Anyone who knows me well has either heard of (and gasped) or tried (loved it) lentil loaf. It is the ultimate protein replacement when there just really is not a lot of cash in the pocket. The last time I had to make this regularly was in graduate school. All of my Chinese/Taiwanese room-mates loved it. It has a quality where it picks up the taste you apply (kind of like tofu) but it really tastes more proteinacious. I had a dear friend named Forrest whom I taught with in NYC and while he teased me mercilessly about lentil loaf, he loved it; Forrest, where ever you are, I always think of you when I make lentil loaf!
The recipe comes from Sunburst Farm Family Cookbook which I found at a garage sale and bought specifically for the lentil loaf recipe. According to Amazon, if I bought the cookbook new, today, it would cost $122.71 + shipping.
Too bad my cookbook is in such shoddy condition……I could buy a lot of meat.
Anyways, here is the recipe – enjoy!
2 cups dry lentils that you cook. This will end up being anywhere from 4-8 cups of lentils when cooked. You need all of it for the loaf.
2 small oinions, chopped (red onions make it sweeter)
4 cloves garlic (if you are like me, you can never ever have too much garlic, so add more to taste)
6 celery ribs, chopped
1 cup breadcrumbs (fine)
2/3 cup rolled oats
1 cup EACH of chopped almonds andwalnuts
6 egss (beaten well)
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. thyme
Cook the lentils and then drain and set aside unti they get to room temp. Saute the onions, garlic and celery with olive oil or butter until tender. Mix everything EXCEPT the eggs together (you will need to mix with your hands). Add mixed eggs at end and put into two oiled loaf pans. Bake at 375 F for 1 hour or more.
Remember, this stuff will not rise so fill the loaf pan. Lentil loaf is like meatloaf, but better. You can make meatloaf with it, it tastes better than meat and satisfies the protein munchies. Friends (and myself) have made lentil loaf sandwiches, added crumbles to pasta, cooked it up in an omelet, etc. I have yet to figure out how to get it to stay in meatball form – if you figure it out, let me know. Sometimes I make it in a muffin pan and use it as protein “muffin” dippers when on the run and need a quick easy lunch.