Meatless Monday is a trend that seems to be sweeping the nation. In fact, everyone seems to be eating less meat these days and our nation’s meat consumption has fallen dramatically in the past five years.
So, in honor of Meatless Monday, I’ve prepared this “meat” loaf made of lentils and mushrooms. I took inspiration from a recipe found in this month’s issue of Cooking Light. I was pleased with the end result, which (much to my surprise) looked nearly identical to authentic meat loaf. It was also extremely flavorful with satisfying heft to keep you full.
Ingredients: (makes 6 to 8 servings)
Adapted from Cooking Light
2 cups lentils, cooked and drained
1 large green pepper, diced
1 large yellow pepper, diced
2 cups mushrooms, chopped
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 cup panko breadcrumbs, lightly toasted
2 Tablespoons chopped basil
1 teaspoon sriracha (or other hot sauce)
1.5 Tablespoons ketchup
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
2 Tablespoons fresh grated parmesan
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup walnuts, chopped and lightly toasted
For the topping:
2 Tablespoons ketchup
1 Tablespoon vodka
1/2 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
First, pulse the lentils in a food processor until mushy. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
Next, pulse the mushrooms in a food processor until finely chopped. Cook the mushrooms in a fry pan on medium high heat with the oil until all the water cooks off. This should take about 12 minutes.
Add the mushrooms to the mixing bowl with the lentils. Wipe out the fry pan with a paper towel and throw in the onions and peppers. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the onions are tender. Add to the lentil mix.
Take this opportunity to lightly toast the panko and walnuts. I did this in a fry pan (separate pans for each) on low heat for just a few minutes, until fragrant. Then, throw them into the mixing bowl with the lentils, mushrooms and peppers. Next, add the eggs, parmesan, mustard, sriracha, ketchup, Worcestershire, basil, salt, and pepper to the mix. Combine well.
Press into a lightly greased loaf pan. Bake for 45 minutes.
While the loaf is in the oven, prepare the sauce. Stir the ingredients together and brush or spoon on the top of the loaf, once it has finished baking. Then, bake for an additional 10 minutes.
Let stand for 10 minutes.
Slice and serve with a bit of basil garnish.
The loaf will have a gorgeous crust on the sides and actually looks almost like the real thing.
Serve with a side salad, kale chips, or mashed potatoes. Add extra ketchup if desired.
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