“Maaaa! The meatloaf! We want it now!”
Just like Chazz (Wedding Crashers), you’ll also want some of this meatloaf. Your wild guess is right though, it contains no meat. This non-meatloaf/lentil-loaf/superfood-loaf is as comforting as the real deal, especially when you savour it with some home-made cranberry sauce. Plus, just like meatloaf, this loaf contains protein (beefcake, dude). Yeehaw!
Here is the breakdown of the healing superfoods and foods this loaf contains:
Walnuts: contain rare and powerful antioxidants. These unique antioxidants are juglone (a quinone), tellimagrandin (a tannin), and morin (a flavonol). These words will be on your next dictation. If you recall, antioxidants are somewhat responsible for slowing down your body’s age-related deterioration process, by fighting free radicals, mixed martial arts-style. They save the day.
Spinach: contains high amounts of lutein, an antioxidant which protects your baby blues/baby browns/baby greens (translation: eyes) against macular degeneration. The macula is a small and fragile area located at the back of your eye which is responsible for central vision.
Lentils: have prevention powers. Lentils are talented at preventing against chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, etc. Moreover, they are an excellent source of protein.
Goji berries: contain the 11 essential amino acids (greetings building blocks for a healthy body), fiber (hello satiety), vitamin C (hey there energy), selenium (hi healthy thyroid), lycopene (howdy skin protection), cryptoxanthin (what’s up anti-inflammation), lutein (you should know this one 😉 ), zeaxanthin (salutations healthy eyes). That’s a lot for such a puny berry 🙂
Dried white mulberries: Though they are a dried fruit, mulberries have less than half the sugar found in raisins and less sugar than dried mangos, dates and figs. Despite this, they do have a delightsome sweet taste. Interestingly, this berry originates from China and was introduced to the U.S.A. during colonial times, in an attempt to set up a silk industry, as these berries are not only food for humans but for silkworms as well (perhaps not the most appetizing tidbit of information).
Oats: contain beta-glucans, which are great for preventing blood sugar spikes and are being studied for their immune stimulating properties. Oats are a splendid source of fiber, which plays an important part in weight management.
Ground flaxseeds: are tiny seeds with big benefits. Flaxseeds contain lignans, which assist your body in breaking down hormones into safer forms which, in turn, prevents against hormone-dependant cancers like breast and prostate cancer. They have also been shown to reduce hot flashes in menopausal women. If you are observant, you may have noticed that I specified that flaxseeds be ground. This is because unground flaxseeds have an impermeable coating which makes them impossible to digest. They thus go straight through your body, undigested, and the benefits will be unreaped, if unground.
Mushrooms: contain some of the most potent natural medicines on the planet. Mushrooms contain long chain polysaccharides which have a beneficial impact on your immune system.
Oftentimes, the simplest of foods are amongst the best for your health. Here, the simple ingredients combine to form a spectacular loaf. And while all the information above may be a lot to absorb, this loaf is pretty darn easy to eat 🙂 .
For the loaf:
- 2 cups white button mushrooms, finely chopped
- 2 cups cremini or portobello mushrooms, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp. cider vinegar
- 1 cup uncooked green lentils (cook in 3 cups of water)
- 1 cup oat flour, use gluten-free if you need to (if you do not have any, just throw some oats in a coffee grinder and voila!)
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2-3 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 cups walnuts, chopped
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/3 cup of goji berries
- 1/3 cup white mulberries
- 1 tsp. each of thyme, oregano and rosemary
- 2 cups spinach, finely chopped
- 4 tbsp. ground flaxseeds
- 3 tbsp. water
- Salt, to taste (my taste is 1 tsp.)
For the home-made cranberry sauce:
- 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
For the loaf
- Add lentils into a large pot along with 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium and allow lentils to cook for about 20 minutes. Once lentils are cooked, mash with a potato masher and remove from heat. Keep this lentil paste for later.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Toast the chopped walnuts for about 10 minutes, until they turn even more golden.
- In a very large pan, add the olive oil and cider vinegar, followed by the finely chopped mushrooms, celery pieces, garlic and salt. and garlic. Saute at medium-high heat for roughly 8 minutes. Next, add the chopped spinach, ground flaxseeds, water, walnuts, goji berries, white mulberries and fresh herbs. Cook until spinach is wilted, stirring often to mix the flavours in together.
- Remove from heat and add the mashed lentils and oat flour. Stir until well combined.
- Adjust salt and pepper, to taste.
- Grease a loaf pan with olive oil. Pour mixture into pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25-30 minutes.
For the sauce
- Add the cranberries and maple syrup into a small pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until thick and sweet cranberry sauce is obtained.
Thanksgiving came early, folks 😉