For those of you who are celebrating live turkeys on Thanksgiving, this vegan lentil loaf made with roasted carrots, onion, & Portobellos is for you.
I bought a ten pound bag of lentils at Costco last month, and five pounds and many lentil loafs later, I finally created a loaf that’s moist, has a wonderful texture, and is so savory and meaty that even my non vegan husband was impressed.
The problem that I’ve had with some of the lentil loaf recipes that I’ve tried in the past is that lentils, unlike beans, are dry. So if you don’t account for that dryness, you’re going to get a dry loaf that isn’t very appealing, unless you enjoy eating food with the texture of sand.
Dry and sand like textures in vegan food can be an issue. I was talking with a friend whose daughter recently adopted a vegan lifestyle and she asked me why vegan bakery has such a dry and sandy texture? I knew exactly what she was talking about. I’ve had a few cupcakes and cookies like that.
My answer to her was, “I have no idea.” Honestly, I don’t get it. My baked treats are always moist, and they have a soft and chewy texture. I told her to make my pumpkin spice cookies. If those don’t prove to her and her family that vegan tastes like normal food then nothing will. I can’t wait to find out what they think.
Lentil loaf has the same issue. I mean, it’s not a dessert, but it is baked. And the process of baking removes moisture from food, so unless you get the formula right, you’re going to end up with dry food. Happily, after much trial and tribulation, I got the formula exactly right. Just in time for the holidays!
This gorgeous, delicious, moist, and healthy vegan lentil loaf made with roasted carrots, onion, & Portobellos will be the centerpiece on my Thanksgiving table, along with my vegetable wellington.
By now I’m sure you’re wondering what my secret is. It’s the roasted veggies. Roasting the carrots and onions until they’re nice and caramelized makes them really soft, and the caramelization adds a beautiful rich flavor. The roasted Portobellos and the liquid smoke do the same, as well as add a nice umami flavor, which will remind the non-vegans at the table of meat loaf.
I used two flax eggs and bread crumbs (use gluten-free bread crumbs to make it GF) to bind the loaf and I added two finely chopped fire roasted tomatoes for a little acidic flavor. I also sliced three slits into the loaf at the end of the baking time and poured some fire roasted tomato juice evenly on top, then baked it for five more minutes to give it even more flavor.
Just look at how gorgeous this vegan lentil loaf made with roasted carrots, onion, & Portobellos is. It has a wonderful crisp crust and an almost juicy and moist center. You can taste the caramelized vegetables, the smoky flavor from the liquid smoke, the tangy fire roasted tomatoes, and the savory Italian seasonings all gently co-mingling together in one delicious loaf.
The lentils and flax add a ton of protein and omegas, and the carrot and onion are packed with vitamins and nutrients. And, it’s nut free!
Decorate your vegan lentil loaf with fresh herbs for a beautiful holiday presentation and smother it with our mushroom gravy. You and your guests will love it and you’ll feel so much better after eating it than you would if you ate a turkey.
What are you serving for your main course this Thanksgiving?
Are you hosting or traveling?
Have you ever had a dry and sand like vegan baked goods?
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