Smoky Walnut Lentil Loaf

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The ‘lentil walnut loaf’ I saw at the deli last week looked less than awesome. And it had margarine in it. As if! So I set about creating my own version – free of hydrogenated fats – and much more packed with nutrition.

For maximum digestibility, nuts, seeds and legumes should be soaked before using. You can check out this guide for more info. So I sprouted my lentils, and soaked my walnuts, quinoa and pumpkin seeds to optimize their nutrition.

Ingredients for Smoky Walnut Lentil Loaf

1 cup soaked walnuts

1 cup soaked pumpkin seeds

3 cups SOAKED lentils (1.5 ish cups of dry)

3 cloves of chopped garlic

2 bayleaves

1/2 yellow onion, chopped

2.5 cups cooked quinoa (yes, pre-soaked)

2 big fat organic carrots, grated

20 Kalama olives, pitted and chopped

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

-1 tsp chipotle

-2 tbsp smoked paprika

-2 tbsp tamari

-2 tbsp vegenaise

-1/4 cup of tahini

-2 tbsp vegenaise (or use more tahini to keep an all whole food recipe)

Method:

Bring your lentils to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Add garlic, bay leaves and onion and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until lentils are tender.

Using a mini food processor, or whichever tool you use to grind things, roughly chop up your walnuts and pumpkin seeds (make sure you leave enough intact to create crunchy texture), and place in a large bowl. Add quinoa and blend together with grated carrots, nutritional yeast and kalamata olives.

When the lentil mixture is ready, strain and pluck out your bay leaves, and add to the quinoa bowl, mixing together.

In a separate bowl, combine the chipotle, paprika, tamari, vegenaise and tahini to form a paste. Add paste to the quinoa/lentil mixture and blend well. It’s not the easiest thing to blend together. I used a large rubber spatula to chop and smear everything together. Just make sure the paste is evenly distributed.

Once the mixture forms a dough-like consistency (it should stick together) portion into a medium baking tin. This recipe should provide enough for two medium baking tins, but I saved some of the mixture to make little falafel-like balls for my salad. Like many plant based protein mixtures, you could also use this to make veggie burgers.

On top of the loaf, sprinkle some nutritional yeast and even some crushed walnuts for extra crunch.

I baked in a convection oven (toaster oven) at 375 for 40 minutes. Oven times may vary, so check after 30 minutes or so.

Good luck!

~ The Vegan Project

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