Today I want to tell you a little bit about a new group I joined called The Creative Cooking Crew. This is a group of 24 food bloggers that comes together once a month to try something new in the kitchen! The group was started this year, and will be hosted by Lazaro of Lazaro Cooks and Joan of Foodalogue. Look forward to new challenges at the end of every month, featuring many great interpretations of varying recipes.
The First challenge for the group was to choose one of our favorite meat dishes and give it a healthy, vegan interpretation. I decided to make a vegan version of “meat loaf” using lentils topped with an apple-tomato glaze. This is an easy dish to prepare and has wonderful texture and flavors. Don’t be fooled though, this Vegan Lentil Loaf is something for the entire family! Even a meat lover like me loves this Lentil Loaf. I ate the leftovers the next day for lunch and it was even better.
Buen provecho and don’t forget to visit Joan’s blog on January 30 to see the rest of the recipes.
(1 large loaf)
1 cup uncooked brown lentils
3 cups of vegetable broth
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup grated carrot
1 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup apple sauce
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup pistachios, finely chopped
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon of chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons apple sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1. Wash the lentils and place into a pot along with the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, for about 40 minutes. Add more broth or water if necessary
2. Meanwhile, warm the oil in a pan. Add the onions and cook for about 4 minutes or until soft. Add the carrots, bell pepper and garlic. Cook for about 3 minutes more. Set aside.
3. When the lentils are ready mash them slightly with a potato masher or a fork.
4. Preheat the oven to 350º F.
5. In a large bowl, mix the onion mixture, mashed lentils, apple sauce, cranberries, pistachios, bread crumbs, cilantro, chili powder, cumin, thyme, salt and pepper.
6. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper. Transfer the mixture to the loaf pan and press mixture into the pan with a spoon.
7. Mix the glaze ingredients in a small bowl and spread evenly over the top.
8. Bake for about 45 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the loaf cool a bit. Run a table knife around the edge of the pan and turn the loaf out onto a serving plate.