Loosely adapted from Beatrice Trum Hunter's famous 1961 work The Natural Foods Cookbook, this is Sunday dinner comfort food at its best. Served with Cashew Gravy, mashed potatoes and peas, you'll enjoy this updated vegetarian twist on classic American diner fare. The short-grain and sweet brown rice are both more glutinous than other grains, so the loaf holds together and slices well.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Put rice, water and salt in a 2-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cover and turn heat to low. Cook for 1 hour until all water is absorbed. Cool.
On separate baking sheets, roast walnuts and sunflower seeds in preheated oven until golden brown (about 10 minutes; sunflower seeds will be done first). Chop walnuts when cool.
Put rice in an electric mixer with the paddle and beat on low speed until some of the grains are crushed and the rice begins to look sticky. Add remaining ingredients and beat on low speed until mixed. Put mixture into a 7-cup loaf pan lined with waxed or parchment paper that has been oiled.
Bake until loaf is deep golden brown and springs back to the touch (45 to 60 minutes). For best results, bake a day in advance. Refrigerate in the pan. When ready to serve, remove from the pan, slice and reheat in a covered ovenproof casserole pan at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Serve with Cashew Gravy.