Vegan Lentil Loaf

A few years ago, I had the most delicious recipe for a lentil loaf. It was SOOOOooooooo good! I even compared it to my mothers meatloaf which I absolutely love. I would almost plan my visits based on when they had it – but not warm from the oven day it’s made, but cold, sliced on sandwiches with ketchup the day after. My dad would joke that I would start to think my mom didn’t know how to make anything else. I was perfectly okay with that! My dad and I would (jokingly) argue about how much I would get to take home with me.

I actually love this recipe more than my mom’s.

(Sorry mom)

EDIT: this lentil loaf is just as good cold as it is warm!

Now, the ingredient list may seem long, but don’t let it intimidate you – it’s well worth the effort!

Though beware the walnuts. I used my toaster oven but didn’t use the toast option and burned most of them the first time through. Good thing the squirrels don’t care!

In reality, the recipe is easy. Simple ingredients and easy to follow. You might be surprised by the number of carnivores who like this loaf. And for anyone who says they don’t like lentils, they need to try this! It’s not like the lentil soup I made the previous week which, delicious, you do need to like lentils to really enjoy it.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 8 slices

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup dry brown (green) lentils
  • 1 1/3 cup water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1/2 large onion (about 1 heaping cup), chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 stalk of celery, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 3 Tablespoons tamari
  • 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 Tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

MAPLE SWEETENED GLAZE:

  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • pinch of sea salt
Some food is just hard to photograph to look good…

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375°F.
  2. Prepare lentils by rinsing them and adding to a pot with water and a bay leaf. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer covered until all the liquid is absorbed and lentils are tender (about 15-20 minutes). Remove from heat, discard the bay leaf and set the lentils aside to cool. This step can be done in advance.
  3. In the meantime toast walnuts by spreading them onto a baking sheet and toasting in the oven for about 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
  4. Heat oil over medium heat in a medium sauté pan and cook onions, garlic, carrots and celery until they’ve softened and become fragrant. About 5-10 minutes. Once cooked remove from stovetop to cool.
  5. Add lentils (reserve ½ cup for later), cooked vegetables, and remaining ingredients to the food processor. Pulse until mixture is just combined and the texture is to your liking. You want the mixture to be combined enough to stick together, but you don’t want it to be completely pulverized.
  6. Stir in the reserved lentils and prepare to cook one of 2 ways. Press mixture into parchment lined loaf pan, 9″ x 5″ x 2½”. Or dump the mixture on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, which I prefer. Form into oval or rectangle. If preparing ahead of time, using a loaf pan will be easier to store in the refrigerator.
  7. In a small bowl stir together glaze ingredients and spread the glaze over top of the loaf.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes. Let the loaf rest 15 minutes before cutting and serving.
  9. Store leftovers in a sealed container for up to 5 days in the fridge. Or freeze for up to 1 month.

This recipe would pair well with most any vegetable. Originally I was going to serve it with roasted potatoes and brussel sprouts… but food poisoning the other day put me off brussel sprouts.

Peas and mashed potatoes it was – and it was perfect! And our serving sizes were double the recipe calls for… but the nutritional content is modest.

Hubby gets meat with it as well because he’s not vegan. Don’t hold it against him. 😉

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