Sunday, May 8, 2011

Vegetarian Lentil Loaf

I've had a vegetarian cookbook, Quick & Easy Tasty Vegetarian, for a few years now (it was on sale at Border's for $1.99! I couldn't pass it up). I've only made one or two recipes out of it, although everything looks really tasty (well, the name of the cookbook indicates that!). I thought a good vegetarian meal would be good after a somewhat meat-heavy weekend.

I picked the lentil roast, because it looked healthy, easy and was something I could make Sunday afternoon and pop in the oven when I got home Monday night.

Lentil Roast

  • 1 cup red lentils (I used brown (I think that's what they were) lentils, as I had a bunch in the pantry)

  • 2 cups vegetable stock (I used broth)

  • 1 bay leaf (I used 3 because mine are pretty old)

  • 1 Tbs. butter, softened (omit if decide just to use cooking spray)

  • 2 Tbs. dried whole wheat breadcrumbs (I used some random, probably white bread, breadcrumbs I had)

  • 1 cups grated sharp cheddar

  • 1 leek, finely chopped

  • 4.5 oz. button mushrooms, finely chopped

  • 1.5 cups fresh whole wheat breadcrumbs

  • 2 Tbs. chopped parsley

  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice

  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten

  • salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375*. Put lentils, stock/broth and bay leaf in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed and the lentils have softened (this probably took me more like 45 minutes--I'm not sure if it's because I used different lentils or what, but the lentils didn't soak up the broth for quite a while). Discard bay leaf.

Line a 4 oz. loaf pan with baking parchment, grease with butter and sprinkle with dried bread crumbs (I ended up just using cooking spray because the parchment paper wasn't working too well for me).

Stir the cheese, leek, mushrooms, fresh breadcrumbs and parsley into the lentils. Bind the mixture together with the lemon juice and eggs. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon into prepared loaf pan and smooth the top. Bake in preheated oven for about 1 hour, or until golden.

Loosen loaf with a spatula and turn onto warmed serving plate (ours didn't exactly loosen so well and really look like a loaf when we were done. I figured it all tasted the same, though!).

This was really pretty tasty--the browned, crusty parts were my favorite. The recipe doesn't say how many servings this makes, but we turned it into five servings--six or seven would probably be better, though, as all those lentils and breadcrumbs make it really filling! We served the lentil loaf with some peas and leftover zucchini and yellow squash.

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