My Sister’s Pantry Loafing Around with the VVP

How wonderful to share a recipe and our usual appreciation of our own humor, with my Little Sis… and now with you!  My very persuasive and brilliant Little Sis’ decisions regarding not eating animal products are pushing me a little more and more in the direction of vegan-ism.  One Baby Step at a time is the surest footing for adults … baby steps.  Little Sis is very inspiring :-)

Our joint offering for the VVP: virtual vegan potluck, (thank you An Unrefined Vegan for including us), is a lentil based meatless-loaf that includes apples, raisins and a delicious BBQ-like glaze that we adapted from Angela Liddon.  We both made it and offer our variations which don’t vary much from each other, but are gluten free and have been praised by meat-eaters and non-meat-,eaters alike!  Little Sis says…

The only thing better than cooking while listening to the storm rage outside is cooking with my sister while the storm rages outside.  She found this super recipe to share with you and we decided we would both cook our own take on it.  The funny thing is that at the end of the day, many of the changes that we made were the same – decreasing the gluten, opting for ease and the ingredients that we usually work with rather than buying things we may not use again…  the genes at work I suppose.  And if I had to choose who to be like, well, I don’t want to embarrass her, but she’s pretty awesome.  On to the food you say?!

Not embarrassed, but a little teary eyed… I think Little Sis is beyond swell and together we could rule the world!  Sorry, presidential elections can go to one’s head.

I offer the finished products for your perusal..

Now if I would only follow Little Sis’ admirable presentation skills, right?

Mine is to the left, Little Sis’ to the right.  Her daughter is swayed by size and the presence of a cupcake wrapper :-)  and clearly, despite the similarity of the plates, Little Sis has a bit more class!  Let me assure you however that this loaf’s taste speaks for itself.

So without further chatting, here is the recipe!

Glazed Lentil Walnut Apple Loaf (adapted from Angela Liddon)

Yield: 1 large loaf or various mini loaves

1 cup uncooked lentils – original is green lentils
1 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted
3 tbsp ground flax + 1/2 cup water
3 garlic cloves, minced
1.5 cups diced sweet onion
1 cup diced celery
1 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup peeled and grated sweet apple (use a firm variety) – origina is 1/3 cup
1/3 cup raisins
1/2 cup rice flour or other gluten free flour – oat flour is the original
3/4 cup rolled oats  - or breadcrumbs is the original
1 tsp dried thyme – original is 2 tsp fresh thyme or 3/4 tsp dried thyme
salt & pepper, to taste (I use about 3/4 tsp sea salt + more Herbamare (I did not use Herbamare)
red pepper flakes, to taste (I did not use these either)

One nice thing about a vegan loaf is you can lick your fingers and the spoon :-)

Balsamic Apple Glaze:

1/4 cup ketchup
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
2 tbsp apple butter (or unsweetened applesauce in a pinch)
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 325F. Rinse and strain lentils. Place lentils into pot along with 3 cups of water (or veg broth). Bring to a boil and season with salt. Reduce heat to medium/low and simmer, uncovered, for at least 40-45 minutes. Stir frequently & add touch of water if needed. The goal is to over-cook the lentils slightly (see pictures in post). Mash lentils slightly with a spoon when ready.

2. Toast walnuts at 325F for about 8-10 minutes. Set aside. Increase oven temp to 350F. (mine toasted longer because I forgot to set the timer and they were fine ;-)

3. Whisk ground flax with water in a small bowl and set aside.

4. Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sautee the garlic and onion for about 5 minutes. Season with salt.  Now add in the diced celery, shredded carrot and apple, and raisins. Sautee for about 5 minutes more. Remove from heat. (Like Little Sis, I did not saute the raisins – why mess too much with perfection?)

5. In a large mixing bowl, mix all ingredients together. Adjust seasonings to taste.

6. Grease a loaf pan and line with parchment paper. Press mixture firmly into pan. Whisk glaze ingredients and then spread half on top of loaf. Reserve the rest for a dipping sauce.  I did not use parchment paper in my glass dish , just greased with safflower oil and it was fine.  The loaf pans were not easy to fit with parchment paper – I will skip this step next time and just grease them first.

7. Bake at 350F for 40-50 minutes, uncovered. Edges will be lightly brown. Cool in pan for at least 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. I usually wait until loaf is cool before slicing.

I made only a few small modifications to Big Sis’ version of this super loaf, and most of these changes were pantry or small child accommodations.  I don’t keep rice flour on hand (and East Coast stores have been a nightmare for several days now), so rather than 1/2 c rice flour, I mixed garbanzo bean flour (which I keep on hand for burgers and patties like these) with corn meal (to lighten up the garbanzo flour a little).  Like Big Sis I used rolled oats for bread crumbs (we eat all our bread around here, so not many crumbs to use).  I was forced to omit the red pepper flakes (sadly) due to my pepper sniffing picky one.  And finally, because of said picky one, who has a soft spot for cute food, I chose to make mini loaves in a cupcake pan rather than one big loaf.  Small bites work better for Miss Thing. I used about 1/2 t of salt, but could have used a tad more (note: I could always use a tad more, so don’t trust my salt-o-meter, taste your food). For the glaze, I opted for the “in a pinch” option of using applesauce as I keep this on hand, but do not keep apple butter around. I followed the procedural directions pretty closely (yeah, I know, it’s a miracle) except that I chose not to saute the raisins as Mr. Little Sis objects to mushy raisins. This way they were only cooked once rather than twice and they kept a little bit of structure, yeah that’s right I just said the raisins kept their structure, foodie weirdos unite!

These little loaves are super yummy. The glaze tastes very much like barbecue sauce, and in case you don’t know, this flavor is heavenly with apples, pretty much no matter what else you put in there. I also found that that the glaze was super delish on my portobello cap sandwich I made for our last electricity aided lunch. :-) I am a bit of a barbecue freak and am very enthusiastic about the idea of using this glaze in many places, starting with some tofu after this silly hurricane finishes having her way with us. Delish!

I am pleased to report that Little Sis and Mr. Little Sis’ house sustained no damage and although they are a bit cold and still have no power, the little people went to school on Halloween giving them a bit of a breather.  Our thoughts and prayers are with those who lost loved ones or property in this awful storm.  Hope you all are safe and warm!

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42 responses

  1. I really love you both! So glad you both came to the potluck with this incredible lentil loaf! (p.s. Angela Liddon adapted this recipe from a book called… wait for it….Good Clean Food!) I’ve made adaptations on the original and adore it! xoxo

    • Thanks Annie – and a HUGE thank you for organizing this whole thing. I was working yesterday and just settling in now with a cup of tea to sample the buffet of delicious healthy food :-)

    • Thank you! I believe that this sauce is going to find it’s way onto some other dishes as well. A BBQ tofu sandwich comes to mind…. Thanks for stopping by!

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    • Great! Would love to hear how the quinoa flour turns out! I don’t see why zucchini wouldn’t work, although you may need to drain it some first, or add more flour to soak up the moisture.

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