Stuffed Sage Lentil Loaf with Wild Rice Cranberry Pumpkin Stuffing
We are having our very first Thanksgiving dinner without turkey and I am over the moon about it. I should explain. I have been a vegetarian for over 18 years, and 100% vegan for over 2. But every year, when people would gather at our home for Thanksgiving dinner, my husband and I were the only vegans. So a turkey always made an appearance for the rest of the guests. I often recruited my mother for this part of the meal.
This year our group is smaller. And since there are quite a few vegetarians coming, we came up with a group consensus. We will have all the delicious traditional Thanksgiving sides, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, yams, cranberries, mushroom gravy, stuffing, pumpkin pie with whipped cream and pecan pie. But it will be 100% vegan. For that, I am grateful.
I really wanted to come up with something delicious as a main course. A dish that brings all the traditional Thanksgiving flavors together and was beautiful, too. This recipe for Stuffed Sage Lentil Loaf has the traditional stuffing ingredients (minus the bread) combined with wild rice, pumpkin and cranberries for a pop of flavor. It is moist and hearty. The extra stuffing is used as a bed to serve the loaf on and works as a great side dish.
It’s pretty easy to throw together. You can cook everything the day before and assemble and bake the day of.
The day before:
- Cook lentils: Cook on stove top. Pick through and rinse lentils. Place 1 1/2 cups lentils and 3 cups water in pot. Bring to a boil, cover tightly, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until tender, approximately 15 to 20 minutes.
- Cook Teff: Bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil. Add 1/3 cup teff, cover and reduce heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally for 15-20 minutes until the liquid is adsorbed. Set aside to cool.
- Cook the wild rice: Rinse rice. Bring 1 cup of rice and 4 cups of water (or vegetable stock) to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer for 45 minutes or until rice has opened. You can drain off any left over water.
- Sauté the mushrooms and onions for the loaf.
- Sauté the onion celery mixture for the stuffing.
On the day you want to serve the loaf, line the loaf pan with the lentil mixture as per recipe, add stuffing and bake!
Note: I use a tiny spritz of oil in the pan but you can easily make it oil-free by using a dry sauté method and a little water if things start to stick.
What is Teff?
Teff is an amazing, tiny, healthy grain from Ethiopia. It has a mild, nutty flavor and is filled with calcium, protein and fiber. It is gluten free and brings a lovely flavor and consistency to this loaf.
You can find Teff in your local Whole Foods or coop. We have included a link in the sidebar if you wish to order it.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- 4 cups mushrooms, stemmed and diced
- 2 cups diced onion
- 1 clove garlic, diced
- 3 cups cooked brown lentils
- 1 cup cooked teff
- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown mustard
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage (or 1 tablespoon dried)
- 1 teaspoon himalayan salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 2 cups stuffing (see recipe below)
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat until hot. Spritz with avocado oil (or other high heat oil). Add mushrooms. Sauté for 5 minutes. You can make this oil free by using the dry sauté method.
- Add onions and sauté for another 10 minutes. For the best results, only stir occasionally.
- Add the garlic and sauté for another 5 minutes until mushrooms are golden and onions are lightly browned.
- Place mushroom onion mixture, lentils, teff, walnuts, soy sauce, mustard and garlic powder in food processor. Pulse until most of the beans are mashed. You will have to scrape down the sides occasionally.
- Add parsley, sage, salt and pepper. Pulse to incorporate.
- Lightly oil a glass loaf pan.
- Set aside 1 1/2 cups of the lentil mixture. Line sides and bottom of pan with 3/4 inch of the lentil mixture, leaving the top open.
- Fill with stuffing. Add remaining lentil mixture to seal the loaf.
- Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before removing from loaf pan.
- Serve with remaining stuffing.
- 2 cups diced onion
- 1 cup diced carrot
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 cup diced apple
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped fine (or 1 tablespoon dried sage)
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 3 cups cooked wild rice
- fresh ground pepper
- 1/2 cup pumpkin purée
- 1/4 cup oat flour*
- Heat a large skillet to medium low heat. Spritz with avocado oil or other high-heat oil.
- Add diced onion, carrot, celery, apple and salt.
- Sauté for 10-15 minutes until mixture is soft and onions are translucent.
- Stir in cranberries and wild rice.
- Remove 2 cups of mixture to bowl and stir in pumpkin puree and oat flour.
- Save remaining mixture to serve with loaf.
*You can make your own oat flour by blending rolled oats in the blender until they are a fine powder.