I was a vegetarian for 10 years and since we preferred to avoid heavily processed soy, we had to look beyond 'fake meat' for good meat substitutes. I missed eating meatloaf, so we would make a loaf using lentils and nuts instead. I've since discovered that just like meatloaf, it's a great way to hide veggies for the kids. My 3 year old just heard the word 'loaf' and gobbled down 2 helpings. He didn't even seem to notice that it wasn't meat. So here's the recipe:
4 cups water
1 cup lentils
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup celery, finely chopped*
1 carrot, grated*
1/4 cup spinach, shredded*
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans
5 slices whole grain (or gluten free) bread, crumbled**
2 eggs (or egg substitute)
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp sage
1/2 tsp savory
1/4 tsp marjoram
salt and pepper to taste
Boil lentils in water for 45 minutes. Drain well (I recommend leaving them in the sink for several hours). Transfer lentils to large bowl and mash well. Add remaining ingredients and mash until well mixed. Spoon into well greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
* Substitute any veggies you like as long as you wind up with about 1/5-2 cups (including onion). I often use green pepper instead of celery.
** Start with one slice bread and add until reaching desired consistency.