Hear that? It’s Old Man Christmas, straight up knocking at your door. And guess who he brought to dinner? Every vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, keto, plant-based relative and friend known to man!

That’s a whole lot of dietary restrictions to wrestle with…especially if you’re hosting (or contributing to) the holiday feast. #nopressure #gulphelp

Deep breath. Don’t stress. It’ll be okay. You’ve got wine, right? 😉

And I’ve got a recipe that’ll help you figure it all out and save you from going down the usual Google holes – pulling out your hair – looking for a “high-protein, low-carb, no-meat meal that’s free-of-everything, except for plants, and doesn’t taste like cardboard.”

I present to you…your comforting, flavorful, nutrient-packed, crisis-averting Apple Walnut Lentil Loaf – the perfect solution to feeding your ENTIRE hungry crew and all their curtailments.

Apple Walnut Lentil Loaf

Not to toot my own recipe, but this loaf is a crackerjack!

You know, the kind that’s so dang good it can make a meat-eater forget meat exists (don’t roll your eyes, this actually happened to a friend of ours – he eventually remembered meat’s existence, but he still requests this meatless loaf on the reg.)

Apple Walnut Lentil Loaf

Here’s why:

The consistency and texture is “meat-y-ish” and it fills you up fast.

Plus it’s DELICIOUS and jam-packed with all the impressive, good-for-you things like: apples, lentils, my all time fave: the sweet potato, herbs and walnuts.

A couple last things to consider…

Nut-allergies. A simple nut-free tweak is to swap the walnuts for sunflower seeds.

Sides. If you’re lookin’ for more than a loaf to fill your holiday table, I highly recommend serving this with my Creamy Vegan Mashed Potatoes and a side of green beans.

Top It and Dip It. For the love of all things saucy, don’t skimp on the balsamic glaze. It’s the perfect complement – like hot fudge to a sundae – so go heavy with it!

Apple Walnut Lentil Loaf

Apple Walnut Lentil Loaf w/ Balsamic Glaze

LENTIL LOAF INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups lentils (green or brown), cooked and drained
  • 3 Flax eggs (3 tablespoons ground flax seed + ½ cup water)
  • ½ cup gluten-free oats
  • 1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup (approx. 4 stalks) celery, finely diced
  • 1 small sweet potato, grated
  • 1 small apple, cored and grated
  • 1 cup walnuts, lightly toasted and finely chopped
  • ½ cup gluten-free breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon Balsamic Glaze (below)
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

BALSAMIC GLAZE INGREDIENTS:

  • ¾ cup organic unsweetened ketchup
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • Pinch of sea salt

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a loaf pan or line with parchment paper, leaving paper around the edges – like handles.
  2. Make flax eggs: whisk ground flax with water in small bowl and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the Balsamic Glaze ingredients and set aside.
  4. Pulse the lentils, along with the oats, in food processor into a crumbly, almost paste-like consistency. You want the mixture to be sticky enough to hold together, without being completely pulverized. Set aside.
  5. Add olive oil to large skillet over medium heat and sauté the onions and garlic until soft, about 5 – 7 minutes.
  6. Then stir in the celery, sweet potato and apple. Sauté until tender, about 5 minutes more.
  7. In a large bowl, combine lentil/oat mixture, flax eggs, 1-tablespoon of the Balsamic Glaze, sautéed veggies and all remaining ingredients. Mix until well combined.
  8. Press lentil loaf mixture firmly into prepared loaf pan.
  9. Spread remaining Balsamic Glaze on top of the lentil loaf, reserving a few tablespoons for spooning over the finished lentil loaf.
  10. Bake loaf, uncovered, for 50-60 minutes, until loaf is firm to touch and golden brown around the edges. Let loaf sit for 10-15 minutes before serving, loaf will continue to firm as it cools.

And rid yourself of that perpetually confounding question of “what-to-feed-the-peeps.”

Then be sure to let me know how it all went down.

Happy almost-Holiday!

With so much love,

xo

Vicki signature