Do you ever take a moment, stop what you’re doing, shut out all the external noise, and just reflect? Reflect on yourself, your experiences, the choices you’ve made or are going to make. I think I do this more often than the average person, and I find it extremely rewarding. It helps keep me focused and grounded, helps me to set goals and analyze situations, and what I think is most important, it helps me to be thankful for what I have, where I’ve been, and where I’m going.
Things have slowly been falling into place for me in the past half a year. I’ve worked hard and passionately to get to this point in my life, and I’m ecstatic for my next chapter. People say hindsight is 20/20 and boy are they right! When I look back on past situations, it’s crazy how everything happens for a reason. Perhaps you won’t know what that is today, but it’ll make perfect sense later on. I like to focus on the little things, and the bigger ones seems to work themselves out and fall into place. I’m just really, really happy; my soul is smiling and I’m continuously radiating positive energy. I truly believe you receive the energy you put out into the world.
I’m sharing today’s recipe from the comfort of my kitchen (which I won’t be calling mine for much longer). I love when a traditional meat dish is made vegetarian. I can’t say I’ve ever tried meatloaf (or I just don’t remember – been a vegetarian for so long), but I can say with confidence that this loaf is not missing the meat! Although this recipe is a tad bit time consuming (total time of almost 2 hours), it is truly worth it! It is moist, flavourful, and filling! Plus, you can do other things while the loaf bakes. 🙂
And Happy Easter for those that celebrate this weekend!
- 1 cup uncooked green lentils
- ½ tbsp salt
- 4 + ⅓ cups water
- 3 tbsp ground flaxseed
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1 cup mushrooms, diced
- 1 medium carrot, shredded
- ½ can corn, drained
- 4 basil leaves, finely chopped
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp chilli powder
- 1 cup oats (whole or quick; gluten-free if necessary)
- salt & pepper, to taste
- 2 tbsp barbecue sauce (+ more for serving)
- Rinse lentils in a strainer & add them to a pot along with 4 cups of water & ½ tbsp salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low & simmer for 40-45 mins, until the lentils have absorbed the water. You want the lentils to be a little mushy, so you need to slightly overcook them.
- In a small bowl, whisk together flaxseed & ⅓ cup water. Place in the refrigerator while you prepare the rest of the loaf.
- Heat olive oil in a large pan on medium-high heat. Add onions & sauté until they are soft, about 3-4 mins. Add minced garlic, bell pepper & mushrooms & sauté for another 3-4 mins. Lastly, add the shredded carrot, corn, basil, cumin & chilli powder. Combine well & sauté for a final 3-4 mins. Remove pan from heat & set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Add oats to a food processor or blender & process into flour. Add half of the cooked lentils to the oat flour & process into a dry paste consistency. Transfer this mixture to a large bowl & add the remaining cooked lentils, sautéed vegetables & flaxseed (from the fridge!). Season with salt & pepper to your liking & mix very well. The mixture will begin to stick together with thorough combination.
- Grease all sides of a loaf pan with a little olive oil. Scoop loaf mixture into the pan & use the back of a spoon to press it firmly into all corners, then smooth out the top. Add the barbecue sauce to the top of the loaf & use the spoon to spread it out evenly. I used Simply Natural's Tangy Organic Barbecue Sauce which I bought at my local health food store; really like the taste! Place pan into the oven & bake for 40 mins. Allow the loaf to cool for 10-15 mins before serving.