I adapted this recipe from the Oh She Glows Lentil and Walnut Loaf. My version is nut-free, as well as dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan, making it suitable for all! I’ve also cut out the refined sugars from the original recipe. The loaf is not only very  tasty but also very filling thanks to the protein provided from the lentils and oats, even the biggest meat-eaters will be satisfied! Plus it is high in fibre and provides a good couple of vegetable servings per portion too. It makes an excellent option for a vegetarian Christmas dinner, served with all the trimmings.

Ingredients

  • 150g dried green or brown lentils
  • 1 onion
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 2-3 sticks of celery
  • 1 small apple
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp. of dried herbs of choice, e.g. oregano, thyme and/or rosemary
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 heaped tsp. of miso paste (or a vegetable stock cube)
  • Two-thirds cup of oats (gluten-free if required)
  • 3 tbsp. of ground flax seed
  • Olive oil for frying

For glaze:

  • 2 apples
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp.  tomato purée  

Method

To make the loaf –

  • Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius
  • Rinse the lentils and cook in boiling water for 20 minutes or until soft
  • Meanwhile, grate the carrot and apple and finely chop the onion, garlic and celery
  • In a large wok or pan, gently fry the onion in olive oil over a medium heat until softened
  • Add the celery and continue to fry for 1-2 minutes
  • Add the carrot, apple, garlic and herbs and continue to fry for 1-2 minutes
  • In a small teacup, dissolve the miso in 2 teaspoons of boiling water.
  • Take the wok off the heat. Add the dissolved miso, oats and flax seed
  • Drain the lentils once soft and add to the wok.
  • Season with pepper and stir to combine all ingredients.
  • Line a loaf tin with baking paper
  • Fill the tin with the mixture, pressing firmly down as you do so

To make the glaze –

  • Core the apples and chop into small pieces 
  • Place in a saucepan (you can reuse the lentil pan to save on dishes!) with 2 tbsp. of water
  • Cook on a medium heat for about 20 minutes or until the apples are mushy
  • Remove from heat and add the balsamic vinegar and tomato purée.
  • Combine, mashing down the apples as you do so

To finish –

  • Spread the glaze over the loaf
  • Bake uncovered for 60 minutes
  • Leave to cool in the tin for 10 mins
  • Turn out and leave for a further 30 mins before slicing, this will allow it to stay together better.