Jennifer, I promised to post the way I made the meatless loaf you said was “the best meatless loaf I’ve ever had!” Thanks for the compliment, and, as I told you, I can’t begin to give you proportions, as it was made up as I went along, so I hope you will create your own with these suggestions.
I simply put together in a bowl whatever amount felt right of: chopped toasted walnuts, chopped parsley, roughly equal amounts of chopped white onion and chopped sweet green pepper, a really good bit of shredded cheddar cheese, a leaf of fresh basil, salt, pepper, pinches of (I think it was) oregano, sage, and I’m not sure what else, an egg (one for your small loaf, more for a bigger loaf), and cold brown rice that had been cooked already in vegetable broth.
I put them all into a food processor and surged several times, until the ingredients were still a tiny bit crunchy but in general it was pretty smooth.
Then I fitted baking foil into the inside of a small loaf pan (with enough left over on all the sides to wrap later over the top and seal. After spraying the foil in the pan with organic olive oil, I put the processed ingredients in the pan, overlapped the foil loosely (without touching the top of the loaf) to seal, baked it all in the oven longer than I thought it would take, at 350 degrees.
I checked it frequently to watch that it didn’t burn, at the end loosening the foil so it could brown slightly on top. When it appeared to be solid when a toothpick came out clean and the sides were beginning to look brown enough, I took it out and sealed the foil again, and set it aside. When you and your 17 other companions came in to eat their regular meat loaf and your one little loaf, I popped yours back in the oven just long enough to be sure it was still hot. I think I had some sort of tomato sauce I had made to serve with it. Didn’t I?
What a great week we had. Thank you for your kindness. Experiment with this and let me know that it worked for you! I agree that it is hard to get the right texture. I blew it the week before with the other group of teachers, because I made a similar loaf using mushrooms, which I think made it too juicy and it never did set up properly. It tasted good, but had the consistency of mush. Such is the “art” of cooking. Glad you liked yours!