Sunday, September 22, 2013

Vegetarian Lentil Loaf

I have to say that this dish definitely surprised me.  Since I don't eat meat anymore it's nice to find recipes that balance out a meal.  This is one of them.  When I first ate this after I had just made it I thought the recipe was okay at best. A bit dry and bland. My husband had been looking forward to trying this but after the first bite he was out.....Not interested....No way.   My son would have nothing to do with it.  I, however, really wanted this recipe to work so I gave it another chance. I decided to try it again later in the week for leftovers just for me.  I had a big beautiful yellow pepper that needed to be eaten, so one evening I decided to fry that up in some olive oil.  When the pepper was finished frying I sliced myself some of the lentil load and fried it up in the oil that was left from cooking the pepper.  Best decision I have made in a while.  It was THAT good!  What a difference a little time makes in letting the loaf rest and then frying in the oil that already had some of the flavor of the pepper in it.  If you are vegetarian or want a vegetarian meal for a change please give this a try.  Just remember this is best if you make it a day ahead of time and slice and fry in some olive oil.  Don't eat it straight from the pan. That won't do it justice!!!!  This makes a pretty big loaf and can easily feed 6 people.  You can also find the recipe here.

1 1/2 cup lentils
3 1/2 cups water or vegetable broth (I used vegetable broth)
2 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups precooked rice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup ketchup or BBQ sauce (I used tomato sauce)
1/2 tsp sage (do not leave this out)
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning (I recommend using double that amount)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large soup or stock pot, simmer the lentils in water or vegetable broth until cooked. About 30 minutes.
Mash half the lentils while keeping the other half whole.
Saute the onions and garlic in olive oil for 3 to 5 minutes.  ( I saute the onions alone first for a good 5 minutes and then add the garlic in for only a minute or until it is fragrant).
Combine onions, garlic and olive oil with the mashed lentils and add the rice, sauce, sage and Italian seasoning.
Gently press the mixture into a lightly greased loaf pan.  Drizzle a bit of the sauce on top, if desired.
Bake for one hour.  Remove and let rest. This will help it firm up.  You can serve this right out of the pan but I  highly recommend frying it in slices the next day or later on in the week.
This is a great make ahead recipe.


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Pam said...

A great vegetarian alternative to one of my favorite comfort foods.

Catherine said...

Dear Debbie, I know I would love this. I am beginning to eat less meat, simply because of the price. More and more nights are passing without meat.
I think this will be on my list. Blessings dear, Catherine xo

Blond Duck said...

What a cool idea!

Joanne said...

I never liked meatloaf so I've always been a bit wary of any vegetarian version that resembles one...but you've made this sound so good!

Cheryl said...

This actually looks pretty good, LOL.

Kalyan Panja said...

looks delicious...just mouthwatering!

Diane Clark said...

Wow, it looks liek the most appetizing vegan dish I've ever seen. Thanks for sharing! My BF and I extremely appreciate it