Mock Salmon Roast
1 1/2 cups grated carrot
1 cup cooked rice
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup warm milk
2 T oil
1 medium onion
Sage and salt to taste
Mix peanut butter with warm milk until blended. Add remaining ingredients and mix until combined. Bake at 350F for 45-60 minutes.
I was very curious to see whether peanut butter, rice, sage, and carrots would manage to come even close to tasting like salmon. I’m also curious how somebody came up with this recipe. If I’m thinking of salmon loaf, then thinking of potential replacement ingredients, “peanut butter and carrots” wouldn’t be the first that come to mind. But then I realized there wasn’t anything coming to mind. “Salmon loaf” means “salmon”, and it’s hard to shift the omnivore train of thought once it’s on the tracks.
By far the weirdest step was mixing peanut butter into warm milk. It doesn’t really smoothly blend, it just turns into tiny peanut butter globules floating in milk — mixed enough for the recipe, but odd to look at.
I almost forgot to add the rice, which would have really ruined the texture.
It definitely needs to be baked in a loaf pan (or even a small casserole dish), because prior to baking, it’s very liquid.
I admit, it’s not much to look at. It’s all squishy and flat. (I wasn’t concentrating on presentation; a bed of lettuce would drastically improve the visual aesthetic.)
But the taste is pretty good!
Vegetarian and vegan meals can be absolutely delicious. When you try to make vegetarian versions of specific meat dishes, however, things can get dicey — there are very few dishes which authentically emulate the flavor and texture of what they’re pretending to be. (Most people have tried a veggie burger once in their life, and said, “Well, well, that doesn’t taste like beef at all.”) The trick is to stop pretending that you’re eating a non-vegetarian dish. Our local health food store makes some very good meals, such as Vegan Chicken Kiev — if you take a bite of Vegan Chicken Kiev and expect it to taste exactly like a chicken cutlet filled with butter, you’ll be disappointed. Once you start thinking of it as a totally different dish (faux-chicken wrapped around some sort of rice-and-herb stuffing, then breaded), it’s delicious.
And that was the case with the Mock Salmon Loaf. It’s a healthy meal, with vegetables and protein and carbohydrates all mixed together in one convenient package. It tastes interesting (in a good way) and has a nice texture. It even looks like a pinky-orange meatloaf, just as a “real” salmon loaf does. But it doesn’t taste exactly like salmon, unless you haven’t had salmon in a very long time.