Monday, September 12, 2011
Lentil "Meat" Loaf
Yes, this looks like a plate of vegetables, but there IS a "meatloaf" hiding there under the onions! Son #2 is a huge onion fan, and a very reluctant lentil eater, so his plate became a forest of veggies with a little secret base underneath where the woodland spies keep their secrets.
Traditional meatloaf is made by combining ground beef with breadcrumbs, eggs, onions and ketchup... and occasionally a few other add-ins for flavor. In our house, we're not eating gluten, eggs, onions, vinegar or beef, so one might think meatloaf would never again make it onto our menu. Ha! One might be wrong :)
Lentils form the base of this "meat" loaf, and do a great job approximating the texture and flavor of simple ground beef. Instead of ketchup, I used tomato sauce, mustard powder and molasses for moisture. Gluten-free breadcrumbs can be found at your grocery store, or you can make your own if you're feeling adventurous. I also added walnuts to keep the loaf from getting too mushy, and fresh parsley for some kick. Since son #1 can't eat onions, I roasted some and put them on top instead of inside the loaf, so the rest of us could enjoy the sweet taste. Even son #3, the picky eater, ate this meal, and VintageDad inhaled the whole plate *then* said, "I don't have any idea what's in this, but it's delicious!"
For those days that you want your dinner plates to look like they used to when you were a kid, try this combination of "meat" loaf, mashed potatoes, and your favorite cooked veggie. If you close your eyes and imagine your mom telling you to clean your plate, you may just be transported back to a world where eating was simple again!
Lentil "Meat" Loaf
2 cups brown lentils
4 cups water
1/2 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp + 1 tsp dry mustard powder
1/2 cup + 3/4 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp molasses (try to find organic)
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper
Combine the dry lentils and water in a large sauce pot, boil then simmer for 50 minutes. Check at 30 minutes and add up to 1 cup more water if necessary. Remove from heat and cool about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine bread crumbs, 2 Tbsp mustard powder, 1/2 cup tomato sauce, 1/4 cup molasses, walnuts, parsley, salt and pepper. When the lentils have cooled, mix them into this bowl. Press the mixture firmly into a large loaf pan.
In a small bowl, mix up a small batch of ketchup substitute with 1 tsp mustard powder, 3/4 cup tomato sauce, and 1 Tbsp molasses. Spread over the top of the loaf.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes. While the loaf is baking, slice a large sweet onion, lay the slices on a baking sheet, top with a bit of coconut oil, and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes. Flip slices at 15 minutes, and check at 20 minutes to make sure they're not overcooking.
Slice the lentil loaf and serve with roasted onions on top.
Shared at Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade and Freaky Friday at Real Food Freaks and Real Food 101 at Ruth's Real Food and Monday Mania at the Healthy Home Economist and Just Another Meatless Monday at Hey What's For Dinner Mom and Fat Tuesday at Real Food Forager and Tuesdays At The Table at All The Small Stuff and Real Food Wednesday at Kelly the Kitchen Kop.