Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Lentil Loaf (or Vegetarian Meatloaf)

When I was growing up, my dad made the best meatloaf with potatoes and peas (I prefer scalloped corn above all). Now that I am vegetarian, I unable to recreate this meal. So, I thought about trying to see if there is a version that we eat in our household. Lo and behold! I found Lentil Loaf. I find it completely amazing and delicious-- even better than meatloaf! I am going to experiment with the recipe, though, to see if I can have multiple versions. I would like to use this for the holiday season to go with mashed potatoes and vegetables at family meals. I prepared it the day before and kept it overnight in the fridge so it might have turned out a little dry because of that. Still, we have two or three great meals. I also keep most of the items in my household so it is something easy to cook on a whim. It did a few adjustments, but when you look at them, it didn't make the recipe spicier. I might add more next time!

Really Good Vegetarian Meatloaf (really!)
SERVES 4 -6


Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 1 small onion, diced I used about a tsp. of dried onion
  • 1 cup quick cooking oats
  • 3/4 cup grated cheese (cheddar, swiss, jack or american)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 1/2 ounces spaghetti sauce or tomato sauce Added a cap full of lime juice and Emeril's seasoning to Ragu sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley omit
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt Hot Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon FRANK'S® REDHOT® Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce

Directions

  1. Add salt to water and boil in a saucepan.
  2. Add lentils and simmer covered 25-30 minutes, until lentils are soft and most of water is evaporated.
  3. Remove from fire.
  4. Drain and partially mash lentils.
  5. Scrape into mixing bowl and allow to cool slightly.
  6. Stir in onion, oats and cheese until mixed.
  7. Add egg, tomato sauce, garlic, basil, parsley, seasoning salt and pepper.
  8. Mix well.
  9. Spoon into loaf pan that has been generously sprayed with Pam (non-stick cooking spray) or well-greased.
  10. Smooth top with back of spoon.
  11. Bake at 350 degrees for 30- 45 minutes until top of loaf is dry, firm and golden brown.
  12. Cool in pan on rack for about 10 minutes.
  13. Run a sharp knife around edges of pan then turn out loaf onto serving platter.
I have to say, it is fun being vegetarian! The amount of things that I have learned about food over the past seven months has been an incredible journey of its own. I can't wait to discover other versions of my favorite foods and learn about some recipes I would have never dreamed of eating.

Natasha

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