Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Cranberry Orange Lentil Quinoa Loaf/Roasted Broccoli/Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower

I follow a bunch of different recipe blogs and I get new posts on my facebook page.  This morning I saw a post for Cranberry Orange Lentil Quinoa loaf  by Emily Malone of dailygarnish.com.  I thought it sounded a bit weird but I had all the ingredients (mostly).  So I set out to attempt this while the baby was napping.  You can find the original recipe on her blog but below is the way I made it.

  • 1 cup dry lentils
  • 1/2 cup dry quinoa
  • 3 cups water (with 1 teaspoon garlic salt and some pepper)
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 ribs celery, finely diced
  • 2 large carrots, finely diced
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup roasted sunflower seeds (I only had raw so I put some oil in a pan and let them brown a bit)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 6 tablespoons prepared salsa with 1/2 cup chopped pineapple bits (or pre-made fruit salsa)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Then start by combining quinoa, lentils, vegetable broth, and orange juice in either a sauce pot or rice cooker. Cook until all liquid is absorbed, and the lentils and quinoa are cooked.
Meanwhile, finely dice the mirepoix vegetables – celery, carrots, and onions. Dice them evenly and as small as you can, because pieces too big will make it harder for the loaf to bind together. Saut√© the vegetables in olive olive over medium high heat until they begin to soften.

In a small dish, combine chia seeds and 1/2 cup water, and let sit for five minutes until thickened. It should be gel-like after a few minutes, and will serve as an egg replacement. You can also use ground flax seeds mixed with water.  (If you prefer, you can also sub in 3 eggs.)

Once the vegetables are cooked, add the cranberries, sunflower seeds, and apple cider vinegar to the pan. Remove from heat.
Stir in the cooked lentils and quinoa once they are ready, along with the chia seed mixture, add salt and stir the mixture until well incorporated.
Press firmly into a greased loaf pan, making sure to push mixture flush against all the edges
Spoon salsa over the top to form a coating. I used Pace salsa because that's all I had and added chopped pineapple.  You can make your own fruit salsa or buy some pre-made.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes. Allow loaf to cool slightly before cutting carefully. 

I also made some roasted broccoli that was a nice change from your usual steamed broccoli.  

1 head of broccoli washed and chopped, dry well
couple tablespoon of olive oil
about 2 teaspoons salt, I just eyeballed it
toss to coat
put on a baking sheet and cook at 450 for 20 min
sprinkle with the juice of 1 lemon and some Parmesan cheese. 

Lastly, I made some mashed potatoes with cauliflower for some added veggie goodness and lots of vitamins. I just boiled six potatoes and added one head of cauliflower when the potatoes were almost done.  Then cooked until soft.  Then I drained the water and added 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1cup plain soy milk (can use regular), and salt and pepper to taste.  MMM!
So there you have it.  Dinner is served.

The verdict: I loved it.  The veggie loaf was delicious as was everything else.  The loaf didn't really stay together in loaf form, I might try adding some bread crumbs next time.  Hubby really liked the mashed potatoes and said the loaf was fine.  He also said broccoli is broccoli but he liked it more than the steamed version. He is hard to impress. My 9 yr. old liked it after adding ketchup to it. My 7 yr. old ate each bite of the loaf with a bite of pineapple and finished off his mashed potatoes and broccoli and of course my 4 yr. old wouldn't touch the veggie loaf because he could see it had carrots in it.  He did eat the mashed potatoes and the broccoli and some fruit.  Overall, I have to say this was a success for the veggie monster.

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