Friday, May 13, 2016

Wholly Legume Loaf

I have always wanted to create a loaf that does not have cheese or eggs or bread crumbs.  I grew up on Cottage Cheese loaf or Special K loaf and it was always a special treat.  When I made it for my family a couple years ago (it was a treat for me and Paul...) the kids were amazed at what went into it and they did not like it very well.  They thought it was kind of weird.  That is good because it is not something I want to make very often.  So I thought of making a loaf using bulgur wheat and lentils as a base for the loaf and I really enjoyed it.  The kids only liked it if I put barbecue sauce or ketchup on it.  They kind of thought the lentils created too much texture.  (Maybe if I blend up a bunch of the lentils they might like that better so I will try that next time I make it.)  It is a simple loaf and something that can be made ahead of time and baked the day you want to serve it.  And I like to make the bulgur wheat and the lentils ahead of time so then the loaf can be thrown together and baked.  

I like to add a lot of veggies (I realize that gives a lot of texture as well).  Celery, carrot, mushrooms, onion, and peppers.  Mince them up so they are small or can process in a food processor.

All mixed together.  The bulgur wheat, lentils, vegetables and seasonings. 
To cook bulgur wheat (and make 3 cups cooked): 3/4 c dry bulgur wheat and 1 1/2 cups of water, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, cook for 15 minutes, and let sit covered off heat for 5 minutes, then it is ready to be used or can be stored in the fridge for 1-2 days before using.
To cook lentils: (I like to soak my lentils for 24 hours before cooking but it is not required) 1 c dry lentils, 3 cups of water, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, cook for 20 minutes, and remove from heat and they are ready to be used or can be stored in the fridge for 1-2 days before using.

The mixture of the bulgur wheat, lentils, vegetables and chia seed mixture is what holds it together.  I used 3 TBS ground chia seeds (ground them in a coffee grinder) + 3/4 cup of water and let sit for 10 minutes or until gelatinous.

Optional: put barbecue sauce or ketchup in the bottom of the glass pan before pressing the loaf mixture into the bottom of the pan.  Press the mixture into a 9x13 glass dish or 2 8x8 glass dishes.  And bake in a 375 degree oven for 30-45 minutes.  It is a very simple dish and I served it with butternut squash, asparagus, and broccoli.

Wholly Legume Loaf

3 c bulgur wheat, cooked
3 c lentils, cooked
3 TBS ground chia seed + 3/4 c water 
1 small onion, minced
2 celery stalk, minced
3 mushrooms, minced
1 carrot, minced
1/2 green or red pepper, minced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp parsley
2 TBS nutritional yeast
2 TBS chik-like seasoning

1. Mix the ground chia seed and water together and set aside to become gelatinous.

2. Prepare the vegetables and mince and put into large bowl.

3. Mix together the cooked bulgur wheat, cooked lentils, vegetables, seasonings and chia mixture together well.

4. Squeeze ketchup or barbecue sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 or 2 8x8 pans and press loaf mixture into bottom of pan.

5. Bake for 30-45 minutes in a 375 degree oven.