It’s been so long since I’ve written. I wish I could say it’s because I haven’t felt much like cooking; because I haven’t been able to find the words; because I’m lost in other (more fascinating) endeavors. If only that were the case.
I actually made this loaf awhile ago but its posting has been overcome by the myriad of cookie recipes I am so in love with. In some sense, I am glad I waited for this particular recipe takes the contradictions I hate about myself and makes it delicious. The comforting heaviness of the lentils, the plain-ness of the tomatoes, and the sweetness of the squash are all perfectly complimented by the bite of chat masala, the fire of garam masala and the wit of meyer lemon.
If only such qualities were appreciated in a person as well as in a food.
Indian-Spiced Lentil Loaf
makes 1 loaf
- 3/4 c. mashed Fiber One Original Bran (mash it till it has the consistency of breadcrumbs)
- 1/4 c. toasted wheat germ (or bran, if you prefer)
- 2 c. cooked lentils
- 1/4 c. egg or egg substitute
- 1-15 oz. can of tomato sauce
- 2 T. light butter, melted
- spoonful of minced (or chopped) garlic
- handful of frozen chopped onion (or fresh, doesn’t matter)
- a few pinches of the following: turmeric, coriander powder, cumin powder, cinnamon
- a small pinch or two garam masala
- salt and pepper to taste
→Preheat the oven to 350*F. Grease a standard loaf pan.
Mash the lentils with a spoon. You can puree them if you want but I decided to leave some chunks. Mix in the fiber one, wheat germ and egg. Add the tomatoes. (See note for a vegan option)
Saute the onion and garlic in some cooking spray until they are fragrant and onion is lightly browned. Add to the lentil mix.
Add in spices and mix well. At this point, mine looked something like this:
Pour into the loaf pan and bake for 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours, checking with a toothpick for doneness. This loaf comes out a little wet at first but, after a day in the fridge, it REALLY firms up to normal meatloaf consistency.
NOTE: For a vegan twist, leave out the butter (or swap it with any mild-flavored oil) and swap the eggs with 3T. lentils + 2t. baking powder + a little water.
Sweet, Sour and Spicy Butternut Squash Sabzi
makes as much as you want
- Butternut squash (I used the bag I had left from the freezer clean-out)
- 1 small tomato, chopped
- 1/2 bag frozen 3 pepper and onion blend
- a teaspoonful of minced/chopped/mashed garlic
- 1/2 teaspoonful grated ginger
- 1-3 packets sugar or sugar substitute
- Juice of 1-1.5 meyer lemons
- a few good pinches of the following: turmeric, garam masala
- a small pinch or two of: cumin and cinnamon
- 1-2 palmfuls (or large pinches) chat masala, which lends this sabzi its tangy punch
- salt and pepper to taste
→Saute the frozen pepper and onion blend, garlic and ginger in some cooking spray. You can do it in the same pot you mixed the lentil loaf in.
Add butternut squash, tomato and spices. Stir well.
Cook until squash is soft, stirring continuously (or almost continuously). Mash the squash till it’s almost a paste.
Cover and leave on low-medium heat so the sabzi can absorb the spices. Keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn. It should take about 10 minutes for the spices to meld together.
Serve with loaf.
If you’re careful, you can do the entire thing using only one pot. You’ll have to use a few bowls/other dishes to hold the lentil mix while you’re sauteing, etc but it’ll still only be one pot.