If you're looking for the ideal dish for your festive dinners, this is it. Look no further! Vegan (therefore vegetarian and fasting) lentil-based loaf. The result is simply awesome! Its texture is a real treat. Crispy on the outside, tender and moist on the inside, and firm enough so that it doesn't come apart, even when sliced.
It's hearty and extremely satisfying and can be cut into twenty slices. So, it's perfect for ten servings.
When I started thinking about the perfect main course for the holidays, I thought of meals that could be placed in the middle of the table and then served to the guests. I wanted to show that we're sharing the food that brings us together. After all, this is the essence of the holidays. Love, coexistence and sharing with our loved ones. So I decided that a vegan loaf would perfectly communicate those values.
I wanted it to be impressive, both whole and when served, hearty, satisfying, and firm enough, without being hard, so that it can be sliced without coming apart. So I ended up choosing this delicious vegan lentil-based loaf. Vegetables make it, not only colorful but also extremely tasty and nutritious. Its texture is perfect and ideal for slicing. Oat flakes balance the moisture of vegetables and lentils. So after baking the loaf, it's fluffy but also firm.
Ιt's a real gem on festive tables! The slightly baked jam on top creates a beautiful crust, and the celery and pomegranate add the finishing touches for a super flavorful as well as a visually perfect result.
Impress your guests, not only with its amazing taste and texture but also with its festive and colorful appearance!
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Awesome vegan loaf from lentils and veggies!
- 4 cups boiled brown lentils (about 1½ cup uncooked) or canned (about 2 cans) divided in half
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp curry
- 2 cups oat flakes divided in half
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 4 ribs celery roughly chopped
- 3 medium white mushrooms roughly chopped
- 2 carrots roughly chopped
- 1 red bell pepper roughly chopped
- ½ green bell pepper roughly chopped
- ½ yellow bell pepper roughly chopped (if you don't have any, use more red bell pepper)
- 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 5 sun-dried tomatoes finely chopped
- 1 tomato grated
- 3 Tbsp tomato paste
- 4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup white wine
- ½ tsp curry
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp smoked paprika divided in half
- 2 tsp thyme dried
- salt and pepper
- 4 Tbsp forest fruit jam or cranberry or blueberry jam
- ¼ cup pomegranate seeds (check out here how to easily and quickly deseed a pomegranate)
- 2 Tbsp celery leaves finely chopped
Lentils (if using canned, skip this step)
- Bring lentils to a boil (let them slightly overboil) with the bay leaves and spices and then simmer for about 30 minutes.
- In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium to high heat and add the curry, cumin, half smoked paprika (½ teaspoon), and onion and sauté for 2 minutes. Then add the mushrooms, carrots, peppers, and celery and sauté for another 5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to stir for another minute.
- Then add the wine and thyme and after one minute add the tomato and tomato paste and stir well. Lower the temperature to medium-low, and when liquids are evaporated (in about 5 minutes) remove the mixture from the pan and set aside in a large bowl.
- Preheat oven to 200 °C/392 °F.
- In the bowl add half the lentils, half the oats, the sun-dried tomatoes and the rest of the roll ingredients (don't forget the smoked paprika), except the jam, and mix. Set the mixture to multi (or high-speed blender) and we hit a little. We want the final texture to have pieces of vegetables and not be completely pulped.
- Mix the mixture from the food processor (or blender) with the rest of the oats and the rest of the whole lentils.
- Get a piece of parchment paper wet and put it in a loaf pan of about 11x30x7cm/9x5x3in. The parchment paper should stick out of the pan a bit so the loaf can be easily lifted once baked. Grease the parchment paper with a little bit of olive oil and add the mixture. Press the mixture down firmly and spread it until flattened (because later you'll flip it and this will be the bottom of the loaf).
- Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Wrap around the parchment paper that sticks out of the pan, so it doesn't cover the loaf.
- Remove loaf from the oven (but don't turn it off) and, carefully, turn the loaf pan upside down in a baking dish. To achieve this, without the loaf coming apart, cover the loaf pan with the baking dish and holding them together tightly, quickly turn them upside down so the loaf falls into the baking dish.To make sure it won't come apart, once you take it out of the oven, grab the corners of the parchment paper and lift them slowly and simultaneously, making sure it comes out of the pan (if the loaf looks too moist, leave it out of the oven for 15 minutes to firm up a bit). Before flipping it in the baking dish, roll the parchment paper that's sticking out of the baking pan so the loaf doesn't fall on the crumpled paper.Finally, after we put the roll into the pan, remove the oilcloth, carefully so that the pieces do not peel off (especially on the edge). Then, spread the jam on top of the roll and put it back in the oven for another 15 minutes.
- When you take it out of the oven, let it cool and firm up for 15 minutes. Then cut into slices of about one and a half centimeters (half an inch) thick. Don't try to make them too thin because even if they don't come apart when sliced, this will probably happen when served, and the bites won't be as satisfying.
- Serve with some pomegranate seeds and finely chopped celery (as shown in the photo). Alternatively, instead of pomegranate, you can have cranberries or blueberries.
- To save time, start by boiling the lentils. That way they'll be ready by the time you wash and cut your vegetables.
- If you want ideas for appetizers and desserts, for a full vegan festive menu, check out the following recipes: