Vegan Lentil Walnut Loaf

I have been looking an awfully long time for a decent Lentil Loaf that does not have cheese, gluten (wheat bread crumbs), and eggs. I was browsing the web and came across this recipe from Oh She Glows website and modified some ingredients to match my food plan. I cannot take credit for this, Oh She Glows rocks! This Lentil Walnut Loaf is just simply amazing. The texture reminds me so much of meat loaf, I ate 2 slices in one sitting. My only regret was not having enough glaze to dip the loaf in when I was eating it. Definitely making double glaze next time. I do not think I will ever try another lentil loaf recipe again and will attempt to make burgers out this recipe. Will keep you all posted! Enjoy!!

Vegan Lentil Walnut Loaf
(From Oh She Glows, modified)
Created on 9/30/2014

Walnut.Lentil.Loaf
Ingredients
1 cup dry lentils, washed and picked through for stones, twigs
3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
3 tablespoons of ground flax seed
2 tablespoons of olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ of a large onion, minced
1 large celery stick chopped, fine
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
1 medium apple, grated – I used Golden Delicious
1 cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon of flax seed meal
½ cup gluten free oats grounded into oat flour with food processor
¾ cup GF breadcrumbs – 2 slices of gluten free bread, toasted and processed with food processor

For the glaze
3 tablespoons organic ketchup
1 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup

In a medium pot, cook the lentils with vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for about 40 to 45 minutes until all the stock is absorbed. Stir often so lentils do not stick to the bottom. When the lentils are cooked and the stock is absorbed, set aside and cool.

While lentils are cooking, toast walnuts in the oven at 350 degrees for approximately 6 to 8 minutes and cool. Prepare the flax egg, in a measuring cup add 3 tablespoons of flax meal with ½ cup of warm water, stir well and set aside. The flax meal will thicken some into a gel-like consistency.

In a large skillet, heat up olive oil over medium heat and add the onions, garlic, carrot, celery, apple for about 5 minutes and add the walnuts. Season the sautéed vegetables with salt, pepper and thyme. Set aside.

Mix the processed oats, breadcrumbs and the 1 tablespoon of flax seed meal in a large bowl. Add the cooked vegetables and ¼ of the cooked lentils in the bowl. In the food processor, add the 3/4 of the cooked lentils and process until fairly smooth – there will be some lentils still whole. Add the mixture to the bowl. Add the flax egg meal and stir everything well. Use your hands to mix if need to.

In a lined with parchment paper loaf pan, dump the lentil mixture and press down well with fingers. Smooth out the top.

Mix the glaze ingredients together and top on the loaf. Bake in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the loaf set for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and slice into 8 or 9 nice thick slices.

Note: Oh She Glows had ¼ cup of raisins in her loaf and 1 tablespoon of apple butter mixed in the glaze. I did not have these ingredients in my pantry and just added another tablespoon of ketchup instead. I still thought the loaf was ahhmazing!!

CLICK HERE TO PRINT THE RECIPE

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Vegan Corn Zucchini Stuffed Shells

Stuffed shells are one of my favorite foods. But, they often tend to be on the unhealthy side with the different cheeses and sometimes meat. Because I am slowly changing my eating habits, I decided to try and make vegan stuffed shells instead. I have to admit I was a little skeptical. The stuffed shells to my surprise were delicious. I used organic vegetables, non-GMO tofu and whole grain pasta. At first, I thought that maybe the extra-firm tofu was not a good idea, but the tofu worked well in the recipe. Enjoy!

Vegan Corn Zucchini Stuffed Shells
Created 7/10/14

corn.zucchini.stuffedshells

1 cup of organic corn (cut off the cob, or frozen and thawed)
1 large zucchini, chopped into bite size pieces
½ of a medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons of vegetable stock or olive oil
1 garlic clove minced
1 package (15.5 ounce) organic non-gmo extra firm tofu
1 (8 ounce) bag of Dayia shredded Mozzarella cheese
¼ cup of fresh minced parsley
Zest of a lemon and the juice
3 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
1 jar of tomato basil marinara sauce
Salt/Pepper for flavor
28 large pasta shells cooked and drained

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a pot of boiling salted water, add the pasta shells and cook for approximately 6 to 8 minutes. The shells need to be firm and not soft as they will continue to cook in the oven.

It is important to drain the tofu well. Otherwise the filling will be very watery. I used an upside down colander and put the tofu on top, then a small plate weighed down with a heavy bowl to drain a lot of the liquid out. Drain for approximately 10 minutes.

In a large sauté pan, heat up the vegetable stock or olive oil over medium heat and add the onion. Sauté for about 5 minutes, add more stock if needed. Add the corn and cook for another 3 minutes. Then, add the zucchini and cook for about 5 minutes, remove from the heat and add the minced garlic. The heat from the vegetables will cook the garlic. Set aside and cool.

In a large bowl, crumble the tofu up with your fingers and add the nutritional yeast. Add ½ of the cheese, sautéed vegetables, zest, lemon juice, and parsley. Mix well.

In a 9 x 13 casserole dish, spread 1/2 cup of tomato sauce on the bottom of the dish. Set aside. Stuff the shells with the tofu mixture and lay in the casserole dish. After all the shells are stuffed, cover the top of the shells with the balance of the marinara sauce. Sprinkle the rest of the mozzarella cheese on the shells.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese has melted. Remove the foil and turn on the broiler for a few minutes to brown and bubble the cheese. Remove from the heat when done.

Serve with a lightly seasoned arugula or green salad.

CLICK HERE TO PRINT THE RECIPE

Lentil Burgers

Vegetarian / Vegan (V) Burgers are a huge deal to me. I am extremely picky about burgers especially trying to cut the animal products out of my diet. Tofu (soy) I do not eat often and soy is often used as the main ingredient for (V) burgers. I am a researcher on a quest for healthy eating and nutrition. During my quest for (V) burgers I came across this recipe from a runner’s blog called scottjurek.com so I cannot take credit for this burger but I can praise this one to the moon and back. I modified the burger ingredients to suit my needs and taste. Enjoy!

Lentil Burgers

LentilBurger

Ingredients
2-1/4 cups cooked Lentils
3 garlic cloves minced
1-1/4 cups finely chopped shallots
¾ cup finely chopped walnuts
2 cups Old Fashioned Oatmeal (pulsed finely in food processor)
½ cup ground flax seed meal
3 cups finely chopped mushrooms
1-1/2 cups fresh coarsely chopped spinach (not baby spinach) you can also use Kale (just remove the stems from spinach or Kale)
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons stone ground mustard
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
½ teaspoon smoked paprika

Directions
Use a food chopper to finely chop the food that requires a fine chop. This is a huge time saver.

Combine the walnuts, oatmeal, flax seed meal, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, and paprika in a large bowl and mix well.

In a large pan sauté the shallots, garlic, mushrooms and spinach in olive oil for about 10 minutes, set aside. In another bowl, add the lentils, balsamic vinegar and mustard: mash with a potato masher or wooden spoon until a thick paste forms.

Add the sautéed vegetables, oatmeal mixture to the lentils and mix well. Cool in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or more.

With hands, form burger patties to the desired size and place on wax paper. Lightly fry in the large sauté pan the vegetables were cooked in. The burgers can be broiled or grilled. Cook the burgers until lightly crisp, approximately 5 minutes on each side.

Serve with your favorite toppings like lightly seasoned olive oil and vinegar arugula, Bibb lettuce, or spinach along with tomato and avocado.

Uncooked patties can be frozen between wax paper in plastic bags wrapped. This recipe makes about 10 nice size burgers.

CLICK HERE TO PRINT THE RECIPE

Fuss Free Basic Quinoa

Sometimes when you cook all the time, our knowledge gets the best of us. We sometimes assume people know how to cook the basic things. Things like Quinoa, Brown Rice, different various food items that everyday kitchen staples that we know how to cook others may not. I made a short how-to video with the help of A258Production owned by Carrie Montoney, we created a very impromptu How to Video. This is something I plan to expand with, so to all you loyal readers, keep on watching! Enjoy!

HOW TO COOK QUINOA

1 cup of quinoa, white, tri-colored, mixed
2 cups of water
1 tight fitted lid with saucepan
Mesh strainer

Measure 1 cup of quinoa and put into the mesh strainer. Rinse the quinoa with cold water for about a minute or two to rinse off the bitter coating on the seeds.

Add 2 cups of cold water into a saucepan with a tight fit lid, heat water over high heat till boiling.

Add the rinsed quinoa and let the water resume boiling, then reduce to low heat. Cover with lid and cook for 20 minutes. Do not stir, open and remove the lid to peek. Leave the pan alone. The water will evaporate.

The quinoa seeds will burst open when cooked completely.

After 20 minutes, turn off heat and let quinoa rest for ten minutes.

Transfer quinoa to a dish using a fork to remove from pan to prevent clumping. Do not use a spatula or spoon as it will mush the quinoa together.

quinoa

CLICK HERE TO PRINT THE RECIPE

Sauteed Vegetables with Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing

This recipe was created on Easter Sunday. I did not want to eat the traditional foods that are normally served on Easter because Ham and the sides tends to have a lot of carbs, fat and sodium in it and there are consequences for me when I eat foods with too much of these things. This is an excellent dish as a meal or a side. This was one of the recipes that are vegan/vegetarian friendly. I used my favorite vegetables and beans for this sautéed stir fry dish. Enjoy!

Mixed Sautéed Vegetables with Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing
Created on 04/20/14

Easter04.14vegetables
Ingredients
1 pound fresh asparagus cut into bite size pieces
2 medium zucchini sliced medallion style
4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced diagonally
1 bag of organic non-gmo frozen corn
1 pint of cherry tomatoes cleaned and halved
1 cup of chopped green onions (approximately a bunch)
10 ounces of crimini mushrooms wiped clean and sliced thick
1 can of organic garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup of vegetable stock
Salt/pepper to taste

Lemon Vinaigrette (In a small jar with tight fitting lid – add the following ingredients)
1 full lemon squeezed
1 tablespoon of honey
Salt / pepper to taste
1 tablespoon of Stone ground Dijon Mustard
3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

Put all the ingredients in the jar, shake well and set aside.

Heat about 3 tablespoons of vegetable stock in a wok over high heat. This process will go very fast. Remember to season each batch of vegetables with salt and pepper suited to your taste. Sautee the carrots for about 5 to 7 minutes; you want the texture to be medium soft and remove and transfer to the serving platter. Then add about 2 tablespoons of vegetable stock and the mushrooms and cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, remove and transfer to the platter. Add more stock as needed and continue to cook the zucchini, asparagus, and green onions for additional 3 to 5 minutes and add to the vegetables previously added to the platter. Add the corn, tomatoes and garbanzo beans until fully heated through and transfer to the serving platter.

CLICK HERE TO PRINT THE RECIPE

 

Quinoa Salad with Dried Apricots, Cranberries and Orange Vinaigrette

This is a repost due to many requests for this recipe on Facebook and my personal emails. I modified this recipe so many times and this is the most favorite so far. I originally posted this on March 6, 2010 so it is really nice to get requests for this recipe often.  I am fascinated with grain and seed salads. It is hard to believe that these little tiny kernels of seeds pack such a powerful healthy punch. Quinoa is an excellent source of protein. I made a salad as part of a birthday lunch for a friend and it was a huge hit. The original salad recipe came from a friend of mine’s mothers recipes. Where she got it I am not sure. Enjoy!

Quinoa Salad with Dried Apricots, Cranberries and Orange Vinaigrette
Created recipe on 03/06/2010, revamped often, most favorite 04/25/14

Quinoa Salad Picture

To cook the quinoa
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained (this is important because of the coating on the seeds. It tastes bitter when not rinsed well.
2 cups water
Salt lightly (optional)

Bring the water to a boil in a 3 quart pan. Add the salt and quinoa. Return to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer and cover. Cook for 15 minutes until the whole seed then cracks open and pops. This will make about 2 cups of cooked Quinoa. Transfer the cooked quinoa in a large bowl.

Ingredients
1/3 cup of slivered almonds
1/3 cup of pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup dried apricots diced into small pieces
1/3 cup cran-raisins
1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (about 2 large oranges)
1 green onion thinly chopped
1/2 English cucumber, minced
2 tablespoons fresh minced Italian parsley
2 tablespoons fresh minced chives
2 tablespoons fresh minced mint
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, organic canola oil, or grape seed oil

Toast the slivered almonds on a stone or cookie tray in 350 degree oven for approximately 3 to 5 minutes until the almonds are golden brown. It may take more time depending on your stove.

Dice the dried apricots into small mini size pieces and toss with the cran-raisins in the large bowl with the cooked quinoa. Add the minced parsley, chives, green onion, English cucumber and fresh mint to the mixture.

In a small bowl, combine the cumin, coriander, orange juice. Whisk in the oil until well blended. Before serving, pour dressing over quinoa mixture and toss well with fork. Sprinkle with the toasted pumpkin seeds and almonds over the grain salad and serve.

CLICK HERE TO PRINT THE RECIPE

Broccoli Asparagus Quinoa Salad

Sunday was the first day of Daylight Savings Time. The day was a gorgeous, crisp and sunny fall day. Drove around doing errands and showing my friends around Columbus. They wanted to visit the Whole Foods on Route 161 in Dublin. Awesome Store! I had researched earlier on the internet for recipes for the week and to prepare for my dinner party on Wednesday and came across a blog called detoxinista.com and saw some recipes I wanted to try. This one is similar to what we know as Broccoli, Rice and Cheese casseroles. I remember my mom making this with Cream of Celery Soup, frozen broccoli, lots of cheese and white rice. Now that I think about it, ick! I made this recipe and tweaked it some to suit my tastes and was it was amazing! This recipe has no dairy or cream of “something” soup. Tasted just like the real Broccoli and Cheese Casserole. I wish I can take credit for this recipe but I cannot! Most Excellent!

Broccoli, Asparagus Quinoa Casserole
Created on 11/3/13

photo (18)

For the “mock” cheese sauce:
1 cup cooked mashed sweet potato (I microwaved mine for 5 minutes)
1-1/2 cups of water
¼ cup of Bragg’s nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon of chili powder

To put the casserole together:
1 cup of dry quinoa, rinsed well
2 cups of water
2 teaspoon of olive oil
½ onion, chopped
2-1/2 cups of broccoli florets
2-1/2 cups of roasted asparagus (this is optional, just adjust the choice of vegetables to equal 5 cups)

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. To cook the quinoa, put water and rinsed quinoa in a pan, bring the water to a boil and add the quinoa. Cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until all the water is absorbed and the quinoa was plumped up. Fluff with a fork gently and set aside.

While the quinoa is cooking, in a large sauté pan, on medium high heat, add the oil and onions. Sauté for about 5 minutes till the onions are translucent (shiny) and tender. Add the broccoli florets and 2 tablespoons of water to the sauté pan and mix well. Cover and steam the broccoli for about 10 minutes until tender but not mushy.

In a blender, in order add the water, mashed sweet potato, nutritional yeast, salt, onion powder and chili powder until creamy and smooth.

Combine the quinoa and sautéed vegetables in a large bowl and add the sweet potato cream and combine well. Spread in a large casserole dish or deep dish stoneware. Bake for 10 minutes until bubbly and hot. I cooked mine for 45 minutes and the top was a little bit dark but I think it deepened the flavor.

Serve the casserole with a Green Salad.

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