Today I’m sharing a fabulously easy vegetarian Pumpkin Lentil Loaf with Quinoa. But first, did you know the United Nations has declared 2016 the Year of the Legume? No… nor did I until a couple of days ago! I actually came upon this fact whilst I was looking up the fibre content of lentils v’s quinoa and brown rice.
I know your probably wondering why I felt the need to know this information. Well firstly, I’m kind of a nutrition nerd. Most importantly though, as I’ve said previously, I’ve put on a few kilo’s recently. The best way I know to lose weight, is to eat a calorie controlled diet, high in fibre. Fibre keeps you feeling full longer, and has fewer calories than most low fibre foods.
I was comparing the nutritional value of each of these healthy grains, cereals, and legumes because I wanted to revise one of my favourite lentil loaf recipes. I wanted to make the recipe in my Thermomix with a new taste, and a fibre boost. That’s when I noticed it was “The Year of the Legume”.
The UN’s aim, in dedicating a year to legumes, is to heighten public awareness of the nutritional benefits of pulses. I’m not sure the UN has achieved the awareness they were chasing, but I’m happy to jump on the legume bandwagon. I’ve always loved my beans, peas and chickpeas, as well as being a great source of fibre they’re also the number one way I used to get my protein when I was a vegetarian.
In the end I decided to use a range of grains and legumes in the loaf. The Pumpkin Lentil Loaf now contains brown rice and quinoa. I figured that “variety is the spice of life”. Also by including a range of products the loaf becomes more nutritionally balanced.
Most importantly though, the flavour and texture of the loaf is delicious. Even my kids demolished it, although they added tomato sauce!! Blah! We served ours with the 5 minute Thermomix Balinese Peanut Sauce. It was a match made in heaven.
The Pumpkin Lentil Loaf can be made really easily on the stovetop and then baked, or in the Thermomix and then baked.
The recipe makes two loaves so I usually serve one the night I make it and refrigerate the other for sandwiches. Once the loaf has been cooked and chilled its really easy to cut into thick slices. This is not the case when it’s hot straight out of the oven! The first night its too delicate to slice well.
So how much fibre should we be having? In Australia it’s recommended that we get between 25-30 gm of fibre each day:
- 1 cup lentils 16gm
- All Bran Cereal 10gm
- 1 cup brown rice 4gm
- 1 cup quinoa 5gm
- 1 cup pumpkin 3gm
We need to have a mix of soluble, in-soluble fibre and resistant starch in our diet. The recipe includes both soluble and insoluble fibre.
I intended to freeze the second loaf but as I’m writing this story there’s only one small slice left in the fridge. I’ve been making lentil loaf and salad wraps each day with peanut sauce for my lunch. The family seems to also be snacking on it straight from the fridge.
Can I confess something really quickly? I was always scared of preparing quinoa. For some reason I had it in my head that it was tricky or time consuming. That is definitely not the case. After soaking the quinoa for 20 minutes they can be cooked in with the rice. They take the same amount of time.
So readers, are there any foods that you have inexplicably avoided cooking.
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