Using lentils and some of my favorite vegetables, I made a vegan “meatloaf ” one Shabbos from ingredients I already had in the house. Not only was this a great dinner entree because it was tasty; it was easy to make; it was very filling; and the leftover slices made incredible sandwiches on my toasted gluten free bread, along with mashed avocado, tomato, lettuce, and a pickle, of course. What a pleasant surprise!
- 1 Cup dry green lentils (I like the green ones because they stay firm)
- 2 1/2 Cups organic vegetable broth
- 3 Tablespoons flaxseed meal; aka: ground flaxseeds
- 1/3 Cup water
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 3-4 Garlic cloves, minced
- 4 Green onions (scallions) or 1 Small onion, finely diced
- 1 Small yellow pepper, diced
- 1 Celery stalk, finely diced
- 1 Carrot, finely diced or grated (I just use grated because it’s so much easier)
- 3/4 Cup Gluten Free oats
- 1/2 Cup oat flour or finely ground oats (any gluten free flour works, and I’ve even used gluten free oat bran in a pinch)
- 1 Teaspoon each of basil, cilantro, and oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Vegetables, cut up, to surround loaf (sweet potatoes, broccoli, carrots, etc) (optional)
- Barbecue sauce topping (optional – recipe at the end)
- Large cast iron pot
- Cast iron pan
- Immersion blender or food processor
- Square, rectangular, or oval loaf-type pan
- parchment paper
Combine flaxseed meal and water in a small bowl and refrigerate. Sort and rinse the lentils and add with the vegetable broth to large cast iron pot that has a tight fitting lid. When it boils, lower heat to simmer, keep covered, and let the lentils simmer for about an hour, stirring once or twice during that time. Most of the water will be absorbed, and you don’t have to worry if the lentils get mushy. Next task is to sauté all the vegetables you chopped, diced, and grated in a hot cast iron pan, and add the seasoning. You have the option to either sauté in water or olive oil. Let this mixture cool.
After about an hour, the lentils will be done, but they will not be uniform in texture. You’ll notice that some may be mushy, while others remain firm, and that’s perfect. Using your food processor or an immersion blender, blend at least half of the lentils. If you don’t have either of these handy appliances, just mash the mixture with a fork or a potato masher, and then it’s time to combine the flax egg that has thickened and became gel like in the refrigerator, and the sautéed vegetables. Add the oats and flour at this time, salt and pepper, and any other seasoning that you like. Line your pan with parchment paper- I like to allow the parchment paper to overlap the pan so I can lift it out easily to cool when it’s done, and then press the vegetable loaf into the pan. If you want, you can cut up vegetables to surround your vegetable loaf, such as sliced sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, etc. It’s good to top with a tomato or barbecue sauce to keep the loaf moist. If you don’t have something on hand, here’s an easy topping: 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar, 1-2 Tablespoons maple syrup, 5 Tablespoons ketchup or tomato paste, 1 Teaspoon smoky paprika.