Is it possible to conserve land, fuel and your arteries with a twist on a classic comfort food? With a sustainable, nutritious—and tasty—version of a favorite dish, NEOMED’s executive chef, Xavier Smith, doesn’t think that idea is too far-fetched. Vegan or not, this best black bean loaf is worth a try!


3 tablespoons ground flax seeds

¼ cup water

1 cup quick oats

3 cups cooked black beans (2 15-ounce cans, drained)

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, diced

2 carrots, shredded

1 red pepper, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 cup frozen corn, cooked

Salt to taste (about 1 ½ teaspoons)

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 jalapeno pepper, diced


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and grease a loaf pan.
  2. Combine flax seeds and water in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a food processor, grind ½ cup oats into a flour-like consistency. Blend 1 ½ cup beans into a paste.
  4. Sauté onion in oil until translucent (4-6 minutes). Add carrots, red pepper, garlic and jalapeno. Sauté until soft. Add chili powder and oregano; sauté for 2 more minutes.
  5. Cook frozen corn in boiling water, then drain. Measure 1 cup corn; add with sautéed vegetables to the flax mixture in the bowl. Add ground oats and remaining ½ cup whole oats, along with the bean paste and remaining 1 ½ cup whole beans.
  6. Season the mixture with salt to taste, oregano and chili powder. Combine well.
  7. Spoon mixture into loaf pan and smooth the top.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes, then top with a dollop of guacamole and serve with mashed potatoes. It’s comfort food—enjoy!

The article first appeared in Ignite magazine, Spring 2018.

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