I made this for the academy that I work at, but the first time I cooked the lentils, a couple weeks or so ago, I failed to sort the lentils. So, two young ladies bit into a pebble each, which means two rocks/pebbles were found in the lentils. So…make sure to sort your lentils carefully, and wash them, too, before cooking. I washed them two or three times in water, draining and then putting them in water again. Cook according to packaged directions, or longer if necessary, until they are soft. Basically, boil them for a couple of hours (time may vary, depending on stove, heat, pan size, amount of water—it’s good to add more water if you see too much water has evaporated and not all the lentils are in water, especially if they are still tough—amount of lentils, etc. I’m not very experienced with lentils, but—Praise God!—they turned out well, and the loaf was delicious. Praise God! It helps to pray before you start cooking.
Don’t salt lentils until they are through cooking, if you are going to salt them when you have cooked them. Salting too early toughens the skins. Older lentils take longer to soften.
Cooked lentils can be stored in the freezer, and I think they store best in freezer bags with the air pressed out. I used leftover, frozen lentils, and thawed them before making the loaf. Add some water (not a lot is necessary) to thaw them in a big pot on the stove, and stir frequently to prevent burning.
This recipe makes 2 full deck 2 inch deck pans. That’s about 60-80 slices, give or take a few, depending on the size of the slices.
- 8 cups of oats blended into flour, or 8 cups of oat flour
- 5-7 cups of breadcrumbs
- 2 Tbsp garlic powder
- 4 Tbsp onion powder
- 2 Tbsp thyme
- 1 Tbsp oregano
- 1-2 cup(s) fresh parsley, chopped (or about 1 cup dried parsley flakes)
- About 2 gallons of cooked lentils with juice (just enough juice to cover lentils in the gallon pitchers, should be mostly lentils with a little juice)
- salt-to taste (about 2-3 Tbsp)
- oil or nonstick cooking spray (to grease pan)
- (topping) ketchup, bbq sauce, tomato sauce, gravy (not as recommended as the first three), or some similar sauce (You may need a lot, maybe about 1-3 cups each loaf)
- Preheat oven to about 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- If using oats, blend oats into a flour.
- Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix well.
- Mix in fresh parsley.
- Mix in lentils and juice. This should form a thick batter. If needed and available, add more water if too thick, more blended oats/oat flour if too thin, but it’s better for it to be a little thicker than too thin.
- Grease two full sized 2 inch deck pans.
- Pour in batter and spread as smooth as possible. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
- Pour and spread topping of choice onto the loaf. Spread it as smooth as possible, enough for a thin layer to cover the loaf.
- Cover both loafs with foil.
- Slit each foil two slits in the middle, parallel, about 2 inches apart and 3-4 inches long (to vent).
- Bake at around 425 for about 45 minutes. When it is slice-able and not soupy, it should be done, but I recommend step 12 also…
- Uncover and bake uncovered for another 1o-15 minutes.
If loaf takes longer to cook, give it more time.
Leftovers can be sliced and served in sandwiches (Although we dumped ours because of the pebbles. Don’t waste food! Check for pebbles before cooking the lentils and before making the lentil loaf!). Only two slices were wasted of this loaf out of about 40 or so that we gave out, so most people enjoyed the taste. It’s just not pleasant to crunch on rocks, especially if you’re not expecting them…so yes, make sure there are no pebbles in your loaf.