I was recently perusing one of my favorite healthy eating blogs (you guys know this: Oh She Glows, duh) and stumbled upon something Angela made called a lentil loaf–basically the healthy, vegan version of meatloaf. Well, I’m not a vegan, but I do want to eat well, and the ingredients in this loaf just looked spectacular! I couldn’t resist.
Plus, I’m on vacation and I have a lot of time on my hands.
I even went to the gym again today, even though I went yesterday and plan to go tomorrow, mainly because I was bored. Hopefully that continues after school starts–tomorrow I’m starting a “Total Body Conditioning” class, and I’ll let you know how that goes.
Anyway, back to the loaf.
Walnut Lentil Loaf (slightly adapted from the Oh She Glows version)
- 1 C dry lentils cooked in 3 C veggie, chicken, or beef broth
- 3 T ground flaxseed
- 1/2 C warm water
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, diced
- 1/3 C grated carrot
- 1/3 C grated apple
- 1/4 C raisins
- 3/4 C toasted walnuts
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 t dried thyme
- 1/3 C whole wheat flour
- 3/4 C bread crumbs
First, cook the lentils in the broth in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce to low, and simmer for about 45 minutes.
While doing that, toast the walnuts in a 350 degree oven for five minutes–don’t burn ’em!
Also, combine the flaxseed and water in a small bowl and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. A weird and magical thing happens and a gooey gel forms (this is called a “flax egg”).
While the lentils are cooking, dice the onion and garlic and saute them in a large pan for a few minutes until browned. Add the carrots and cook for another minute, then toss in the grated apple, walnuts, and raisins and finish with another two minutes, add the salt, pepper, and thyme and set aside.
Speaking of thyme, remember all the herbs from my herb garden that I hung up to dry?
There they are! Lavender, thyme, and sage. I love cooking with herbs that I grew and dried myself–it makes me feel like a totally independent and self-sufficient woman…even though I bought every single other ingredient.
Once the lentils are cooked and cooled, process 75% of them in a food processor until smooth (well, mine weren’t really smooth. More like mashed). In a large bowl, combine the lentils (processed and unprocessed), the flour, bread crumbs, and flax egg. Mix together (man up and use your hands to get it done quickly!), and add the veggies and squish those in there too.
Line a bread pan with parchment paper so that the long sides hang over the pan. Fill with the lentil mixture and press firmly into the pan until it is even on top.
For the glaze, mix ketchup, balsamic vinegar, and some honey in a small bowl and spread over the top. I didn’t measure amounts, but I hate ketchup (and love vinegar), so I can assure you that I went light on the former and heavy on the latter.
Bake for 45 minutes to an hour (I did 45 minutes this time but would go a bit longer next time for more crispness on the edges), slice, and enjoy! We ate it with a green salad and some cardamom rice leftover from yesterday.
This was a giant success. It was great–though I can’t imagine most meat-eaters would like it replacing their mother’s beloved beef-and-rice meatloaf. I’ve myself have never been a fan (not just yours, Mom, but any meatloaf!), so this is a great substitution for me. Fritz also raved about how filling it was, and was very shocked to hear all the healthy ingredients fueling him for his test tomorrow.
I love tricking Fritz with hidden extra veggies.
I think this will help prepare me for my future children.