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Holiday Lentil Walnut Loaf

Our HOLIDAY Meatless Monday recipe today is a guest post from Chef @donnamarino . She is an amazing chef and her recipes are always delicious!!

This recipe is a bean/lentil recipe so it is loaded with nutrition.  It is rich in:

  • Protein
  • Iron
  • Vitamin C
  • Fiber
  • B Vitamins
  • Folate
  • Vitamin K
  • Copper
  • Manganese
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium

Almost any nutrient you’ve heard of is in there!  

Donna recommends eating it with the sauce and we couldn’t agree more. Super yummy!!

Happy Thanksliving!!

Favorite Holiday Lentil Walnut Loaf

Serves: 6

This is a great alternative for Thanksgiving if you’re looking for something a bit less processed than a packaged “roast,” such as a Tofurky. 

  • 1 c. dry lentils. I like brown or green lentils for a heartier loaf, but you can also use red lentils. The loaf will be softer and not have as much texture.
  • 2 c. vegetable broth. I like Better than Bouillon paste or Edward & Sons Not Chick’n Bouillon cubes. Alternatively, you can use 2 cans of cooked lentils. 
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (can also use pecans)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 cups minced onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup minced celery
  • 1/3 cup chopped apple. I like granny smith but some may prefer a sweeter variety. Leave the skin on or off, depending on your preference.
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries or cherries, chopped finely.
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • ½ tsp sage
  • 1 tablespoon flax meal, mixed with 2 tablespoons warm water
  • ½ – 1 c. bread crumbs (depending on desired texture)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • black pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease a loaf pan; if it’s not nonstick, you should also line it with parchment paper. You can also use a silicone baking sheet on a cookie sheet, instead.
  2. If making your own lentils, prepare the broth. Add broth and dry lentils to a pot and cook over medium heat until simmering. Cook for approximately 30 minutes or until tender. If using canned lentils, rinse well and drain.
  3. Make the flax egg by mixing the water with the ground flaxseed. Set aside until it firms up (gets gelatinous).
  4. Toast the nuts in a pan on the top of the stove until they are toasted. Watch carefully! They can burn in a matter of seconds. I have also made this without toasting the nuts, but toasting does give them more depth.
  5. Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil until onion is soft. Add celery and cook for about 5-7 minutes more. Finally, add the apple, dried berries, and spices.
  6. In a large bowl, mix the remaining ingredients and adding half of the breadcrumbs. 
  7. Work mixture with hands, until you can form it into a loaf shape. If desired, add rest of breadcrumbs. Press it together well to prevent it from falling apart while baking.
  8. Bake the loaf at 350°F for about 25 minutes. Baste with the glaze. Cook for another 25 minutes or until the loaf is fairly firm. Cool in the pan for about 30 minutes before removing (if the loaf is too warm, it will be harder to remove from the pan and may fall apart).

Notes

For a smoother loaf, you can mash the lentils before mixing with other ingredients.

I have also made this with sautéed mushrooms instead of lentils. The result is an earthier flavor and a moister loaf.

I like to pair this with a fantastic glaze from Oh She Glows. I baste the loaf with half of this mixture halfway through cooking. I add the rest before serving the loaf.

Balsamic-Apple Glaze:

  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) unsweetened applesauce or apple butter
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) pure maple syrup

Whisk all ingredients together until smooth and use to baste or glaze lentil loaf.

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