Nut loaf is a healthy vegetarian alternative to meat loaf and at least as good! This version has a sauce of tomato, paprika and herbs.
1 cup (200g) split red lentils
2 cups (500ml) vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
3/4 cup (100g) unsalted cashews
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large or 2 small leeks, trimmed and finely chopped
1 red capsicum, deseeded and chopped
100g mushrooms, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 cup (100g) fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs
1/4 cup (15g) chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2/3 cup (75g) grated mature cheddar cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon paprika
400g can chopped tomatoes
150ml red wine or vegetable stock
1/4 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
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Directions Preparation:30min › Cook:1hour › Extra time:15min › Ready in:1hour45min
Rinse the lentils in a sieve under cold running water. Drain, then tip into a saucepan. Add the stock and bay leaf and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, then cover and cook for 15 minutes until the lentils are soft and pulpy and the stock has been absorbed. Stir once or twice towards the end of the cooking time to prevent the lentils sticking. Discard the bay leaf. Tip the lentils into a bowl.
Meanwhile, put the cashews in a non-stick frying pan and toast over a medium heat until lightly browned, stirring often. Cool, then roughly chop.
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C. Line the base of a loaf tin with baking paper.
Add the oil to the frying pan and cook the onion over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Remove half the onion and reserve for the sauce. Add the leeks, capsicum, mushrooms and garlic to the pan and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Stir in the lemon juice.
Add the vegetables to the bowl of lentils. Stir in the breadcrumbs, nuts and 2 tablespoons of the parsley, followed by the cheese and egg. Season, then spoon into the loaf tin. Level the top and cover with a piece of lightly oiled foil.
Bake the loaf for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for a further 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes before carefully turning out and cutting into thick slices.
Meanwhile, make the sauce. Put the reserved onion and remaining ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, until slightly reduced. Stir in the remaining parsley before serving with the loaf.
great recipe! we didn't have cashews, so we used mixed nuts, and for a bit of extra flavour we added yams in with the lentils.. it makes such a delicious loaf! Even better for lunch the next day - 24 Aug 2011