I realize I’m suuuper late to the game this year with holiday recipes, but today’s recipe should score me some (vegan) brownie points! It comes courtesy of Rip Esselstyn and his fabulous new book My Beef With Meat which I originally reviewed on the Our Hen House website.
Not only do I love the actual book, but I have found the recipes to be fabulous. I’ve made my fair share of lentil loaves in the past and every recipe I’ve seen is a bit different, but this one has a really nice texture and flavor. For another great variation, check out the Thanksgiving Lentil Loaf from my friend Helyn at Helyn’s Healthy Kitchen using cranberries and artichoke hearts.
I love that this recipe includes plenty of greens and other veggies that get water-sauteed before getting mixed with the lentils and oats. Rip’s recipe calls for spinach but I used kale instead:
This recipe makes two loaves, one of which can be frozen and then de-frosted and baked at a later date:
A close-up pre-baking:
A lentil loaf makes the ideal holiday meal because you can prep it the day before (and, ideally, bake it so it has time to set), and then you can prepare the other side dishes on the actual day of the event. I highly recommend the Kale Butter and Mango-Cherry Ice Cream recipes from Rip’s book that were also published with permission here.
Here’s the recipe (note: in the book it is called BBQ Lentil Loaf):
- 1½ cups red lentils
- 2½ cups water
- 1 large onion, chopped
- One 8-ounce package mushrooms, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 4 cups packed fresh spinach, chopped
- One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, with juices
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb seasoning blend, or similar spice blend
- ¼ teaspoon dried marjoram
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley, or as desired
- 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 to 1½ cups barbecue sauce or ketchup, your favorite
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- In a saucepan, bring the lentils to a boil in the water.
- Decrease the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the lentils are tender and most of the water is absorbed, 8 to 10 minutes.
- In the same saucepan, mash the lentils with the back of a spoon or a potato masher; don’t worry, red lentils cook quickly and mash easily.
- In a nonstick pan, cook the onions over medium heat, stirring constantly to avoid burning, until soft and translucent. Add the mushrooms and garlic and continue to cook over medium heat until soft.
- Add water or vegetable broth, if necessary, to keep the vegetables from sticking.
- Add the spinach, cover, and continue to cook over medium heat until the spinach wilts, 4 or 5 minutes.
- Add the lentils to the onion-mushroom-spinach mixture and stir to combine.
- Add the diced tomatoes, sage, garlic powder, Mrs. Dash seasoning, marjoram, and cilantro and stir.
- Add the oats and stir it all again.
- In the bottom of two 9 × 5-inch loaf pans, spread half of the barbecue sauce or ketchup.
- Add the lentil-oat mixture to the loaf pans, then spread the remaining barbecue sauce or ketchup in a generous layer on the tops.
- Bake for 45 to 55 minutes until the barbecue glaze turns crispy on the edges.
- Let set for 10 to 15 minutes before cutting and serving—ideally until the next day!
I guarantee if you make this for vegans or non-vegans, you won’t have any complaints:
I don’t plan to do any holiday gift guides this year, but my uber-stylish friend Ashlee over at The Little Foxes has put some great ones together, including for “girlfriends“, “dudes“, and the “hard to buy for.”
If you can’t find what you are looking for there, then do check out the Carrie on Vegan Amazon store with all of my essentials, including kitchen equipment, books, beauty products and non-perishable foods. Shopping through my store gets me a small commission, too, so thank you in advance!
And, if you have an iPhone or iPad, be sure to download my recipe app, Vegan Delish, featuring over 150 healthy, whole food recipes including the Lentil Oat Loaf, seen here on the iPad version of the app: