holiday lentil loaf

I call it the holiday lentil loaf, but really it is great at any time. Typically though I will make this for my Thanksgiving or winter celebrations with friends and family. It's sort of like your meatloaf that you had when growing up, but so much healthier for you without the meat. This lentil loaf is super easy to prepare and make, is flavorful, and is definitely not dry on this inside with a little bit of texture. As always, you can omit and substitute anything you'd like. I add crushed walnuts to mine - which I love, but you can leave those out. I know others make theirs with celery, but I don't like cooked celery. So there ya go! 

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ingredients:

1 cup dried lentils, cooked

1 cup of dry oats for flour

1/2 cup tomato sauce

1/4 cup vegetable broth

2 cups chopped peas and carrots (I used frozen)

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 tbsp garlic powder

1 tbsp dry basil

1/4 tsp black pepper

dash of nutmeg

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

For the glaze:

1/3 cup tomato sauce (you can use ketchup if it's easier)

1 tbsp maple syrup

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

directions:
  1. Fill medium sized pot with water, bring to a boil and thoroughly cook the lentils. Strain and set aside to cool down.

  2. Steam (or boil on stove top) peas and carrots. Drain water and set aside to cool down.

  3. Once the lentils, peas and carrots are cooled, add to a food processor. Add onion and rest of the ingredients except the dry oats and chopped walnuts. Process to blend but leaving some texture. Do not over blend, you want to visibly see small pieces.

  4. Scrape mixture into a bowl.

  5. Add dry oats, tomato sauce and mix together with a wooden spoon or spatula. Add only enough broth slowly, to still keep your mixture moldable. You may not need all of it. 

  6. Gather it nicely in the bowl by scraping down the sides and forming a ball in your bowl. Cover and set in the refrigerator for about an hour to firm a little.

  7. Pre-heat your oven to 375. Scrape out all of your mixture and mold it into a loaf shape with your hands onto your baking dish. You can line a loaf pan with parchment paper or use a baking tray or casserole dish for this.

  8. Prepare your glaze by mixing all of the ingredients together and brushing the top of your loaf with it. Use half of your glaze and brush the rest of glaze towards the end of baking. Bake the whole loaf for 35-40 minutes.

  9. Garnish the top with rosemary and lightly salt.

  10. Serve and enjoy with your favorite side dishes like mashed potatoes and crispy green beans.

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