Saturday, December 20, 2014

Glazed Lentil Apple Walnut Loaf

Yield: 1 large loaf 

1 cup uncooked red or green lentils
3 cups of vegetable broth or water
3/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped and toasted
3 tbsp ground flax + 1/2 cup water (flaxseed eggs)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1.5 cups diced sweet onion
2 TBSP fresh parsley, chopped
1 cup diced celery
1 cup grated carrot
1/3 cup peeled and grated sweet apple (use a firm variety)
1/3 cup raisins
1/2 cup oat flour
3/4 cup oats or panko crumbs
Dash of red pepper flakes
2 tsp fresh thyme (or 3/4 tsp dried thyme)

Balsamic Apple Glaze: (I like this topping so much I double the batch)
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
2 tbsp apple butter (or unsweetened applesauce in a pinch)
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1. Rinse and strain lentils. Place lentils into pot along with 3 cups of vegetable broth or water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium/low and simmer, uncovered, until done. Stir frequently & add touch of water if needed. Slightly under-cook the lentils so there is a 'chew' in the lentil loaf.  

3. Whisk ground flax with water in a small bowl and set aside. (Flaxseed eggs)

4. In a large mixing bowl, mix all ingredients together. 

5. Spray a loaf pan (or 9 x 9) and press mixture firmly into pan. Whisk glaze ingredients and then spread on top of loaf. 

6. Bake at 350F for 40 minutes, uncovered. Edges will be lightly brown. Cool in pan for at least 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. I usually wait until loaf is cool before slicing.
The loaves freeze well too. Just make sure to fully cool the baked loaves before wrapping and freezing.
As for serving suggestions, this loaf is great paired with applesauce, sautéed greens, and mashed/roasted potatoes.

Note to vegan chef: 
I prefer the 9 x 9 pan because it there is more area to add the glazing.