I love a good vegetarian “meat” loaf. Heck, I love a good meat loaf too. However, we haven’t made meat loaf lately because they are too high in calories. I turn to veggie loafs as a good way to get that same taste in a healthier way. Tasty, which you probably have seen their quick videos all over Facebook and YouTube, came up with a recipe for a Veggie-Packed Lentil Loaf. Of course I watched the video. Looked easy enough and it was gluten-free. How do the stats stack up? Those aren’t bad either. The main problem was even with a large serving per person, the protein was a bit low. I wanted to keep this a veggie loaf, so I had to get creative with adding protein. Sodium was a little high, but we can fix that easily.
Here are the original stats:
- 237 Calories
- 3g Fat
- 0mg Cholesterol
- 763mg Sodium
- 228mg Potassium
- 49g Carbohydrates
- 12g Protein
- 68% Vitamin A
- 53% Vitamin C
- 3% Calcium
- 26% Iron
Not bad, right? We need to do a little bit better with the vitamin A and C, but I will do a side with this because no one eats just a slice of meat loaf with nothing else. I’m going to focus on upping the protein while keeping this vegetarian and lowering the sodium. Here’s what I changed:
- I replaced the soy sauce with an ultra low sodium variety.
- I deleted the added salt.
- I deleted the tomato paste to delete any tomato from this recipe.
- I added one block of extra firm tofu for added protein.
- I increased the lentils by 1/4 cup.
Here are the updated stats:
- 270 Calories
- 5g Fat
- 0mg Cholesterol
- 220mg Sodium
- 182mg Potassium
- 44g Carbohydrates
- 19g Protein
- 52% Vitamin A
- 41% Vitamin C
- 12% Calcium
- 30% Iron
For the increase in vitamins A and C, I am adding a side of steamed broccoli (a 4 ounce serving). This will bring the vitamin A to 100% and vitamin C to 209%. When preparing broccoli, don’t throw out the stems! A lot of people throw out the stems because they can be a little tough. To make them tender, just peel off the outer layer. That’s it. Use a peeler or knife to do it and then chop it up. Only steam them until just tender. I believe many people don’t like broccoli because it was prepared badly. I’m not fond of grey and overcooked broccoli either. However, freshly steamed broccoli is glorious.
The final loaf will be crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. It tasted great too. You get a large portion too. This is great if you have someone who needs that to eat healthy.
Here is the final recipe:
High Protein Veggie-Packed Lentil Loaf
- 2 tablespoons flax meal
- 6 tablespoons water
- Cooking spray
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- ½ cup (75 g) onion, diced
- 2 cups (150 g) cremini mushroom, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup (50 g) red bell pepper, diced
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon ultra low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire
- 1 cup dry lentils
- 2 cups water
- ¾ cup (170 g) brown rice, cooked
- ¾ cup (75 g) quick-cook oats
- ¼ cup (70 g) ketchup
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1 14oz block extra firm tofu
- To make the flax eggs, combine the flax meal and water in a small bowl and mix well. Set aside for at least 10 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Remove the tofu from the package and place between two plates and add some weight to help press out the liquid. Let drain for 20 minutes.
- Bring the 2 cups of water to a boil and add the lentils. Turn down the heat to low and cover. Cook for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat set aside.
- In a large saucepan, heat over medium heat. Spray with cooking spray, add the carrot and celery and cook until lightly browned, 2-3 minutes.
- Add the onion and mushrooms. Cook another 3-4 minutes, until the onions are semi-translucent.
- Add the garlic and bell pepper. Cook for 2 more minutes.
- Add the pepper, parsley, and thyme, and cook for 1 more minute, until fragrant.
- Add the soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce and cook for 2 more minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Remove the pan from the heat.
- In a food processor, add the lentils, brown rice, oats, flax eggs, tofu and sautéed vegetables. Pulse 10-12 times until the mixture is slightly chunky.
- Transfer the mixture to a parchment paper-lined loaf pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
- To make the glaze, combine the ketchup and maple syrup in a small bowl. Brush half of glaze on top of loaf, reserving the other half for later.
- Bake the loaf for 45-50 minutes, or until an fork inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Brush with the remaining glaze, then slice and serve.