When you look on the web for dishes that are familiar to what we know and love as meat eaters, its fascinating to see the variety of ways people attack the problem. Vegan “meat” loaf can be made with tofu, soy “meats”, bread, ground nuts, bread crumbs, or with 100 different spices. After eliminating the ones I saw as being too bland, too wierd, or something nobody in their right mind would EVER let cross their lips, I put together something I thought might work reasonably well.
I based it on my traditional meat loaf recipe, the one my grandmother taught me and which I have used for years. There is no egg however, and no Worcestershire sauce. Though there IS vegan Worcestershire available at natural food stores, I didn’t feel like going out again to get some, so I made do with what was here.
Feel free to put your own spin on it.
- 2 cups vegetable broth or water
- 1 cup green or brown lentils
- 1 bay leaft
- 2 Tablespoons ground flax seeds
- 4 Tablespoons water
- 1 medium yellow onion, minced
- 1 stalk celery, minced
- ¼ cup minced bell pepper
- 1 tsp. olive or grapeseed oil
- 1 cup quick cook rolled oats
- 1 8 oz can El Pato spicy tomato sauce (or regular)
- 1 heaping teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 heaping teaspoon dried basil leaves
- 1 heaping teaspoon dried parsley leaves
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ cup barbecue sauce/ketchup combined together
- Bring stock (or water) to a boil. Add bay leaf, rinsed lentils and ¼ tsp of salt. Simmer for about 30 minutes until lentils are soft and broth is evaporated. If there is extra, drain it off.
- Partially mash lentils against side of pot, then scrape into large mixing bowl.
- Mix the flax seeds and water together in small cup, and sit aside to thicken and become sticky for 15-20 minutes. (This is the ingredient that replaces eggs and helps hold the loaf together.)
- Saute the onion, bell pepper and celery in the oil over medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft and the onion translucent.
- Stir the sauteed vegetables and oatmeal into the lentils, mixing thoroughly.
- Add the flax mixture, tomato sauce, herbs and spices and mix well.
- Generously spray your loaf pan with cooking spray. Spoon lentil mixture into pan and smooth top of loaf with back of spoon. Top with the ketchup/barbecue sauce mixture.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until the top of the loaf is dry, firm and a nice golden brown.
- Remove from pan and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Run spatula around edges of pan to loosen loaf, then turn loaf out onto a serving tray.
- Top with additional barbecue sauce or ketchup if desired.