I love meatloaf so I’ve been looking for a healthy alternative. I also love lentils and thought I’d give Jana Diedrich’s Veggie Lentil Loaf recipe a try.
Okay, honestly speaking … I see this veggie loaf as one of my failures. BUT stick with me because it can be easily fixed. But … it failed because I didn’t follow the recipe as directed.
1) I used frozen spinach, and I didn’t defrost or drain it. BIG MISTAKE. It made the loaf very wet and I would have had to cook it for 3 hours to dry it out.
2) I didn’t have any rice so I doubled the oatmeal. I think the rice would have helped it hold together better.
3) Other changes I made: I doubled the walnuts because I love them. I used white button mushrooms because I didn’t have the portabellos. I didn’t use canned lentils. I made lentils from scratch and they were very dry when I added them to the mix, so I’m confident that the extra water in my recipe didn’t come from the lentils. I didn’t have V-8, so I used a tablespoon of ketchup. I didn’t use the cloves. Didn’t think I’d like them in this dish. Next time I will though. Didn’t use the parsley.
Honestly, this recipe was not spicey enough for me. We LOVE spicy food. It was a bit bland. Perhaps that’s because I omitted some key flavor boosters like the cloves and the parsley. Rice is also a flavor “sponge” so omitting that most likely helped with the bland factor. BUT ….
Having said all that, I still LOVE this recipe. Here’s why.
It was easy to doctor it up. When it came out of the oven even with all my non-compliance to the original recipe, it un-molded very nicely and didn’t fall apart! (yay). I let it cool for about 1/2 hour and then “carefully” sliced it. Due to the high moisture content, it almost fell apart but just made it to the plate. Then I sprinkled some tamari on it, some pepper, and topped it with some marinara sauce. Any sauce you have will do.
Here it is out of the oven.
So if you’re going to make this recipe, follow as directed. I’m going to make it again in a few days. I’ll let you know. But there is one thing I’m learning about all this “healthy cooking”. If it seems too wet going into the fridge or oven, it will most likely come out the same way. So follow your instincts.
Jana’s Veggie Lentil Loaf
1/2 cup minced walnuts
1 tsp low sodium soy sauce
1 onion minced
1 cup minced portabello mushrooms
2 cans lentils (one pureed/ one whole)
1/3 cup oatmeal
1/3 cup cooked brown rice
2 cups minced spinach
splash of low sodium v-8
4 garlic cloves minced
1/2 cup parsley minced
1/2 cup red pepper chopped
1/2 cup celery chopped
lots of black pepper
I sauteed the onion, garlic, mushroom, red pepper, celery in a smidgen of olive oil then mushed all ingredients together, put it in a loaf pan and I baked it at 350 for 50 minutes.
It was really good!! I served it a nice salad with Dr. F’s Balsamic Vinaigrette from Eat for Health, and I YES, I made cupcakes again!! Great combo dinner platter!! YUM!