I thought it was about time I did a weekly veggie food slot as so many of you have asked me for recipes and/or advice. Mr Thinly Spread and I are both vegetarian and have been since our teens and we are raising four happy and healthy vegetarians as you can see from this blog!
If you have any questions about vegetarianism or raising veggie children please ask away in the comments section and I will do my best to answer them but, if I can’t, a good first port of call is the fantastic Vegetarian Society.
Cheese and Lentil Loaf
This is our family’s Sunday roast of choice. The children also insist that there must be one on the Christmas table but I cook it in a ring mould then to make it look more festive. The original recipe can be found in the Cranks Recipe Book which my husband already owned when I met him, and which I have adapted considerably over the years (the recipe not Mr TS….although…!). This quantity serves the 6 of us (with a variety of appetite size) and is plenty for 4 adults. It freezes REALLY well uncooked or cooked so I cling wrap any left over and pop it in the freezer. It will keep well in the fridge for 3 or 4 days and is great mashed up with some mayonnaise and spread on a bagel!
400g red lentils
1 litre of water
Large onion, diced
100-150g cheddar, grated ( I vary this according to how cheesy I want it)
1 heaped teaspoon Marmite
2 – 3 tsps sun-dried tomato pesto (or 1 tsp sun-dried tomato and chilli paste)
2 tsps dried mixed herbs
2 free range eggs, lightly beaten
Breadcrumbs (about 50g)
- Cook the lentils in the water with the Marmite added until they are soft and you have a rough lentil puree with all water absorbed. (You may need to add more water, keep an eye on them, lentils can be unpredictable little devils and either boil over suddenly or dry out!)
- Stir in the tomato paste and dried herbs, the cheese, onion and the eggs and add enough breadcrumbs that the mixture is stiff but not rigid!
- Spoon into an oiled and base lined 2 lb loaf tin and level the surface
- Cook on the middle shelf at 200°C for about half an hour until firm and smelling delicious!
- Serve with roasted roots, gravy and veg or boiled potatoes and salad. I sometimes wrap the mixture in puff pastry with a lattice top and I also use it as the filling for veggie sausage rolls!
This is a really good protein meal for kids and the Marmite is a good source of B12. If you serve it with broccoli and potatoes and follow it with a good fruit salad (using orange juice as the liquid) you will have a really well balanced meal. I have yet to meet a visiting child who doesn’t love it and the veggie sausage roll version goes down very well at school Christmas parties.
If you fancy going meat free every Monday, pop over to the Meatless Monday website for more ideas!
The McCartneys are on board too and their Meat Free Monday website is well worth a visit.