As a gluten-free vegetarian who also happens to be pregnant, I have definitely been interested in getting more protein in my diet lately. You’ve probably seen some of the gluten-free tofu scrambles I’ve been enjoying for breakfast and lunch. But, even though I’ve been posting a lot of tofu recipes, I’ve been getting my protein from eggs, nuts, and beans as well. One of the more fun recipes I tried lately with beans channeled that old vegetarian favorite, the bean-nut loaf, in a modern way. I happened to use leftover bread from a gluten-free bakery. However, one secret to gluten-free food is that for recipes like this where you only need a bread texture but the flavor is not important, you can use ANY toasted gluten-free bread, even the mediocre processed stuff that is otherwise unpalatable. Red lentils are one of my favorites anyway, and combined with real parmesan, gluten-free bread crumbs, and veggies they resulted in a delightful and savory vegetarian “meatloaf” that both the DH and I thoroughly enjoyed. I highly recommend it for a stick-to-your-ribs dinner… and it is also great as leftovers.
Gluten Free Red Lentil Un-meatloaf Recipe
1 cup red lentils
2 cups your favorite gluten-free vegetarian broth (I used Edward and Sons Not-beef)
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp. butter or margarine
2 tbsp. gluten-free bread crumbs (food processed gluten free bread)
1/8 cup pecans, broken into medium sized pieces
2 cups grated hard parmesan cheese (use food processor)
1 small onion, chopped (scant)
3/4 cup crimini mushrooms, chopped
1 1/2 cup gluten-free bread crumbs (just toss your favorite gluten-free bread in food processor)
2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp. lemon juice
2 beaten eggs
salt and pepper
Bring red lentils, broth and bay leaf to boil in a saucepan and then lower heat, covering. simmer for 15-20 minutes or until all liquid soaks in. Remove bay leaf.
Preheat oven to 375F.
Prepare 2 lb. bread pan by lining with parchment paper or aluminum foil and grease with butter or margarine. Sprinkle bottom of pan with 2 tbsp. gluten-free bread crumbs and some of the pecan pieces.
In a large bowl, mix together the red lentils, parmesan cheese, onion, crimini mushrooms, 1 1/2 cup gluten-free bread crumbs, and parsley. Add the eggs and lemon juice and stir together. Season generously with salt and pepper.
Carefully spoon into prepared bread pan. Use remaining pecan pieces to attractively decorate the top of the lentil loaf.
Bake lentil loaf for an hour or until it has a golden brown and firm exterior. Slices will be more firm as it cools, but it tastes great hot out of the oven.
We served it with mashed potatoes and arugula, or brown rice pasta in a nutritional yeast sauce. Delish!
Any gluten-free bread (even one you don’t care for) will work in this recipe, as long as it isn’t sweet. You could also try gluten-free waffle crumbs if they are plain or savory (buckwheat). I ground up cheese and bread in my food processor using the cheese grater hole attachment- worked very well.