Monday, October 17, 2016

Things I'd Have Never Tried on My Own, Like Lentil Loaf

Back when I ate meat I never really liked meatloaf.  I know a lot of people think it is a wonderful dinner option, but I did not.  Not at all.  I didn't like it when my mom made it.  I didn't like it when my step-mom made it.  I didn't like it when the cafeteria made it.  I could eat it, because as a kid one sort of has to, right?  But, it just wasn't my bag.  I never ate it again once I moved out on my own.  Naturally it follows that I never considered trying to recreate this classic American comfort food once I stopped eating meat.  It wasn't something I was missing whatsoever.  I wanted to figure out a way to make "meat"balls for my spaghetti, but I doubt that making "meat"loaf ever once crossed my mind.
However, I may have changed my tune, thanks to a dinner date with one of Matt's old friends this summer.  When Jill and Alex had us over Jill made us a scrumptious, veggie-packed lentil loaf from The Simple Veganista, a blog I'd never heard of previously.
In full disclosure I must admit that I've never really made it as the veganista does.  (Shocking, I know.)  Unless I am baking I pretty much find following recipes to the T impossible (and unnecessary).  So, I've never made the loaf with gluten-free flour for instance.  I don't own garlic or onion powder, so I always skip that.   I have found it to be a rather forgiving base recipe from which to work though.  It is highly adaptable.  I've mixed and matched veggies to suit what was on hand.  Last time I had a boatload of cabbage, for example, and no carrots or celery--so I just went with that, sauteing the cabbage well before mixing it with the lentil mixture.  Turned out just as yummy as usual.  I've tried different spices, taking the loaf in new directions that way.  My favorite variations though have been with the glaze on top--we have a bottle of pomegranate infused balsamic that makes an absolutely heavenly glaze.  I'm making it like that from here on out--until that bottle is gone.  I've also used tomato sauce instead of ketchup...since I don't love ketchup and Matt hasn't gotten around to making any yet this fall.  I've also skipped the glaze entirely and substituted gravy.  The loaf topped with Zippy Corn Gravy was a very happy pairing.

It goes perfectly with herb roasted potatoes--freshly dug from the garden.  And lots of other things, too, of course.

I do recommend making it up the day before you intend to eat it.  That seems to help with a firmer consistency--plus then you know you've got a great dinner in the fridge, ready and waiting!

3 comments:

  1. I guess I'm not a huge 'loaf' fan either...that one looks delicious though...I'll have to give it a try...

    ~Have a lovely day!

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  2. So with you on the meatloaf, ew!! But the lentil loaf does sound (and look) very tasty, especially with that glaze! I'm always inspired by your creativity in the kitchen.
    -Jaime

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    1. Right?! Ewww...meatloaf. This thing was pretty dang good--that glaze!? Oh, heavenly. Thanks, Jamie, as always, for your kind words.

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