Glazed Lentil Walnut Apple Loaf

Glazed Lentil Walnut Apple Loaf 

This is my go-to special occasion recipe and has served to be Christmas dinner for a couple years. It’s also great as a shepherds pie too.. just leave off the glaze and add mashed potatoes & bake!
Ingredients:
1 cup uncooked green lentils
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped and toasted
3 tbsp ground flax + 1/2 cup water
3 garlic cloves, minced
1.5 cups diced sweet onion
1 cup diced celery
1 cup grated carrot
1/3 cup peeled and grated sweet apple (use a firm variety)
1/3 cup raisins
1/2 cup oat flour
3/4 cup breadcrumbs
2 tsp fresh thyme (or 3/4 tsp dried thyme)
salt & pepper, to taste (I use about 3/4 tsp sea salt + more Herbamare)
red pepper flakes, to taste

BALSAMIC GLAZE
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
2 tbsp apple butter (or unsweetened applesauce in a pinch)
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Directions
Preheat oven to 325F. Rinse and strain lentils. Place lentils into pot along with 3 cups of water (or veg broth). Bring to a boil and season with salt. Reduce heat to medium/low and simmer, uncovered, for at least 40-45 minutes. Stir frequently & add touch of water if needed. The goal is to over-cook the lentils slightly. Mash lentils slightly with a spoon when ready.
Toast walnuts at 325F for about 8-10 minutes. Set aside. Increase oven temp to 350F.
Whisk ground flax with water in a small bowl and set aside.
Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute the garlic and onion for about 5 minutes. Season with salt. Now add in the diced celery, shredded carrot and apple, and raisins. Saute for about 5 minutes more. Remove from heat. In a large mixing bowl, mix all set aside ingredients together (flax, walnuts, oat flour and breadcrumbs). Adjust seasonings to taste. Grease a loaf pan and line with parchment paper. Press mixture firmly into pan. Whisk glaze ingredients and then spread half on top of loaf. Reserve the rest for a dipping sauce. Bake at 350F for 40-50 minutes, uncovered. Edges will be lightly brown. Cool in pan for at least 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. I usually wait until loaf is cool before slicing.

Source: Mona Aumair
TRIED AND TESTED

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