This recipe has inspired many people to claim the result is better than traditional meatloaf. It’s a bit of a fussy recipe, but it’s always worth the time and effort. Be sure to finely chop all the vegetables so the loaf holds together well. You can serve it with cauliflower mashed potatoes, applesauce, and steamed greens.
For a gluten-free loaf, use gluten-free bread crumbs instead of spelt bread crumbs.
Reprinted from The Oh She Glows Cookbook by arrangement with Avery Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © 2014, Angela Liddon
Cook the lentils according to the package instructions. In a food processor, process the cooked lentils for a few seconds into a coarse paste, leaving some lentils intact for texture. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 325 F. Spread the walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast them in the oven for 9 to 11 minutes. Set the walnuts aside, and raise the oven temperature to 350 F. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
In a large wok, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent. Season with salt and black pepper. Add the celery, carrot, apple, and raisins. Sauté for about 5 minutes more.
Carefully stir in the processed lentils, flaxseed, walnuts, oat flour, bread crumbs, thyme, oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stir until well combined and adjust the seasoning to taste, if desired.
Press the lentil mixture firmly and evenly into the prepared loaf pan. Use a pastry roller to roll it out smooth and compact the mixture.
In a small bowl, whisk together the ketchup, applesauce, balsamic vinegar, and maple syrup until combined. Spread the glaze over the loaf with a spoon or pastry brush.
Bake, uncovered, for 50 to 60 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned. Cool the loaf in the pan for 10 minutes. Slide a butter knife around the edge of the loaf and gently lift it out of the pan (using the parchment paper) and onto a cooling rack.
Cool for 30 minutes more before slicing. If the loaf is sliced while warm, it may crumble slightly, but it holds together well when fully cooled. Garnish with fresh thyme leaves before serving, if desired.