Meatloaf! (But not really)

I have received some requests for a meatloaf recipe. Here’s the thing about that: I just can’t do it anymore, guys. In my transitioning-to-vegetarian stage, I sometimes made things with meat in them for omnivorous family members and friends. But after all this time, the thought of filling a loaf pan with ground meat just kind of grosses me out. In other words, as Meatloaf himself once said, “I would do anything for love, but I won’t do that.”

Here’s what I will do:

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That is a magically delicious meatless meatloaf, made of lentils, millet, and just a few other wonderful things. Yes, lentils. Don’t look at me like that, Baconator. I daresay this is my favorite blog recipe to date. That is a bold statement, especially after last week’s pumpkin cookies, but I am quite in love with this stuff. Great with a baked sweet potato for dinner, great crumbled over a salad for lunch the next day, cheap, simple, and it won’t give you the meat-sweats. (<——–I just googled that. Totally a real thing.)

The only part of this recipe that might seem like a drag is cooking the lentils and the millet. But fear not–both of these things don’t require much attention once you get them going. You can easily cook them ahead of time if you want. Here’s an excellent post that will tell you everything you need to know about millet, including how to cook it. For the lentils, first make sure to pick them over a bit before cooking them. Because of the way they’re harvested, very rarely there will be a teensy pebble or other non-lentil object in the bag, and nobody wants to eat pebbles.

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For this recipe, I used 1/2 c. lentils, cooked in 1 1/2 c. veggie stock. Cooking them in water is fine, but using stock adds a little extra flavor. Just use a 3-1 liquid-to-lentils ratio, bring to a boil, and then lower to a simmer until tender but not mushy–mine took about 25 minutes.

Once you have your cooked millet and lentils, everything comes together in a snap.

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You’ll add a sweet glaze about halfway through the baking time…

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…and once it’s done, you can enjoy a slice while sitting in the fall leaves like a J.Crew model.

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Lentil Millet Loaf (serves about 6)

  • 1/2 c. lentils (uncooked)
  • 3 c. vegetable stock (may also use water)
  • 1/2 c. millet (uncooked)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 c. diced onion
  • 1/2 c. chopped walnuts
  • 3 tbsp flax meal (ground flaxseeds)
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 c. ketchup

For the glaze:

  • 1/4 c. ketchup
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar

Pick over the lentils and remove any small bits of debris. Bring the lentils to a boil in the 3 cups of veggie stock (or water). Lower the heat, and simmer until the lentils are tender but not mushy (start checking after about 20 minutes). To cook the millet, toast it for a couple of minutes in a bit of olive oil in the bottom of a saucepan. Then add two cups of water, bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer with the lid on for 20 minutes. (See the post linked above for more detailed millet-cooking info.)

Mix the flax meal with the 1/2 cup of water and set aside to thicken for a few minutes. (This will create a flax “egg” that will bind the mixture.) Sautee the onion and garlic with a drizzle of olive oil until softened (about five minutes). Add the walnuts to the onion and garlic and continue to sautee for about 2 more minutes before removing the pan from the heat. Pulse the cooked lentils in a food processor until very few whole lentils remain. (This will keep the loaf from being too crumbly.) In a large bowl, mix the lentils, millet, sauteed onion/garlic/walnut mixture, flax “egg”, salt, pepper, and ketchup. Press firmly into a loaf pan (mine is 5″x9″, which I think is pretty standard) and bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes. About halfway through the baking time, spread the glaze on top of the loaf and return to the oven until finished.

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Have a great week, folks! I’m doing a half marathon next Sunday, so if I don’t make it back here next Monday, just assume I’m too sore to walk to my computer.

 

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