Sunday, December 1, 2013

Lentil & Oats Loaf With Homemade Gravy

Lentil Loaf with Gravy

Lentil and Oats Loaf is a toothsome and very satisfying dish, my special Thanksgiving Day recipe of all time! The basic mixture can be prepared in many versatile ways: as muffins, a loaf or patties - take your pick :). I love making the muffins or patties as they are perfect for individual servings and freezing - and the bonus is that they cook faster too! You don't have to wait for Thanksgiving for making this, it is great for any special occasion.

Do use the old fashioned rolled oats and not the steel-cut oats.

It is great to make a big batch; they freeze and reheat well. The gravy reheats well also; so I make plenty of gravy too as it is delicious over lots of other dishes - we love it spooned liberally over toasted bread casserole, mashed potatoes, steamed/sauteed veggies, etc.

Loaf Ingredients: For 12 muffins

1 cup dry Lentils cooked & cooled 
1 cup Frijoles (cooked & mashed Pinto Beans) or more Lentils
1 1/2 cups dry Oats (old fashioned)
1 Tbsp Oil
1 Onion, finely chopped
2 ribs Celery, finely chopped
1-2 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 bunch Parsley, leaves chopped
2 Tbsp fresh Thyme leaves
1 sprig Sage, minced
1 large Carrot, grated
1 Zucchini, grated
1/4 - 1/2 tsp Black and Red Pepper
3 Tbsp Besan or Mung bean flour
1/2 cup Almond meal/Chopped Walnuts/Pecans (Optional)
1/2 cup Dry Bread crumbs, if needed

Oil or oil spray for the Muffin Pan

Method:

Cook the onions and celery with a pinch of the salt and the turmeric in a skillet in the oil until softened and translucent.

Stir in the garlic, then the herbs; remove from heat and let cool a little.

Place the cooked lentils, frijoles, rest of the salt, and all the rest of the loaf ingredients in a large bowl.

Stir together well and see how moist the mixture is; if it is very moist, then stir in the bread crumbs little by little until you can form the mixture into a ball or patty easily.  Let rest for about 30 minutes in the fridge. This mixture can be prepared up to this point a day ahead of time and chilled until ready to cook or bake.

Begin heating the oven to 350 degrees F.

Prepare a regular 12-cup muffin tin by oiling well.

Spoon the mixture (about 1/2 cup) into each of the muffin cups.

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the mixture is set and lightly browned.

Cool slightly before carefully turning them (may have to run a thin knife around them to loosen) on their sides to dry any condensation; let rest for about 10 more minutes before serving.

Serve hot with the gravy.  Enjoy!!


Gravy Ingredients: Makes about Two and a half cups

Note: If fresh herbs are not available, add a couple of pinches of the dried herbs. 

2 Tbsp Earth Balance or Oil
4 Tbsp Onions, finely minced
1 cup Mushrooms, thinly sliced (optional)
3 Tbsp Flour (rice, all purpose or whole wheat)
1 small clove Garlic, minced
1 Bay Leaf
1 sprig fresh Thyme
1 Sprig Sage Leaves
3-4 Tbsp Soy Sauce/Liquid Aminos
Sea Salt and freshly ground Pepper

Method:

In a medium size pan or skillet, cook the onions (and mushrooms if using) in the Earth Balance or oil until they begin to caramelize and brown, but not burn.

Add garlic, cook stirring for about a minute, then the herbs and stir for another minute.

Sprinkle the flour on the onion mixture, stir and cook continuously until it is toasted well and light brown.

Add two and a half cups of water and cook over medium heat whisking continuously so lumps do not form and the gravy begins to thicken.

Stir in the soy/liquid aminos to taste, lower the heat, cover, and simmer gently for about 5 minutes.

Fish out the herbs and discard; taste to check for seasonings and add salt if needed and a few grindings of pepper.

Spoon hot over lentil loaf.  Enjoy!!

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