Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Yummy vegetarian recipes, making the most of summer's bounty

Ok, so that sounded like a cover story from "Woman's Day," right next to "Blast Belly fat with this So-Easy Secret!" So sue me. So the lentil loaf doesn't really have much to do with summer's bounty, unless you count the zucchini/carrots that go into it (and carrots aren't actually a late summer crop, but I digress...). You can, however, serve it with mashed potatoes (which ARE coming in this time of year--potatoes, I mean, not mashed ones with Smart Balance and fresh-cut chives, which would be difficult to get out of the ground) or herb-roasted fingerling potatoes. Pretend you're eating a real "meat-and potatoes" meal, and then congratulate yourself on a fine, cruelty-free nosh. I like the lentil loaf in part because it's one of the few meals I can leave in the fridge without my roommates (carnivores all) getting into it. Spaghetti they'll devour; lentil loaf they leave alone. They've never even TRIED it; maybe if they did I'd have to worry about them eating that, too. Note: this particular recipe came from a vegan website which, much to my chagrin, seems very nice. This doesn't mean I'm trusting vegans as a whole. Not by a longshot. Devious, they are. Skinny and B-12 deprived and devious.

Lentil Loaf
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 large carrot, grated (Or use zucchini, if you want)
(1 c other veggies, grated, as desired)
2 cups cooked lentils
1 cup uncooked oatmeal
1/4 to 1/2 cup vegetable broth, or water
1 tsp Italian seasoning
2 tbls nutritional yeast
2 tbls ketchupdash of vegan Worcestershire sauce
pepper
2 tbls low-sodium soy sauce

Topping Sauce
1/4 to 1/2 cup ketchup
1 tsp maple syrup
dash of vegan Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray either an 8 x 8 square pan or a loaf pan. The square pan will give you a crunchier loaf, the loaf pan will give you a 'meatier' loaf. Saute the veggies in broth or water until soft. Add to large mixing bowl along with remaining ingredients. Mix and mash together well, adding more broth or water as needed to keep mix moist (moist, not runny!) Press into pan and brush on 1/2 of the topping sauce.Bake for 1/2 hour, then brush on remaining topping sauce. Bake an additional 15-30 minutes. Cool loaf for 10 minutes before serving.

Coming next: You TOO can make a mornay sauce--it's just bechamel with cheese! What's bechamel, you say? Well, we'll learn that too! And once you know mornay sauce, you're ready for the exciting new world in which you can make...zucchini gratin!

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