January 28, 2013

Recipe: Lentil Walnut Apple Loaf (Revised)

Lentil walnut apple loaf with sides of broccoli and brown rice 
I'm always trying to combine "quick dinners" with "made from scratch."   When I found this recipe for a lentil-walnut loaf (courtesy of Angela Liddon's fantastic and photo-rich vegan blog Oh She Glows -- for reference see the original loaf recipe here), I was thrilled:  while it's a bit involved -- you are going to be grating, dicing, chopping and mixing for quite a while -- this is a great make-ahead main dish that is better the second day, and which freezes/reheats very well, allowing a home-cooked dinner on a busy work-night.  So make a big batch of this, and enjoy however you wish!

GERD-wise, this fits my criteria for a great food choice for me:  soft texture, stomach-pleasing ingredients that are savory but not spicy,  familiar ingredients that work well with my particular guts,  and the addition of the apple, a motility-friendly ingredient.  And, it's vegan, too.  :)   The only digestive problem I've had with this recipe is over-eating -- it is that yummy!  (Angela notes she once had this for "breakfast, lunch and dinner" and I could easily follow that lead.)   As always, GERD is person-specific, and if you have trouble with any of the ingredients, play around with substitutes and ratios, and find a combination that works for your guts.




1 C. uncooked green/brown lentils
1 C. walnuts, finely chopped and toasted (I have not tried this recipe with toasted nuts and it's come out fine, but I'll bet it's even better if you take this extra step…)
3 tsp. ground flax and 1/2 C. water
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 and 1/2 onion, diced
1 C. diced celery
1 C. grated carrot
1/3 C. peeled and grated apple
1/2 C. rolled oats (the original recipe calls for oat flour, but I was out of this so I used oats -- to great results)
3/4 C. breadcrumbs (I never have these on hand and just add a handful of whatever dried bread products I have on hand; I toast them to dry them out and just crumble them in)
1 tsp. dried thyme
2  T. fresh parsley, finely chopped
Olive oil as needed
Salt and pepper to taste


1/4 C. tomato paste
1 T. maple syrup
Water to thin

  1. Grease loaf pan and line with parchment paper.  (I have made this recipe using a glass loaf pan, as well as disposable foil mini-loaf pans; both turned out well.)
  2. Rinse and sort lentils.  Put in pot with 3 cups of water and bring to a boil.  Simmer 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Overcook slightly.
  3. Toast walnuts in 325 degree oven for 8-10 minutes.  When done, increase heat in oven to 350 in preparation for the loaf.  (I have skipped this step in the interest of time, and my loaves have come out great, but I can see the benefit of this added flavor-building step.)
  4. Whisk flax with 1/2 C. water.  Set aside.
  5. Heat olive oil in skillet.  Saute onion and garlic for 5 minutes.
  6. Add celery, carrot, and apple.  Saute 5 more minutes.
  7. Mix all ingredients in large bowl:  oats, breadcrumbs, sauteed vegetables, herbs and flax mixture.
  8. Make glaze:  Whisk tomato paste and maple syrup with water as needed to make spreadable glaze.   The original recipe calls for 2 T. of apple butter and 2 T. balsamic vinegar as well (and using ketchup instead of paste), which also sounds tasty. Your call!
  9. Spread glaze over top of loaf.
  10. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes uncovered, until edges brown.  Both times I've made this, the cooking time was 30 minutes longer.  It seemed to take forever to move from a loaf pan full of mush to a cooked food.   Once, I removed the semi-cooked loaf and cut into slices, which I returned to the oven for a final baking (biscotti-style).   
         Here is a rather unattractive photo that demonstrates what I mean by twice-baked (looks can  
         deceive -- this was so tasty!):

What I did when my first loaf was too soft - twice-bake in the oven!

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