Anyone who knows me can vouch for my love of a good roast dinner. The combination of roast potatoes, mash, stuffing and as many vegetables as can be squeezed on to one plate alongside a jug of warm, thick gravy is my idea of perfection and something I eat far more often than is good for me.
Linda McCartney’s Country Pies have long served as my ‘meat alternative’ having outperformed any of the bland, prepackaged nut/lentil roasts available in my local supermarket around the time I first became vegan. In fact, so bad was my experience with frozen versions of these veggie classics that they became something I shunned until quite recently. After trying the amazing vegan nut roast at Casita Ibiza this summer, I came to the conclusion that it was time for me to get over my so-called ‘hatred’ of lentil loafs too and attempt to make my own from scratch – and needless to say, the effort paid off!
This flavoursome, filling roast compliments all the traditional trimmings to perfection, resulting in a delicious, wholesome meatloaf alternative that will impress even the fussiest of eaters and the rich cranberry glaze adds just the right amount of sweetness to offset this perfectly seasoned dish. Feel free to switch up which vegetables you use.
Hearty Lentil Loaf
- 1 Cup green lentils
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 3 tbsp flax seed
- 4 garlic cloves
- 6 chestnut mushrooms
- 1 carrot
- 1/2 celery stick
- 1 small onion
- 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder and rosemary.
- 1/2 cup flour
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 tbsp cranberry sauce
- 1/4 tsp brown sugar
Begin by rinsing the lentils and placing them in a large pot with the vegetable broth. Bring to the boil and then reduce and cover for 40 minutes until lentils are soft.
Meanwhile, mix the flaxseed with 1/3 of a cup of water and place in the fridge for 10-15 minutes. This will act like an egg, helping to bind the mixture together.
Prepare your veggies. I like to cut the carrots and celery into quite small pieces to ensure there is crunch throughout as much of the loaf as possible. Add your vegetables and spices into a pan and cook for around 15 minutes.You want them to have softened while remaining firm. I saute mine in water but you can use oil if you’d prefer.
Once the lentils have finished, allow them to cool for a few minutes before using an immersion blender or fork to blend around 2/3 of the mixture. You will then want to add this into a mixing bowl, along with your veggies, flour and flax egg and mix through before transferring the mixture into a loaf pan.
Combine ingredients for the glaze and spread evenly over the top of the loaf. You can double this if you wish your loaf to have a sweeter taste.
Place pan in oven and heat on 160 for 40 minutes. Allow a few minutes to cool before serving.
This recipe serves 6 people and can be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days. Thanks to Simple Veganista who’s Ultimate Lentil Loaf recipe served as a basis for my own version, check her out!