Lentil Loaf. There it is. Are you turned off? Well, don’t be. This dish delights all palettes from vegans to carnivores. I’ll admit, I was a little nervous to make a lentil loaf for my introduction to the world. I tried to think of names that were easier on the ears. Lentil Log? Lentil Surprise? Yet alas, Lentil Loaf encompasses the true form of the dish. Trust me. Make this, and your taste buds will thank you. Make this, and you will be ultimately satisfied.
The inspiration to make a lentil loaf comes from a few places. The first is that I wanted a meat alternative that wasn’t soy based, laden with chemicals and dripping with sodium. I also wanted something as allergy friendly as possible, eliminating nuts, gluten, dairy and eggs. This recipe was similar to a bean based veggie burger I had made, so why couldn’t it be delicious laced with lentils instead of beans? The work began.
The holidays were quickly approaching, and I needed something that my meat loving family would adore. So, with a little bit of experimentation, the lentil loaf was born. Paired with my mushroom gravy, meat was never missing from the table. Lentils are packed with protein and loaded with fiber. The chia seeds lend a healthy dose of Omega 3’s, while the apples and raisins give a kiss of sweetness and a refreshing crunch. The rosemary and thyme bring out the savory undertones that feel like Thanksgiving in your mouth.
“But I can’t cook!” You say. Can you throw stuff in a pan and turn on the oven? “But what’s a chia egg?” You ask. Don’t worry it’s simple. I’ll explain that in the video. “Healthy stuff is weird…” Nonsense. Open up your mind and your mouth. It’s only healthy if you eat it and you’re not going to eat what doesn’t taste good. It’s up to you to use this recipe as inspiration. Take it with a grain of salt (pun totally intended) and make it your own. Don’t like rosemary? Try sage. Hate raisins? try apricots. Make food to your taste and enhance your health one dish at a time.
Life is all about what you bring to the table. Yes, I mean this literally and figuratively. Figuratively, you want to surround yourself with people who bring different qualities and characteristics to the conversation. These things ultimately bring out the best in ourselves and inspire us to be better people. Think the same of your food. What we bring to the table directly affects our moods, emotions, and overall health and well-being. Consider every meal an opportunity to nourish yourself and bring something better to the table.
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 yellow onion, chopped
3/4 cup celery, diced
3/4 cup carrots, grated
1 apple, peeled and grated
1/2 cup raisins or other dried fruit
A few sprigs each of rosemary and thyme, chopped
1/2 cup oat flour, or flour of choice
1 chia egg (1 tablespoon of chia seeds + 3 tablespoons water)
2 cup green lentils, cooked
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare a loaf pan with non stick spray or parchment paper. Heat a large sauté pan to medium heat. Add olive oil to coat the pan. When the oil is heated, add garlic and onions. Cook about five minutes until the onions are translucent and fragrant.
2. Add in celery, carrots, apple, and raisins. Stir to combine. Cook until the mixture begins to soften, about three more minutes.
3. To make your chia egg, add chia seeds to water and stir to combine. Let sit for 1-3 minutes.
4. Add chopped rosemary and thyme to veggie mixture and stir to combine. Cook about two more minutes until fragrant.
5. While the veggie mixture is cooking, add lentils to a large mixing bowl. Add oat flour and chia egg to the lentils and mix well.
6. Add hot veggie mixture to the lentil bowl and stir very well, mashing the lentils to break them down. Add mixture to loaf pan, and press down to solidify.
7. Bake loaf for about 40 minutes until the top is golden brown and a knife comes out clean.
8. Add your favorite sauce or gravy (optional) and enjoy!
Please leave me a comment and let me know if you try this recipe, I’d also love to hear any variations! See you soon and remember, it’s only healthy if you eat it!