Note to self: Never take pictures for a post on an empty stomach. Maybe I am a glutton for punishment, but this shoot was especially difficult to get through. The smell of this baking was intoxicating. The taste? Incredible. I don’t think I have ever tried a vegan meatloaf before today, but I can assure you that this will not be my last attempt. Loaded with lentils, mushrooms, fuji apples and sweet, sauteed onions, this loaf captures the essence of the season perfectly, and I must say, it really turned out amazing.
click ‘more’ for recipe
The spiced cranberry sauce is what really makes this dish outstanding. After several trial and error attempts to obtain the perfect amount of heat, the final result turned out to be better than I ever expected it to be. It is nowhere near ‘spicy’ but it does have a slight kick that really evens out the sweetness of the homemade cranberry sauce, which by the way, is extremely easy to make on your own and it only takes about 10-15 minutes. The cranberry sauce I used in this recipe is one I had made the night prior, and I really think that if you can make it in advance, do so, because it really allows the flavors to come together. My recipe for cranberry sauce is below.
I urge you to give this a try because I think it may just surprise you. It really has an incredible flavor, and while it doesn’t taste exactly like meatloaf (because its’ not), it is about as close as I think you could get in a vegan recipe.
- 1 cup green lentils; uncooked
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 3 tbsp ground flax whisked with ½ cup water
- 3 garlic cloves; minced
- 4 medium white mushrooms; sliced
- 1.5 cups sweet onion; diced
- 1 cup celery; diced
- 1 fuji apple; cut into chunks
- ½ cup oat flour (make sure it is gluten free to keep this recipe gluten free)
- ¾ cup gluten free breadcrumbs
- 2 tsp. liquid aminos
- 2 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
- 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
- ¼ tsp. Cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1 cup raw walnut halves; lightly toasted and chopped
- SPICED CRANBERRY SAUCE:
- ½ cup unsweetened organic ketchup
- 1 cup cranberry sauce
- 1 Tbsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. liquid aminos
- 2 dashes of hot pepper sauce
- 1 Tbsp. raw organic honey
- Preheat oven to 325F.
- Whisk ground flax with water in a small bowl and set in refrigerator so flax ‘eggs’ have time to thicken.
- Rinse and strain lentils.
- In a medium pot, bring 3 cups of broth to a boil then add in lentils. Season lentils with salt. Return to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 40 minutes, stirring frequently.
- When finished, take a potato masher and gently mash lentils. Place mashed lentils in a large mixing bowl.
- In a medium/large frying pan, heat 1 Tbsp. of olive oil over medium heat.
- Saute onion and celery until starting to turn tender, then add in the garlic, mushrooms and apple. Saute for about 5 minutes more and remove from heat.
- Place sauteed vegetables into the large mixing bowl with the lentils, mixing all ingredients together thoroughly. Add in seasonings, oat flour, breadcrumbs and flax mixture. Adjust seasonings to taste.
- On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, evenly spread out walnuts and toast for 5 minutes. Chop toasted walnuts and add to mixture.
- Increase oven temperature to 350F.
- Grease a loaf pan lightly with coconut oil. Pour mixture into pan.
- Bake at 350F for 40 minutes, uncovered. Edges will be lightly brown.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine all ingredients for cranberry sauce and whisk thoroughly.
- When loaf is finished, spread cranberry sauce evenly over the top of loaf and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until sauce begins to bubble.
- Cool in pan for 10 minutes+ before transferring loaf to a cooling rack. When loaf is cool, carefully transfer to a cutting board to slice.
Recipe: Clean Eating Cranberry Sauce
Summary: A clean and healthy cranberry sauce
- 1 lb cranberries; unsweetened; rinsed and dried
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 cup stevia in the raw granulated baking sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- In a medium saucepan, combine the cranberries, sugar and water. Blend ingredients until well mixed and bring to a boil over medium/high heat. Reduce to a simmer and add in cinnamon stick, allspice and nutmeg. Stir to blend and simmer on low for an additional 5-10 minutes. The cranberries will begin to burst open. When this happens, remove the cinnamon stick. Take the back of a spoon or potato masher and begin to gently mash until cranberries begin to form a thick sauce. When finished, remove from heat and let cool. Store cranberry sauce in fridge overnight in a sealed container for best results.
Preparation time: 5 minute(s)
Cooking time: 10 minute(s)