I’ve always had some pretty, uhh, particular feelings about meatloaf since I was a child… and not in a good way. There was just nothing appetizing to me about a thick slab of dry meat covered in a mysterious, sticky substance. And for good reason.
But, of course, it was one of my grandparent’s favorite meals to make, so there were many, many days where I had to suffer through bite after bite of that dreaded stuff. I’m pretty positive that’s what tainted my feelings towards lentil loaf. And it took until now for me to suck it up and try a more traditional version.
While my fear of traditional lentil loaf still existed, I attempted to make a different kind of lentil loaf (without that sticky glaze) and the result is still one of the most popular recipes on this blog to date! My Lentil Loaf with Creamy Cauliflower Mash is made with hearty vegetables, green lentils, and brown rice, then topped with a creamy cauliflower mash and homemade vegan gravy.
I absolutely adore that recipe and could have eaten it every week for the next year, but then Kristy Turner’s new book “But I Could Never Go Vegan” came in the mail and I was tempted to try the unthinkable.
A traditional mushroom lentil loaf with a maple ketchup glaze. Hmmm— could I do it? It strangely looked really good to me, but maybe that was just her stunning photography. All the ingredients sounded really good together, but could I get past that familiar meatloaf texture? Or maybe this would be different. Well, as you can see, I dove in head first and made the attempt. And oh… my… goodness… what had I been missing out on all these years!?!
The loaf was tender, moist, and full of these beautiful savory flavors that paired so perfectly with the sweet bite of the ketchup glaze. I ate a slice…. then another…. then another… until I forced myself to stop (with the promise of leftovers tomorrow). Why was I so against this delicious vegan concoction in the first place? Who knows. But, I do know that I found another stand-by to throw into the rotation of favorite weekly meals.
As always, I tweaked Kristy’s original recipe a bit to fit the current stock in my kitchen, but the inspiration is completely from her cookbook. If you haven’t stopped over to her blog, Keepin’ It Kind or checked out her book “But I Could Never Go Vegan” yet, make sure you get on that ASAP!
Mushroom Lentil Loaf
Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
- 2 cups green lentils, cooked (about ¾ cup dry green lentils)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ medium yellow onion, diced
- ½ cup carrots, diced
- ½ cup celery, diced
- 8 oz button mushrooms, sliced
- 2 heaping tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp soy sauce (or tamari, if gluten free)
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (use Annie's Natural brand, if vegan or vegetarian)
- 1 ¼ tsp thyme
- 1 cup of old fashioned oats, divided
- ½ cup almond meal
for the glaze
- ½ cup organic ketchup
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar (I used a little less)
- 1 tsp whole grain dijon mustard
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
recipe inspired by Kristy Turner's But I Could Never Go Vegan recipe
|Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and cover a baking sheet in parchment paper or foil. In a small bowl, mix together the glaze ingredients and set aside. |
|In a large pan, drizzle olive oil and sauté diced onion over medium high heat until tender. Add in carrots and celery and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat. Add in the sliced mushrooms and sauté until all the vegetables are tender (5-10 minutes), then remove from heat. |
|Pour the cooked vegetables into a food processor with 1¼ cups of the cooked lentils, ½ cup oats, tomato paste, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, and salt and pepper. Process for just a few seconds until the ingredients are combined, but not completely pureed. You want them to still have a chunky texture. Pour the contents into a large mixing bowl, then add in the rest of the lentils, oats, and almonds meal. Stir the ingredients together until they are completely combined and are sticking together well. If the dough is crumbly, add a tbsp or two of water. |
|Use your hands to form the contents into a large ball, then place the ball onto the covered baking sheet. Form the ball into a loaf shape (mine was about 8-10 inches long and 4-5 inches wide). Cover the loaf with half of the ketchup glaze, then bake for 30 minutes. Pull the loaf out of the over and covered with the remainder of the glaze, then bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. The loaf is done when a form comes out clean. Let it cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing, otherwise it will not cut clean. |
|I served mine with mashed potatoes, but it would be great with any kind of grain, starch, or vegetable on the side! |