fuss was about. I also make my own stock sometimes. I throw a bunch of vegetables into the slow cooker for the day then freeze the liquid stock into ice cubes which I add to the cooking water of grains and vegetables, or soups. I was pretty excited to see that the Broth Bag was included in PPK's top vegan 100 for last year. What a great idea!

Anyway, the recipe is below but I just wanted to say something about cooking quinoa, cause I find it hard. I usually measure half dry quinoa for cooked - erm - so this recipe calls for 2 cups of cooked quinoa, so I cook 1 cup of dry quinoa to get 2 cups of cooked. There's a flasher, easier way of saying this, but you know what I mean. To cook my 1 cup of quinoa, thus turning it into 2 cups, I bring 2 cups of water and stock to the boil. So I always use twice as much water as quinoa.


So, for this recipe, bring 2 cups of water and stock to the boil, pour in 1 cup of quinoa, lower the heat and cover. Let it simmer till it dries off, but be careful not to burn it. And here is the rest of the recipe.


Grease a loaf tin.
Heat the oven to a medium temperature.

2 cups cooked quinoa
2 tsp Olive oil
1 onion diced
Stick of celery
1 black of tofu
Fresh herbs
Heaps of black olives - sliced
Squeeze of lemon juice
Dash of soy or tamari
2 tablespoon tahini
Black pepper
Dried yeast flakes for the top

Place olive oil in a fry pan and when hot saute onions, celery, fresh herbs until soft-ish. Add tofu and stir fry for a minute or so. Take off the heat.
In a bowl mix together: quinoa, black olives, soy of tamari, then the cooked onions, celery and tofu from the frying pan (hopefully these are still a bit warm) then add tahini and lemon juice. Mix till quite sticky-together.
Fold into a greased loaf tin.
Sprinkle yeast flakes over the top.
Cook in a medium oven for about half an hour.

It's nice with salad, or potatoes, but probably also bread.

Thanks to Flickr user net_efekt for licensing this pretty photo of quinoa flowering under Creative Commons.


  1. Awesome, Pip, I'm still learning about how best to use quinoa so this is really helpful. Great to see you blogging again! x

  2. Yum, looks delicious, I'll def give it a try! I'm a big fan of tofu loaf - I've been making a version of this every week for ages - I really love the addition of kyoto miso, it's super yum.

  3. Wow! That loaf looks stellar Sarah. I have been on the hunt for a good tofu loaf for ages. Thank you.

  4. Thanks Helen. Yeah, I always thought quinoa would be easy, but I reckon it takes a bit to make it really exciting.