This is a base recipe for a lentil loaf, a plant-based alternative to a meatloaf. It’s moist and meaty but at the same time light and nutritious and fairly easy to make. It is high in protein, fiber and iron.
Add chestnuts and dried cranberries to it to make it more festive if you are making it for special occasions.
Additional notes & Spices:
180g dried lentils yields 360g cooked lentils.
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon cumin
⅛ black pepper
or use: 1 tablespoon homemade vegetable seasoning
Make it festive, add
3oz (100g) cooked chestnuts
1oz (30g) dried cranberries
1 cup (6oz / 180g) dried lentils
1 cup rolled oats
½ cup ground flax seeds
¼ cup sunflower seeds
1 cup (9oz / 280ml) tomato paste
1 tablespoon molasses or maple syrup
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 ½ teaspoon salt
3 cup water
Makes 8 portions
193 Calories per portion
1Place rinsed and drained lentils in a medium saucepan and cover with 2 cups of water. If you are not soaking your lentils beforehand, add an extra ½ cup of water to the pan. Set the heat to high and bring water to a boil.
2Dice the onion and place it into a small saucepan, add ½ cup of water and cover it with the lid. Sautee for 8-10 minutes. Check on it occasionally to make sure it’s not burning. Once all the water evaporates and the onions are soft, set aside.
3To make the sauce: combine tomato paste, molasses, apple cider vinegar, ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon cinnamon and mix well.
4Combine lentils, rolled oats, sunflower seeds, ground flax seeds, sauteed onion and ⅓ of sauce together in a stainless steel bowl. Add cooked chestnuts if you have them.
5Add ½ cup water to the bowl and use a hand blender or a potato masher to mash everything until combined. The mix should be dough-like but not completely smooth.
6Lightly oil a baking tin and transfer the mix into it. Flatten it with a spoon.
7Bake it in the oven at 200C for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes. Allow the loaf to cool on the rack for 30-60 minutes before removing it from the tin. Coat with the rest of the sauce and serve.