Vegan Okara Meatloaf with Baker’s Edge

Okara Vegan MeatloafOn my last visit to the States, despite shopping for 2 weeks for vegan ingredients and kitchen gadgets not available in Japan, there was one thing I neglected to buy. As a frequent baker, I was excited to try out the innovative baking pans from Baker’s Edge, and was torn between whether to purchase their Edge brownie pan or the Simple lasagna pan.

For those who don’t know, the Edge brownie pan is designed so that every piece of brownie has at least two edges (since many people prefer eating the corners of conventional brownies), and the Simple lasagna pan is designed to make lasagna that is crispy around the edges, evenly cooked, and doesn’t lose its shape when sliced.

According to Baker’s Edge, besides being 50% larger than the brownie pan, their lasagna pan is designed especially for standard-size box noodles, and has a nonstick coating for foods high in protein (i.e. meat and cheese). On the other hand, the Edge brownie pan’s nonstick coating is made for foods high in sugar.  Another big difference is the lasagna pan has “hard-anodization” for strength, and larger handles.

Baker's Edge Brownie PanThese pans aren’t cheap ($35 for the brownie, and $50 for lasagna pan), and I knew shipping them to Japan wouldn’t be either, so I was trying to convince myself that just one type would be good enough.  Being a vegan, the special coating on the lasagna pan didn’t matter much to me. So, it came down to size: could I live with making small lasagna in the brownie pan or using the lasagna pan for baking brownies?

Well, life is too short for compromises, so I bought both. And since no resellers would ship the pans to me in Tokyo, I bought another brownie pan for my friend who went to the trouble of sending them to me (he was ecstatic). Several days later, the pans were finally in my hands, and I couldn’t wait to get started baking.

As we have always have a surplus of okara from our soy milk maker, the first thing I made in the lasagna pan was the MessyVegetarian Cook’s okara meatloaf recipe with Swedish mushroom gravy from the Voracious Vegan.  The pans are more efficient and cook more quickly than regular baking pans, so the meatloaf turned out a bit crispy around the edges, but it beats soggy meatloaf any day. It may seem funny that I’m using these fancy pans preparing something that costs practically nothing (thanks to okara), but good equipment really makes a difference in taste and makes cooking more enjoyable, too.

I have since prepared a vegan lasagna in the lasagna pan, and that was also a breeze because there’s no guessing how many noodles you’ll need, it bakes evenly, and therefore is consistently delicious every time.  On top of that, the brownie recipes I’ve attempted in the Edge brownie pan so far have turned out with chewy edges and moist centers. Since greasing pans is not necessary, foods are healthier, and clean up is fast, too.

Both these pans are built to last and were well worth the effort and cost to get my hands on. So if you have been curious to to try cooking in the Edge pans, go ahead and splurge!