Eat Your Veggies: Lentil-Veggie Loaf

3 Aug

Comfort food is a wonderful thing, and in my opinion, there’s nothing better than a good meatloaf. It’s tasty, high in protein, and makes enough for days of leftovers. However, some RNY post-ops have difficulty digesting meat and that can make it hard for them to meet their daily protein requirement. I’m fortunate enough not to have that problem, but here’s a recipe for my meat-intolerant friends. Bonus: It’s vegan friendly, too!

Lentil-Veggie Loaf

Cast of Characters:

½ cup almonds (ground to a coarse meal)
2 TB olive oil
One onion, diced
One large garlic clove, minced
One large carrot, peeled and grated
Two celery ribs, diced
One cup baby bella mushrooms, coarsely chopped
**2 cups cooked lentils
1 cup uncooked oat bran
1 teaspoon mixed seasonings (whatever herbs and spices you like)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tsp. salt

Method:

Pre-heat an oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

**To cook the lentils, place one cup of thoroughly rinsed red lentils into a pot with two cups of water. Let it come to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes.

Begin by dicing all of the vegetables. Sauté the onions and garlic for a minute, and then add the rest of the vegetables, and sauté until they are slightly softened.


In a large bowl, combine the oat bran, flaxseed meal, almonds, herbs, and seasonings.
Add the lentils and sautéed vegetables, (don’t wash the sauté pan if you want to make gravy) and then mix/mash until the mixture is moist, soft, and can keep a shape. It should not be runny, but if it is, add a little extra oat bran to thicken it.
Thoroughly grease a loaf pan and press the mixture into it.
Bake for approximately 45 minutes to an hour (in my oven it took 50 minutes). The outside will be crisp, but the inside should remain somewhat moist. Yum!
Oh, and remember that sauté pan you left out for gravy? (I didn’t have any tonight, but I promise it’s good!) You can make a tasty pan gravy while the loaf is cooling a bit. If there’s any excess oil remaining in the sauté pan, drain it off, and then return the pan to the stove. Let it get warm over medium heat, and then remove just long enough to add ¼ cup of dry white wine before returning it to the stove. Scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pan using a spatula, and then add ¾ cup of vegetable stock or broth. To thicken the gravy, bring the liquid to a boil and then add a slurry (1 tbsp. of cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp. COLD water) while stirring vigorously. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and allow the gravy took cook for 5-10 minutes. Season with herbs and spices similar to those you added to the lentil-veggie loaf. Spoon the gravy over a slice and enjoy!

Enjoy the leftovers as a sandwich filling, try topping cold slices with different sauces (mustard, ketchup, salsa, marinara sauce…etc.) or even topping them with other sautéed vegetables. A combination of sweet and hot peppers sounds great to me. Be creative!

The recipe yields 8 generous slices with 153 calories, 5 grams of fat, 18 grams of carbohydrates, and 10 grams of protein each. It might be a low calorie meal, but it certainly sticks with you (I had a slice an hour ago and still feel quite full).

Tomorrow, I hope to make some new protein bars. Joe and I went out to dinner at Moe’s Southwest Grill (home of my new favorite 200 calorie taco!) last night and there happened to be a Trader Joe’s next door. Needless to say, I returned home with a bunch of new ingredients to try out.

We have some friends coming over to watch the Redskins/Colts game tomorrow night, so I’m also pondering what healthy snacks I could serve. I got some mushroom-asiago chicken sausages at TJ’s and I’m thinking they could come in handy. We shall see.

I hope everyone is having a lovely weekend. Mine has already been full of fun and pleasant surprises, including these:

Irises! My favorite flower. What can I say? I snagged a great guy.
Ciao for now, friends!

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