A vegan chickpea "meatloaf" that has the texture of meat, but is so much healthier and flavorful.
Heat oven to 375F degrees.
Spray a standard loaf pan with oil and set it aside. (See note below.)
Mix all the ingredients for the meatloaf (not the sauce) in a large bowl until blended well.
Working in small batches, transfer the meatloaf mixture to your food processor and pulse until the chickpeas are broken up but not smushy.
As you complete each batch, scrape it into the loaf pan. Continue until all the chickpea mixture is processed.
Press the mixture to compress in the loaf pan, smoothing the top.
Bake the chickpea loaf for 40 minutes.
In a dry sauté pan, toast the cumin until is becomes very fragrant (5-8 minutes).
Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pan and heat for a few seconds until hot.
Add the sliced onion and cook about 5-7 minutes until the onion is caramelized (browned). If the mixture becomes too dry, add another tablespoon of olive oil.
Add the remaining sauce ingredients, stir to thoroughly combine, and cook the sauce down by half (maybe 10 minutes). It will be a deep brown-red color.
Taste and adjust sauce flavoring so that it is not too vinegary. You may need to add a little more maple syrup. It should be robust but a little sweet tasting.
When the chickpea loaf has baked 40 minutes, remove it from the oven and spread the sauce evenly on top of it. Bake another 25 minutes. Watch it to make sure the top doesn't burn. If it starts to look crusty around the edges, remove it from the oven.
Remove the chickpea loaf from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.
NOTE: I baked this in a standard meatloaf pan, but it would be better to bake it in a pan that is not so deep. Try it in a cake pan instead. Mine was just a bit too wet.