January 25, 2012

A "Meat" and Potatoes Kind of Girl?

Maybe my Midwestern friends are rubbing off on me (or not). Either way, this week I was craving some hearty "meat" and potatoes. I traded rotting animal carcass for a veganized recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens (of course), and the result was very different from my last foray into veggie "meatloaf". (I guess not all lentil loafs are created equal.) The texture is decidedly un-meaty, but the curry and apricots provides a kick of flavor while the pecans provide some crunch. It was great re-heated, which is essential for this single girl who eats the same thing for dinner all week. (Wonk, wonk.)

 I paired it with a healthier version of BH&G stuffed spuds...stay tuned for that recipe.

Using red lentils would make this look more like meat, if that's what you're into...

Vegan ingredients:
1 and 1/4cups dry red or yellow lentils (I used yellow split peas, but using red will make it look more like meat)
3     medium carrots, shredded
3/4cup dried apricots, diced
1medium onion, chopped
1stalk celery, chopped
1 1/2teaspoons curry powder
2cloves garlic, minced
1tablespoon vegetable oil
3 Tbsp instant mashed potatoes (an egg replacement, this will bind everything together)
1 1/2cups cooked quinoa or brown rice
3/4cup pecans, toasted and chopped
1/2cup mango chutney
1/4cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4cup chopped peeled fresh mango
Cilantro leaves, for topping
What to do:
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place lentils and 3 cups of water in medium saucepan and bring to boiling. Cover; simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until tender. Drain; set aside.

2.Meanwhile, get out a medium/large skillet and cook carrots, apricots, onion, celery, curry, and garlic in hot oil over medium heat for 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.

3. In large bowl, combine instant mashed potatoes, cooked lentils, carrot mixture, quinoa, 2/3 cup of the nuts, half the chutney, and 1 tsp. salt.

4. Firmly press lentil mixture into a greased loaf pan. Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes. In small bowl combine remaining chutney with red pepper, mango, and remaining pecans.

5. Evenly spoon chutney mixture on loaf. Bake 10 minutes more or until chutney mixture is heated through. Sprinkle with cilantro leaves. Make yourself a drink, allow the loaf to cool for 15 minutes, and cut in wedges to serve. Makes 8 servings.

 Cheers, ya'll!

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