Finally, a vegan "meat" loaf that doesn't fall apart. Thank you Angela Liddon. Apparently Angela had the same problems and decided to process most of the lentils before combining ingredients to help things stick. Well, it worked and this is a very tasty lentil loaf. It got rave reviews from hubby. We still have some left over and he's been making some mean looking "meat" loaf sandwiches for work.
Recipe inspired by Angela Liddon of "Oh She Glows"
Vegan Lentil Walnut Loaf
1 cup of dry lentils, rinsed and picked through (for pebbles, but I have yet to find one, ever)
3 cups of low-sodium vegetable broth (could also use water and a vegetable bouillon cube but watch the sodium)
3 TBSP ground flax seed
1/2 cup of warm water
1-2 tps extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves
1 cup sweet onion
1 celery stalk, chopped fine
1 medium carrot, grated
1/2 medium apple, grated (I think next time I'd use more apple)
1/4 cup raisins
3/4 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
1 tps kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
1 tsp of dried thyme
1/4 cup oat bran or 1/2 cup regular oats ground into flour (I used the oat bran)
3/4 cup breadcrumbs (I used 2 slices of toasted Ezekiel bread processed in the food processor)
2 TBS organic ketchup
1 TBS of Balsamic Vinegar
1 TBS maple syrup
1 TBS apple butter (I just used applesauce since I was fresh out of apple butter. I think any sweet fruit spread would work.)
1) Cook the Lentils: In a medium sized pot, bring the water (add in your cube) or broth to boil. Add the rinsed lentils and turn down the heat. Let simmer for about 30-40 minutes until the lentils absorb the water and are cooked through. Be sure to stir the lentils occasionally to prevent sticking. Once the lentils are done, remove from heat and let cool.
Pre-heat oven to 350 F and line a loaf pan with parchment paper letting the sides hang over. You want to do this. It makes removing the loaf so much easier.
2) Toast your walnuts either in the oven for 6 minutes spread out on a cookie sheet or by using a dry skillet on the stove top. You don't have to toast them but it does bring out a wonderful nutty flavor.
3) While lentils are cooking, prepare your vegetables: Use a hand grater or a food processor to grate your carrot and apple. Chop your onions and garlic. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the oil and saute the onions and minced garlic being careful not to burn them, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots and saute for another 2-3 minutes. Add the apple, raisins and chopped walnuts and saute for another minute or two. Add thyme, salt and pepper to taste.
4) Prepare the breadcrumbs. Take 2 slices of toasted bread and process until smooth.
5) Prepare the flax egg: Add 1/2 cup of warm water to 3 TBS of ground flax seed and set aside. In about 5 minutes it will begin to gel.
6) Process the lentils: Once the lentils are cool enough to handle add 75% of them to your food processor and process until smooth. Some lentils will remain. Remove processed lentils to a large bowl and add in the remaining non-processed lentils.
7) Add everything else. Begin mixing the breadcrumbs, the vegetables, the flax gel and the oat bran together with the lentils. You can start with a spoon but it's oh so fun to use your hands! Mix really well. Taste and adjust seasonings.
8) Dump the mixture into your loaf pan and spread out with a spoon or spatula. Press firmly into the pan! Might have to use your hands again.
9) Prepare the glaze: Whisk together all the glaze ingredients. Spread evenly over the loaf.
10) Bake uncovered for 45 minutes at 350F. Cool for about 5 minutes, remove from pan and slice. Makes 8 thick slices (more like 10)
Total fat: 9.3g
Dietary fiber: 5.8g
Here we go with some pics!
Rinsed lentils go into my favorite soup pot. Have I told you how much I love this pot?
Getting everything assembled. Looks like I am missing the apple in this shot. Don't worry, it made it in.
Here's the apple grated into the carrots!
Onions, garlic, and carrot sauteing. This doesn't look like a saute pan. Opps, it's my other favorite soup pot. Don't ask...
Apples, raisins and walnuts added in.
If you have bread crumbs, you can use them. But I have to tell you, the Ezekiel bread smells amazing...
...and all those little seeds and such taste heavenly.
Are the lentils done yet? Yep, looks like it's a go.
Here's the flax seed egg replacer. Looks a little gooey, huh?
Adding it all together.
The fun part! Go ahead. Get those fingers dirty.
The loaf pan is patiently waiting....all dressed up even.
I'm getting excited. We are almost there...
On goes the glaze. Do we have to cook it? Can't we just eat it now?
Out of the oven.
Okay, a tiny bit of crumbling, but not much.
All plated up and served with a salad, applesauce and lightly steamed brussel sprouts and cauliflower. Hmmm.... I'll have more of that glaze, please.