Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Glazed Vegan Lentil Loaf

It's been busy around my little house. Or, rather, I should say it's been busy outside of my little house.
So much to think about.
So much to do.

Cabinets to organize.
Articles to read.
Budgets to narrow.
Lists to make.
Papers to shred.

But that's why weekends like this one make me feel so content. Toes in the water, legs in the sun, surrounded by a family that makes it look so easy to love and be loved (no matter the drama or responsibilities swirling in the background). Even though they are not technically my own, I will always be grateful for people like that.

Salt of the earth.
(I believe he said it best.)


So, after a long Memorial Weekend and a little over-indulging, I have just the thing. Don't balk at the long list of ingredients -- the end result is incredibly flavorful and just absolutely full of veggies! I followed this recipe for The Ultimate Vegetable Lentil Loaf from Julie at The Simple Veganista.

First of all, I doubled the recipe so that we'd have leftovers for a couple of future weeknight dinners. Also, in place of the bell pepper, I used a bag of frozen Trader Joe's Fire Roasted Peppers and Onions (I really love the layer of flavor that the fire roastedness adds).

And oat flour! This was my first opportunity to make oat flour with the milling blade of my trusty Nutribullet. If you don't have oat flour or a mill grinder, I'm thinking regular all-purpose or whole wheat flour would be fine. Of course, the texture of this loaf is a little softer than your average meat loaf, but it actually stands up really well. J and I even made "Lentil Loaf Sandwiches" for lunchtime leftovers the next day.

Glazed Vegan Lentil Loaf

Prep time: 45 min 
Cook time: 50 min
Servings: 6

1 cup dry lentils
2 ½ cups vegetable broth
3 tablespoons flaxseed meal
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 large garlic cloves
1 small onion
1 small bell pepper
1 carrot
1 celery stalk
1.5 heaping teaspoon fresh thyme
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
½ heaping teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
½ teaspoon salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
¾ cup oats
½ cup oat flour

3 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

1. Rinse lentils and combine with broth in a pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 35 minutes.  When cooked, set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
2. Mix the flaxseed meal with the water and refrigerated until needed.
3. Coarsely chop the garlic, onion, pepper, carrot and celery. Toss in the food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
4. Heat olive oil in a skillet. Add chopped vegetables and sauté for 5 minutes. Add next 7 ingredients (all spices) and mix until well combined. Turn off heat and cool for about 10 minutes.  
5. While vegetables cool, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a loaf pan with parchment paper so that the paper overhangs the side.
6. Pulse ¾ of the cooked lentils in the food processor until coarsely blended.
7. In a big bowl, mixed blended and whole lentils, sautéed seasoned vegetables, flax mixture, oats and oat flour.
8. Press the mixture into a loaf pan lined with parchment overhanging the sides - OR - scoop equal spoonfuls into 12 greased muffin cups. 
9. Mix ketchup, vinegar and maple syrup for the glaze and baste over top of the loaf.
10. Bake the loaf for 50 minutes - OR - muffins for 35 minutes. Allow to cool before serving.

Calories 216, Total Fat 7.7 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium: 685 mg, Protein 7.4 g, Fiber 7 g

Don't skip the glaze. It adds yet another layer of flavor and tastes a bit like barbecue sauce. You might even want to save some to baste after baking. If you choose to make muffins instead of a larger loaf, you'll reap the benefit of a much shorter bake time and easy portion sizes for freezing and defrosting a weeknight dinner. So good, and soo good for you! If I've piqued your interest, please give it a try and let me know what you think.


I've had a lot of "AHA!" moments this year. (This lentil loaf is only one example of an AHA! moment.) You know - those little bursts of clarity that provide peace of mind and confidence in your own decisions? Such maturity makes me feel very adult-ish, but I actually don't mind growing up at all. It takes only a single second to remember that I am an incredibly lucky girl and I have so much to look forward to - anywhere my feet should land.

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“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”
― Anaïs Nin