Gluten-free + Vegan Lentil “Meat” Loaf

There are a lot of great flavors happening with this lentil loaf, it is hearty and satisfying and almost even a little “meaty”.

Eating Style: Egg-free, Gluten-free, Refined Sugar-free, Soy-free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Prep Time:

Serves: 8

Ingredients

Loaf

  • 2 tablespoon ground flax seeds
  • 6 tablespoon boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, diced
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups cooked green lentils, cooled and split into 1 1/2 cups and 1/2 cup
  • 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats, split in half – see note
  • 1/2 cup almond flour

Spicy Barbecue Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3-4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 24-ounce jar of strained (or crushed) tomatoes (or a 28-ounce can)
  • 7-ounce jar of tomato paste (or a 6-ounce can)
  • 2 tablespoon Sriracha – see note
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup whole grain mustard
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
  • 2 teaspoon liquid smoke

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Add the ground flax seeds to a small bowl, pour the boiling hot water over and stir to combine well. Set aside and allow it to thicken and cool.

To prepare the BBQ sauce:

  1. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion sauté for about 5 minutes, until the onion is slightly tender, add the garlic and saute for another minute or two.
  2. Add in the remaining ingredients and stir well to combine, reduce the heat to a medium-low and allow to simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Taste the sauce and make sure you don’t want more of anything, you may want it more sweet, spicy, sour, salty. I like my BBQ sauce tangy and smoky, so I added another 1/4 cup of vinegar and another teaspoon of liquid smoke.
  4. Remove from the heat, allow to cool for a few minutes, then puree until smooth in the food processor or blender. Set aside.

To prepare the loaf:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the onion and garlic and sauté for 5-8 minutes until the onions are tender. Add in the mushrooms and cook another 3 to 5 minutes until the mushrooms are tender, add in the thyme and spinach and cook until the spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes. Add in 1/2 cup of  BBQ sauce, stir to combine and turn off the heat, add salt and pepper to taste, if it needs it.
  2. Process 1 1/2 cups of the cooked lentils and 1/2 cup of the oats in the food processor until smooth (some whole bits may remain, that’s ok). Spoon the mixture into a large bowl, add in the remaining lentils and oats, plus the flax “egg”, almond flour and vegetable mixture. Stir really well to combine. Then get your hands in there, just like you would with a regular meat loaf or meatballs, and make sure it is mixed and mashed together really well.
  3. Spoon the mixture into a parchment paper lined 9? x 5? loaf pan, (leave a bit of the parchment paper hanging over so you can easily lift the loaf out when it is cooked). Using your hands, you really want to press it in good. Brush on 1/4 cup of BBQ sauce over the top.
  4. Bake uncovered for 35 to 40 minutes at 375F. Cool in the pan for about 5, pull the loaf out by grabbing the sides of the parchment paper and lifting up and allow it to cool for another 5 to 10 minutes on a cooking rack. Slice and serve.

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Notes

If you don’t eat grains of any kind, you could try to exclusively use almond flour (adding in more) instead of including the oats, but I haven’t yet tried that myself.

If you don’t like spicy, you can skip the sriracha, add less or use just a pinch of two of red pepper flakes instead.

Nutrition Information Per Serving

  • Calories: 319
  • Calories from Fat: 63
  • Total Fat: 7
  • Saturated Fat: 0.7 g
  • Sodium: 297 mg
  • Carbs: 48.2 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 17.5 g
  • Net Carbs: 30.7 g
  • Sugars: 8.6 g
  • Protein: 17 g