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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Friends Don't Let Friends: Loaf out on Loaves

The other day I spotted this cute individual "cupcake" dinner image and have been dying to recreate it ever since.


So last night we made individual Lentil Loaves (in my jumbo cupcake tin) and mashed potatoes, with a green salad on the side.


We didn't get to do the twice baked potato "frosting" because we were just too hungry but now I've got an excuse to make this again soon.

If you're looking for a hearty and comforting dinner, this is it. I love the contrast of the loaf and tomato paste topping and the husband even roasted some garlic to add to the potatoes. He's a star!

Individual Lentil Loaves
(modified from The Clean Eating Mama)

Ingredients


•Ketchup or homemade tomato topping (see below)

•1 1/3 cup plain oatmeal

•1/2 block firm tofu

•1 cup chopped onion

•1 cup chopped bell pepper

•1 cup chopped mushrooms, button’s are fine

•2 tablespoons tomato mixture or ketchup

•3 tablespoons corn meal

•1 cup cooked lentils

•1 tablespoon soy sauce

•1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

•2 tablespoons olive oil

•2 tablespoons dried parsley

•1 tablespoon dried red pepper flakes

•1 tablespoon garlic powder

•1 tablespoon onion powder

•1 tablespoon poultry seasoning, or a combination of thyme, oregano and rosemary

•1 tablespoon stone ground mustard

•salt and pepper to taste

Tomato Sauce Topping

•1 6oz can Tomato Paste

•1 tablespoon sugar

•1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

•1 tablespoon onion powder

•1 teaspoon garlic powder

•pinch of salt


Cook lentils – I always have leftover lentils, but I love lentils so I don’t mind! Be sure to rinse and sort lentils as they could have stones or debris in them. Add 2 cups water to one cup of lentils in a pot and turn burner on high. Once boiling, turn heat to medium low and let simmer for 30 – 45 minutes. The lentils should still be whole yet mushy.


Make tomato topping while lentils are cooking. Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix with a spoon. Taste to see if it may need more salt.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Chop onion, bell pepper and mushrooms. In a large skillet add one tablespoon olive oil and put on medium heat, then add chopped vegetables and a pinch of salt. Stir and cook until onions are soft and transparent – about 5-8 minutes.

In a food processor, pulse oats for a few seconds until oats are small.

Drain tofu well and press between a towel or a few paper towels until all moister is gone. Place in a large mixing bowl and break up with a fork. You want to make sure they are in small crumbles.

In the same mixing bowl, add oats, lentils, vegetables, 2 tablespoons of tomato mixture and the rest of the ingredients. Mix until it is all combined – if it is too dry you can always add small amounts of water. You don’t want it too wet, but it should be able to stick together nicely.
A note about the spices – I know there are a lot of spices but I just took what I had in my cabinet and threw it in. You really do not need to add ALL of my suggested spices, but you want to try to make is as flavorful as possible. Taste the mixture before you put it in the pan, making sure it tastes good and is seasoned to your liking.

Spray the muffin wells with non-stick spray or olive oil. Spoon mixture in, then spread the rest of the tomato topping on top evenly. If you are using ketchup, use enough to cover the top evenly.

Cook for 20 minutes, then cover with foil and cook for another 10 minutes.

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
(from The Vegan Chef)
 
12-14 garlic cloves (to taste), unpeeled


4 lbs. potatoes (preferably Yukon golds), peeled, and cut into cubes

2/3 cup soy milk, rice milk, or other non-dairy milk of choice

salt and white pepper, to taste

2 T. freshly snipped chives

paprika, for garnish


Place the unpeeled garlic cloves in a pie pan and bake at 450 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until cloves are soft. Remove the pie pan from the oven and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, in a large pot, place the cubed potatoes, cover them with water, and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain the potatoes, saving the cooking liquid for use in the mashed potatoes, and the remaining cooking liquid can be used in soups or sauces. Transfer the drained potatoes to a mixer (or return to the large pot if using a hand mixer or potato masher) and set aside for 5 minutes to dry.

Using your fingers, squeeze the cloves of garlic from their skins, and place them in a small bowl. Using a fork, mash the cloves of garlic to form a paste. Add the mashed garlic, soy milk, sprinkle with a little salt and white pepper, and whip the potatoes until smooth. Add a little of the reserved potato cooking liquid, if needed, to achieve a creamy consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings, as needed.

Transfer the mashed potatoes to a large bowl, sprinkle with the snipped chives and a little paprika before serving.

This is warm and yummy food  at it's best, without making you feel comatose!

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