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Going vegan is so easy but there are times when you see a person eating something and think, “Oh I miss that so much!”  Of course if one hasn’t thought about it for a long time, I guess that means it wasn’t that important in the first place but nonetheless it’s hard to get out of the mind.  This occurs to me a lot, but then again I am a foodie.  ^_^

For my husband, he is kindly reminded of his family sitting around the kitchen table eating various types of typical American meals such as meatloaf, burgers or some sort of chicken.  One recipe that he really loves is meatloaf, which of course the main ingredient would be beef, so totally not vegan.  But that’s okay because I love a challenge and there is always a way to make a mock-up version of a recipe.  I’ve made this recipe a few times and he always loves it.  For me, I really don’t understand the love attraction since I have always disliked meatloaf.  Thankfully we always have dry lentils on hand to soak and make this whenever he has the urge.  Then I just make myself some sort of vegan soup.  Lentils are high in protein, so I’m thrilled he likes this healthy alternative to boost his energy and body for the next day.

The original recipe comes from The Vegan Table Cookbook by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.  You can view the original recipe here

Yield: 6-8 servings
    4 cups (940 ml) water, plus more for sautéing
    2 cups (385 g) brown lentils, picked over and rinsed
    1 to 2 yellow onions, chopped
    3 garlic cloves, minced
    3/4 cup (180 g) ketchup, divided
    1/2 cup (55 g) bread crumbs, Italian-style or plain
    1/4 cup (30 g) finely chopped raw walnuts
    1/2 cup (30 g) finely chopped fresh parsley
    2 teaspoons (1 to 2 g) finely chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon (1 g) dried thyme
    1 to 2 tablespoons (15 to 30 ml) tamari soy sauce (or to taste)
    1 to 2 tablespoons (15 to 30 ml) vegetarian Worcestershire sauce (no anchovies)
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350˚F (180˚C, or gas mark 4). Lightly oil a 4 x 8-inch (10 x 20 cm) loaf pan.

Place 4 cups (940 ml) water and lentils in a large-size saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then immediately reduce heat and simmer until water is absorbed, 50 to 60 minutes. Check lentils after 30 minutes; add more water, if necessary. You want the result to be thick but with lentils cooked down to a soft texture, so add water sparingly.

Meanwhile, sauté onions and garlic in enough water to coat vegetables so they don’t stick to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes, until onion is soft. Transfer to a large-size bowl.

When lentils are done, remove from heat, and let stand for at least 30 minutes. They will thicken up even more. When completely cool, combine with onion/garlic mixture, and add 1/4 cup (60 g) ketchup, bread crumbs, walnuts, parsley, thyme, tamari, Worcestershire sauce, and pepper. Thoroughly combine all ingredients. Adjust seasoning as necessary.

Press mixture firmly into prepared pan, and spread remaining 1/2 cup (120 g) ketchup on top. Bake for 45 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing.