Dinner Tonight: Lentil Loaf

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lentil-loafMany of us grew up with the classic meatloaf. This is like that, but better. So much better. It is very high in fiber and is gluten-free, dairy-free and vegetarian.

The star of this recipe is definitely the lentils. Lentils have a wide spectrum of essential amino acids and are a good protein source. With 18g of protein per cup and costing only about $1.50 per pound, lentils are an inexpensive protein alternative to beef, chicken and fish. They are also rich in folic acid, iron, phosphorus and copper.

So put away the ground beef and ketchup and make this lentil loaf instead. It is perfect for making on a Sunday afternoon and enjoying for lunch during the week. It freezes well, too.

Lentil Loaf

• 3/4 cup red or orange lentils
• 3 1/2 cups water, divided
• 1/2 cup quinoa
• 2 Tbsp coconut oil
• 1 small onion, chopped
• 1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms
• 1/2 cup finely chopped sweet red pepper
• 2 eggs, lightly beaten
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
• 3/4 cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking rolled oats
• 1/2 cup pecans or almonds, coarsely chopped
• 1 Tbsp curry powder
• Salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 350 F and grease a 13 x 9 inch baking dish with coconut oil.

In a medium saucepan, bring lentils and 2 1/2 cups water to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer, partly covered, until just tender, 15 to 25 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the lentils.

In a separate small pot, bring quinoa and 1 cup water to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partly covered, until fluffy, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion, mushrooms, and red pepper, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until tender.

In a large bowl, combine lentils, quinoa, mushroom mixture, eggs, garlic, parsley or cilantro, oats, pecans or almonds, and curry powder, with salt and pepper to taste. Mix well with your hands. Place the mixture in a baking pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve with a side of green beans, or on top of a bed of lettuce.

Photo from here, with thanks.

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February 2023