Monday, February 25, 2013


  Spring is around the corner but we've had a few days of rain so it was time to organize some drawers.  While doing so I came across a couple of recipes I had collected a few years ago and filed away to try 'sometime later'  well it seemed like this was the day.  Lentil and Bean 'Meatloaf'
and I came across a very nice Vegetarian Mushroom Gravy recipe - a perfect fit in my books. 

 Lentil & Bean 'Meatloaf'

The ingredients you will need.

Lentils have cooked up nicely, then TVP (textured vegetable protein)
(I find  this in my local Health Food Store)
was added for a few minutes of cooking time

  The onion sauteing in the pan.

 Celery, carrots and red pepper all ready to go.

 Vegetables added to the onions and cooked for a few minutes.

Tomato paste and ketchup added and stirred in.

 Once the vegetables are cooked they are then
 processed in my machine.

The processed vegetables are added to the lentil/TVP mixture.

Fresh  bread crumbs are added next as well as some
shredded cheddar cheese.

I divided the mixture into 2 greased loaf pans

The loaves will bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

One of the baked Lentil & Bean Meatloaves.
such a beautiful colour.

Lentil & Bean 'Meatloaf' Recipe
Serves 4
Makes 9x5 inch loaf (or two)
1 celery stalk, chopped (including the greens)
1 carrot grated
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 15 oz can pinto beans (white kidney)
1 cup red lentils
1/4 cup TVP (textured vegetable protein) (dry pieces)
1 cup fresh whole wheat bread crumbs can be added or add ground flax to this
1 cup Cheddar cheese, grated
1 Tbsp ketchup
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder ( or per taste)
1 tsp lemon pepper
salt to taste
1 1/2 - 3 cups vegetable broth/water
Clean the red lentils in cold water until the water runs clear.
Place in pan along with the vegetable broth (start with 2 1/2 cups) and cook until done (as per directions on package)
Add the soy chunks to it and let it cook for another 4-5 minutes until the soy chunks get soft.
Make sure that this mixture is mushy and does not have excess liquid.
In a skillet, in 1 tsp of olive oil, saute the onions along with salt.
When soft, add the carrots, celery, red bell pepper and cook until the vegetables get soft. Another 3-4 minutes.
Now add the ketchup, tomato paste along with the spices.
Cook until the rawness of the tomato paste goes away ( 2-3 minutes)
Process the mixture along with beans - into a paste.
Add this to the cooked lentils (it's mushy and does not need to be processed)
Now add the cheese and bread crumbs and mix well until combined.
You can, at this point taste mixture to see if the seasoning is to your taste.
Add more salt./pepper if required or cayenne for some heat
Transfer to a greased loaf pan, level the top
Bake in a pre heated 350 degree oven for 1 hour.
You will see the surface of the loaf looking crusty and sort of dry (will be a nice crunch on top)
Cool a bit, remove from pan, cut into slices and serve - warm or cold both are delicious.
If you see the insides do not harden, shut oven off and leave loaf inside for another 10 minutes
 (while oven cools down)
Serve with vegetarian gravy, mashed potatoes and your choice of steamed vegetables.

Vegetarian Mushroom Gravy

 The ingredients you will need.

The vegetables and mushrooms have sauteed and
tomato paste has been added to it, along with the bay leaves.

The broth and mushroom liquid has been
added to the sauteed vegetables.

Vegetables mixture has cooked down for a few minutes.

 Now it's time to strain the 'gravy'.

The gravy smells wonderful, has such a beautiful colour.
It will be perfect for the 'Meatloaf'.

Vegetarian  Mushroom Gravy Recipe
Makes about 3 cups
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 small carrot, peeled and diced
1 stalk celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup dried porcini mushrooms, sliced (use mixed dried)
3 sprigs fresh thyme and flat leaf parsley (used 2 tsp dried thyme and 2 tsp dried parsley)
2 bay leaves
2 Tbsp tomato paste
3 Tbsp whole wheat flour (white flour will do)
2/3 cup red wine (used dry white)
3 cups vegetable stock
1 Tbsp lemon juice
salt and black pepper to taste
Heat oil in a large high sided skillet over medium high heat
Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic , stir until fragrant, about 1 minute
Soak mushrooms in 2 cups hot water until re-hydrated.
Drain and reserve liquid and add mushrooms (sliced) to pan.
Stir in thyme, parsley, bay leaves and tomato paste and cook,
stirring frequently until dark and richly caramelized, about 15 minutes
Stir flour into pan and cook, stirring, until brown and fragrant, about 3 minutes.
De glaze pan with red wine and stir in mushroom liquid and stock.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes until reduced and thickened
Strain through a fine mesh strainer, pushing all liquids out of the solids with the bottom of a ladle.
Season the gravy with lemon juice, then salt and pepper to taste.

 Lentil & Bean 'Meatloaf' drizzled with Vegetarian Mushroom Gravy

 "....The only thing in life we can truly perfect,
is to perfectly and absolutely accept ourselves as we are...!"