Have you ever tried a lentil loaf? While not the “real deal” meat loaf, they can be a pretty close facsimile and satisfy a comfort food craving for those that eat plant-based, with a very low calorie burden.
I looked at a few recipes to think through how to make this, and ended up combining different aspects of all of them, as well as throwing in my own spin too. For those that eat eggs, egg is the binder in this recipe, and helps everything stay together like a traditional meatloaf. For those that don’t eat eggs, you can substitute a flax egg for the egg in the recipe. Whatever you do, don’t leave out the apple – it helps replace the fat that you’re not getting from beef.
This does take a little time to prepare, but, the end result is worth it. I made it on a Saturday so that I had plenty of time, as it took about 15 minutes to get everything ready to go into the oven.
Yes, while on vacation a couple weeks ago, I had access to an oven, and it was glorious. Though, I am happy to report that we are more than halfway done building the kitchen in our ongoing remodel. We’re in the cabinet building phase right now, and if all goes well, I’ll be cooking up a storm by Labor Day. It takes longer when you build your own cabinets, but, you get exactly what you want at a fraction of the cost.
Enough about that, let’s eat!
(As you can see, I left a lot of the ingredients on the chunkier side because that’s how we like it. You can dice the onion and pepper to the level you prefer).
Makes: 8 generous slices
Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 medium carrot, grated
- 1/3 of an apple, peeled, grated (makes 1/3 cup grated apple)
- 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2.5 cups cooked green (French) lentils (You can buy these already steamed at Trader Joe’s)
- 3/4 cup breadcrumbs (2 slices of preferred bread, lightly toasted, and processed or diced)
- 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 1 egg
- Preheat oven to 350
- Pre-prepare 2.5 cups of cooked lentils (about 1.25 cups dry), or, purchase already cooked lentils.
- Dice onion and pepper, and grate carrot and apple, keeping separate.
- Toast 2 pieces of your favorite bread and process in your Ninja blender jar or food processor to make bread crumbs by pulsing 3-4 times; Set aside
- Process oats in your blender jar to make oat flour; add mushrooms and pulse 5-6 times to combine and set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté onion until tender, add carrot and sauté for 2-3 minutes over low heat. Add grated apple and sauté for one or two more minutes. Add spices and reduce heat to low while you prepare the lentil mixture.
- Process 75% of lentils until chunky in texture, and add to the skillet, along with the remaining lentils, bread crumbs, oat flour blend, and egg
- Fold together until well combined
- Press firmly into a prepared loaf pan and bake 45 minutes until browned; Let cool 15-20 minutes before cutting
- Serve with favorite topping like barbeque sauce or ketchup
Per slice, based on 8 slices.