Thursday, April 7, 2011

Recipe Rursday: Celebration Lentil Loaf & Mushroom Gravy

I haven't posted a recipe in a while.  Actually, I haven't posted much lately.  Too many big moves going on.  But this one definitely inspired a post.  My co-worker Michele had just tried this recipe, which she found on the Whole Foods website.  My advice is to get the lentils and bulgur wheat (or you could use rice, or other grains) going before prepping the other ingredients. And do NOT skip the gravy.  While the lentil loaf was not dry, the gravy was a highlight:

Celebration Lentil Loaf & Mushroom Gravy

1 cup brown lentils, picked over and rinsed 
3/4 cup bulgur wheat 
8 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.