Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sweet Potato Lentil Quinoa "Meatloaf" (vegan)

Amidst all of the fall love for pumpkins, squash and apples, I almost forgot about another fall favorite: the sweet potato. The sweet potato, or yam, is another vegetable to eat this season to get ready for the cold winter months. It has unsurpassable amounts of vitamin A and vitamin C. Plus the beta-carotene benefits are most definitely high enough to brag about. It has been said that the sweet potato is the most nutrient dense vegetable according to it's weight and price that you can buy at the market. We did not plant any sweet potatoes in the garden this year, but I am hoping to next year because my family loves them so much. Thankfully you can buy them at most farmer's markets or grocery stores for a decent price this time of year because it's their harvest time.

So to get creative with this great old favorite vegetable I decided to try my hand at making another ol' time favorite: a "meat"loaf. Except this one is filled with quinoa and lentils instead of the usual main ingredients of meat. It has all of the same flavors and spices, and with a hearty fiber filled mix of quinoa and lentils you will not be lacking any protein or nutrients. And who isn't looking for another way to eat lentils and quinoa? A perfect vegetarian or vegan dinner option, plus not to mention a super budget-friendly meal. A cup of quinoa, plus a cup of lentils, and some sweet potato mash is certainly half the price of a quality few pounds of ground meat. So add this loaf to your dinner rotation to save some cash and also add some variety and spunk to you life.
I topped the loaf with some gorgeous heirloom tomatoes from my garden. Yes, crazy enough I still had some lingering fresh tomatoes from my plants that just recently died. So I was excited to enjoy them yet again in such a yummy way. The fresh tomatoes plus the spicy glaze was just the touch this loaf needed.
Sweet Potato Lentil Quinoa "Meat"Loaf Recipe
3 cups of cooked red lentils (1 1/2 cup dry lentils with 3 cups of water)
3 cups of mashed sweet potato
3 cups of cooked quinoa (1 cup dry quinoa cooked with 2 cups of water/broth)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 minced cloves of fresh garlic or 2 ts. of dried garlic powder
1/2 cup finely chopped kale
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1 TB. of olive oil
1/2 ts. black pepper
1/2 ts. ground cumin
1/2 ts. paprika powder
dash of cayenne pepper or more if you like
1 ts. chili powder
1 ts. Italian seasoning blend or dried thyme

First, bake one very large sweet potato to get about 3 cups of sweet potato puree or mush. Or you can boil a pot full of chopped sweet potato pieces. Just make sure you bake or boil enough for 3 cups. Then in the meantime cook 1 1/2 cup of dry red lentils with 3 cups of water on the stovetop for 20-30 minutes until a mushy soft lentil mix. Alongside of cooking your lentils, cook some dry quinoa (about 1 cup dry) with 2 cups of broth or water. After about 30-40 minutes you should have all of the main ingredients cooked and ready for mixing. I let the lentils, quinoa and sweet potato cool down a while to make sure that when I mixed with my hands it wasn't too hot. 

Then in a large mixing bowl I mixed the sweet potato, lentils and quinoa along with the onion, kale parsley and spices. Like I said, I mixed with my hands to fully mix in all of the spices and blend the ingredients well. Then, I laid a piece of foil in a 9x13 baking pan and drizzled it with olive oil. Then with my hands I formed a large oblong loaf-like with the mix over the foil. It should look like a loaf of bread (or meat) and you can form or spread it out to look whatever you like. Then you need to whip up a glaze for baking...

1/2 cup of organic ketchup
1 TB of pure maple syrup
1 ts. of ground cumin
dash of hot or black pepper
1-2 Heirloom tomatoes slices thinly for topping

In a small bowl, whisk the ketchup and spices to make a glaze. Then brush or spread the glaze over the loaf and then top the glaze with thinly spiced tomatoes.
Then put the loaf in a preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour.
Serve warm from the oven for your meal. Because you have the potatoes already in this loaf you may just want to skip the traditional mashed potatoes with "meat" loaf and add just a side of a green salad or green veggie. This meal is filled with protein, fiber and lots of vitamins and minerals. Super yummy and super good for you too!
A bite of that will have you surprised about how good this combo works together. It may not be the prettiest of dinners, but it is very flavorful and healthy, so who's complaining?

I hope you try this dinner out, especially if you liked my sweet potato patties. That's what's for dinner at my house, now, what's for dinner for you this fabulous fall day?

P.S. I started a Facebook Page for this blog... it is still in the starter stages, but you should still come over and "like" me... just for the sake of boosting my self-worth of course ;)

Hope you enjoy!

Much love to you as always!


  1. I think this looks yummy! It's funny having no desire to eat actual meatloaf anymore, and yet this "meatloaf" really appeals to me. Thanks!

  2. That's an excellent recipe! My family loved it and my mom said it is the best dish she is ever tasted! You Rock!

  3. Ulviya- Thanks for the comment and kind words- so glad your family loved it! Cheers!

  4. I just got done making it and it's cooking in the oven!! Can't wait to taste it!!

  5. I just got done making this and it's now cooking in the oven. Can't wait to taste it!!!!

  6. Going to try this for Thanksgiving dinner....may give it a practice run in a month or so. Liked your facebook page too!

  7. Tried this tonight. I baked it in halves. The second half is actually still in the oven now. My first half came out mushy, not loaf-like. The taste was great, but yours looks SO much better in the pictures. Any thoughts on where I went "wrong"?