Another alternative to the meaty Christmas load is lentil loaf! It is packed full of protein and a myriad of essential minerals and nutrients and makes for a rather tasty headliner at the Christmas dinner table series of food events!
It takes a bit of preparation so either start in the morning or prepare the night before. With Prep time in total being about 3 hours from start to finish.
2 ups of cooked green lentils
1/2 cup walnuts and 1/2 cup of hazelnuts, finely chopped and roasted
1 garlic clove,
1 celery stalk
1/3 cup raisins & cranberries
1 cup of Gluten free breadcrumbs
2 tsp fresh thyme (or 3/4 tsp dried thyme)
Sprinkle of Salt & Pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon of Majoram
Small bunch of fresh Thyme
Firstly, preheat the oven to 180ºC.
1. Rinse and strain lentils and cook in a pot of water for about 40-45 minutes until very well done and they begin to mush, you will have to top up with more water if they absorb liquid while cooking.
2. Roast the nuts in oven for about 5 minutes. Then remove from oven.
3. Place the carrot, celery, raisins, cranberry, scallion, thyme, majoram, apple and garlic into a processor and blitz. Then heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sautee the the mix for about 5 minutes. Season with salt & pepper.
5. In a large mixing bowl, mix all ingredients together with breadcrumbs and cooked lentils. Add more herbs upon taste.
6. Grease a loaf pan and line with parchment paper. Press mixture firmly into pan. Glaze with some agave syrup and balsamic mix on top of loaf. Reserve the rest for a dipping sauce.
7. Roast in oven for 40-50 minutes, uncovered. Until the edges brown. Cool in pan for at least 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. I usually wait until loaf is cool before slicing as it avoids it breaking up.
Serve with seasonal roast veg and potatoes for the classic!