I know, Lentil-Walnut loaf sounds like the ultimate hippie housewife food. I admit, I usually shy away from lentil loafs, nut-loafs, meat-less loafs for the reason most people shy away from traditional meat loaf: why? What’s the point? I never cared for meat loaf in the past, why try to recreate it.
But then Pinterest happened. And along with my free time, I was left pondering the lentil-loaf puzzle. There were so many wonderful looking recipes out there, not to mention heaps of praise for various plant-based loafs.
So, I did it. And I’m so glad I did. I think I like this recipe so much because it doesn’t take anything like meat. Super flavorful, with a hearty bite- I enjoyed this even more as leftovers the next day. Which, is pretty much the best compliment you can give to a meatloaf.
I’m assuming you don’t own that ‘meatloaf pan’ I saw on a late-night informercial once. To remove the loaf easily from the pan, line the loaf with parchment paper for easy removal.
If the list of ingredients seems really long, well- it is. But most of these items are probably staples in your house anyway. Read through before any intimidation strikes. For my GF peeps- no problem. Sub Tamari for soy sauce and GF breadcrumbs. Everyones a winner!
Adapted from VegNews
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
2 cups cooked lentils
1 onion, chopped
1/2 lb. button mushrooms, roughly chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup Earth Balance butter
1/2 cup cooked brown rice
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 cup bread crumbs
4 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. honey or other liquid sweetener
1/2 tsp. liquid sweetener
1 tbsp. vegetarian worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. spicy dijon mustard
Whisk together the tomato paste, 2 tbsp. soy sauce, honey, liquid smoke, and 1 garlic clove, crushed. Set aside.
In a large skillet, heat 2 tbsp. EB butter, 1/2 of the chopped onions and mushrooms. Let cook until browned and softened about 5 minutes. Add 2 more tablespoons of butter and add celery, carrots, minced garlic cloves, and pinch of salt/pepper. Stir, cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
In a large food processor, pulse the rice, walnuts and lentils together. You don’t want them mushy, but they should be combined. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the cooked vegetables, worcestershire sauce, 2 tbsp. soy sauce, parsley and 1/3 cup of the leftover tomato mixture. Pulse together and transfer to the rice-lentil bowl.
Add the breadcrumbs and remainder chopped onions and fold together.
Press half of the mixture into a loaf pan. Top with half of the remaining tomato mixture. Press the rest of the mixture into the pan and top with the rest of the tomato mixture.
Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes at 350°F. Uncover and bake for 15 additional minutes until top is browned. Remove from oven and let set for 15 minutes before serving.
Leftovers taste great on a sandwich! Ketchup, crusty bread, lentil loaf…. it’s pretty amazing.