Vegan Lentil Meatloaf
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
6 tablespoons boiling water
2 cups cooked and cooled lentils (divided into 1-1/2 cups and 1/2 cup)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 whole onion, diced
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup diced crimini mushrooms
2 cups rough chopped fresh spinach
1 tablespoon rough chopped fresh thyme
1 cup rolled oats (divided into two 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup almond flour
3/4 cup of seasoned tomato paste OR BBQ sauce (divided)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a 9×5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper and lightly grease it.
Whisk together the flaxseeds with the 6 Tbsps of boiling water in a mixing bowl, and set aside and to allow it to thicken and cool.
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, over a medium heat. Add in the onion and garlic and sauté for 5-7 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Add in the mushrooms and saute for another 3-5 minutes until the mushrooms are tender. Stir in the thyme and spinach and cook just until the spinach is wilted, about 1-2 minutes. Add in 1/2 cup of the seasoned tomato paste OR BBQ sauce, and stir to combine. Remove from heat and season with sea salt and pepper to taste.
Combine 1-1/2 cups of the cooked lentils and 1/2 cup of the oats in a food processor or sturdy blender and pulse until smooth (some whole bits may remain, that’s ok). Spoon the mixture into a large bowl, add in the remaining lentils and remaining oats, the thickened flaxseed mixture, almond flour and sauteed vegetable mixture. Stir really well to combine, and then get your hands in there and make sure it is mixed and mashed together really well.
Spoon the mixture into your parchment line loaf pan, and press mixture down firmly with your fingers to compact. Brush the remaining 1/4 cup of seasoned tomato paste or BBQ sauce over the top. Bake uncovered on center oven rack for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and cool in the pan for about 5. Next, pull the loaf out by grabbing the sides of the parchment paper and lifting up, and allow loaf to cool for another 5-7 minutes before slicing and serving.
**You may wish to have a larger quantity of seasoned tomato paste or BBQ sauce to top your lentil loaf slices after cutting.