My mother made terrific meatloaf and I remember when I was growing up how I looked forward to meatloaf night. You would never hear me saying “not meatloaf” in that typical kid whine. I still like a good loaf and this one made with millet, eggplant and mushrooms is as rich, hearty and satisfying as the ones I ate as a kid.
I like the nutty flavor and velvety texture of millet. It’s a bit like bulgar or polenta so it really works well in this recipe. Spices reminiscent of holiday stuffing round out the flavor and the onion gravy to top it off is just the right finishing touch.
For the loaf
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 medium size eggplant, diced
- 8-10 cremini mushrooms, halved
- 3 tbsp olive oil, divided plus a little to grease the pan
- 1 tsp salt, divided
- 1 carrot, small dice
- 1 celery stalk, small dice
- 1/2 medium onion, small dice
- 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp ground sage
- 1/4 tsp thyme
- 1/4 tsp majoram
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- pinch ground nutmeg
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 2 cups cooked millet (for more flavor cook with vegetable broth)
For the gravy
- 1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- ground black pepper to taste
- 1/4 tsp thyme
- 2 tbsp millet flour or other gluten free flour
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1. Toast walnuts in a dry non stick skillet over medium heat until fragrant and lightly browned. Set aside to cool.
2. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Toss the eggplant and mushrooms in 2 tbsp oil and 1/2 tsp salt. Place on a baking sheet (line with foil for easy clean up) and bake 30-35 minutes or until the eggplant is soft.
3. Place the cooled walnuts in a food processor and process until finely ground. Remove to a large bowl and set aside.
4. Place the eggplant and mushrooms in the food processor and process until gooey. Yes, I do mean gooey. Add to the bowl of walnuts.
5. Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add the remaining 1 tbsp oil. Add the carrot celery, onion and remaining 1/2 tsp salt. Cook until tender, about 5-6 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce, pepper, sage, thyme, marjoram, paprika, nutmeg and cayenne. Stir and cook 1 minute longer. Add to the bowl with the walnuts and vegetables.
6. Add the millet to the bowl and mix until well combined. Grease a loaf pan with a little oil and spoon the mixture into the pan. Use the back of the spoon to pack down.
7. Cover with foil and bake 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes.
8. Wipe out the skillet used for the vegetables and heat over medium high heat. Add the oil, onions, salt, pepper and thyme. Cook 5-6 minutes or until the onions are tender. Add the flour and stir to combine.
9. Add the broth, worcestershire sauce and nutritional yeast. Cook until bubbly and thickened.
10. Slice the loaf and serve topped with a spoonful of gravy.
Makes approximately 10 slices
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Reheat in the microwave or you can cut and fry slices on a grill pan for a crisper texture.