Dinner Time: Sans Meat Loaf

by Ashley on December 12, 2011

Hi there! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Our weekend, well my weekend, was pretty low key, Dustin’s was a little R-O-W-ah-D-Y. One of Dustin’s good friends was in town so while they were off doing guy things, I did  lot of studying (finals week has arrived), yoga, my first run since the marathon (oops…but it felt so good!), went to the GSU football game (3rd round of the playoffs! now on to the 4th!), church, and then more studying today. Oh yeah and I recently started a new book that I received at my work Christmas party, Born to Run (so far so good! actually great!), so I got to get a little further in it too! Not the best time to start a new (attention grasping) book on the weekend before six finals… but that’s just how life goes 🙂

Andddddd, also, one of my best friends got engaged this weekend too! So, congrats to Brie and Brad; couldn’t be happier for them during this exciting time in their lives. Let the wedding festivities begin!

 

The beautiful, happy couple!

Anyways…Finally talking food again! I feel like it’s been a while since my last recipe post, has it?

A lot of the trouble people tell me they have with eating heathy is the lack of ideas and the inconvenience of  actually preparing a healthy meal.  Like you’ve heard a thousand times, failing to plan is planning to fail.  So, tonight,  I want to share with you two of my favorite vegan go to dishes that may seem a little difficult at first but as you incorporate them into your weekly routines, actually become pretty easy to make.  Both include lentils, a high protein legume, which are much quicker to prepare than other beans since they require no soaking and only take about 30 minutes to cook.  Brown, green, or red lentils all work perfectly in both of these recipes, so the decision is up to you. Lentils are high in molybdenum, folate, fiber, tryptophan, manganese, iron, phosphorus, copper, thiamin (B1) and potassium if you were looking for another reason to make either of these delicious, completely nutritious meals. Both adapted from a blog I love, Oh She Glows.

[Photo Source]

Lentil Loaf:

[Photo Source]

{Last time I made the loaf I didn’t take pictures but I really wanted to share this recipe with you so I decided, hey, a Lentil Loaf is a Lentil Loaf, they all look pretty much the same 😉 }

Loaf Ingredients:

  • 1 c dry lentils
  • 3 c vegetable stock
  • 1 flax egg  (3 tbsp mealed flax seed + 1/2 c warm water)
  • 1 tbsp EVOO
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 c sweet diced sweet onion
  • 1 celery stock, sliced finely
  • 1 medium grated carrot
  • 1/3 apple, grated
  • 1/4 c raisins (unfortunately, I omit this ingredient because Dustin doesn’t like the idea of mixing sweet and savory)
  • 3/4 c toasted walnuts, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 c regular oats, ground into oat flour
  • 1 tbsp mealed flax seed
  • 2 slices whole wheat bread (or for G-Free option 3/4 c brown rice or brown rice bread crumbs), toasted and ground into bread crumbs

Glaze Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup (or sometimes I use Agave)
  • 1 tbsp apple butter (recipe calls for this, but I omit it once again because Dustin doesn’t like it too sweet)

Directions:

  • Preparing dried lentils:  Rinse and place inpot and add stock.  Bring to boil and reduce heat and simmer until liquid is absorbed and lentils are tender (about 30 minutes).  Remove from heat.
  • Preparing loaf:  In a small bowl, combine ground flax seed with water and set aside.  Preheat oven to 350 F.  In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté onion, carrot and celery in olive oil for 2 minutes.  Sauté 3 minutes more until soft.  Add grated apple, raisins and walnuts and sauté another minute.  Add thyme and pepper to taste.  Remove from heat and fold in cooked lentils, breadcrumbs and soaked flax seed until evenly distributed. Press mixture firmly into lightly oiled loaf pan and set aside.
  • Preparing Glaze:  In small saucepan over no heat, combine all glaze ingredients.  Place over medium heat and stir continuously until thick (about 2-3 minutes).  Spread evenly over loaf and bake, uncovered 40 minutes.  Remove and serve.

On to the next one…

Pasta and Neat Sauce 

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 bottles of clean tomato/pasta sauce
  • 1, 450 gram, bag of lentils
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 medium onion. chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 2 c loosly packed spinach
  • 1 tbps EVOO
  • 1 box spaghetti or pasta of choice

Directions:

Cook 1 bag of lentils according to directions on package. Meanwhile, saute garlic, onion, zuchinni in EVOO until soft, about 5 minutes.  Rinse and drain lentils when ready (about 30 minutes). Stir in 1.5 bottles of spaghetti sauce, sauteed veggies,raw spinach, salt, and seasonings. Serve over your favorite pasta and enjoy!

I hope these recipes give you inspiration to provide your family (or just yourself!) with incredibly nutritious dinners for at least two nights of this upcoming week! Challenge yourself to cook at home as much as possible, once again, your wallet and your waistline will be glad you did.

As for me, let the finals begin…two tomorrow and then only four to go!

Good Health!

Ashley

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