February 28, 2012

Lentil Walnut Loaf: Not For The Novice Cook!

Lentil Walnut Loaf.  Just the name makes me cower in fear of dirty dishes......

This recipe must be prepared for a special occasion......not a random Tuesday.   It is time consuming, dish consuming, and unless you're medicated, I highly recommend having culinary experience before attempting to make this dish. 

It did, however, turn out.....and it turned out really well.  It was delicious, hearty, savory, and had a great texture.  Leftovers would be awesome sliced on a sandwich with the glaze.  Oh the glaze.....it's phenomenal!  I doubled the recipe so we had more to dip.  It's like a sweet healthy BBQ sauce.  

I had pondered making this for the past several weeks, but only now succumbed to the temptation. This makes the Butternut Squash Risotto look easy.

At least the risotto requires basically one pot. 

There are multiple steps to this recipe, most of which require a new bowl or cooking device, which makes for multiple dishes to wash at the end of the night.  

CRAP LOAD of dishes!

Preparation is key with this one - I suggest cooking the lentils beforehand.  I started the preparation shortly after 4, and dinner wasn't served until 6. 

The verdict:  It's superb, delicious, and would be sure to "wow" even omnivore guests at holiday meals.  Plus, it makes the house smell amazing! The glaze was key, but of course I would probably eat cardboard with that sauce....

Tomorrow I'm doing the Cheesy Broccoli Orzo again, because it's easy.  

And I deserve it after this one.

Love and Kale,


Lentil Walnut Loaf
Yield:  1 loaf, about 8 thick slices

  • 1 cup dry lentils
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • Splash of veggie broth
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup sweet onion, diced
  • 1 celery stalk or green onion, chopped finely
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 1/3 of an apple, peeled, grated (makes 1/3 cup grated apple)
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 3/4 cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup regular oats, ground into a flour
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs (I used 2 slices of bread, lightly toasted, and processed in food processor) 
Sweet Glaze Ingredients: (double it so you have extra for dipping!)
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp apple butter
  1. In a medium pot, combine 3 cups veggie broth and 1 cup lentils, bring to boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until liquid is absorbed and lentils are tender (about 30 minutes).  Be sure to stir the lentils frequently so they do not stick to the bottom of the pot. Once the lentils are cooked, remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat over to 350.  Line a loaf pan with parchment paper, so that it hangs over the edges.
  3. Toast the walnuts in oven, or on stove top, for about 5 minutes.  Set aside to cool.
  4. Mix the 3 tbsp ground flax with 1/2 cup warm water and stir well.  Set aside to gel up for about 5-10 min, while you saute veggies.
  5. In a large skillet over medium heat, saute onion, celery and garlic in a splash of broth for about 5 min. Once tender, add carrot and saute another 2 min.  Add grated apple, raisins and walnuts and saute another 2 min.  Add thyme, salt and pepper to taste.  Remove from heat and set aside.
  6. Take about 3/4 of the lentils and process in the food processor until mostly smooth.  Scoop into a large mixing bowl.
  7. Add remaining whole lentils, breadcrumbs, flax egg, veggie mixture, oat flour, and ground flax seed.  Stir well with a spoon, then mix well with your hands, pressing with your fingers.
  8. Dump mixture into the loaf pan and spread with a smooth.  Press down firmly with your hands to make sure it's packed in there.
  9.  Make glaze by combining all the glaze ingredients in a small bowl.  Spread evenly over the loaf and bake, uncovered, for 45 min.
  10. Cool for about 10-15 min before serving.  

Preheat oven to 350

Use parchment if you want it to be great.  Use wax paper if you want to smoke your entire house out (like I did).

Line your loaf pan, with some hanging over

Loaf ingredients - it's deceiving. 
Toast a couple pieces of bread (of just buy pre-made breadcrumbs next time like I will be doing)

VOILA!  Breadcrumbs

Toast the freaking walnuts
Mix your flaxseeds with water to make your flax egg
Chop up veggies
Grate veggies...dear lord....
Add flour

Saute veggies
Mix everything together

Press firmly into the loaf pan
Spread with glaze and bake.
Pain in the ass, but delicious in the end.


  1. This looks so delish but a lot if work. I would be inclined to make double and freeze a loaf for a later dinner. Do you know how it freezes?

  2. It is truly delicious! Ann just doesn't know it yet because she's so tired ;). I haven't tried to freeze it yet, but I would imagine it would freeze well. I would definitely reheat it in the oven though, so it could retain its firmness and crisp outer part. Hope that helps! :)

  3. Question...don't you have a food processor? chop the onions, celery in it with the blade. You can grate the carrots and apples with the grater attachment (or the chopper if you don't have that blade). That way you don't have to wash a hand grater and a food processor. It would be a lot faster too. You may not want to use them but, Earth Fare has canned lentils that way you won't have to cook them.

    Also if you like the sauce Trader Joe's has vegan meatballs that are frozen. I often put sauce on them or BBQ sauce.

    Anywho just a thought...Heidi

    1. Heidi, great ideas... I will definitely use them next time (if there will be a next time) :)

  4. Looks delicious. Made me laugh. Glad I found your blog! :)

    1. Glad you found us too! Also glad to know we can entertain others, and not just ourselves ;) Thanks for reading!