It's -20 degrees Celsius. The bike ride I had intended for today went down with the temperature! In its place, I set my sights on a hardy vegan meal to keep us all warm. Here's the recipe for a yummy, healthy, vegan meatloaf!
Note: this recipe makes 2 loaves. In the picture, one is lined with parchment paper and one is lined with aluminum foil. Typically, I like to use parchment paper simply because aluminum foil has aluminum in it! However, it is a holiday, none of the stores are open and, before you, in this photo, is my last little piece of parchment paper!
1 cup organic dried green lentils
3 cups vegetable stock or broth (I use the organic vegetarian bouillon cubes)
1 large onion
1 large organic carrot
1 organic yellow or orange bell pepper
2-3 tbsp olive oil
2-4 tsp minced garlic
1 cup ground white chia seed or 1/2 cup of chia seed, not ground (this is an excellent breadcrumb replacement).
3/4 cup blanched almonds
3 tbsp ground flax mixed with 1/2 cup water (as an egg replacement for binding)
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp oregano
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Sauce for top of loaf (added before baking)
2-3 tbsp organic tomato sauce
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Simmer the dried lentils and broth for about 30-45 minutes or until the lentils are tender and have absorbed broth.
Chop onion and bell pepper. Peel and grate the carrot. Saute the onion and bell pepper in olive oil over medium high heat for 6 minutes, or until tender (do not brown the onion and pepper). Add the garlic and carrot and cook for about another 4-6 minutes. Add the blanched almonds to the onion/carrot/garlic mixture on the stove and stir well.
Add the oregano, salt and pepper and take the mixture off the stove and transfer to a large bowl.
Use a coffee grinder and grind 1 1/2 tbsp of flax seeds (this will make 3 tbsp of ground flax). Add the ground flax to 1/2 cup water. Let thicken.
Grind 1/2 cup of white chia seed in the coffee grinder (this will produce approximately 1 cup of ground chia seed as a replacement for bread crumbs).
Add the ground chia, flax/water (egg substitute) and cooked lentils to the vegetable combination and toss well. Line loaf pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Be sure the foil or paper lines the pan so the paper is over the sides of the pan - this makes it easy to lift the loaf out of the pan. Press mixture into the lined loaf pan. Set aside while you make the topping.
In another small bowl combine the organic tomato sauce, maple syrup and balsamic. Spread on top of loaf. Bake for 40 minutes. Let cool for 5-10 minutes covered with a tea towel before serving. Cut into slices and plate.
Keep warm and enjoy your Family Day everyone ...