As with any meat loaf recipe, this vegetarian version uses breadcrumbs and beaten egg but substitutes the meat with brown lentils and cheese. This provides a dish which is high in protein obtained from the lentils and cheese. Other vegetables e.g. peppers or mushrooms could be added or even chopped nuts. It makes a delicious roast dinner served with perhaps broccoli au gratin, onion and mushroom gravy and roast potatoes and parsnips.
1 large clove garlic chopped
4oz/115g onion finely chopped
6oz/175g brown lentils (soak for a couple of hours)
4oz/115g strong vegetarian cheddar grated
2-3oz/50-75gm wholemeal breadcrumbs
Salt and black pepper
1oz/25g of butter or margarine
1 free range egg beaten
Put the lentils in a pan, cover with water, bring to the boil and then simmer for 40 minutes or until they are soft. Preheat the oven to Gas 6/200C/400F and grease a 2lb loaf tin. Line the base with a piece of foil, cut to size and grease this also.
Put the onion, breadcrumbs and garlic in a large bowl and mix well. Season with a little salt and plenty of black pepper, and add the grated cheese and the butter.
When the lentils are cooked, drain them well and add them to the other ingredients in the bowl, stir in the beaten egg, to bind. The mixture should hold together but not be too wet.
Press into the loaf tin and cover with foil. Bake on the centre shelf for 45-50 minutes.
Remove the lid and if the top of the loaf is very wet, pop back in the oven for
5 more minutes. Turn out of the tin carefully, loosening the sides with a spatula or knife if necessary and
when cooled a little, remove the foil lining.
If serving hot, cover with foil and keep in a warm oven.
The loaf is also delicious served cold with salad and makes an excellent
Christmas dinner served with all the traditional trimmings.
It also freezes beautifully.
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