Thursday, January 20, 2011

Lentils are Misunderstood

Do you consider lentils a meat substitute?

I am torn on this… They are high in protein, and they can be made into some really great main dishes like mujadara (which is amazing) and lentil soup. I think they get a bad rap, like brussels sprouts or lima beans. Whoever decided that brussels sprouts and lima beans should be vilified?

Save the lentil! Brussels sprout rights! That would make a kick ass t-shirt that I am currently designing in my head. © Chubby Vegan Designs 

I made a lentil loaf (after the jump) that was quite delightful. It is NOT a meatloaf made of lentils. It is a lentil loaf.

Meatloaf = Gross

Lentil Loaf = Delicious

There is a very clear distinction between the two although the ingredients are similar. Well, minus the rotting cow carcass. 

For whatever reason when I mentioned lentil loaf to people they turned their nose up. I don’t get it. Lentils are super nutritious, low in fat, high in folate, and high in fiber. Some could even call them a super food…

So lets embrace the lentil. Own it, love it, and eat it. Lentils for all!

You can start by making this super delish, easy and cheap lentil loaf.

Get the recipe and some prep photos after the jump.

Lentil Rice Loaf

Cook 1 and 1/2 cups lentils in 2 and 1/2 cups water.  (I used green lentils)

Mash very well and then add:

2 chopped, cooked onions
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup ketchup or BBQ sauce
1 tsp. sage 
1/2 tsp. marjoram

1 large jar of your favorite vegan pasta sauce or tomato sauce (don’t add in with other ingredients…this is for on top)

Remember how you used to mix that meatloaf with your hands? Get in here and do the same with the lentil-rice mix. Adjust the liquid from the lentils so you have a nice mixture that holds together. If it is too wet to hold together, add in some uncooked oatmeal or bread or cracker crumbs. Then dump into an oiled loaf pan or form into a loaf shape in a large baking dish. I like to leave lots of room for the sauce and usually use extra sauce. Bake at 350 F. for 45 minutes.

Remove from oven, top with pasta or tomato sauce, put back in oven to bake another 15 minutes. Let stand in the pan for 10 minutes after removing from the oven. Remove from pan carefully.

Chubby Vegan Notes
* I didn’t have sage so I used Mrs. Dash which I think was pretty a good substitute.
*I had it in for the total 60 minutes, but I think I could have left it in a little longer because it didn’t hold together as well as I would have loved. 
*I mashed the lentils with a potato masher but they didn’t mash super well. I think you may be able to use an immersion blender and quick blend them for like 5 seconds. Just a thought…
*I used ketchup, which was good, but I think BBQ sauce would be AWESOME too.
*I only used 1 ¾ cup of sauce, not the whole jar. Up to you really…

Cook the lentils first. It takes awhile, like 45 minutes.
I made a whole bag of rice.. Use the extra for cheap lunch servings.
Spices and stuff...
Chop 'em up. I threw in some red onion because i had leftovers.
Mashed lentils and rice
Mix in some spices and ketchup.

In the pan- so pretty!
Add the sauce after 45 minutes in the oven
I am so artsy it hurts...


  1. That looks like a great recipe - I love lentils and use them all the time in place of meat!

    Mixed with salsa and over chips makes great nachos.

    Love the blog John - great work!

  2. Thanks Heather! Love yours too! Never mixed lentils with salsa, I'll have to try that.

    Joda- This recipe is so easy, definitely a must try!

  3. That looks awesome! Perfect comfort food.

  4. For sure! AND without all of the extra fat and other stuff that comes with comfort food!

  5. Making this tonight! I'll let you know how it goes. Might half the recipe--not sure yet. Do you know if it freezes well?

  6. I bet it does... Make the full recipe because you can totally cut it up for lunch all week. But if not, freezing it should work fine!

  7. SO delicious! Adam even ate it (though he thoroughly stared it down before he took a bite--ha) and he liked it! I chopped up some celery and carrots and threw them in with the onions. De-lish. I will definitely make this again. Thanks for the wonderful recipe:)

  8. Absolutely awesome! I put the onions in raw by accident, but I can't tell the difference.
    I didn't have any of the seasonings/spices/herbs on hand, except for salt, but I just put in some Cajun Seasoning instead. It seems to have worked help. I also mixed in Honey Dijon Mustard instead of ketchup or BBQ Sauce and it's worked deliciously!
    Thank you Chubby Vegan!

  9. @The Fledgling Basement- love that you made it your own! Best part about recipes like this!!! Thanks for posting! :)


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