Rustic Lentil Loaf with Fresh Herbs

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Loaves, like burgers, can be tricky when you’re vegetarian. Too often I end up with something that’s either dry and bready or moist and mushy. Neither are particularly appealing. Well this here recipe gets it right (phew!) and it’s packed full of flavour with a trio of fresh herbs.

Serves a family of 4

Total time: 1 hour 35 minutes (20 minutes prep, 45 minutes bake time, 10 minutes to cool)

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup green lentils
  • 1/3 cup split red lentils
  • 1 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, coarsely grated
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 4 large cremini mushrooms, diced
  • 8 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh chopped rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons fresh chopped thyme
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 heaping tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/3 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed mixed with 3 tablespoons water and set aside
  • 3 heaping tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • Salt & fresh cracked pepper to taste

 

Preparation

  • Preheat the oven to 375 Fahrenheit
  • In a medium saucepan, combine the red lentils, green lentils and 1 1/3 cup water; cover and bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, prep your veggies and heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add your onions and celery to the skillet and brown them for 8 minutes. Add the carrots, mushrooms and zucchini – cook for an additional 3 minutes or until the veggies are slightly browned.
  • Transfer the onion and veggie mixture to a large mixing bowl; add the fresh chopped herbs, garlic, nutritional yeast, season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Next, stir in the cooked lentils as well as the oats.
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine the tomato paste, Dijon, molasses and balsamic. Add that to the veggie-lentil mixture, as well as the flax seed mixture. Mix everything together.
  • Lightly grease a glass or metal loaf dish with olive oil. Evenly spread the loaf mixture into the pan; bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes; slice then serve!

 

This lentil loaf can be enjoyed many different ways. Our family loves to eat it with ketchup and steamed veggies on the side. This would go equally well with mashed potatoes and your favorite gravy. A little time intensive, this makes a nice family meal on weekends. Also, now that it’s holiday season, this loaf makes a great alternative to turkey because it goes super well with your traditional spread of holiday sides. This dish is a complete protein and it’s high in iron, plus other minerals, and fiber.

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