The following is a guest post for the Feast Your Eyes series by Kristen Sosinski, Processing Technician, Prints and Photographs Division.
Calling all ovo-lacto vegetarians,* this blog post is for you! I recently stumbled across a photo of a baked bean loaf. Yes, that’s right, a baked bean loaf! The catalog record informed me that the image belongs to a group of instructional photos for the 1942 “Share the Meat” campaign. This was part of the U.S. government’s effort to reduce meat consumption among civilians to ensure that the soldiers fighting in World War II would be well fed. (Unsurprisingly, you could eat as much organ meat as your heart desired!) Once I discovered this series, I couldn’t resist turning the photos and recipe text into a “how to cook” blog post:
Baked Bean Loaf:
1. For a coast to coast favorite and a vitamin-rich meatless dish, bake a bean loaf as you would a meatloaf. The ingredients are simple: three cups of cooked beans, one onion, one-half cup of milk (water or liquid from the beans can be substituted), one egg (beaten), one cup of bread crumbs, chopped celery, salt, pepper, and, if you like, herbs.
2. Mash three cups of cooked beans, or chop them very fine. Add a chopped onion, one-half cup of milk (water or the liquid from the cooked beans may be substituted), a beaten egg and a cup of bread crumbs. A little finely chopped celery is good too. Season to taste with salt, pepper and dried herbs.
3. Mix ingredients well and shape into a loaf. Place in shallow pan, pour a little melted fat over the top, and bake until well browned.
4. A nourishing, healthful meat substitute, this bean loaf contains vitamins and minerals found in many meat dishes. Serve it for luncheon or supper with hot tomato sauce, pickles, or even a sliced raw onion. This bean loaf is a bland dish, and any spicy food goes well with it.
I may not actually try out this particular recipe, especially since the recipe notes how bland it is, but be sure to let us know how it tastes if you decide to give it a try!
- Check out more 1942 “Share the Meat” photos and recipes.
- View more photos related to food rationing during World War II from the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Collection.
- Rationing meat and other needed items was also part of the war effort during World War I. Amongst other guidelines, Americans were asked to observe Meatless Tuesdays. More recently, the Meatless Monday campaign suggests avoiding meat one day a week for health reasons.
*Ovo-lacto vegetarians are vegetarians who also enjoy eggs & dairy products!