Celebration Lentil Loaf & Mushroom Gravy
1 cup brown lentils, picked over and rinsed
3/4 cup bulgur wheat8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup apple cider (non-alcoholic)
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning (we used Bell seasoning)
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
Put lentils in a small saucepan with 2 cups water and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and simmer until lentils are very tender, about 40 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Put bulgur in a small saucepan with 1 1/2 cups water and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and simmer until bulgur is tender and water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Set aside.
In a medium skillet, combine mushrooms, onion, cider poultry seasoning and salt. Cover and simmer over medium heat until vegetables are very tender, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and pulse until just chopped. Scrape into a bowl and fold in lentils, bulgur, oats, bell pepper and parsley.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8- or 9-inch loaf pan with parchment paper. Pack lentil mixture into pan and smooth the top. Bake until edges brown slightly, about 1 hour. Cool in pan 25 minutes, then invert it onto a serving plate. Remove parchment and use a serrated knife to cut the loaf into 1-inch-thick slices.
Mushroom Gravy (Vegan)
3 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, divided (we use cubes)
1 cup chopped white onion
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
8 ounces wild mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed and chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 cup merlot, or other spicy red wine
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari (we have this, but you could substitute light soy sauce or something lighter)
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast (I used 1T of dry yeast)
2 tablespoons whole wheat or spelt flour (I used 2T of white flour)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, bring 1/2 cup broth to a simmer. Add onion and garlic and cook for about 4 minutes or until onion is translucent. Stir in mushrooms, rosemary and thyme and continue to cook about 2 minutes or until mushrooms release their liquid and start to become tender. Add merlot and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in remaining 3 cups broth and bring to a simmer.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together tamari, yeast and flour to form a thick paste. Add mixture to skillet about 1 teaspoon at a time, whisking constantly to make sure paste dissolves. Bring to a boil and boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add pepper. If gravy is too thin for your taste, add a tablespoon or two of flour to thicken it.