This is my favorite one-two-three combo I roll out for big days like Thanksgiving. It will have vegans and non-vegans alike licking the plates: a savory mushroom and rosemary lentil loaf with cranberry corn-bread stuffing, finished with steamed green beans.
There’s no disputing the star of the show though.
Packed with protein – and complete proteins at that – from chia seeds, lentils and sunflower seeds, this is a meal I love to put in front of meat eaters as proof as to how protein-rich and filling a vegan meal can be.
Plus, nothing gives me greater delight than hearing from non-vegans how they are ‘full but not heavy’ afterwards.
Essentially what you are doing here is getting everything soft enough to mix together and press into your tin. For the lentils that means soaking in broth and for the vegetables and herbs that’s a matter of being diced and cooked until soft and sweet.
The result is not only a loaf that will leave every guest satisfied but a deliciously deep, shroomy and herby flavor, with a touch of sweetness and cinnamon from the glazed crust.
I haven’t here, but you are more than welcome to grate 1/2 a large sweet potato as part of your vegetables when cooking if you want to up the sweetness of the loaf.
- 1/2 cup dry brown lentils approx. 3 cups cooked
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 large carrot shredded (approx. 1 cup)
- 1 medium yellow onion approx. 1 cup
- 4 ounces crimini mushrooms diced (approx. 3 cups)
- 2 garlic cloves minced (approx. 2 tablespoons)
- 1/2 cup celery
- 1 cup whole-wheat breadcrumbs
- 2/3 cup flour (I prefer oat flour)
- 1/3 cup walnuts
- 1/3 cup sunflower seeds finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire
- 1 tablespoons dried rosemary
- 1 tablespoons dried thyme or oregano
- 1 tablespoons ground chia seeds or sub for flax seeds + 3 tablespoons water
- 2 tbsp balsamic
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
Rinse lentils and combine with vegetable broth in a medium size bowl
Bring to a boil then simmer for 30 minutes, setting aside in a large bowl once soft
While the lentils are simmering, combine the flax or chia seeds with water and set aside to thicken
Pre-heat the oven to 380 degrees F and line your loaf pan with parchment paper
Finely chop the onion, garlic, mushroom and celery by pulsing with a food processor, keeping the onion separate
Cook the onion on a medium heat until translucent (about 2 or 3 minutes) before adding the other vegetables. Cook for a further 10 minutes, adding the dried herbs a minute before the end, then set aside.
Pulse half of the lentils a few times to mash them, then add back to the bowl along with the sauteed vegetables and rest of the lentils.
Finely chop the breadcrumbs and sunflower seeds and then add to the bowl along with the flour
Mix together the chia or flax mixture with the tomato paste and Worcestshire sauce and then add to the bowl. This will bind the mixture.
Mix the balsamic, cinnamon and maple syrup together in a small bowl to create a glaze. Spread evenly over the loaf. This will give the loaf a sweet but sharp crust.