Cooking In College: Hippie loaf and dirty mashed potatoes make a clean meal

Photos by J. Almendarez

It sounds like the dinner of Woodstock.

If only Woodstock attendees had ovens, a fresh supply of vegetables, people sober enough to cook — okay, so maybe not the dinner of Woodstock.

Nonetheless, this cleverly named meal resonates with the health-conscious knowledge of modern day science, and more importantly, it tastes phenomenal.

Now that this meal is properly hyped, readers should know that, despite lessons learned from previous cooking endeavors, I have once again gone at this recipe without all the ingredients necessary and with little knowledge about food or cooking. Welcome to the Cooking in College weekly feature!

First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

One should then bring two cups of water to a boil and add 1 cup of quinoa to it. This will produce quite a bit of quinoa — way too much quinoa for the recipe. I forgot that quinoa expands as it’s cooked, and the recipe calls for one up of cooked quinoa. I’m willing to bet that about 1/3 cup of quinoa and 1 cup of water will produce about a cup of the grain cooked. Pull the pot off the burner when the beads are slightly translucent with a pearl-colored ring around them.

While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the vegetables needed.

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The recipe calls for shredded vegetables, but finely dicing them works too.

This was also a great time to me realize that there isn’t any minced garlic, soy sauce or ketchup in the refrigerator or pantry.

Honestly, I knew I didn’t have ketchup. I’m just not a fan of the condiment. I had a bad experience with ketchup once and have never been able to recover. I intended to stop by a fast food joint on the way home from the grocery store to steal two packets, but I forgot. Yes, my ketchup experience runs that deep.

So I substituted a tablespoon of Chalula instead because they’re both kind of red, they’re both condiments and I really like Chalula.

I substituted a tablespoon of my roommate’s teriyaki sauce for the soy sauce because they look the same and sort of smell the same.

And for the minced garlic, I used garlic salt instead.

Once substitutions are made for the absent ingredients, put all ingredients for the hippie loaf in a large bowl and mash them together.

For me, this means just mushing ingredients together with my hands because it gets the job done.

Then, pour the mash up into a loaf pan and pack it down firmly with a spatula.

Place the pan in the oven for 45 minutes to one hour or until the meal is brown and firm. That’s what the instructions say anyway.

My loaf was in the oven for almost two hours before it was done.

Then, remove the loaf and allow it to cool for 15-20 minutes. It will become firmer as it cools.

While the entree is baking, boil a large pot of water for the dirty mashed potatoes.

As the water boils, rinse the potatoes and cut them into cubes.

When the water is boiling, add the potatoes and allow them to cook for about ten minutes.

The potatoes are ready to be drained when they begin to feel soft as they’re stirred.

Dump the potatoes back into the pot after they’re drained and add the ½ cup of milk. For creamier mashed potatoes, add more milk. I like mine thick and chunky, though.

Begin mashing the potatoes with a fork and adjust the milk measurement accordingly.

Then, carefully add the spices. The operative word in the previous sentence is “carefully.”

The original recipe called for spices to be added “to taste.”

That involves tasting the potatoes in some way as they’re being mashed.

I skipped that step and just add a tablespoon of everything, except the garlic.

Again, I substituted two tablespoons of minced garlic with garlic salt.

Ultimately, that meant I added two tablespoons of garlic salt and one tablespoon of table salt to mashed potatoes that were supposed to serve two people.

It was delicious but way too salty.

I didn’t want to eat it but it was so salty-good I kept eating it.

It’s a complicated emotion.

Either way I recommend going easy on the salt.

After the potatoes are mashed, take them off the burner and wait for the main course to be done.

I don’t know why my hippie loaf took nearly twice as long to cook as was instructed, but either way, the end product was delicious.

And there’s hardly any guilt involved with eating this meal because of the large amount of vegetables used and the protein-packed carbs chosen.

Plus, the reheat value is excellent.

This is a recipe I’d recommend to anyone.


Hippie loaf


1 loaf pan

1 15-oz can black beans,

drained and rinsed

1 onion diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 large carrot, peeled and rinsed

2 celery stalks, washed and shredded

1 cup brown mushrooms,

coarsely chopped

1 cup cooked quinoa

1 tbsp Italian seasoning

3 tbsp whole-wheat flour

2 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp ketchup


Serves 4

190 calories per serving


Dirty mashed potatoes


2 Russet potatoes or

6 red potatoes, cubed

½ cup fat free milk

2 tbsp garlic salt

1 tbsp onion powder

1 tbsp salt

1 tbsp pepper

1 tbsp parsley


Serves 2

About 192 calories per serving