Thursday, November 05, 2009

Lentil Loaf


Mmmmm, this is a staple in our house, and one I can't BELIEVE I haven't posted. We have it all the time. What was I thinking?


This recipe hearkens back to old-school vegetarianism where the recipe creators, in all their wisdom, wanted to make SURE we were getting a "complete protein" and plenty of it, lest we waste away of protein-deficiency (like that happened to anyone, right??).

Well, no worries my friends, you'll get a triple dose (or more) in every serving! This is not "light" or "low-cal" but has loads of fiber, nuts, veggies, and other good stuff.

Whether you bake it in a "loaf" shape or just in a casserole dish, it makes a great Thanksgiving main dish too - perfect if you're looking for something brown and savory to go with mashed potatoes and gravy!
Back in my pre-vegan days I made this with "real" eggs and cheese and it was delicious then too - but veganizing was really easy and equally tasty!! However, I still respect the fact that half my veggie-type friends are lacto-ovo - so if you're one of those, and just don't happen to have egg-replacer and vegan cheese handy, feel free to substitute with cheese and eggs, it'll be fine. (And vegan police, leave me alone - it's my blog and I'll post whatever I want to, thankyouverymuch).

This is also good if you let it sit until cool and slice for "meatloaf" sandwiches. My kids would eat an entire loaf in one sandwich if I let them...Feel free to substitute as needed here, the vegetables and seasonings can be played with according to your tastes.

Lentil Loaf

  • 2 cups well-cooked, fairly dry brown lentils (make sure to cook them in seasoned vegetable broth or at least salted water!!)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 cup rolled oats (quick or large flake)
  • 1 cup dry Italian seasoned bread-crumbs
  • 1 cup grated cheddar-style Daiya vegan cheese
  • 3 tbsp. melted margarine (yes, I know, but otherwise it dries out really bad!!)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts (I'm allergic to walnuts though they are good for you, so use whatever)
  • 2 egg-replacer (powder and water mixed in the amount to = two eggs)
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato juice or tomato sauce mixed with water OR 1 1/2 cups mushroom soup (not straight from a can, but diluted with water)
  • 1 package George Washington Broth (or 1 tsp. vegetarian broth/bullion powder)
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 2 tsp powdered sage
  • ¼ – 1/2 tsp. seasoning salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper

Directions:

- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Mix lentils, onion, mushroom, celery, oats, crumbs, nuts and cheese in a large bowl and mix well.
- Add the melted margarine, egg-replacer and tomato or mushroom soup and mix again.
- Add the broth/bullion powder, garlic, basil, salt, and pepper.
- Let sit for 30 min. The mixture should be VERY thick and dense, so a spoon could stand up in the batter, if too sloppy, add more breadcrumbs, this part always needs to be estimated.
- (OPTIONAL STEP) For a "smoother" textured loaf, you can mix it with an electric eggbeater-type mixer at this point if you want, it's a bit thick but works fairly well...
- Spray a large loaf pan (or flatter casserole-type dish) with cooking spray and pour/scrape the lentil mixture in. Even out the top surface with a spatula or fork. (If there's extra, put in a smaller pan and bake less time).
- Bake uncovered 45 - 50 minutes (for a loaf, less for a flatter dish) or until top is golden and crispy and a knife comes out almost clean - (if top is getting too crunchy, cover with ketchup, BBQ sauce or cover pan with foil) .
- Let cool at least 5 minutes. Run knife around edges.
- Turn out onto serving platter and garnish with parsley, if desired.

10 comments:

Debra said...

It looks just like meatloaf! wow! Can't wait to try this one. thanks!
Debra @ Vegan Family Style

LucyDelRey said...

That looks yummy, Marti!!! I think I will make it soon but will broil for a few minutes to get a crusty top. TY!

k's mumbo jumbo said...

The girls would love that. More wonderful comfort food.

Ricki said...

This sounds phenomenal--just the kind of thing I'd love. Can't wait until I can eat mushrooms again so I can try it (unless you can think of a good substitute--?).

Tofu Mom (AKA Tofu-n-Sprouts) said...

Ricki, I often just leave the mushrooms out if I don't have them - they add flavor and some moisture, but really aren't a crucial part of the dish.

Katie said...

It looks awesome! I can't get Daiya where I live, should I use a different cheese substitute (like Follow your heart) or can I use something other than cheeze?

anna ~ said...

Fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing this!!! PS I clicked over here because your link was on Vegtastic Voyage's page - and the name... "kitchen ramblings from fairly odd tofu mom" made me laugh out loud!!! Love it! :)

Erin said...

I'm always looking for a good loaf recipe, and this one sounds fantastic! Thanks for sharing.

Christine said...

Looks great! Can't wait to try it!

Would it be possible to leave out the vegan cheese, or substitute it for something else?

Thanks!

Vicki said...

YEARS ago, back in the dark ages, our academy cooks made a lentil loaf that was incredible. Haven't seen one since that even comes close. So, I will HAVE to give this one a try! Looks and sounds very tasty! Thanks!
Auburn, WA