Every year for my birthday the Mr. makes me dinner and a cake. I usually always choose meatloaf for dinner. That has been my choice since I was a little girl. It could be that from a very young age I remember eating meatloaf with my grandpa when he watched me or as I would like to think, when we hung out together. So I was unwilling to give up my old time tradition of meatloaf on my birthday just because I have given up meat. Not too long ago I received a cookbook for vegan recipes and tried the lentil loaf from it. You may have remembered that review and the fact that the lentil loaf was my favorite recipe that I made from the book. So when the Mr. asked me what I wanted for my birthday dinner I told him I wanted the lentil loaf.
This is a pretty easy recipe to make. It's pretty much like making your usual meatloaf only you have to cook the lentils first and roast some walnuts. What I do recommend though is making the loaf in advance and letting it sit in loaf form in the refrigerator if you plan on making it during the week. That way, when you get home from work all you have to do is pop the loaf in the oven to cook. Regardless of whether you are a vegan, vegetarian, or a meat eater, this an amazing "meat" loaf recipe. One that will surely please the masses.
recipe adapted from...
- 1 c. green lentils
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 c. walnuts, toasted and ground
- 3 Tbsp. ground flax seed, mixed with 1/2 c. warm water
- 1/4 c. oatmeal, uncooked
- 3/4 tsp. dried thyme
- 3 Tbsp. ketchup
- 1/4 c. brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350° F.
- In a medium pot bring 3 cups of water to a boil on medium high with the lentils and 1/2 tsp. salt. Lower the heat to medium low and simmer the lentils for 45 minutes. Make sure to stir and watch this pot; you do not want to run out of water. Make sure to add more water as necessary when the water level goes down. You want these lentils to be mushy.
- In a large pan on medium-high, heat up 2 tablespoons of the oil. Saute the onion and bell pepper, stirring occasionally for approximately 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute while stirring.
- In a large bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients. Add in the sauteed vegetables and lentils. Season with salt and pepper to personal preference.
- Line a loaf pan with parchment paper. Very firmly press the loaf mix into the pan. Smooth out the top if need be.
- Cover with tinfoil.
- Bake on middle rack for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 15 minutes. Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving.