Friday, June 17, 2011

Lentil Loaf

I've read other blogs about lentil loaf.
a lot of other blogs about it actually. You can use basically anything you want, it's a vegetarian meatloaf. Add breadcrumbs or oats. Add mushrooms or zucchini. Add walnuts or not.
I think reading about it made me more nervous to try making it.
Lentil loaf, evidently, can be somewhat difficult to make because it has a tendency to get crumbly. Some people use flax eggs to help combat that. I didn't have any fancy flax eggs. I didn't want to use real eggs though, to help with the vegan aspect of the loaf. I like vegan things.

Recipes are a guideline, a starting point, they aren't necessarily the only way something can be made. I used what I had in my kitchen. You could probably use what you have.

Sweet Yellow Onion
Jazz Apple
Milk (you could use almond milk or soy milk for a vegan option, but I didn't have any of those)

Start cooking your lentils.
Take a loaf pan and place aluminum foil or parchment paper through the pan so that it sticks out on either longer side. Spray with cooking spray.
Use a food processor and shred up about 3/4 of the apple. Put it in a bowl.
Peel and rough slice the carrots.
Dice the onion.
Put the onion and carrot in a pan with some olive oil and cook until the onions get translucent. Pull out the carrot and process them in the food processor.
Add both the onion and carrot to the bowl with the apple.
Clean and rough chop the mushrooms. Add to bowl.
Process some oats and add them to the bowl too. (I really don't like measuring) At this point the mush in the bowl will start sticking together. I wanted to add some nuts but upon opening my cabinet I had a total of 4 pecans left. I processed them with the oats. Can you count 4 pecans as an ingredient? Well, if you had a nut allergy you would!
Drain the lentils and process about 3/4 the amount you are going to use. Put the lentil paste in the bowl with 1/4 of un-processed lentils.
I added a splash of Guinness. Surprise! You could add the milk here too if it isn't sticking together enough.
Spread into loaf pan and smooth out the top.
Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour (I didn't even time it!) Just until it looks nice and baked with brown edges.
Let it cool! Maybe for another 30 minutes.

I made my lentil loaf the day before we were going to eat it so I put it in the fridge overnight.

Lift the foil and gently remove from pan and invert onto a plate. I used a serrated knife to cut slices. I served mine with mashed potatoes that were half potato & half cauliflower. I think it lightens up the potato a good bit, and I like the taste.

Mine didn't get crumbly, it was great. The key seems to be making sure your mixture is moist enough. It tasted so good. I wish I would have made a ketchup glaze for it though, so it would be a traditional meatloaf look-a-like.
Happy Eating!

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