A fresh take on a Vegan Lentil Loaf for you! It's made with a delicious blend of lentils, mushrooms and walnuts and has a beautifully festive cranberry topping. Those pops of juicy cranberry in every bite are so good, plus they make it look pretty impressive. It would make a great centrepiece on your holiday table!
45g / ½cupflour, all purpose (plain flour in the UK), oat, rice, spelt or wholewheat
75g / 1 very packed cupbreadcrumbs (use gluten-free breadcrumbs if necessary). You can use store-bought breadcrumbs, or let some bread go stale at home and either put it in a food processor or blender to turn it into crumbs. Leftover crumbs can be put in a bag or container in the freezer and used straight from frozen for other recipes.
1tablespoontamari, or soy sauce, or coconut aminos
For the cranberry topping
200g / 2 cupcranberries, fresh or frozen
4tablespoonssugar , not brown sugar or coconut sugar
Preheat oven to 375°F
Add all of the ingredients (except the fresh/frozen cranberries and sugar) to a very large bowl and stir really well until combined. I find it easier to use clean hands to scrunch it all together and mix it.
Put the cranberries and the sugar in a small pan over a medium heat and just cook until the sugar is mostly dissolved and some juice is appearing in the bottom of the pan. It only takes 5 - 6 minutes. Then remove from the heat.
Grease a 1lb or similar loaf pan (about 8.5 inch x 4.5 inch or 9inch x 5inch) and line it with a strip of baking parchment going along the middle. (See my picture above). Leave some paper overhanging as it will make turning it out easier.
Spoon in the cranberries (you don't have to wait for them to cool down but be careful as the sugary liquid will be very hot) and even them out a bit with a spoon.
Pack the lentil loaf mixture on the top. Really push it down all over and make sure it is even on the top.
Place the loaf pan on a baking tray (just in case the cranberry liquid spills over) and bake for 1hr - 1 hr 10 minutes. It should be golden and crusty looking on the top and coming away from the edges. There will probably be a little jammy red liquid oozing over the edge too.
Once done, leave to rest in the pan for 15-30 minutes (it will stay warm for up to an hour if you wrap it in some tin foil) before turning out and slicing. To turn it out, put a plate or board on top of it then flip it over so the plate/board ends up on the bottom. It will slide out really easily but if you do have any trouble you can give a little tug on the parchment paper to ease it out. Once it's out, gently peel back the parchment paper to reveal the pretty cranberry top.
Tips for cooking lentils:
Don't soak them prior to cooking.
Rinse in a sieve with fresh water to remove any dust or debris.
Cook on a stovetop, using 3 cups of liquid (water, stock) to 1 cup of dry lentils. Be sure to use a large enough saucepan as the lentils will double or triple in size.
Bring to a boil, cover tightly, reduce heat to low and simmer until they are tender.
For whole lentils, cook time is usually about 15-20 minutes.
For split red lentils, cook time is typically only about 5 minutes.
Spoon a couple out and taste them to check done-ness periodically and as soon as they are ready, drain and leave to cool.
Any leftover cooked lentils will keep for 5-6 days in a sealed container in the fridge and they also freeze really well. If you want to make the Lentil Loaf ahead of time, follow the instructions up to packing it into the pan, then wrap it well and refrigerate for up to 3 days. It will need an extra 10 - 15 minutes in the oven to compensate for it starting off very cold. If you cook the loaf then for some reason don't get around to eating it, it will keep in the fridge for up to one week and can be reheated in the pan in the oven. It will take about 30 minutes (or until piping hot) on 375°F. Lentil Loaf leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 week. Wrap in tin foil and oven bake to reheat, or pan fry individual slices. When pan-fried it develops the most gorgeous crust and it's so good! ________________________________________________________DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? If you did, be a ☆ and let me know what you think by rating it and commenting below. Tag me on Instagram too. I am @avirtualvegan and my hashtag is #avirtualvegan________________________________________________________