Normally I reserve my lentil loaf for the holidays, but who says you have to! I had made a huge batch of lentil soup and was looking for something to do with the leftovers, so with a few quick modifications my kids thought it was Christmas in July (or August--whatever)!
Lentil soup gets pretty thick in the fridge overnight so it was not like I had a thin soup that needed to be strained. I add the extra herbs, quinoa (because I had it on hand) and whipped up the glaze. I popped it in the oven while I worked on some mashed potatoes and before I knew it I had a yummy loaf that looked like I had been in the kitchen all day! We were in such a hurry to eat that I forgot to take a pretty picture of it on the plate!
If you haven't already made lentils and you are looking for something to substitute for meat loaf to round out your All-American meal with mashed potatoes and gravy, then follow the recipe below. It will take you from start to finish.
Here are just a couple of photos that show how to pack your lentil mixture into your greased pan, smooth out the top, and pour on your glaze. Do not be overwhelmed by the list of ingredients! This recipe is so easy, the hardest part if waiting for it to come out of the oven...enjoy!
PREP TIME 20 | COOK TIME 60 | TOTAL TIME 80
Lentils 1 cup dry or 2 1/2 cups cooked
Flax Meal 3 Tbl
Water, warm 1/3 cup
Garlic, minced 1 Tbl
Onion 1 small
Oats* 3/4 cup
Flour (any) 1/2 cup
Thyme 1 tsp
Sage 1 1/2 tsp
Nutritional Yeast 2 Tbl
Bragg's* 1 Tbl
Cumin 1/2 tsp
Garlic Powder 1/2 tsp
Onion Powder 1 tsp
Salt 1 tsp or to taste
Oil* For sauteing and greasing loaf pan
Ketchup 1/4 cup
Maple Syrup 2 Tbl
Balsamic 1 Tbl
Worcestershire (vegan) 1 tsp (optional)
If you are not using leftover lentil soup, cook the lentils according to the package instructions in water or veg broth (maybe toss in a bay leaf). It is okay if they get a bit soft since you will be smashing most of them anyway.
Preheat the oven to 350.
Mix the flax meal into the warm water and allow to stand for about 10 minutes.
Dice and saute the vegetables and garlic until soft and fragrant. Add seasonings about 5 minutes in mixing well.
Either blend about half of the lentils or smash them with a fork. This will help hold the mixture together. Once the lentils are mashed combine with the remaining lentils, sauteed vegetables and seasonings, oats, flour, Bragg's and flax egg. Salt to taste.
Place mixture into a greased or lined loaf pan and pack it down with a spatula or the back of a spoon.
Combine all the ingredients for the glaze in a small bowl. Distribute evenly over the top of the loaf. Bake for 45-50 minutes and allow to cool slightly before slicing.
*Sub soy sauce or tamari, but cut to 1/2 Tbl.
*Sub any grain you like. I use quinoa if I have it left over, but it will not absorb as much liquid so you will have a softer loaf.
*It is possible to go oil-free by steam sauteing the vegetables and lining the pan with parchment.