As I’m sitting here, in the kitchen, in front of my computer, getting ready to type this post, I can’t help but notice that it is only 8pm and it is completely dark outside. Not only is it completely dark outisde, as in, if no lights are turned on in the house you will hit your big toe on something, but the air is cool. It’s got that breezy, cool, humid feel of…Fall. Yes, there, I said it, it feels like Fall. And I’m totally loving it! Now don’t get me wrong, I adore summer. I love to wake up early to enjoy the warm sunrise and feast on all the magnificent fruits and vegetables the season allows to harvest. I worship the hot sun and look forward to BBQs around the pool and the endless ways to be active outdoors. I cherish it all, especially because here in Montreal, summers seem very short. But Fall has always been my favourite season. There’s something about the crisp morning air, the changing colours of the leafs and of course, football!
During the summer, I rather not spend a lot of time in the kitchen or indoors for that matter. Hence, there is a lot less baking and labour intensive meals being prepared. Summer is the time when I want to give my oven a well deserved break. Bring on all the delicious raw fruits and vegetables or anything that can be grilled on a BBQ. But when Fall arrives, I happily nestle back into my kitchen, well rested and ready to prepare heart warming meals that spread their delicious aroma around the house.
This recipe is exactly that. A heart warming hearty meal that lovingly bakes in the oven for at least 45-50 mins and makes your house smell oh so so good! The best part is, other then a few extra steps, like grating beets and turnips, everything is tossed into one bowl, mixed around with your hands and patted down into a loaf pan. I also used canned lentils for this recipe. Truth be told, I used to always buy dry beans in bulk and soak/cook them when needed, but being a busy working mom with a 1 year old, I’m just short on time and will take whatever shortcut I can. But feel free to substitute freshly cooked lentils.
Another thing I love about this this loaf, is that it’s hearty and already loaded with vegetables so you don’t have to fuss over the side dish. You can serve it with a nice mixed green salad or like I did, with some lemon and garlic rapini that I roasted in the oven during the last 10 mins of baking. This loaf is also really good served cold. I’ve used the leftovers in a sandwich with some mixed sprouts, vegan mayonnaise and juicy tomatoes. It makes a great lunch you can easily pack for yourself or for your kids.
I truly hope you’ll enjoy this loaf and let me know what side you served it with!
- 2 X 14oz cans of brown lentils
- 3 Tbs ground chia seeds
- 6 Tbs water
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 garlic gloves, diced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2/3 cup grated raw beets
- 1 cup grated raw turnips
- 3/4 cup instant oats
- 1/2 cup oat bran
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- Himalayan pink salt and pepper to taste.
- Preheat the oven at 375 degrees.
- In a small bowl, combine the ground chia seeds and water. Stir with a small whisk or fork and set aside for at least 5 minutes.
- In a sauce pan, heat the olive oil on medium-high heat and add the garlic, onion and spices. Cook until the onions are translucent and the spices are fragrant. Be careful not to scorch the garlic or spices so stir frequently.
- Drain and rinse the canned lentils and add to a mixing bowl. With a fork, mash approximately half of the lentils. No need to be precise but do keep some whole.
- To the mixing bowl, add the onion, garlic and spice mixture, the grated beets and turnips, the oats and oat bran and the chia mixture.
- Taste and add salt and pepper.
- Coat a loaf pan with coconut oil spray or line with parchment paper and pour the lentil mixture.
- Pat down to make an even loaf.
- Pop in the oven and check after 45 min if a nice crust has formed on top. If still too spongy to the touch, ass another 5 mins.