Mashed Potato Snowmen and Meatless Christmas Presents

A couple of nights ago we had meatless-loaf again, and this time I wrote down every single drop and pinch of every ingredient I used so I could share the recipe here. Instead of making mini loaves, this time I shaped them into squares and decorated them with steamed green bell pepper strips to make them look like Christmas presents. Kind of.

Mini Meatless Loaves/Squares

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 small onion, finely chopped (use more if you're an onion person)
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp soy milk
1/4 tsp salt (I'm not very salty, add more if this seems too little for you)
2 tsp adobo OR 1 tsp Mrs. Dash seasoning (I've used both and they both work well)
2 cups ground beef style crumbles
3/4 cup breadcrumbs

1/4 cup tomato sauce
2 tbsp ketchup
2 tsp brown sugar

1- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2- In a sauce pan, saute the onion in the olive oil until tender.
3- Whisk together the tomato sauce, tomato paste, soy milk, salt and adobo.
4- Add the tomato mix to the sauteed onions in the saucepan (it will splatter a little bit, tomato fireworks!) and heat it up just until it simmers.*
5- Stir in the frozen beef style crumbles and remove from heat.
6- Stir in the breadcrumbs.
7- Spray an 8x8 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Take out about 1/4 of the meatloaf mix and shape into a loaf with your hands (it's messy, so use gloves if you must). Place the loaf on the baking dish and do the same with the rest of the mix to form 4 loaves. If you're making the little presents instead, shape the meatloaf mix into 6 to 8 little squares and place them on the baking dish.
8- Whisk together the three basting ingredients and brush half of the mix on the tops and sides of each mini loaf/square.
9- Bake for 15 minutes.
10- Remove from the oven, flip the loaves/squares upside down and brush the rest of the basting mix on the tops and sides. Bake for 10 more minutes.


*You don't need to simmer the tomato mix if you're using thawed or refrigerated crumbles. Just add the tomato mix to the onions and stir in the non-frozen crumbles right away.

This is enough for the two of us. If you need to double the recipe you should use a larger pot instead of a saucepan. These also make good meatballs!

If you want to decorate them like Christmas presents like I did, just steam a few green or redd bell pepper strips until slightly softened, and use some ketchup or tomato sauce as glue to stick the pepper strips to the squares. I actually sauteed my peppers. They were tasty but they had brown spots that wouldn't be there if they had been steamed until soft and manageable. The little pepper pieces sticking up on the tops are raw instead of steamed, which I think keeps them from looking all sad and droopy.

Last night we had mashed potato snowmen. I built them with cookie scoops. A medium scoop for the bodies and a small one for the heads. They have steamed red bell pepper scarves and pea buttons. The noses are little carrot pieces, the mouths are black olive slices cut in half, and the eyes are black beans. We had them on top of black bean patties, so the black beans came in handy for the eyes.

Mashed Potato Snowmen

Notice the olive tips as hats? They look like yarmulkes! It was unintentional but I thought they looked cute. Allow me to remind you again that I am indeed an adult.

Happy countdown to Christmas!


  1. Those presents are incredibly cute! Must plan for some of those next week :-)

  2. *Blushes* Dude you're too lovely! I learnt everything I know about themed food from the master (FYI that's you. Miss Modest!) >:o)
    You've made adorably cute Rabbit proof food again though! Those snowmen taters are so darn wonderful! Does it not break your heart to eat them?
    And thank you soooo much for the meatloaf recipe, I've been waiting (as patiently as I am able!)for those! Yay! I am going to try them this week. If they taste half as yummy as they look then you may just have saved Christmas dinner in the warren! (I've lost the will to protest my un-rabbitness anymore. I blame the Treehugger!).
    Loving your work!
    *HUGS* xx

  3. Meatloaf gifts & mashed potato snowmen? Absolutely adorable!

  4. Those presents are so adorable and I'm so excited to finally get the recipe. =)

  5. congrats on the award, River! that's too awesome!

    i love your adorable meatloaf gifts (brilliant on the pepper strips) & super cute mashed potato snow men (i love their hats the most!). i cannot tell you enough how creative you are, River! i would love to think of all the themed awesomeness you do! :) and thank you so so soooo much for the recipe! (printing it off as i type this! w00t!)

    i am so glad you're giving weight training a try. when i first started weight training i actually lost a pound or so, but i quickly gained it back in the form of more muscle (i think at first i lost fat, then gained more muscle after the first 2 months). i like to have a bit of protein after i work out with weights - sometimes i'll have a handful of beans, a bit of granola, a slice of bread with smear of peanut butter, or a "shake" made with: oats, walnuts, some peanut butter, molasses, protein powder & non-dairy milk (just blend it all together. you can add a smidge of agave to sweeten it up if you like.) but you don't have to do protein snacks if you don't want to - i'm just usually a bit hungry after weight training for a bit. oh yes, and i wanted to send you a link to this site too. it was most helpful in making weights a little less intimidating for me! ;) (i don't agree with her views on nutrition, but she has some excellent advice on technique and some other good advice).

    thanks for the links to everyone's festive blogs! i am going to check them all out and dip into the holiday spirit some more! thanks, River!

  6. Why are you so the amazing of the amazings?

    CONGRATS on your award! Party time!

    Your mini meatloaves look sooooo juicy and I want some...I want some!

    Thanks for all the x-massy links.

    Hi to your hawt personal trainer from your non so salty pal too ;)

  7. Haha I weight-train too... trying to bulk up those pencil arms of mine. But I don't have a hot trainer!!! Color me uber-jealous ;o)

    (Also jealous of the yummy meatloaf presents you made!)

  8. Mashed potato snowmen! I love it!!!

  9. Love the eats, as always.

    I strength-train 4 times per week with my trainer, in an effort to gain muscle mass. I already feel so much stronger, healthier, and just BETTER!! :-)

  10. you are just so clever, you know that? I think Littlepixie would love those snowmen, I must make some!

  11. Thank you, my lovelies! I'm glad you like the meatloaves and sorry it took so long to post the recipe! I was all "meatloafed-out" after Thanksgiving!

    "Hello, my name is Becks and I'm a rabbit!" Teehee! :)

    CCV and VeggieGirl, we should start a "vegan ladies who weight-train" association!

    Jessy, thank you so much for all the info, I'll go and reply on your blog so you see it!

  12. I LOVE all of your holiday inspired food decorating, it is so so cute!

  13. Mini meatlof presents and mash potato snowmen! Super cute!

  14. photos are deceiving but thanks for your compliment ;)

    u must try isa's roasted brussels sprouts...really. trust me i don't like sprouts until i had some at this great eatery and it was the exact one isa had talked about.

    do u have her book? it's so simple to make too!

  15. Thanks for the mention, again! But they were your invention!
    I decided on ganache because A) it's quicker B) kids are not as tempted to lick off just the frosting and leave the cupcake behind C) I just liked how it looked.
    And I went with fresh cherries instead, because the grocery store happened to have decent ones that didn't break the bank.

    Good on ya for starting some weight training. Can't wait to get back at it myself.
    And I can't wait to try your meatless meatloaf recipe!

  16. Mmmm. Your dinner looks incredibly good. You're reminding me that I need to get back into weight training. I was quite into it last year and fell off the healthy eating and weight training wagon. I'm hoping to get back into it in the new year.

  17. What an amazing list of holiday goodies--I can't wait for your "final list" of everything at the end of the month!

    Those snowmen are ADORABLE. And now again, in French: ADORABLE!! We had a huge snowstorm today and I was just thinking of snowmen. . . synchronicity, for sure! (Except I like yours much better than the ones actually made of snow!). ;) I bet the weights will do the trick, too (funny how the things that help with weight GAIN also help with weight LOSS--as in my case--isn't it? But sadly, no hot personal trainer for me).

  18. meatloaf presents, i love it!!

    gaining weight is a challenge--i've gone through it before. but i managed to gain somewhere around 12 pounds and keep it on! i think weight training helps alot.

  19. oh i missed you! I was gone for vacation (alone with the two kids and inlaws) so I didnt get to see your blog.... but you dont disappoint! I was just thinking of making some kind of chocolate cookie with icing and mints, like some I have seen from Pampered Chef.. and there you go with a great shout out to peppermint cupcakes.. Its like you save half the work FOR me!
    Cant wait to make the meatloaf. The inlaws will be here until my bday (jan 11) and I will be sooo outnumbered. It will be good to make some meat free meat loafs while they are out for poor old bessy!

  20. those snowmen are the cutest! It would be hard to eat them.

  21. the mashed potato snowmen are too adorable!! and you have just succeeded in making me hungry.. again:(

  22. The snowmen! are !so! cute!!!!

  23. I love the snowmen - they are just freaking adorable!! The meatloaf pressies are so cute too.

    Congrats on the award - definitely deserved.

  24. YAY!
    I was sooo excited about your meatloaf recipe and what equally gorgeous presentation!!
    Those Snowmen taters are just adorable River.
    I just LOVE how you LOVE playing with food - so much fun.

  25. Thank you guys! I hope you like the meatloaves!

    Denise, I might grab a few next time we go grocery shopping and give them another try. Yours look so good it sure is worth a shot!!

    Veganf, kids sure know what's good! You just tempted me to lick off just the frosting and leave the cupcake behind!

    Ricki, thanks for the French lesson! Now, how do I say Ricki rocks?

    Alaina, 12 pounds is such an accomplishment! I've only gained close to 4 pounds and it's been so much work! Wow, you're truly inspiring!

    Mel, Mandee's peppermint cupcakes are awesome, so I can't wait to see yours!

    Jeni, it must be that crazy kid in me rebelling against the "don't play with your food thing"! :P

    The "veggie ladies who weight train" club is growing fast!

  26. The snowmen are so cute!! I could eat them all day! And I've never had something similar to meatloaf (with or without meat), but it sounds really interesting.
    On the weight (both yours and the training) issues... go girl!

  27. Those snowmen are too cute for words! I hope I get a chance to make these will Guppy! If I do I'll totally tell you.
    Weight training is such a great thing- even if it doesn't help you gain, it'll help you build up muscle, which will get you all cut and spiffy!

  28. I'm just beside myself right now. Seriously. Too damn cute. I love the idea of savory foods shaped like Xmas fun. Who says cute food has to be sweet?

  29. You are so darn talented and creative! I want those for my Christmas dinner. Cute beyond cute!!!!!

    I love black bean anything and these burgers look out of this world!!!

  30. way too cute! I love the snowmen.

    I've been waiting for the loaf recipe forever! yay! it's like getting a present early. thanks for sharing.

  31. haha I just saw over on Alice's site that you're gonna try brussels sprouts again...wheeeeee

    I really do hope you like them...don't want you to miss out on anything so good.

    ps: Crystal is taking a break.I am so upset:(

  32. I love the meatloaf parcels!! But the mashed potato snowmen are GENIUS!! But River - didn't your mother tell you never to play with your food?!!

  33. I need to tell you again - You are NOT a whimp!

    Nobody talks like that about my coconutty princess!

    Yea, great pic. Josh takes really good photos...check his flickr site.

  34. These are wonderful! It's the cutest Christmas dinner ever.

  35. The snowmen and presents are both sooo cute!! Hope you are enjoying the countdown as well!

    Good luck with the weight training program...

  36. You win again - I gave you another award...

  37. ha, I love that the hotness of the personal trainer is helping out.

  38. Thank you guys for all the sweet comments! I'm getting all fooded out again, but I'm hoping to write a cookie post today or tomorrow.

    Shelly, you had me at cut and spiffy!

    Coconutty princess! I'm going to make people call me that from now on. Might even change my name.

    Sal! You really spoil me, and I luv it! Thank you so much, I adore your blog and it rocks getting another award from Miss. Fabulousness herself! :)

  39. river, those snowmen are adorable!!! you always make your food fun to eat it.

    i'm glad you started weight training. it's so good for you, and it doesn't hurt when you have somebody hott to work out with hehe

    i usually only go to the gym by myself so i've become a pro at discretely staring at all the eye candy.

  40. hahaha coconutty princess...this name is stayin!

    You over compliment me to much rivvy...seriously it's the food and the white plate..can't take all the credit for it.

    Do try the recipe.Now sometimes we can never know the nature of canned can be overtly tart.add a bit of sugar. just don't tell the italians that.muahaha.

  41. You are welcome to come over ANY time to play with Henry… his favorite things in the world are cuddles and hugs! (But if you come over, could you maybe bring some of those cutie spinach pancakes for Henry’s hungry human friend???)

  42. The mashed potato snowmen are so cute (and creative)! Well done!

    Great blog, BTW... I've added you to my blogroll.

    Happy Holidays!

    Lee, The Veggie Guy

  43. After reading this post, I just feel so inadequate ;)

    Happy holidays!

  44. so freakin cute!

    I love your blog! I just started one of my own:

    I would love if you could add me to your blogroll or support me in some other way.

    Thanks :)

  45. Thanks! Merry Christmas Eve Eve!

  46. aw mashed potato snowmen! how cute :)
    and hope your weight training has been going well for you!!

  47. At the risk of repeating myself, your recipes are simply amazing! The meatless meatballs and snowmen look too good to eat, but I'm sure I could manage :) I love the green pepper ribbons on the "meatballs"

  48. I love the potato snowmen! So cute! Happy Holidays :)

  49. How did I miss this post? Darn Google reader! Thanks for sharing the loaf recipe! It looks yummy! I love the little snowmen! How do you channel your creativity? I feel like I have no time.

  50. Cuddles and hugs are my favorite things too! Henry, here I come!

    Thanks Lee! I'm heading over to your blog to check it out!

    Sophie, thanks! I'm checking out your blog too!

    Stacey, google reader does that to me too! Grrr!!

  51. Your meatloaf presents and mashed potato snowmen are so frickin' cute! Love all the Christmas themed food, you are so creative!

  52. a little guava brought me here and your meatloaf looks really great! What a cute idea too for the mashed potato snowmen!

    I'd like to invite you to take some time to drop by at Foodista. We have launched an online food and cooking encyclopedia ala wikipedia where you can contribute and share what you know about food and cooking techniques.

    We also have a small embeddable widget that will help you build traffic from Foodista-related pages. This will explain how the widget works. Stay safe and warm, Thanks!

  53. Foodista sounds cool! Thank you for letting me know and sorry about the delay! :)

  54. How adorable! Houston just saw a lot of snow and now my daughter actually understands what a snow man is. She would love these!
    Seiko Ananta

  55. Thank you, that was extremely valuable and interesting...I will be back again to read more on this topic.

  56. Thanks for sharing this link, but unfortunately it seems to be down... Does anybody have a mirror or another source? Please answer to my post if you do!

    I would appreciate if a staff member here at could post it.


  57. Once again, you amaze me. You are about 18 steps ahead of me. I am shouting at you to wait, and you just giggle and make more mashed potato cuteness.


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