Let’s loaf out.
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I am a little bit slightly excited about this recipe. Because…
Finally!! I’ve created a legit vegetarian Thanksgiving main dish. And it’s oh so tasty.
You may be thinking…Didn’t she just post meatless meatloaf burgers last week? And you are right! But I was thinking that you may want to get a little classier for actual Thanksgiving and not serve a burger piled high with toppings. Or…maybe you do?
Well, I at least wanted to give you the option of having a main dish to serve that could be presented on a platter and carved into slices. Super fancy style.
The recipes are extremely different, minus them both using lentils and having tons of flavor. Nothing worse than a bland loaf. Am I right? Getting the spices right in any recipe is key!
The spices I’ve focused on with this recipe were rosemary, parsley, and thyme. Rosemary is definitely one of my very favorites, but I haven’t worked with dried rosemary much before. It’s definitely one of those spices that makes you think of the holiday season, with its woody and warm flavor. Parsley and thyme are a bit more subtle and lend a fresh, herby flavor to the loaf.
Since rosemary dries into sharp tiny daggers I highly recommend grinding (or using a mortar and pestle) it before adding to the recipe. A coffee grinder will work perfectly. Just clean it out very well before + after. Thinking about rosemary scented coffee makes me a little gaggy.
Simply Organic has been my go-to spice company for years now (true story). The quality is always top notch, and I often buy them in bulk to save money.
It’s key to cook the lentils and rice until there is just a tiny amount of water left in the bottom of the pot. This will add just the right amount of moisture to the loaf. While the lentils and rice cook you’ll be busy working on the vegetable mixture that helps give this loaf color, texture, and more flavor!
Then it’s time for a sauce bath.
Because you know I’m all about that sauce…bout that sauce…and I’ll stop now……
I served this baby on a bed of kale surround by vibrant roasted vegetables. I love how the purple rainbow carrots rubbed off on the potatoes! Look at the purple edges!
Welcome to my life in nerding out about vegetables.
All I can think to say is…ta-daaaaaaa
This happy little loaf is just begging for you to make it and then scarf it down. Sharing is optional.
heavily adapted from: Angela’s Glazed Apple Lentil Walnut Loaf
Lentil Rice Veggie Loaf gluten-free // yields 8 slices
for the loaf:
- 2/3 cup uncooked green lentils, rinsed and drained
- 1/3 cup short grain brown rice
- 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons sunflower oil, or other high-heat oil – ie: refined avocado
- 1 1/4 cup diced yellow onion
- 4 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 1/2 cup grated sweet potato
- 1 cup diced baby mushrooms
- 2 cups loosely packed shredded curly kale
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground dried rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 cup partially ground gluten-free rolled oats
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 1 tablespoon gluten-free worcestershire sauce
- 2 large eggs, whisked
- salt and pepper
for the glaze:
- 3/4 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
- smoky hot sauce, to taste
Place lentils, rice, water, and veggie broth in a medium pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a constant simmer and keep uncovered. Stir every few minutes and let cook for about 40 minutes until nearly all but 1-2 tablespoons of liquid has been absorbed and lentils and rice are tender. (refer to photo 5)
Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 300° F. Toast walnuts on a baking sheet for 12-15 minutes until light golden brown. Set aside.
While walnuts toast, heat a large pan over medium heat with 2 teaspoons of oil. Place onion in the pan with a big pinch of salt and cook until softened and translucent, 6-8 minutes. Stir frequently. Then stir in the garlic and let cook for 1 minute. Stir in the sweet potato and let cook for about 5 minutes. Next, add in the mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add in the kale and cook until just starting to wilt, 2-3 minutes. Stir frequently for all additions. Then stir in the herbs and let cook for 1 minute. Set mixture aside.
Preheat oven to 350° F and line a 9x5 or 8x4 bread pan with parchment on all sides (do not skip).
Mix sauce ingredients together and set aside.
Once the lentil and rice mixture is done, place half of the the lentils and rice in a food processor. Pulse until broken down and thick but not fully pureed (10-15 pulses). Add this to your pan of vegetables along with the rest of the lentils and rice, walnuts, ground oats, and almond meal. Sprinkle on a generous 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4-1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Add the worcestershire sauce and remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Mix well to combine. Taste and add more salt to your liking (I added at least another 1/4 teaspoon).
Stir in the whisked eggs until fully incorporated. Spoon mixture into the lined bread pan and pack down firmly. Spread about 1/3 of the sauce on top and bake for 35-40 minutes for the 9x5 or 40-45 minutes for the 8x4. Done when the glaze has darkened and the edges are starting to brown.
Let cool and firm up in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove carefully by the parchment paper and transfer to a cutting board or platter. Slice gently with a sharp, serrated knife. Serve with extra sauce on the side.
- Be sure to taste the mixture and salt it to your liking before incorporating the eggs in.
- Feel free to sub carrot for sweet potato if desired. Reduce cooking to 2 minutes.
- I do not recommend subbing a different flour for the almond meal as it helps keep the loaf moist from the high fat content in almonds but doesn’t weigh it down. If you must sub, use 2/3 gluten-free breadcrumbs instead. (I did this during one trial but preferred the almond meal.)
- To grind your oats: Place a generous 1/2 cup in a food processor. Process partially ground, about halfway to flour.
- To freeze: Slice the loaf and place slices on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place in the freezer for 3-4 hours, until frozen. Place in a freezer bag with the air squeezed out and freeze for up to 4 months. Defrost the night before in the fridge. Texture will be slightly crumblier.
- The roasted veggies were a simple mix of sweet potatoes, red potatoes, brussels sprouts, and rainbow carrots. I tossed them in oil, salt, and pepper and roasted for about 30 minutes at 400° F.
Don’t miss out on all the other amazing recipes from the Holiday Season – Spiced Right collection over on the Simply Organic website! There is an entire category of stuffing recipes, my favorite part of the meal!
Happy Friday. More Thanksgiving deliciousness coming soon.