Here is my favorite vegan meatloaf (and I've tried a bunch). I like this one because it is bursting with flavor, but isn't as fussy and time consuming as other lentil loafs I've tried. Both my picky toddler and my carnivore husband happily shoveled this in. Try it with your loved ones! I served it with cauliflower mashed potatoes (also a fabulous recipe that I will include at the bottom of this post) and simple green beans. Delicious.
Lentil Walnut Loaf - taken from The Oh She Glows Cookbook (Liddon, 2014). You can also find it on the blog of the same name. The cauliflower recipe is also from the same place. She has GREAT stuff.
For the Loaf:
1 cup (250 mL) uncooked green lentils
1 cup (250 mL) shelled walnut halves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons (45 mL) ground flaxseed
1 teaspoon (5 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped (about 2 cups.500 mL)*
Fine-grain sea salt for seasoning, plus 1 teaspoon (5 mL), or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning, plus 1/4 teaspoon
1 cup (250 mL) grated carrot
1 cup (250 mL) finely chopped celery
1/3 cup (75 mL) peeled, grated sweet apple (optional)
11/3 cup (75 mL) raisins
1/2 cup (125 mL) gluten-free oat flour
1/2 cup (125 mL) spelt bread crumbs
1 teaspoon (5 mL) dried thyme, or 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon (5 mL) dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) red pepper flakes (optional)
*Note: I substituted 2 leeks here because I wanted to use them up. You could use either.
For the Balsamic-Apple Glaze:
1/4 cup of ketchup
2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce or apple butter
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
Fresh thyme leaves, for garnish (optional)
Prep Time: 40-45 minutes
Cook Time: 50-60 minutes
1. Preheat the oven to 325˚F.
2. Cook the lentils by adding the lentils to 3 cups of boiling water. Boil together for 5 minutes, then take the pot off the heat and let is sit for 10 minutes, covered. If there is extra water you can strain it, but I made the mistake of forgetting to strain the water and I think it made for a slightly more moist loaf in the end, so I leave it up to you. Strain or don't strain! Either way, once cooked you want to throw them in a food processor and process the lentils for a few seconds into a course paste, leaving some lentils intact for texture. I have a powerful processor, so I took a handful of lentils out before processing, then added them in after processing. Set the lentils aside.
3. While the lentils are cooking, spread the walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast them in the oven for 9 to 11 minutes. Set the walnuts aside. Raise the oven temp to 350˚F. You can line a 9x5" loaf pan with parchment paper now to get it done and off your mind, or you can do it later before baking. Up to you, and how you like to cook things out. This is a good time to chop your garlic, onion/leek, and celery, and grate your carrots and apple. At this point, I also make the Balsamic-Apple Glaze. The original recipe had this step right before you put it in the oven, but it is a good use of time to do it now. Here is how: In a small bowl, whisk together the ketchup, applesauce, balsamic vinegar, and maple syrup until combined. Set aside.
4. In a large wok, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and date for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent. Seasons with salt and black pepper. Add the celery, carrot, apple (if using), and raisins. Salute for about 5 minutes more.
5. Carefully stir in the processed lentils, flaxseed, walnuts, oat flour, bread crumbs, thyme, oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and red pepper flakes, if using. Stir under well combined and adjust the seasoning to taste, if desired.
6. Press the lentil mixture firmly and evenly into the prepared loaf pan. Use a pastry roller to roll it out smooth and compact the mixture. Spread the Balsamic-Apple glaze over the loaf with a spoon or pastry brush.
8. Bake, uncovered, for 50 to 60 minutes, until the edges are lightly browed. Cool the load in the pan for 10 minutes. Slide a butter knife around the edge of the load and gently life it out of the pan (using the parchment paper) and onto a cooling rack. Cool for 30 minutes more before slicing. If the loaf if sliced while warm, it may crumble slightly, but it hold together well when fully cooled. Garnish with fresh thyme leaves before serving, if desired.
We fed a hungry family of four and still had all these leftovers. Try it, I think you'll love it!
Scroll down to the bottom for the Cauliflower recipe...
2 pounds yukon gold or yellow potatoes, peeled or unpeeled, cut into 1-inch chunks (you are going to mash it, so no need to be precise about your chopping. It just cooks faster when in chunks than whole.
1 small head cauliflower, chopped into bite-size florets (about 4 cups)
2 tablespoons vegan butter
1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt, or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 clove garlic, minced
Non-dairy milk, if desired, but I never find the need for it.
Services 6, but I think it serves way more than that :)
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 to 30 minutes (typically the whole thing lasts me 30 minutes somehow. Hmmm...)
1. Place the potatoes in a very large saucepan and add water to cover. Bring the water to a boil and cook the potatoes for 10 minutes, uncovered.
2. After 10 minutes, add the cauliflower to the sauce pan with the potatoes. Boil both vegetables for 10 minutes more, uncovered, until they are fork-tender.
3. Drain the potatoes and cauliflower and return them to the saucepan. Mash with a potato masher until smooth (so fun!), adding the vegan butter and daly, pepper, and garlic as you mash. Resist the urge to add milk right off the bat. As you mash the cauliflower, it will release some water and thin out the muster. If you need to add some milk at the end, feel free to do so. Personally, I have never added milk. I'm sure you will find you don't need to either. I urge you to try it this way. You won't believe how much it tastes like regular full cream mashed potatoes. It magic!
You can serve this with EasY Mushroom Gravy, page 282 of The Oh She Glows Cookbook (Liddon, 2014).
So Much Happiness
It is difficult to know what to do with so much happiness.
With sadness there is something to rub against,
a wound to tend with lotion and cloth.
When the world falls in around you, you have pieces to pick up,
something to hold in your hands, like ticket stubs or change.
But happiness floats.
It doesn’t need you to hold it down.
It doesn’t need anything.
Happiness lands on the roof of the next house, singing,
and disappears when it wants to.
You are happy either way.
Even the fact that you once lived in a peaceful tree house
and now live over a quarry of noise and dust
cannot make you unhappy.
Everything has a life of its own,
it too could wake up filled with possibilities
of coffee cake and ripe peaches,
and love even the floor which needs to be swept,
the soled linens and scratched records...
Since there is no place large enough
to contains so much happiness,
you shrug, you raise your hands, and it flows out of you
into everything you touch. You are not responsible.
You take no credit, as the night sky takes no credit
for the moon, but continues to hold it, and share it,
and in that way, be known.
-Naomi Shihab Nye
This week's mindful message is a simple one: Be kind to others. Pay kindness forward. This video says it all. Kindness can grow like a weed if you plant it. Go tend to your garden. And have a great weekend :)
Today was one of those chill to your bones kind of days, where I was anyway. Wet cold. The kind of cold where you can never seem to get warm, no matter how many clothes you layer on. The only thing that works to warm me in this kind of weather is hearty, nourishing soup. Many soups fit that bill, but this is one of my favorites. Originally made famous from Dr. Fuhrman's Eat to Live book, I modified it here to reduce the carrots and the overwhelming leek and onion combo he favors. But if you go gaga for an abundance of oniony flavor, you can be bold and use BOTH onions and leeks. You crazy, but you go for it. You can enjoy this soup with a simple side salad or maybe even a piece of crusty seeded bread. It will warm you right up. Enjoy.
Hearty Mushroom Soup
*adapted from Dr. Furman's "Black Forest Cream of Mushroom Soup"
2 tablespoons water
2 pounds mixed fresh mushrooms (button, shiitake, cremini) sliced 1/4 " thick
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 teaspoons herbes de Provence
5 cups carrot juice (5 pounds of carrots, juiced)
3 cups unsweetened hemp, soy or almond milk, divided
3 leeks, cut in 1/2-inch-thick rounds OR 2 medium onions, chopped
3/4 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup no-salt seasoning blend, adjusted to taste (optional)
1/4 cup raw cashews
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 (15 ounce) cans low-sodium white beans, drained (or 3 cups cooked white beans)
5 ounces baby spinach or other leafy green
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
Handful of toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish
You will need a juicer (although you can buy carrot juice if you must), a sauté pan, a big soup pot, small pan (for toasting seeds if you are using), and a food processor or blender.
1. Juice the carrots and set aside. Chop the mushrooms, garlic, celery, thyme, rosemary.
2. Heat the water in a large saute pan. Water saute the mushrooms, garlic and herbes de Provence for about 5 minutes, or until tender, adding more water if necessary to prevent from sticking. Set aside.
3. In a large soup pot, bring the carrot juice, 2 1/2 cups of the non-dairy milk, onion or leek, corn, celery and optional seasoning blend to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.
4. In a food processor or high-powered blender, puree the cashews and remaining 1/2 cup milk. Add half of the soup liquid and vegetables, the lemon juice, thyme, and rosemary. Blend until smooth and creamy.
5. Return the pureed soup mixture to the pot. Add the beans, spinach, and sauteed mushrooms. Heat until the spinach is wilted. Toast the pumpkin seeds, if using, in a dry pan. Garnish with parsley and toasted pumpkin seeds.
You See I Want A Lot
You see, I want a lot.
Perhaps I want everything:
the darkness that comes with every infinite fall
and the shivering blaze of every step up.
So many live on and want nothing,
and are raised to the rank of prince
by the slippery ease of their light judgments.
But what you love to see are faces
that do work and feel thirst.
You love most of all those who need you
as they need a crowbar or a hoe.
You have not grown old, and it is not too late
to dive into your increasing depths
where life calmly gives out its own secret.
- Rainer Maria Rilke
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting -
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
- Mary Oliver
Move, Nourish, Explore