Savory Lentil-Veggie Loaf with Quick Homemade Ketchup

This is a great throw it all in kind of meal inspired by the leftover stuffing, veggies and mashed potatoes from Thanksgiving. If you don’t have those particular leftovers, you can use what you have – any cooked grains and veggies will do.

My mom used to make meatloaf fairly often and it was one of my brother’s favorite meals. I can’t say I particularly enjoyed it at the time, but somehow it has stuck in my head as a comfort food and I really like the vegetarian version.

As I sat down to write this, my son walked into the room asking if he could have some of that leftover veggie cake from last night’s dinner for breakfast. I guess that’s a good testimonial.

The texture of this loaf will vary with the ingredients used. This recipe is very well-suited to leftovers, as they tend to dry out a bit in the fridge. Using ingredients cooked in advance will help firm it up because they tend to be less moist, as will ingredients like brown rice and breadcrumbs. The ground flax will help bind it together. If you are using freshly cooked lentils, grains, veggies, etc, be sure to drain them thoroughly. You can make this in advance; just keep it tightly covered in the fridge for up to 2 days (this will also help firm it up).

This recipe will serve four generously, probably with leftovers.

For the Veggie Loaf:

  • 1 cup dry lentils, soaked overnight or quick soaked*, about 3 cups cooked
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon tamari (or 1 teaspoon salt if you avoid soy)
  • 1/4 cup strained tomatoes, or 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 2 Tablespoons ground flax seed
  • 2 cups some combination of leftover stuffing, mashed potatoes, and/or cooked grains
  • salt and pepper, to taste (this will depend on the seasoning of your other ingredients)
  • 2 cups leftover cooked vegetables
  • Flavor enhancers, optional: 1 Tablespoon grated fresh ginger, crushed red pepper, 3 Tablespoons fresh mixed herbs (sage, thyme, rosemary, oregano, basil, etc), or 3 teaspoons dried, extra onion and garlic powder

For the Ketchup:

  • 1 cup strained tomatoes
  • 3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pepper
  • reserved onion and garlic from veggie loaf
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut sugar

Drain and rinse the soaked lentils and put them in a medium-sized saucepan and fill with water to cover. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook, partially covered, until soft, about 30-45 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a saucepan to medium, pour 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in and saute the onions until they are soft and lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, then remove from heat. Remove about 1/5 of the onion-garlic mixture and reserve for your ketchup.

When the lentils are soft, drain them well and pour them into a large bowl. Immediately stir in the apple cider vinegar, strained tomatoes, and tamari or salt and allow them to cool a bit. Meanwhile, mix the ketchup ingredients together and set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Oil your pans (2 loaf pans, an 8×8 square pan, a 9-inch cast iron skillet), or the equivalent. Combine the lentil mixture, the onion garlic mixture, and the the remaining ingredients for the veggie loaf and mash them together by hand, by pulsing in a food processor, or with a hand blender, until you have a coarse mixture that holds together when you press it against the side of the bowl. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Spoon into your prepared pans and spread the ketchup over the top. Bake for about 45 minutes, until the edges have browned nicely. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes and serve with butternut squash soup and roasted brussels sprouts or you choice of side dishes. Enjoy!

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1 Comment »

  1. […] side dish, probably with leftovers. If you have too many leftovers, you can use it to make a Savory Lentil-Veggie Loaf. I baked the stuffing in a 2 1/2 quart Corningware dish filled to the […]

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