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.
1 cup (3oz / 100g) rolled oats
¼ 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
3 cups water
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.
Swaps & Tips
- Add chestnuts and dried cranberries to it to make it more festive if you are making it for special occasions.
- 1 cup (180g) dried lentils yields 2 cups (360g) cooked lentils.