|Fig Balsamic Vegan Holiday Loaf|
This post is sponsored by The Quaker Oats Company, but all opinions are my own.
Well, something mostly savory. My Vegan Holiday Loaf is sweetened by two of my favorite ingredients from seasonal Winter fare: dried figs and sweet potatoes! These ingredients balance beautifully with cozy cooked lentils, aromatic veggies, umami-rich walnuts, and a touch of bright caramel flavor from aged balsamic.
The inspiration for this dish was simply the desire for a plant-based holiday entree that would stand up proudly next to roasts and rotisseries and the like. Now don't get me wrong—I love a good (pasture-raised) steak, but I believe that most people and the environment could benefit from less meat consumption*.
One of the tricks to making a vegan loaf that is as satisfying as its meat counterpart is layers of flavors and textures. That's why there are several steps in the recipe before you even assemble the loaf: we want to make sure that every bite is rich and complex. Trust me; this is worth every minute of prep time!
Another trick is to use oats to bind the loaf together without using eggs! Not only are oats a fantastic natural binder, they pair equally well with sweet and savory flavors. I love using the Quaker Quick 1-Minute oats in this recipe, because they maintain some "chew", but they also blend in with the other ingredients. On the Seed to Spoon Tour, the Quaker Team clarified that all of the oat varieties have the same wonderful nutritional profile, including the Quick 1-Minute oats. So, you can rest assured that you're not sacrificing anything when you use these convenient, 100% whole grain oats!
If you're looking for a plant-based entree for your next holiday dinner, I highly encourage you to give this a try!
If you do give these beauties a try, please tag me @lauraleabalanced and @Quaker, so we can see your gorgeous creations!