Monday, November 22, 2010

Vegan Meatloaf Sandwiches madeover with Watch out for Rockets and Robert James and the Unaccountable Freaks

A little over two weeks ago Mister Peanut, a monocled mascot for Planters who has remained virtually unchanged since 1916, received a makeover.

Just hours later I was at Barnes and Nobel looking for some picture books when I came across Jennifer L. Helm's Middle School is Worse than Meatloaf. These two events, seemingly unrelated, got me thinking. The problem with meatloaf is that it is full of meat. How about a vegan makeover, one so solid that it would inspire a comparison between meatloaf and childhood (when everything was great)?

Vegan Meatloaf Sandwiches
(printable version)

-1/2 cup pecan meal
-olive oil
-3 celery stalks, finely chopped
-1 onion, finely chopped
-6 green onions, sliced thinly
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-1 package of tofu, drained
-12 ounces, soy crumbles
-1 1/4 cups quick-cooking oats
-3 Tbs. soy sauce
-4 Tbs. ketchup
-1 Tbs. Dijon Mustard
-2 tsp. parsley
-1 tsp. poultry seasoning
-salt and pepper (to taste)
-8 slices of vegan grain bread

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat a medium skillet with olive oil. Add celery, onion, green onions and garlic and saute until vegetables are tender and onions are translucent. Set aside.

2. Mash drained tofu in a bowl. Stir in pecan meal, onion mixture, soy crumbles, oats, soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of ketchup, mustard, parsley, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper.

3. Coat a rectangle loaf pan with cooking spray. Spoon meatloaf mixture into loaf pan. Press down lightly to pack meatloaf in. Spread the remaining 2 tablespoons of ketchup over top of the loaf. Bake for 60 minutes (or until a fork inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the loaf.

4. Heat grill. Remove the meatloaf from the loaf pan and slice into pieces (I sliced mine about 1/2 an inch thick). Place meatloaf on bread. Put the bread on a grill and heat until bread is browned (4 minutes on my grill top). Flip and repeat on the next side. Remove sandwich from grill and tear into it.

Austin's Watch out For Rockets, performers of self proclaimed "rocket fi" and "the best band ever (except for Blind Faith)", have just sprung forth with a new EP and video. The EP, Telepathic War Machine, is seven tracks of roughshod lo-fi meant to debilitate your sense of existence (is this 1969 or 2010). In layman's terms, it's catchy stuff. The first video from the EP, also called "Telepathic War Machine" is featured below. You can download this EP (and their two previous ones) from Watch out For Rockets' bandcamp page.

Also hailing from Texas, about 200 miles to the South, is Robert James and the Unaccountable Freaks. Here's what I can tell you about Robert (all of this comes from his brother Jonathan). Robert is 21 and lives with his parents. He plays in a couple of bands (he also pairs with Jonathan in Record Machine). He is working hard to beak in to a scene that is dominated by "Tool and Godsmack cover bands" (although, according to Jonathan, the Tool one is pretty cool). Robert has been spewing out song after song on a digital four track for the last five years. He is so prolific because he "only works fifteen hours a week." Robert wrote and performed all the instruments on "The Invention of God."

Robert James and the Unaccountable Freaks-The Invention of God