a loaf for kids ...and you too!

This post is from my friend and artist/stylist Karen, she now lives in Switzerland, but our lives crossed paths when we lived in San Francisco and also in Italy...she is a wonderful cook and I have been begging her for this "loaf" post! -thanks karen!

thank god for the loaf, or I don't think my daughter would eat. Loaves are the easiest things
to make, you can put anything in them and they can be super-nutritious, and best of all, kids (usually) like them. I got the idea during my San Francisco vegetarian days from the Greens Restaurant cookbook. They have something in there called the Cheese and Nut Loaf and it is so YUMMY. After having made that a few times I ventured off to do my own thing which is basically any combination of what I have on hand. I think life in the kitchen is easier when you're not having to measure and follow a recipe, so use your own ideas. But basically it goes like this...

1 part cooked grain
3/4 part vegetable or legume
1/2 part cheese
1 part nuts or seeds
4 eggs

Use a nine or ten inch loaf pan, butter or oil it and put some wax paper in preheat the oven to 375
By part I mean 1 cup or so, if you have two loaf pans it's a great idea to make an extra one, you'd be surprised how fast you can eat these!

For grains, I think you can use just about anything, I have tried amaranth, quinoa, brown rice (that is what the Green's cookbook uses), oats, barley. I often mix amaranth and quinoa together.

For vegetables, really anything goes and any mixture as well. For legumes, I've only tried with lentils but I imagine other beans would work too. Cook the vegetables and chop them up in a food processor, leave the beans whole if using.

Grate any hard cheese that you like, I love gruyere in it.

Toast the nuts or seeds and again, chop them.

Mix it all up in a bowl and...

Beat the four eggs and mix them in, add a little milk if it is too thick and pour it all in the pan.

Bake for about an hour, but keep an eye on it and check that it is not gooey inside when done, like for a cake.

For the dipping sauce, which always makes a meal more fun, use plain yogurt and mix it with tamari and a flavorful oil like toasted sesame seed or pumpkin seed.

I really don't think anyone could mess this up, I've made some bizarre combinations and it always tastes good!

In the loaf pictured, I used red quinoa, leeks with broccoli, gruyere, pumpkin and sunflower seeds and the dipping sauce is yogurt, tamari and toasted sesame seed oil. Even better served with fresh carrot juice.