Boy do I have an awesome recipe to share with you today! On New Year’s Day, I saw the Ultimate Vegan Lentil Walnut Loaf on Angela’s blog, and I was totally intrigued. I had to have it. I did a little google search for “Lentil Loaf” and looked at a ton of different recipes before coming up with my own version, which is not vegan and doesn’t have walnuts, but is amazingly moist and delicious. Lentils are a great starting point if you’re trying to make a vegetarian dish to win over a meat lover in your life, because they are so satisfying and delicious, and really do a good job imparting that heartiness into traditionally meat based dishes, like my spiced lentil mushroom tacos and now this incredible lentil loaf. It’s also extremely Weight Watchers friendly, which is always a great thing. This has a few more steps than my usual recipes, but I promise you it’s all worth it. The printable recipe is here.
Here’s what you need:
- 1 cup dried lentils
- 1/2 cup brown rice (or 1 cup cooked)
- 1 carrot
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 2 slices bread (I used Ezekial 4:9 Sprouted Sesame)
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp dried sage (or thyme)
- black pepper
To start, boil 2 cups of water and add in your rinsed lentils. Bring it back to a boil, then down to a simmer and let it cook for about 30 minutes. (If all the water goes away add a little more – I had to add about 1/3 of a cup extra) Also cook your rice if you’re not using already prepped brown rice. The instant rice I used cooks in 5 minutes – perfect.
While your lentils and rice are cooking, prep your veggies.
Chop the onion and garlic, and peel and grate your carrot.
Also, toast the bread and then pulse it in your processor to make breadcrumbs.
You can also use already prepped breadcrumbs – about a cup.
Now preheat your oven to 350º.
Next up – cooking the veggies. Heat up a pan with some nonstick spray, and then add in the chopped onion.
Once that gets soft (about 2 minutes), add in the garlic and let it go for another minute. Then add in the carrot and let it go another minute or two until all the veggies are soft/heated through.
Last, add in the raisins and cook for one more minute.
By now, your lentils should be cooked and all the liquid absorbed. Taste one to make sure they are tender, then transfer them to a large bowl.
You want to mash up at least half of the lentils, and a stick blender works perfectly for this. If you don’t have a stick blender, you can use a potato masher, a ricer, or a food processor. Or a fork. But that will take a long time.
Now you are ready to combine everything and then bake the loaf! Add into the bowl the veggie mixture, the bread crumbs, the beaten egg, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, the dried sage, and black pepper.
Mix to combine until its a uniform consistency.
Now spray your loaf pan.
Then press the mixture down into the pan with your hands so it is packed in there.
Make sure it’s really packed down, and admire your hard work til this point.
Pop it in the oven for 35 minutes, and when it comes out, the top will be a bit crispy.
If you don’t have a loaf pan, you can make this in any baking dish really, but just keep in mind that the baking time will vary based on the loaf’s thickness.
The entire loaf has 28 points+, so if you divide it into 8 servings, it’s 4 pts a piece. If you’re like me and like to eat a lot, you can divide it into 4 large hunks that are 7 pts+ a pop.
This is AWESOME. It is really moist and flavorful, and the raisins in there add a subtle and very welcome sweetness in each bite.
I served my hunk with some leftover roasted sweet potatoes and carrots from last night.
10 pts+ for the whole plate. And, it was seriously delicious. The texture on it is perfect, and the flavors from all of the ingredients work so well together that you will gobble down every last bite. If you’re trying to convert a carnivore to enjoying a delicious vegetarian meal – this is it. Or, if you’re normally a meat eater and would like to explore some healthy veggie options – try it! Make it with some mashed potatoes and gravy if you like and it’ll be a healthified and delicious version of a traditional plate of meatloaf. Or, if you’re just hungry and like to eat – do it! I seriously cannot WAIT for leftovers for lunch!
PS – I lost .8 at weigh in last night, making my total 8 pounds down in 3 weeks! Woohoo!
Are you a vegetarian, carnivore, or something in between? How often do you eat meat? I’ve been going back and forth about whether I want to stay vegetarian or introduce some lean meat back into my life. I don’t really have a good reason for having gone vegetarian in the first place, but now that it’s been almost a year, I’m just rethinking whether I want to stick with it or have a little meat every once in a while.