Prep: 60-80 minutes
Cooking time: 55 minutes + (10 minutes cooling)
This recipe was adapted from: Dr.Mcdougall.com/recipes
Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-vitamins, Vitamins C, E & K, protein, fibre, potassium, some magnesium, iron, zinc, calcium and is low in saturated fats.
This recipe was a bit of a marathon to make…. but worth it! We originally made this recipe earlier in the year when we were transitioning into veganism. This recipe could be labelled as one that is trying to ‘recreate the wheel’ instead of embracing of what nature has to offer; it really does look like ‘meat’!
Don’t get us wrong, it’s a tasty, hearty dish, packed full of fantastic flavours and nutrients that is definitely worth the effort! As it does take a fair bit of energy and time, we’d suggest making two at once; give your self a night off down the road!
Oops! I fell a sleep at the wheel! You’ll find that you will also require some cauliflower & tomato purée!
Rinse the lentils and remove any stones. Rinse the rice.
Place the lentils, rice, vegetable stock, water and onion powder into a large, non-stick saucepan over a medium heat. Cover with a lid. Bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook for 45 minutes. Remove from the heat; leave to cool for 10 minutes w/ the lid on.
NB: All of the water should be absorbed by the time the end of the ‘cooling’ period.
Meanwhile, place another non-stick saucepan full of cold water over a high heat. Bring to the boil. Add the cauliflower. Simmer for 6-7 minutes or under tender. Remove from the heat. Drain.
In the meantime, prepare the ‘loaf’ ingredients. Peel and dice the onion. Wash, dry and dice the mushrooms. Wash, trim the ends and roughly dice the celery. Wash, remove the stem, de-seed and then dice the bell pepper (if using). Peel and dice the garlic. Wash, dry and chop the parsley, thyme and rosemary (if using fresh). Roughly chop the walnuts.
Grease a one-pound loaf tin with the oil.
NB: The oil was added into the tin, but I did not grease it at this point.
Fill a measuring jug with some water.
NB: This will be used for steam-frying. You won’t need to use all of this though!
Meanwhile, place a large, non-stick frying pan or wok over a medium-low heat. Add a spoonful of water to the pan. When it starts to sizzle…
…add the onion, mushrooms, celery and bell pepper (if using). Stir together. Cover and steam-fry for 3-6 minutes, or until softened. Add more water and stir occasionally to prevent the vegetables sticking (if needed).
Add the garlic. Continue to steam-fry for a further 2 minutes. Let everything steam-fry until all the water has just evaporated. Remove the pan from the heat.
NB: Its important to let the water evaporate, otherwise your loaf will take longer to bake.
Remove the lid. Place it somewhere it can cool down for approx. 10-15 minutes.
In the meantime, prepare the ingredients for the gravy. Place the cashews into a blender with 300 ml of water; allow them to soak.
NB: I added more than this, but suggest you start with just 300ml.
Peel and dice the onion. Wash, dry and dice the mushrooms. Wash, trim the ends, peel and then dice the carrot. Wash, trim the ends and finely dice the celery. Peel and dice the garlic.
Meanwhile, get a large mixing bowl for the ‘loaf’ ingredients. Add the oats, puree, sage, parsley, thyme, rosemary and the walnuts. Season it with some black pepper to taste. Once the medley of vegetables and lentil mix have cooled down, add them to this bowl.
In the meantime, prepare the gravy. Place a large non-stick saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add a spoonful of water. When it sizzles, add the onion, mushrooms, carrot and celery. Stir together. Cover and steam-fry for 3-7 minutes, or until softened. Add the garlic, vegetable stock and onion powder. Stir together. Cover and steam-fry for a further 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Meanwhile, heat the oven to 180°C/ 350°F.
Transfer the ‘gravy’ vegetables into the blender. Add the cauliflower.
Blend until thickened and smooth. Add more water if a thinner gravy is preferred. NB: the mixture will still look a bit ‘grainy’; if too much water is added, you can always thicken it later with a slurry of corn starch.
Transfer it into a non-stick saucepan. Season it with some salt and black pepper to taste. Place the pan over the minimum heat setting to keep warm. Cover with a lid.
NB: I used the same saucepan the vegetables were steam-fried in.
Meanwhile, mix together the lentil loaf ingredients.
Transfer half of it into a food processor. Pulse it about 8-10 times.
Transfer the blended mixture into the loaf tin; press it down into an even layer.
Repeat these last 2 steps with the remaining mixture to form the loaf.
NB: I helped to shape my loaf with a silicone spatula.
Cover with foil. Place into the oven.
Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the foil.
Slightly out of focus I know…but you try and take a picture in a squat/hovering position!
In the meantime, prep any side vegetables you be serving with your loaf….
We chose purple-sprouting broccoli and baby pearl potatoes!
….and do your dishes! Let’s not pretend there isn’t any after this marathon!
Once the foil has been removed. Place it back into the oven. Bake for a further 25-30 minutes, or until lightly brown and slightly firm. Remove and allow to cool in the tin on a cooling rack for 10 minutes before serving.
NB: When I removed mine, I placed a large plate firmly on the top of the tin, turned the tin over, gave it a few solid knocks and then removed the tin.
In the meantime, place any ‘side’ vegetables into a steamer pot. Bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer. Steam over a low heat or until tender. NB: My vegetables took approximately 10-13 minutes.
Serve immediately. Place a slice of the loaf and the vegetables onto a large serving plate. Pour over the gravy…
NB: This plate contains one portion of ‘meatloaf’.
….or as much as you desire.
NB: This plate contains two portions of ‘meat’ loaf.
Refrigerate any leftovers in a resealable container (ideally within an hour after cooking); reheat and consume within 1-2 days.
NB: When reheating the ‘meatloaf’, always check to make sure it’s steaming hot all the way through and do not reheat it more than once.
- Use dry herbs instead of fresh (but we think using a fresh variety makes a big flavour difference here!)
- Use green lentils (if you are not concerned about the overall colour of the loaf) or wholemeal rice instead.
- Maybe try substituting the water in the gravy from unsweetened/fortified almond milk instead.
- Reduce the fat content further by reducing the amount of walnuts used and grease your tin with low-fat cooking oil.
- Try varying some of the vegetables in the loaf: maybe try grated courgette, spring onions, wilted spinach or dried mushrooms instead.