Chef:  Jessica Meyers Altman; GardenFreshFoodie.com
Makes:  10-12 Servings
Prep Time:  20 mins
Cook Time:  1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time:  1 hour 40 minutes

INGREDIENTS

Lentils

  • 1 c lentils
  • 2 ½ c water (or more if they look dry while cooking)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1t dried thyme
  • ¼ t salt

Remaining Ingredients

  • 1 lb mushrooms, cleaned with a damp cloth
  • 2 c minced red onion (or white)
  • 2 c chopped red or green peppers (or combo, this is roughly 2 peppers)
  • ½ c chopped banana pepper (this was 2 of our banana peppers)  or you can use another medium spiced
  •        pepper like a Poblano as well
  • 1 c shredded carrot
  • ½ c minced garlic
  • 3/4 c raw cashews (or almonds)
  • ½ c fresh basil (or whatever fresh soft herb; parsley, cilantro, whatever you have on hand, knowing this      
  •      Will change the flavor slightly) or a fresh hardy herb like sage, thyme-using less of these,          2 T if no fresh herbs are on hand, I have also used 2 t ground sage or Italian seasoning
  • 1 t dried rosemary, or T fresh
  • ¼ c BBQ sauce
  • ¼ c spicy brown mustard (or Dijon)                                                                                       Season with salt/pepper as desired (taste once mixed)
  • Topping:  Siracha &/or some ketchup (use organic), or additional BBQ sauce

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Place all of the lentil ingredients into a pot, bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer until water is absorbed or lentils become tender, about 25-30 minutes.  If lentils are softened before all water is absorbed, then drain extra water, or conversely, if they appear dry,  add more water.
  3. While lentils are cooking, place cleaned mushroom into a food processor-pulse until finely chopped, and dump into a large mixing bowl.
  4. Place cashews into the food processor and pulse until ground into a meal texture, add fresh or dried herbs, rosemary, and garlic and pulse until combined, but not mush.  
  5. Add this to the mushrooms.
  6. Place onions and peppers into the processor and pulse until fine, but keep some texture, and add to mushroom mixture.
  7. Add remaining ingredients into the bowl and mix until combined.  Season with salt and/or pepper to taste (if needed)-yes you can taste this version (no E. Coli or salmonella) Spread mixture into a 9 x 13 pan or 2 glass pie plates, pressing into place.  If using the pie plates, you can save one for another night if desired (can freeze).  You can line the dishes with parchment, but I have found this isn’t necessary if using glass.  If using a metal pan, you may want to line to prevent sticking.  
  8. Drizzle top with some siracha and a few drizzles of organic ketchup or BBQ sauce
  9. Bake uncovered for 1 hour 20 minutes.
  10. This is great frozen, and/or reheated.  To reheat:  place loaf onto a stone pizza or baking sheet, or cookie sheet with parchment.  The stone will help the loaf crisp up.  Can be topped with additional ketchup or BBQ sauce, and cook until reheated.  Loaf with crisp up.  Serve with baked sweet potatoes or baked sweet potato fries, and a big salad! 

TIPS

  1. Lentils make awesome weeknight lentils on their won to use for salads (see my Arugula Winter Salad) or sweet potato toppers.  
  2. Mix lentils in with some greens and you have a full meal.

Jessica Meyers Altman
Associate Professor of Whole Food Nutrition & Living

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."  Margaret Mead

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