On my last trip to the local library I leafed through some cookbooks in search for inspiration and found this great recipe in Anne Sheasby's book "High fibre cooking". I'd wanted to try a meatless loaf for a long time but never found a good recipe and this one looked very promising. I made a few modifications because the original recipe is not vegan or gluten-free and loved how the loaf turned out. I greatly enjoyed the crispy crust and the inside held together very well. The loaf was full of flavour, moist, with a good bite to it. The recipe is very easy to make, with a basic preparation and ingredients that are widely available. This is a great way to incorporate high-fiber, nutrient-dense foods into one's diet. The loaf can also be served on a special occasion, thanks to its festive appearance.
Bean and Lentil Loaf
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
Heat the oil in a pan. Add the onion, garlic and celery and cook on medium for a few minutes until soft, but not mushy. Transfer to a plate and let cool while preparing the rest.
- 1 can (400 g) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can (400 g) green lentils, rinsed and drained
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly oil a 23x13 cm (9"x5") loaf tin (the loaf did stick a little to the bottom of the pan, so the best way is to line the tin with parchment paper after greasing it).
Put the beans, lentils and onion mixture in a food processor/blender and blend to obtain a coarse consistency (I have a small food processor and did this in 2 batches).
- 2 flax eggs (in a cup mix 2 Tb ground flax seeds with 6 Tb lukewarm water and let sit to thicken)
- 1 medium carrot, coarsely grated
- 1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped (I put them in the food processor for a few seconds)
- 1/2 cup almonds, finely ground (or use ready made almond meal)
- 2 Tb tomato purée (replace 1 Tb with ketchup, if you have, for more flavour)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp hot chili powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp dry parsley
- 1 tsp dry thyme
- salt to taste
Transfer the bean-lentil mixture to a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface with the back of the spoon.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about an hour. The baking time will depend on your oven as well. I baked the loaf on the middle rack with heat from top and bottom. After 30 minutes I switched off the top heat so the crust would not burn and crack too much, and it was ready after a total of 1 hour and 15 minutes. It should be well done on the top and sides and quite thick in the middle, use a toothpick to check.
Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack. Let cool in the tin for about 45 minutes until it's safe to handle. Run a knife along the sides for easy removal. Carefully invert the loaf onto a plate. If you're not using any decorations, just place the serving plate on top and invert the loaf again. To place the loaf on a lettuce bed I used 2 spatulas which I slided under the loaf after removing it from the tin, turned it on one side close to the centre of the plate and then turned it face-up. Let cool completely, cut and serve.
This bean and lentil loaf is absolutely delicious and so worth the wait. I hope you'll give it a try.
Enjoy and spread the magic!:)
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