Ok so I have a confession…I love meat!!! I wish that I didn’t… I want to not love meat after reading Alicia Silverstone’s “the Kind Diet” and I want to feel sorry for loving it, but as the kid says in note #5 in this hilarious post from Distractify.(P.S. those notes are hilarious, I laugh every single time I read them) I just don’t feel sorry. Don’t get me wrong…I do believe in my heart that I should do better by animals and the planet (I totally never realized how huge the environmental impact of eating meat is) so I offer this…I will try to eat less of it and to feed my family less of it. (side note…I am studying holistic nutrition right now and I am learning more and more every day how much damage it does to my health as well). So after thinking long and hard about it I have decided that instead of just tinkering every now and then with “meatless mondays” this is now a firm commitment in our house and we will also try to cut our meat intake down to 3 – 4 days a week and will try to make better decisions about our meat purchases. So we will be testing out and/or creating or tweaking meatless recipes on Mondays in keeping with the “meatless monday” movement and will let you know what we like and what we don’t. Last week I decided I wanted a meat loaf but surely there must be a way to make that vegetarian or even vegan (although Mark begged me not to and begged the question…why? why? why?) so I took to google and compared a few recipes like this one or this one. I combined some aspects of all of these with some of my own ideas and this is what I came up with.
Starring (The Loaf)
1 1/4 cups brown lentils
1 cup whole grain brown rice
2 tsp thyme
1 tsp sage
1 tsp oregano
1 tbsp. onion powder
900ml vegetable stock (one box)
3/4 cups chopped walnuts (almonds or cashews would work or simply omit…not a huge deal)
1/4 cup ketchup (if you’re a whole foodie use home made ketchup or use tomato paste and a bit of maple syrup)
1 tbsp grainy mustard (or yellow is fine)
1 onion chopped
2 carrots shredded
2 stalks of celery chopped
1 cup diced mushrooms
2 tbsp chopped garlic
3/4 cups of rolled oats
3/4 cups of bread crumbs (omit if you like and just bulk up with more oats)
1 tbsp oat bran
3 tbsp flax meal + 1/2 cup water (flax egg) or use a regular egg and omit the flax meal and water
salt & pepper to taste
Supporting Roles (The Glaze)
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tbsp hoisin sauce (optional)
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tbsp yellow mustard
Cook your lentils and rice in vegetable stock with thyme, sage, oregano and onion powder in a rice cooker or on your stovetop.
While cooking, dice your onion, mushrooms, celery and garlic and sautee in a pan with some olive oil (a couple of circles around the pan). Shred carrots and add to the pan. Add garlic and sautee some more. Prepare flax egg (mix 3 tbsp. ground flax with 1/2 cup of water and let sit). Chop nuts.
When the rice and lentils are done, separate mixture divided into two bowls. In one bowl, take a potato masher to it and go to town. Add sauteed mixture together with salt and pepper to taste. Add nuts, ketchup, mustard, the rest of the rice and lentils, oats and breadcrumbs and then press into a loaf pan and bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Mix glaze while it’s cooking. Remove the loaf from the oven and glaze the top and return to the oven for 10 more minutes.
This is amazing you guys. I promise! Mark and the kids gobbled it up and it got good reviews from people at work that I made try it. It was even better as leftovers fried in a pan so all sides got nice and crispy. Mark wants to try this as a burger mixture so I’ll let you know how that turns out. Try it and love me. It’s good on your wallet, good on your guts and good for the planet.
Plus…did you know that lentils help lower your cholesterol thereby reducing your risk of heart disease, are full of fibre which we all know reduces constipation, stabilize blood sugar, keep you feeling fuller for longer (so you’re not as likely to reach for a cookie) and they are a great source of protein. Win win win. Enjoy.
What about you? Do you have any awesome vegan or vegetarian dishes that are good takes on the classics? I’m thinking we will try a vegetarian sheppard’s pie next…yum!!!