vegan lentil meatloaf.

IMG_3988 Comfort food at its finest – and honestly, one of the things I liked least as a kid – meatloaf is a wintery staple. Dip it in ketchup and serve with buttery mashed potatoes, and you have the perfect 1950s dinner: inexpensive, easy to make, batch-friendly, a leftover-generating machine… and probably also packed with gristly ground beef, gluten-tastic flour and breadcrumbs.

Is there a way to recreate this mid-century one-pan classic with more nutritious ingredients and a little less questioning of ‘what animal did this come from’?

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Sure is! And it begins with the humble lentil.

Lentils, like many other legumes, are packed with iron, copper, zinc and protein, making them a great substitute for animal proteins where we might otherwise find these nutrients. As an added bonus, they also pack a hugely powerful fibrous punch: one cup of lentils has over 60% of our recommended daily intake of fiber.

Even more important than their on-paper nutrient credentials, lentils are simply delicious. They’re easy to make. They keep well. They’re versatile. They digest easily. They’re also one of those foods, I find, that makes you feel healthy: they feel like a body-supportive choice… because they are. (If you take nothing else away from this post, try this: add ½ cup of lentils to a meal a few days a week, perhaps in place of white rice or an animal protein, and see how you feel.)

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This lentil meatloaf is a great way to work a whole bunch of lentils into your life, cook for a group (or craft a week of leftovers), and explore some kitchen implements you might be terrified to try out. [The first time we used our stand mixer two and a half years ago was to make this; I’m not sure why I was so hesitant to use it at first, but this recipe was my stand mixer savior. Now I’m hooked.]

The recipe was initially based on the Lentil Meatloaf from Angela at Oh She Glows, but in playing with it over the last couple of years, I’ve made a bunch of modifications to suit our tastes and simplify it a bit. Feel free to play and make it your own, too! It’s a great way to sneak more veggies into a meal without adding more dishes.

Nutrient density win!

Enjoy! 

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meatless lentil meatloaf
Serves 8
A hearty and delicious veganized version of everyone's childhood... trauma? This no-meat meatloaf is not only has the texture of a traditional loaf, it's also packed with veggies and aromatic spices. Nutritionally dense and delicious? Yes please.
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Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Ingredients
  1. *LOAF*
  2. 1.5 cups cooked lentils
  3. 3 tbsp flax meal stirred into 1/2 cup warm water (or vegan egg replacer equivalent to 3 eggs)
  4. 4 garlic cloves, minced
  5. 1 cup white or yellow onion, diced
  6. 2 medium carrots, grated
  7. 1 large leek, sliced finely
  8. 1 medium red apple, peeled, grated
  9. 1/4 cup apricots, finely chopped
  10. 1 cup oats, divided
  11. 1 tsp dried thyme (or 2 tsp fresh, finely chopped)
  12. 1 tsp dried sage (or 2 tsp fresh, finely chopped)
  13. 1/2 tsp cayenne
  14. 1/2 tsp ground fennel
  15. salt and pepper to taste
  16. *GLAZE*
  17. 2 tbsp tomato puree
  18. 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  19. 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  20. 1/2 tsp maple syrup (optional)
Instructions
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. 2. Blend 75% of cooked lentils in blender. Separate other 25% into a large bowl.
  3. 3. Combine 3 tbsp flax meal with hot water; soak for 5 minutes.
  4. 4. In skillet over medium heat, saute onion, garlic and leeks until fragrant. Add apple, apricot and spices and sautee 5 minutes more, or until onions are softened.
  5. 5. Combine blended lentils with whole lentils. Add veggie mixture and oats, mixing until all ingredients are combined.
  6. 6. Spread in 8” x 8” baking pan, packing it down firmly.
  7. 7. In a separate bowl, combine your glaze ingredients. Pour this over the top of your loaf and use a spoon to spread it out.
  8. 8. Bake at 350F for 45 minutes. Allow your loaf to cool slightly before serving. GREAT with mashed sweet potatoes, cauliflower rice or garlicky chard. {See links in Notes.}
Notes
  1. Garlicky Chard: http://fromthegroundupwellness.com/recipes/garlicky-chard-with-leeks/
  2. Roasted Sweet Potatoes: http://fromthegroundupwellness.com/musings/curried-sweet-potatoes/
  3. Cauliflower Rice: http://fromthegroundupwellness.com/recipes/mediterranean-cauliflower-rice/
Adapted from Oh She Glows
Adapted from Oh She Glows
From The Ground Up Wellness http://fromthegroundupwellness.com/

 

 

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  1. […] as an accompaniment for serving, or hang onto it in the fridge for another meal. Check out this Vegan Lentil Meatloaf — the gravy would be awesome with this, […]

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