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Vegan Lentil Loaf (GF)

I've been wanting to make this recipe I saw on Pinterest for a while now. Since I'm making actual meals for two now, I'm finally getting around to trying out the hundreds of recipes I've pinned to my Recipes pin board.

This one was appealing to me because it looked very hearty and easy. And because it has so many vegetables in it, the dish seemed almost more like a casserole to me than a loaf. 

This is literally the whole recipe:

But here, of course, are my substitutions:
  • I used corn flakes instead of crackers for a gluten-free loaf (I also could have used gluten-free crackers, but I thought the corn flakes would be simpler);
  • I skipped the walnuts, because I'm allergic to them, and so I added a bit more corn flakes to make up for the consistency;
  • I don't care too much for ketchup, but I do like barbecue sauce, so I made a half-ketchup/half-bbq sauce mixture instead of using straight ketchup.
The most time-consuming part of this recipe is cooking the lentils (about 30 mins.), and then mashing them. If you can pre-cook your lentils, or just use canned lentils, and if you have a potato masher (I did not), you can cut your prep time down to about five minutes. I tried to mash the lentils with a fork, and that was not very productive. I eventually gave up.

Here's how it looked when all ingredients were mixed together in a bowl and then packed into a pan:


Here's how it looked after adding my "ketchup" mixture (note: there's no amount specified for the topping, so I just made sure everything was well covered):

Post-"ketchup"/ pre-baking.
And after baking for 40 minutes:


When I cut into the baked loaf with a spatula, it seemed as though it might hold together, but then when I tried to scoop a piece out of the pan, it sort of fell apart. 


Nonetheless, it was delicious--and nutritious! Tim and I finished off two-thirds of the loaf, I'm not ashamed to say. Well, maybe a little ashamed. But we ran 10 miles that morning, so I forgive myself.

I wonder if the crackers the recipe calls for, instead of corn flakes, might have helped it stay together better. Also, I think properly mashed lentils would have made a difference, as well. All in all, though, it was a very tasty meal--even if it wasn't exactly a loaf. I'll definitely make it again.


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