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Meatless "Meat" Loaf

My hubby's favorite meal is meatloaf, mashed potatoes and corn. He requests it every year for his birthday dinner. Well, nutritionally, it's okay to have a couple times a year, but I think we would all agree, that's not exactly health food. I was thrilled to find this meatless meatloaf recipe. I was a little hesitant, because I had never cooked with lentils before. There is a slight learning curve, but as long as you make sure they are fully cooked, this recipe works like a champ!



LENTIL QUINOA LOAF

RECIPE CONTRIBUTOR: KIMBERLY WORLOW

½ cup lentils (any color)

1/3 cup tri-color quinoa, uncooked and washed

2¼ cups of water

2 tsp. oil

3/4 cup onion, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 jalapeño, chopped (optional)

½ cup celery, finely chopped

½ cup carrots, thinly sliced or grated

½ tsp. dried thyme

½ tsp. dried oregano

¼ cup raisins (optional)

2 Tbsp. flax meal

½ tsp. tamarind paste

1 tsp. honey/agave (optional)

1. Combine lentils and water in a pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes.

2. Add quinoa to lentil pan, partially cover and continue to cook, stirring once, until both are very tender and easily mashed, about 10 to 15 minutes. The lentils will feel slightly overcooked. Drain any excess water and put into a bowl.

3. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and jalapeño. Cook for 5 minutes or until translucent. Add celery, carrots, thyme, oregano, and mix well. Cook for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add the raisins, and mix. Cook for 2 more minutes. Remove from heat.

4. Add the cooked vegetables and flax meal to the lentil bowl and mix. Mash the mixture using a potato masher or your hands, so that at least half of the lentils and quinoa are well mashed (you will want some lentils whole). Add in tamarind, honey, apple cider vinegar, mustard, ketchup, tamari, tahini, nutritional yeast, and fennel seeds; mix well. Taste and adjust with salt and pepper.

5. Add breadcrumbs or coarsely ground oats and mix in. The texture should be that of a burger patty. If it’s too crumbly, add some water. If it’s too sticky, add more crumbs.

6. Line a medium 8.5 x 4.75 inch loaf pan with parchment paper that covers the edges of the pan. Press the mixture into the pan. Pack well and even it out. Cover with foil and bake at 375°F for approx 25-30 minutes. Bake uncovered for 5 to 10 minutes.

7. Let cool for 15 minutes before slicing. Serve with gravy recipe on page 14.

Makes approximately 6 servings.


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