When I had friends over for a Thanksgiving dinner I made this turkey meatloaf and these sweet potatoes with marshmallows, and also served salad and potato wedges. One of my friends is vegan so she wasn't going to be able to eat the turkey meatloaf, and I wanted to make a meat and dairy-free version. I found this recipe for a vegetable lentil loaf on the Simple Veganista website and decided to make a version of it. I didn't make the glaze to go on top, and I baked it in two small square bowls - as I was making the other meatloaf at the same time and could only find one of my loaf tins! It was really interesting to see how the ground flaxseeds combined with water thickened to an eggy texture; this is apparently a good binder for use in vegan cooking.
It was really easy to make though you need a little time - you have to let the lentils stand for a while. I also felt my loaf needed more seasoning so I'd recommend to not stint on the salt and other flavourings. Also, if you are cooking a smaller amount or in smaller bowls like I was, the cooking time won't be as long.
I was quite pleased with this - as a meat eater, it's not what I would choose, and I'm not normally a fan of lentils, but I liked the way everything combined together into the loaf and with a bit more salt (it was definitely lacking) it was actually quite nice. My vegan friend seemed happy with it, hopefully not just out of politeness, as she did ask for the recipe!
Ready to go in the oven
You could mix this up by adding different vegetables - I think it would be nice with the addition of chopped butternut squash perhaps. I'd be interested to know if you are vegan or catering for a vegan, what you make for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner!
Another good thing about this recipe is that it's really cheap to make, if you don't have to buy the flaxseed specially (you only need a small amount, and I already had a packet in the cupboard). Lentils are very cheap and go a long way and you could even use leftover veg rather than chopping up fresh veg to put in it if you wanted for a cheap weeknight dinner (though if you are making it for Thanksgiving or Christmas you would want it to be special!). Since it's a pretty frugal recipe I'm sending this to Credit Crunch Munch, hosted by Helen at Fuss Free Flavours.