One never knows where the source of their cooking inspiration may come from. I was recently in New Orleans with a couple of my neighbors, Elise and Susan, making the rounds at furniture consignment shops. My neighbor, Susan, stumbled across a faded yet worthy looking cookbook of Mediterranean cuisine. For less than a dollar, this was a real treasure. As we drove to our next destination she scanned the book for enticing recipes. The recipe for a lentil loaf peaked our interest. She read the list of ingredients aloud and provided us with methods and steps to make this vegetarian loaf.
I am always searching for new ways to make lentils and other tasty, heart healthy, and plant based foods. We can never consume enough lentils and the nutrition and fiber that they provide in our diets is invaluable. I always have lentils of all colors and sizes in the pantry.
After researching lentil loafs, I combined the best of ingredients from several recipes and what was available in my fridge and pantry to make my own original creation. This recipe actually meets the criteria for a vegetarian and vegan diet. It also has the best of the mediterranean diet.
I used small green lentils. You will need about 2 cups of cooked lentils to make this loaf. If you wish, you can used cooked canned lentils that have been rinsed. The cooked lentils are combined with sautéed seasonings, mushrooms and spices. Thyme, cumin, and paprika work with the cooked ingredients to heighten the taste of the otherwise bland lentils. The ground oats and nuts help to bind the ingredients together with the tomato paste.
You can choose what you would like to use to glaze the top of the loaf. I had some of my Sur le Plat, gochujang sauce that I chose to thin and use as a glaze. This added a little additional spice and kick to the lentil loaf. You can also use BBQ sauce or ketchup. Once the ingredients are combined, they are baked for 30 minutes until warmed through. Serve immediately. Your heart will be happy!