Vegan Lentil Loaf

vegan lentil loaf
This is a new twist on the popular vegan meat load with nuts and oats, which creates a healthier, gluten-free, but still very hearty and intensely flavorful dish!
 
Note that you can use sunflower seeds instead of walnuts for a different flavor profile too.
 
YIELDS 4 Servings
PREP TIME 30 minutes
COOK TIME 30 minutes
 
INGREDIENTS
 
LENTIL LOAF:
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 large onion , chopped
1 medium organic carrot , chopped
1 stalk organic celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic , minced
1 1/2 cups brown lentils, soaked, rinsed and cooked
1 cup quick-cooking oats or oatmeal (gluten-free version)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or sunflower seeds
2 tbsp ground flax seeds
2 tbsp tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
1 tsp dried thyme (or 1 tablespoon fresh)
1/8 tsp ground cayenne or chili pepper
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
 
GLAZE:
2 tbsp tomato paste or sauce
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
2 tbsp black strap molasses (or maple syrup)
1/8 tsp sea salt
 
INSTRUCTIONS
 
  1. Prepare your dish one day ahead if possible, by soaking the lentils overnight, which makes them easier to digest.
  2. The next day, rinse the lentils and cook them in boiling water until soft. Once cooked, drain the water and keep the lentils aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375ºF and prepare a 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper or vegetable oil. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil, onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. Stir occasionally until softened but not burned, about 8 minutes.
  4. In a food processor with an s-blade, combine the cooked lentils, oats, walnuts, flax, tamari, thyme, cayenne, salt, and several grinds of black pepper.
  5. Once the vegetables are tender, add them in, too.
  6. Pulse several times, just until the mixture starts to stick together when you press it between your fingers. You don't want it totally smooth, for the best texture.
  7. Transfer the mixture to the prepared loaf pan, then press firmly to pack it together.
  8. Stir the glaze ingredients together in a small bowl and brush it over the top of the loaf.
  9. Bake the loaf uncovered at 375ºF for 30 minutes.
  10. Let the loaf cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes, then use a sharp knife around all the edges to loosen it from the pan
  11. Move the loaf from the pan onto a platter
  12. Slice and serve warm.
 
Great side dishes with your vegan lentil loaf would be a tomato-mushroom sauce, garlicky potato mash or fusili pasta!
 
Bon appetit!