Dried beans and lentils are a wonderful addition to any pantry. Being a college student on a budget, they really help save a lot of money and there are so many wonderful things that you can do with them!
Lentils are also extremely beneficial when it comes to health! Lentils, although they might appear small in size, are very mighty when it comes to their nutritional components. They are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber and they are very helpful when it comes to managing blood-sugar disorders since their high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal. Lentils also provide substantial amounts of six important minerals, two B-vitamins, and protein-all with virtually no fat. Also, 1 cup of cooked lentils is only 230 calories! They are just so good for you!
Now that I have given up meat for lent, I am trying to incorporate more and more beans and lentils into my diet! I saw this recipe for a veggie quinoa lentil loaf a few days ago, and wanted to try to modify it to make it vegan for all you wonderful vegan readers and so that I could incorporate more of the ingredients I had on hand! The recipe I am about to share is extremely simple! It is perfect to make once and be able to eat for the next 2-3 days! It is so tasty and healthy and I bet you already have most of the ingredients on hand!
Combine 3 cups of vegetable broth or stock and 1 cup of dry lentils to a pot. Cook uncovered on medium heat for about 27 minutes or until the lentils are cooked through and have absorbed the liquid.
While your lentils are cooking, chop up/grate whatever veggies you have on hand! I chopped up 1 large yellow onion, some celery, and some mushrooms and grated some carrots and some squash.
Saute on medium heat your onions, mushrooms, and celery for about 5 minutes in a pan with 1 tbs of olive oil. Add your carrots and 1.5 tbs of minced garlic and continuing to saute for another 5 minutes. Take your veggies and pour them into a bowl and set aside.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Take 1 cup of walnuts and chop them up into smaller pieces. Place them on a baking tray in the oven for about 6 minutes. Some of them will probably burn…but it’s okay! Simply throw those ones out and keep going!
Combine your veggies and your walnuts in a big bowl. Add 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp sea salt, and 1 tsp pepper. Toss together in the bowl.
In another bowl, combine 1/2 cup cold water with 3 tbs of ground flax seed and stir. This is how you can make a “flax egg” whenever I don’t have eggs on hand, I always use this method for adding an egg to a recipe! It is completely healthy and I can never tell!
Pour into a baking pan and press down with your hands!
In a separate bowl, combine 3 tbs organic ketchup, 1.5 tbs balsamic vinegar, and 1.5 tbs of syrup (which you can use on these waffles tomorrow morning)! Spread on top of your loaf and pop it in the oven for 40 minutes!
When it comes out, immediately remove it from the pan and place in on a plate! Enjoy! :) So much yumminess in one single loaf!