This delicious vegan lentil loaf is packed full of good stuff like vegetables, nuts, seeds, oats, and apple. Make a double batch and freeze the leftovers for busy days!
My vegetarianism has definitely gone through several evolutions over the years, both in reasoning and in execution.
There were many (many many) years where I practically lived on fake meat products, blindly assuming them to be healthy. Have you read the labels on that stuff? Most of it is highly processed, often made with GMO soy, and full of crazy additives, preservatives, and colouring agents. Yuck! I have almost totally expunged fake meat products from my diet, with one exception: vegetarian pizza pepperoni. I don’t eat it very often, in fact, I can’t even remember the last time I did. But I figure that if I was a meat eater eating a pepperoni pizza it would likely be just as bad. That’s my logic and I’m sticking to it.
I’m super excited about this lentil loaf. It’s all kinds of delicious, and it’s made entirely of nutritious, real food. There is a good dose of veggies packed in, some crunchy nuts and seeds full of healthy fats, and punches of sweetness from grated apple and raisins. It’s also completely vegan, and with a couple of easy modifications it can be made gluten free.
The loaf is tasty, but it’s the glaze that really makes it. I ate a nice big slice pretty much straight out of the oven, and then the leftovers, once cool, I sliced up, brushed with some extra glaze, and baked again. I highly recommend going that route if you have time for it, then each slice will have a tangy, crusty glaze all around it. So good.
I’ve been eating slices smashed between two slices of whole grain bread, crumbled up over a salad, or straight up, from my hand, right out of the fridge. I’ve stashed leftover slices in the freezer, separated with little bits of parchment paper, and stored in a freezer bag. I also highly recommend making a double batch – which makes all the chopping and shredding totally worthwhile – and baking some of it as individual loaves in parchment lined muffin tins. They make for perfect freezer meals for busy days.
Let’s talk about lentils! These lovely little legumes are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering dietary fiber. The soluble fiber in lentils helps to keep blood sugar stable, while providing a steady source of energy. But the energy benefits don’t stop there, lentils are a rich source of iron, as well as being a good source of plant-based protein, which is good news for us veg heads. They’re also a great source of heart-healthy folate and magnesium, phosphorous, manganese, zinc, potassium, and B6.
One year ago: Whole Wheat Dutch Baby with Cinnamon Roasted Apples
Two years ago: DIY Vanilla Extract
Three years ago: Multigrain Edamame Salad
Four years ago: Pumpkin and Black Bean Taquitos
Five years ago: Roasted Pumpkin Lasagna
- 1 cup uncooked green lentils
- 3 cups vegetable broth or water
- ½ cup walnuts, chopped and toasted
- ½ cup sunflower seeds, toasted
- 3 tbsp flax seeds
- ½ cup water
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1½ cups diced onion
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 cup grated carrot
- ⅓ cup grated apple
- ⅓ cup raisins
- ½ cup rolled oats
- ¾ cup breadcrumbs
- 2 tsp fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried thyme)
- salt & pepper, to taste
- red pepper flakes, to taste
- FOR THE GLAZE:
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- Preheat your oven to 325°F / 170°C.
- Spread the sunflower seeds and chopped walnuts out on a baking sheet, pop them in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes, until they’re just starting to smell toasty. Keep a careful eye on them, nuts and seeds can burn really quickly! Remove from the oven, and set aside to cool slightly. Increase the heat to 350 F / 180 C.
- Pick over your lentils and give them a good rinse. Combine them in a medium pot with the 3 cups of water or veggie broth (I used broth). Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer with the lid ajar for 30 – 40 minutes. The goal is to slightly overcook the lentils so they become a bit mushy – the loaf will hold together better this way.
- Combine flax seeds and ½ cup water in a small bowl and set aside to soak for at least 10 minutes.
- In a large frying pan heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil. Add the onions and sauté for about 5 minutes, until they are soft and becoming translucent. Add the garlic, celery, shredded carrot, apple, and raisins. Sauté for about 5 minutes more, then remove from heat.
- In a large bowl combine all remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper, and firmly press the mixture firmly into the pan.
- Whisk the tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, and maple syrup together to make the glaze. Brush about half of it over the top of the loaf. You can reserve the other half to brush loaf slices with, or use as a dipping sauce.
- Place the loaf in the oven and bake for 40 – 50 minutes. The top should be slightly browned and crispy when it's finished.
- Remove from the oven and cool for at least 10 minutes before you slice into it. But be warned, the loaf will slice more gracefully when it has cooled most of the way.
-Rather than a loaf pan, try baking the loaf pressed into parchment-lined muffin tins for individual loaves.
Originally posted October 2012