It all started a few days ago, when my mother sent me a package containing some new products she found in Greece. Called “polyspori” in Greek and translated as “multiseed” in the company’s profile, those little packages contain so much nutrition and gastronomic potential.
I decided to use them to make veggie burgers and it was a success. All I did was soak the mix of seeds, grains and legumes for 3 hours, then boil them for 45 minutes and mix them with flour, to form veggie patties. I then used ground flax seeds instead of breading and fried them in a bit of olive oil. I did add cumin, salt, pepper, dried coriander and a bit of saffron as well before forming the patties, but you can add the spices of your choice. I also made a dressing with olive oil, mustard, balsamic vinegar and a bit of maple syrup. I served them with leftover sweet corn and black beans, for even more protein.
They were a big hit, which is good because 250 grams of pulses and grains and about 300 grams of flour made about 14 patties. I stored 6 in the fridge, covered with aluminum foil, and fried them the day after. They tasted great.
And since both me and N. are looking for ways to get more iron and protein into our plant-based diet, I decided to take the plunge and attempt to make a lentil loaf. There are many recipes out there, but I didn’t have the exact ingredients of any, so I mixed and matched. My first lentil loaf turned out so great, that I decided to share the recipe with you. Here you go:
- 250 grams red lentils (I am pretty sure you can use any type of lentils you like)
- 1/3 cup buckwheat (I had it in the cupboard, so I threw it in for some extra protein)
- 1 1/2 cup oats
- 1 cup chopped up mushrooms. I used button mushrooms.
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced.
- 3/4 cup tomato paste plus another 1/4 cup. I used a tomato paste with garlic and onion in it. You could use ketchup or barbecue sauce as well.
- Salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and cumin to taste
- Boil the lentils and the buckwheat for 20 minutes or until they are soft. Red lentils will look like a thick paste. If you use other lentils, that hold their shape better, blend them.
- Preheat the oven at 180 C.
- Drain the lentils and buckwheat to remove excess water. Use a fine sieve. The mixture will still be moist, but you don’t want it to be runny, like a soup.
- In a pot pour a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and saute the mushrooms and garlic for 3-4 minutes. Turn off the heat.
- Add in the pot the lentils and buckwheat, the 3/4 cup tomato paste, flax seeds and the spices. Mix well with a spoon.
- In a blender put the oats and pulse until they look like coarse flour. It’s fine if there are some bigger parts in there as well.
- Add the ground oats in the pot and mix again.
- Take a piece of baking paper big enough to line your cake or loaf baking form and make sure it is wide enough to have some hanging over the edges. Soak the baking paper in water. Yes, you can do that! It won’t tear and you will be able to line the baking form much easier.
- Put the lentil mix in the form.
- Top it with the rest 1/4 cup of tomato paste or barbecue sauce or ketchup.
- Bake for 1 hour at 180 C and another 15′-20′ at 200 C. Your loaf is ready when the tomato glaze looks shiny and…well, like a glaze.
- Enjoy with mashed potatoes or macaroni or steamed vegetables.
I think that one loaf is enough for about 6 to 8 portions. It is packed with nutrients and you can make so many variations! I am already thinking of a spinach one and one stuffed with mashed potatoes or cauliflower. Try it out and let me know if you enjoyed it as much as we did!