Well, I was preparing to teach the 3rd class in my Plant-Based Kick Start series tonight, but it has been cancelled due to SNOW. What a crazy weekend we have been having here in Powell River – more snow than I have seen since I moved here!
So, I’m unpacking my boxes, and heading out for a snowy walk, but first I wanted to offer a recipe that one of my class participants had requested, and I perfected this weekend…it’s easy, comforting, healthy and perfect for a day like today!
In this Meetloaf, lentils meet either rice, or cauli crumble if you prefer, and a tonne of veggies and spices for a truly satisfying, comforting meal.
Red Lentil – Cauli Crumble Meetloaf (serves 6)
- 1 cup red lentils, washed well and drained
- 2 cups water/low sodium vegetable stock
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
- 2 tsp mixed italian herbs
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, reconstituted (hold on to the reconstituting liquid)
- a 12-ounce package of cauli-crumble* (you can get this at Save-On Foods in Powell River, and perhaps the other grocery stores in town too…more about this product below) OR 1.5 cups cooked brown rice
- 1/4 cup ketchup – preferably homemade, or a low-sugar, low-sodium variety
- 1 tbsp molasses
- 1 tbsp braggs soy alternative, tamari or coconut aminos
- 1/4 tsp liquid smoke (natural)
- 1/2 tsp chipotle (or chili powder)
- 3-4 potatoes, mashed (I leave the skins on if the potatoes are organic); you can also use sweet potatoes here if you prefer
- fresh rosemary, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- preheat the oven to 375 F.
- first, add your washed lentils and water to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for about 15 minutes, until all water is absorbed and lentils are soft. Set aside.
- Water saute your onions in a large saucepan until translucent (for the water saute start with just a couple of tbsp of water, and add more if the onions begin to dry out and stick, but don’t add so much water that the onions become soggy. Add garlic, mushrooms and herbs and cook until mushrooms have started to release their liquid. Now add the celery, carrots and reconstituted sundried tomatoes. Cook for about 10 minutes, until carrots are starting to soften. Now add the lentils and the cauli-crumble/brown rice and mix well.
- In a small bowl combine the ketchup, molasses, braggs/coconut aminos/tamari, liquid smoke, chipotle/chili powder and mix well. Mix this into the ingredients in the saucepan and stir it all up. If it seems a bit dry, feel free to add some of that reconstitution liquid. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Place into a 8×8 or 9×11 casserole dish, lightly oiled unless it’s non-stick, and smooth out the top.
- Once your potatoes are mashed (use a little soy milk, and mix in your s&p and rosemary to taste), and spread over the lentil mix in your casserole dish.
- Cook, uncovered for 25-30 min, until the loaf is firm.
- Remove from oven, let sit for 5-10 minutes and serve with your favourite plant-based gravy or ketchup and a green salad.
*A word about cauli-crumble. This is the best veggie “ground round” alternative I have found…it is much lower in sodium than most meat alternatives, has a great flavour, and includes no preservatives or chemicals and great vegetable ingredients, such as split peas, cauliflower, red peppers, sunflower seeds etc – read the label for more info. If you prefer not to use a meat alternative, this loaf would also work beautifully with cooked brown rice.