Motivation Monday: “Eat to live, don’t live to eat.”
Hoppy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend! Things here have been busy busy busy. The past week was jam packed with exciting meetings and events, and later this week I’m off to San Francisco to speak at the 2013 Produce for Better Health Annual Conference: The Consumer Connection! I’m so lucky to have this dream job! You have no idea how happy I am to be back blogging. It’s so inspiring to hear from readers about their accomplishments with healthy eating. You guys make me so happy and proud! Love my little bunny fam!
Did you guys catch Justin Timberlake dressed as a block of tofu in the “ Veganville ” skit on on SNL? TOO FUNNY! I was crying laughing, and of course I spent my entire Sunday singing “Brown Rice Baby” and “Awww Veg Out!”
A few days ago I asked the RFFMBT Facebook community if they have any food allergies. I found out that tons of you guys have not so fun allergies like myself. I’m not sure if I have elaborated on this before, but I am allergic to blueberry, acai berry, blackberry, boysenberry, mulberry, cranberry, goji berry, strawberries, huckleberries, current, pomegranate, cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon, pumpkin, zucchini, and squash. Yes you read that right, squash. I found out the hard way after eating my Acorn Squash and ending up in the walk-in just minutes later. THANK YOU EPIPEN! Just when I thought I couldn’t be allergic to anything else, I’ve been having chronic hives every single day. Ugh, it’s totally getting on my nerves! It makes me so itchy and uncomfortable that at times I can’t sleep.
I made a last minute emergency appointment with my allergist when I woke up last Wednesday covered in hives. I haven’t changed my laundry detergent, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, face wash, or anything else along those lines. We’re trying to determine what the heck is going on, and so far… my doctor wants to have me tested for other possible autoimmune diseases (mainly Lupus) as well as Celiac Disease. Skin/scratch testing for other allergies is out of the question since I have Dermographia. If you haven’t heard of Dermographia, it’s a skin condition in which red, itchy lines and hives appear when the skin is scratched or irritated. It’s basically a fancy word for “I can write my name on my skin.” Do any of my readers have Dermographia? I wold LOVE to talk to you!
Enough allergy talk. Onto the food! Lentil Loaf is a great option for anyone who wants to try a Meatless Monday dinner! This Lentil Loaf is hearty, filling, and packed with plant power! Also Gluten free, soy free, and dairy free! I have a feeling this one could be boyfriend or hubby approved. It’s darn good.
Why Lentil Loaf is a serious plant POWERhouse: Lentils: Excellent source of fiber and plant based protein. Carrots: Contains beta carotene, which is essential for eye health. Onion: Flavonoid antioxidant, quercetin provides anti-inflammatory benefits. Garlic: Contains antioxidant properties and helps to maintain healthy blood circulation. Parsley: Vitamins A and C strengthen the body’s immune system and work as anti-inflammatory agents. Walnuts: Omega-3 fatty acids. Whole Rolled Oats: Filled with fiber to keep you full and regular. Sun Dried Tomatoes: Vitamins A, C, E, and Lycopene.
I placed the finished Lentil Loaf over a bed of red kale in attempt to get a pretty photo. haha. These pictures don’t do it justice!
Lentil Loaf Serves 4-5 – Chef AJ
1 1/2 cups cooked lentils
1 1/2 cups carrots (chopped)
1 cup finely chopped red onion (about 1 onion)
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley, finely chopped
1 cups raw walnuts, divided
1 cups uncooked whole rolled oats, divided
1 tablespoons sundried tomato powder – see note 1
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Puree the cooked lentils in a food processor until smooth. Transfer lentil paste to a mixing bowl. Puree carrots until smooth (it is ok if they become slightly liquid like. Transfer pureed carrots to the mixing bowl. Place onion, garlic, and parsley in the food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer onion, garlic, and parsley to the mixing bowl. Put half a cup of the walnuts and half a cup of oats in the food processor and blend until flour-like consistency is achieved. Transfer the ground walnuts and oats to the mixing bowl. Roughly chop (into small pieces) the remaining half cup of walnuts and add to the mixing bowl along with the remaining half cup of whole uncooked oats (for texture). Add sun dried tomato powder and mix all ingredients together. Lightly coat a standard 9 x 5 loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. Pour mixture into the pan and bake 30-35 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and let it stand for 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving dish. Invert onto a plate, slice, and serve hot.
Note 1:If you cannot find sun-dried tomato powder, you can easily make your own. Just grind sun-dried tomatoes (not in oil) in a magic bullet or coffee grinder! Just Tomatoes are dryer than most, so it will turn out more like a powder. Any sun-dried tomatoes not packed in oil will work great. Store extra sun-dried tomato powder in the fridge. Note 2: Don’t worry about cleaning the food processor in between foods as they will all be mixed together in the end. Note 3: You can drizzle with your favorite organic condiments such as ketchup, mustard, BBQ sauce or even some leftover Vegan Tomato Soup!
Come to think of it, this would make excellent vegan burger patties or maybe the filling for a stuffed pita pocket! Lunch and dinner for the next couple of days… done and done!