China-based foodie and restaurateur Lindsey Fine (aka Veggie Mama) has been creating all sorts of delicious vegan recipes since moving to China 10 years ago. You can read all about the perks of eating a plant-based diet via her blog Veggie Mama and sample recipes on this series, Cooking with Veggie Mama. In this edition, Lindsey shares her recipe for a Vegan Meatless Loaf.

I first left the continental USA in 2007 to move to Hawaii and then China. While I’ve managed to make China my home for the past decade, I still get homesick from time to time. One of the things that makes me feel a little less homesick is making food that my mama made when I was a kid. It’s truly magical to smell the same smells coming from my tiny oven in a country halfway across the world. It’s especially magical that it still tastes like the one I ate on cold, snowy days in my hometown of Colorado. Especially since the main ingredient is completely different from the one mom used to make!

Since all of us here in China are basically housebound, it’s the perfect time to get cooking. Now is definitely the time for a little bit of comfort food!

For this recipe, I replaced ground beef with a magical mixture of cooked red lentils and quinoa. I’m telling ya’ll that this stuff can replace ground beef in so many recipes. This recipe can be made gluten-free as well. Just replace the breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs with chickpea or oat flour.

PRO TIP: I use my rice cooker to cook up the quinoa and lentils together and add a vegetable bouillon cube to the pot to add extra flavor. It makes the process so much easier (and tastier!). I make extra as well so I have some on hand to make more deliciousness later. 

Veggie Mama’s Meatless Loaf


  • 2 cups cooked red lentils

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa

  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs (just make sure they don’t contain milk powder)

  • 1/2 cup oats

  • 1 white onion, chopped small

  • 1 cup non-dairy milk

  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tbsp water and left to sit for 10 minutes)

  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

  • 1 tsp low sodium soy sauce 

  • Salt and pepper to taste 

  • A few dashes of liquid smoke (optional)

  • 1/3 cup ketchup

  • 2 tbsp mustard

  • 2 tbsp brown sugar


1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius.

2. In a large bowl, combine cooked lentils and quinoa, cracker crumbs or breadcrumbs, oats, chopped onion, non-dairy milk, flax egg, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, salt and pepper and liquid smoke (if using). Mix well, making sure to combine all ingredients evenly.

3. If desired, line a loaf pan with baking paper for easy removal and clean up. Add all of the mixture to the loaf pan and smooth out with a spoon. 

4. In a small bowl, mix together ketchup, mustard and brown sugar. Spoon mixture onto the top of the meatless loaf and spread evenly with a spoon.

5. Pop into the oven and bake for 1 hour. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing into that big loaf of love. Enjoy!

Read more Cooking with Veggie Mama

[Images courtesy of Veggie Mama/Lindsey Fine]

Veggie Mama’s Vegan Meatless Loaf Recipe – That’s Tianjin

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