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).
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