Holiday Lentil Loaf 

What does a vegan who is nursing a toddler who’s allergic to soy, wheat, and cashews have for Thanksgiving? Lentils! I actually had this last year too before Jack developed his food allergies, because it’s that good!

I posted a lentil loaf recipe before, and I still make that one often. It’s more of a meatloaf than a holiday dinner.

I should have posted this last week, but life got in the way. My apologies! But this is good for any holiday as a poluty substitute. I actually assembled the loaf the night before and baked it the next day. It is very allergy-friendly and tastes great! Even my  meat-loving husband took several bites!

Holiday Lentil Loaf IMG_0439
1 cup red quinoa
2 cups brown lentils
2 carrots, chopped fine
2 stalls of celery, 
chopped fine
1/4 finely chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic, 
minced
1/4 tsp fresh rosemary, 
minced
1/4 tsp fresh sage, 
minced
1/4 tsp thyme, minced
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1/4 gluten-free flour
1/4 nutritional yeast
1/2 cup coconut aminos
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste 

Cook lentils according to directions on the package.

Cook lentils according to the directions on the package.

While those are cooking, sautée the carrots, celery, and onions in a little bit of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for one minute. Then remove from heat and set aside.

In a small bowl, add all remaining ingriedents, expect the salt and pepper, and whisk together.

Drain both the lentils and quinoa, add to a large mixing bowl.

Add the sautée vegetables and mix well.

Add the liquid mixture and also mix well.

Spray a roasting pan or baking sheet with cooking spray. Form a loaf on the pan with the lentil mixture.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until heated through and a light crust forms.

Cut off a slice and top with some vegan gravy. Enjoy a taste of the holiday season everyone can enjoy!

Lentils With Toasted Walnuts

The other day Jack was super clingy and only wanted to sleep on me. I didn’t have anything better to do so I let him. However, as I reached for the remote, I dropped it out of my reach. It changed to the Cooking Channel with French Food At Home. I am not a big fan of this show because she makes stuff that is really not vegan friendly, but I was not about to reach for the remote and wake Jack up. But just my luck she was making vegetarian dishes, and some really good looking ones too!

The minute she said lentils with walnuts, I knew what I was making for dinner. I followed the basics of her recipe, but changed a few things. I left out the goat cheese obviously. I did not use walnut oil because I didn’t have any on hand. I also used brown lentils, not the french ones she calls for because once again, I did not have any on hand. I also added celery for some added green color.

Lentils With Toasted Walnuts
1/4 cup raw unsalted walnuts
1 cup brown lentils
1 and 1/2 cup water
1 tsp Herb de Provence
2 tbs olive oil
1/2 white onion, diced
3 stalks of celery, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat the oven to 350.

Spread the walnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes in the oven. They will be slightly brown and start giving off that nutty smell when ready. Remove from the oven and set aside.

In a saucepan over medium heat, add the lentils, water, and Herb de Provence. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Cook until the lentils are soft and the water is all absorbed.

While that cooks, heat the oil olive in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and celery, cook until soft.

Add the garlic and cook for just a minute.

Add the vinegar and mix together well. Add more oil or vinegar as needed to make a very light and runny dressing (I needed a splash of each).

Once the lentils are cooked, turn off the heat. Pour the vinegar dressing over the lentils. Add the walnuts and toss together well.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish with some more raw walnuts and a few sprigs of thyme if you have it.

We had this a big piece of bread and added a few shakes of red pepper flakes. It’s very rich and filling, a lovely hearty dinner!

Lentil Burgers and Homemade French Fries

As awesome and convenient as frozen, pre-made veggie burgers are, they are still a processed food. Just because something is meat and dairy free, doesn’t mean it still doesn’t have preservatives and fillers. On occasion when you are working late or in a hurry, they can make a fine dinner. But, the best way to get a good meat-free burger is to make it yourself. My favorite alternative burger is lentil. I first had one in this little restaurant by the Opera House in Sydney, Australia. It had great flavor and a meat-like texture. Like beef, it will take on the flavor of whatever you season it with, so you can make Southwest burgers with chili and cilantro, Indian with cumin and curry—or any other flavors you like. These are just basic burgers, so feel free to experiments with the spices. This recipe makes about 2 burgers and can be easily multiplied.

And what would a good burger be without fries. Making your own fries is just as easy as opening up a bag of processed frozen ones. Just cut, soak, season, and bake. And yes bake, not fry. Baking is so much healthier, no one needs to be eating deep fried foods. This recipe makes one serving and be easily multiplied as well.

Lentil Burgers

1 cup dried lentils
1/4 cup breadcrumbs (I used Italians ones, but it plain is fine)
1/4 cup onion, pealed 
2 cloves garlic, pealed 
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp house seasoning

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Rinse and pick through the lentils.

Cooking the lentils according to the directions on the package.

Drain the lentils and let them cool for a bit.

In a food processor or blender, at the lentils and remaining ingredients. Process until blender and fairly smooth. It’s okay if there are some big chunks.

Form into patties and let them chill in the fridge for a few hours. This allows them to firm up and hold up better while cooking.

Now, you can fry them in a pan but I get better results baking in the oven. Lightly spray a baking sheet and place the patties on. Bake in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, flipping half way through.

Since you have the oven all hot, might as well be efficient and throw some fries on the pan too.

Homemade French Fries
1 small russet potatoes
Water
1 tsp salt
1-2 tsp house seasoning, depending on taste

Wash the potato very well.

Cut the potato in 1/4 inch strips.

In the small bowl, add enough water to submerge the potatoes and then stir in the salt. Add the potatoes and soak for 15 minutes. This will add some flavor and remove some of the starch.

Drain the potatoes well and lightly dry.

In small bowl, add the potato sticks and house seasoning. Coat the sticks well.

You can cook them at the same time as the burgers on the same baking sheet. Spread the sticks in an even layer on part of the baking sheet.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, same as the burgers, until golden.


I didn’t have any buns, so I just ate mine plain. But I suggest a nice whole wheat bun, lettuce, tomato, red onion, and a good pickle on the side. I dipped my fries in some mustard and sweet chili sauce mix. If you go for ketchup, get the unsweetened all natural stuff. A lot of the big commercial brands are loaded with sugar and high fructose corn syrup.

A classic American meal with a fantastic healthy twist. Loves it!

Lentil Loaf

I must confess, I have a love for infomercials.  My new favorite is that meat loaf pan that supposed to make the perfect loaf every time.  I question if the thing works but it made me want a delicious lentil loaf.  Meat loaf was one of the few meat dishes I actually liked when I was growing up, so I was kind of skeptical to see if a lentil one would compare. And I was surprised that it did! Now I make them often. Savory, a litte “meaty” and if you make them right, they can even be a little juicy.

Lentils are a pulse (don’t worry, I had to look that up too) that is part of the legume family. Their seeds are little lens-shaped pods that are high in protein, vitamin B, and fiber. They were consumed by neolithic Middle Easterners as far back as 13,000 years ago. And, surprisingly Canada is the top producers of lentils today.

Now, don’t judge this dish until you try it. It does not taste like a big pile of bland beans at all. Cooked lentils have a slightly “meaty” texture, which is why I love to put them in pasta sauces to create a heartier dish. The key to making a good lentil loaf, just like a meat loaf, is getting the consistency right. Make sure there is enough liquid and gluten in the mixture so it will stick without being mushy.

Lentil Loaf
1 cup dried green lentils
1/2 tbs vegan butter
1 cup vegetable stock
1/2 white onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 cup cooked oatmeal
1 tps Italian seasoning
2 tbs tomato paste (or ketchup works just fine)
1 tbs soy sauce
Salt and pepper, to taste

Pick through the lentils and throw out the bad ones. Soak the lentils overnight.

Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the vegan butter.

Drain and rinse the lentils. Add to skillet. Cook until the lentils are slightly golden.

Add the vegetable stock and bring to a simmer. Cover and let cook until all the liquid is absorbed, about 40 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a sheet pan with cooking spray (I didn’t use a loaf pan because I think it is a pain to remove the loaf in the end).

In a large bowl, add the cooked lentils, cooked oatmeal (it must be already cooked, it will help the load adhere together) and the onions. Mix together well. Mix in all remaining ingredients.

Shape into a loaf on the sheet pan. Feel free to top with ketchup like a meat loaf before you pop it in the oven if you like. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the top is a little golden.

I ate mine with some steamed green beans and some ketchup. So delicious. It makes nice leftovers the next day too. I think I will make a simple gravy for it tomorrow night, and maybe some mashed sweet potatoes.