Plant-based cooking is one of our passions. Coming up with plant-based recipes is a fun and challenging way to transform a traditionally meat-based dish into something new and creative. This year, we challenged ourselves to transform the traditional, classic American meatloaf into a plant-based, vegan lentil meatloaf recipe.
This recipe includes ingredients that bring out the “meaty” flavor in this traditional dish, such as earthy mushrooms, lentils, and soy sauce. You can also turn this recipe into a short-cut by using canned lentils.
Start by preparing your ingredients. You can steam your sweet potato and cook your lentils in advance.
For the lentils, rinse ½ cup of lentils and transfer them to a pot. Add in 1 ½ cup water and a pinch of salt. Cook until they have reached the desired consistency and the water is mostly absorbed. Set aside.
Peel and cut your sweet potato. Transfer it to a pot and cover it with water with a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and cook until softened. Drain the water and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a cast iron skillet, heat up 1 tbsp of olive oil and add your mushrooms and garlic. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add in 1 ½ tbsp of soy sauce and cook until the mushrooms begin to caramelize. Set aside.
Bring your lentils, mushrooms, and sweet potatoes to a blender. Add in 1 cup of toasted walnuts, thyme, parsley, ¼ cup of tomato puree, ½ cup of breadcrumbs, 2 tbsp of soy sauce, and 2 tbsp of olive oil. Pulse until combined. Season with salt and pepper.
Prepare a loaf pan with parchment paper and a drizzle of olive oil or cooking spray. Transfer the meatloaf mixture into the loaf.
To prepare topping, combine the tomato paste, balsamic vinegar and maple syrup. Spread on top of the meatloaf prior to baking.
Bake, covered with aluminum foil for 30 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook for 10-15 more minutes until the meatloaf is set in the middle. Cut and serve with a side of mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables. Enjoy!
Jennifer McDaniel is a Registered Dietitian, Media Spokesperson, and co-author of Prevention's Mediterranean Table Cookbook. She and her team of Registered Dietitians aim to help their clients go further, make change last, and unlock their potential. She lives in St. Louis, MO with her husband, and three young sons.
If you are interested in working with Jennifer, please visit our contact page.