This hearty dish was a long time coming in my household, it took me several attempts to get the consistency and the sauce right. As it typically goes, simple is best! Sticking to diced veggies and a traditional sauce, this vegan dish has all those flavors reminiscent of meatloaf, yet I like it even more minus the meat. I prefer to use brown lentils, but green also works well. I use a flax egg in mine to keep purely vegan, but you could also add an egg for a vegetarian version and do way with the flax egg ingredient – this helps bind the recipe and keep in good form.
Savory Lentil Loaf
3 T. ground flaxseed meal
1/3 cup water
1 cup dry brown lentils
2 T. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, finely diced or grated
1 orange or red bell pepper, finely diced (sometimes I use diced mushrooms too!)
1 large carrot, finely diced or grated
1 celery stalk, finely diced
3/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten free oats
1/2 cup Arrowhead Oat Flour or coconut flour
2 tsp. fresh thyme (could use 1 tsp. dried)
1 tsp. Herbamare seasoning blend
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. onion powder
¼ tsp. organic Worcestershire
cracked pepper & sea salt to taste
¼ cup tomato sauce
1 T. maple syrup
1 tsp. coconut aminos or tamari
1 T. balsamic vinegar
Wash lentils according to package directions. When finished cooking, set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside.
Make your flax egg by mixing 1/3 cup water with the 3 spoonfuls of mealed flaxseed, whisk well and place in the fridge as you prep other ingredients.
Prepare sauce: simply whisk tomato sauce, tamari (or coconut aminos) maple syrup, and balsamic vinegar. Set aside.
Chop your vegetables. Pre-heat olive oil in saute pan heat over medium heat. Add chopped vegetables and garlic, saute for about 5 minutes, or until softened. Then add seasonings, give a good mix.
In a food processor, add lentils and pulse until slightly broken down. Pulse in the oats, flour, and sautéed vegetables (Careful not to over-mix, you want the loaf to have consistency and texture to it!), then fold in the flax egg and season with additional salt or Herbamare if desired (I like extra seasoning).
Form lentil filling into the parchment lined loaf pan. Shape as desired and spread sauce over top of loaf and bake in oven for 50 minutes. I glaze my loaf again at about the 30-minute mark (the glaze is delicious!).
Remove from oven and allow to rest for approx. 10 minutes before cutting.