Sorry for the radio silence yesterday. I was planning to post something but then one of my yoga teachers and mentors Debbie came into town and I couldn’t pass up the chance to hang out with her and get in a wonderful yoga class. Sometimes you just have to step away from the computer and go live life!
When I got home from “living”, haha, I sat down to think about dinner and my mind wandering to lentil loaves. Over Thanksgiving we were planning to make a lentil loaf for the vegetarians at the table but upon surveying all the veg friendly food Linda had made and running out of time we decided against it. That, of course, doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking about it ever since. Luckily I already had all the fixings for it so I decided to make it last night.
Before I get into the recipe let me preface the lessons I learned last night:
#1: This is a time-consuming recipe. It doesn’t look like it should be and I was feeling rather dicombobulated last night, so it might just be me, but it took over an hour and a half start to finish. This might be because I was side tracked twice as I managed to spill a whole cup of oats and break a serving dish in the process. Both of which required a pause to sweep the floor. Visual proof of the chaos in my kitchen.
#2: We’ve now determined that Michael’s gluten intolerance also includes Gluten Free Oats. This is the second time I’ve made something with GF oats and both times he’s gotten sick. They are certified GF and I’ve tried two different brands now that doesn’t matter. So last night I made a lentil loaf and poisoned my boyfriend!
#3: Despite all of this, it’s absolutely delicious and worth the effort. Next time I’ll just sub out the oats.
Lentil Loaf (vegan, gluten-free)
Adapted from OhSheGlows
For the loaf:
1 cup lentils
3.5 cups water
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cashews, roasted and chopped into small pieces
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup almond meal
3 tablespoons ground flaxseed meal and 1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 stalks celery, diced
1 carrot, shredded
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3/4 cup gluten-free brown rice bread crumbs (sub any breadcrumbs you’d like)
1/2 tablespoon oregano
salt to taste
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1/4 cup BBQ sauce
Preheat oven to 350.
Wash and rinse lentils. Place in a pot and cover with water. Add salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes or until lentils are soft. The original recipe mentioned over cooking the lentils a little so they hold together better which worked well for me.
Place flaxseed meal in a bowl with water and set aside to gel. For those of you that aren’t familar with flaxseed it’s a great egg replacement. Add water and it gels up. Here’s the brand I used and what it looks like after 10 minutes in the water.
As lentils are cooking, Chop nuts into small pieces. Dump into a big bowl along with the sunflower seeds.
While lentils are doing their thing, chop onion and celery. Shred carrot.
Heat olive oil and saute veggies until soft. Add garlic for the last minute or two so it doesn’t burn.
When veggies are done, add to the bowl with the nuts and seeds. Also add almond meal, breadcrumbs, flaxseed meal, oregano and red chili flakes.
Once lentils are done, mash a little with a fork and add to the mixture. Mix everything together and salt to taste.
Grease a loaf pan and then cover in wax paper. Originally I used wax paper but you can skip and just grease your pan if you prefer.
Press mixture into a loaf pan. Brush BBQ sauce onto the lentil loaf.
Bake for 50 minutes or until brown and crispy on the sides.
Even writing this all out makes it seem cumbersome but the end product is almost stuffing-like and full of flavor. It’s hearty enough for non-meat eaters as well. I served with a kale, pomegranate salad with miso dressing.
Lastly, on the topic of loss. My latest article on Yoga, Loss and the Holiday Spirit is now up on MindBodyGreen.