Christmas dinner often means an elegant dinner, surrounded by family, friends and those you adore. So the centerpiece of the meal should be special and delicious. But it doesn’t have to mean all day in the kitchen, so try our Lentil Loaf. The complex flavors are ideal for a special meal, but the method is simple.
Don’t be deterred by the long ingredient list – all those herbs really do add to the final product. Need to find miso paste? You can pick it up at any Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s or in Asian groceries. This recipe is vegan and gluten free as written. If you want a fancier Lentil Loaf, serve it with your favorite gravy. If you prefer a homey loaf, try it with the ketchup-based glaze; it’s reminiscent of traditional meatloaf.
Some sides that would go well with this dish include mashed potatoes, collard greens, brussels sprouts, mac & cheese, peas, or glazed carrots. It’s also great served with the same white wine used in the recipe.
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 1/4 cup dry white wine (we used a California Chardonnay)
- 1/2 cup red lentils (rinsed and sorted)
- 1/2 cup brown lentils (rinsed and sorted)
- 4 Tbl. flax seed meal
- 1/3 cup warm water
- 1 tsp. olive oil plus more to oil pan
- 1 large onion, diced (about 1 cup)
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 carrots, shredded or finely minced/chopped
- 3 celery stalks, finely diced/chopped
- 1 cup pecans, chopped
- 1 Tbl. white miso paste (we used Westbrae)
- 1 tsp. ground white pepper
- 1 tsp. dried basil
- 1 tsp. dried parsley
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp. dried sage
- 1/2 tsp. dried, ground rosemary
- 1/2 tsp. salt (optional)
- pinch ground nutmeg
- 1 cup rolled oats (Bob's Red Mill makes GF; don't use instant oats)
- OPTIONAL GLAZE
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1 Tbl. molasses (or brown sugar, if you prefer)
- Preheat oven to 375
- In a pot, warm 3 cups vegetable stock. Add rinsed/sorted red and brown lentils and white wine. Bring to a boil and let cook for five minutes before lowing heat to simmer and covering pot.
- Continue to cook lentils at simmer about 20 to 30 minutes, until all liquids are absorbed.
- Meanwhile, grease a loaf pan with olive oil and set aside.
- Combine flax seed meal (do not use whole flax seeds - this is the binder and they must be ground to work) with warm water. Set aside so flax seed meal can congeal into a sticky paste.
- Over medium-high heat in a large pot or pan, saute onions and garlic in olive oil until soft, then add carrots and celery.
- When warmed through turn off heat and add pecans, miso paste, white pepper, basil, parsley, thyme, sage, ground rosemary, salt, nutmeg and oats.
- Stir in flax seed meal and water.
- When lentils are done and all liquid absorbed, stir into veggie/oatmeal mixture.
- Press lentil/veggie/oatmeal combo into greased loaf pan. Pack tightly into loaf pan, getting all air out of the mixture.
- Bake uncovered for 45 minutes.
- Allow to rest 10 to 15 minutes at room temperature before trying to turn out of pan.
- When ready to serve, run a knife around the edge of loaf pan to loosen. Turn out carefully onto serving platter.
- If using glaze, turn out onto an oven-safe serving platter. Mix ketchup and molasses, and spoon over top of loaf, spreading evenly.
- Bake uncovered another 10 minutes to darken and set glaze.
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