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.

Close Up Quinoa Loaf

Close Up Quinoa Loaf


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.

Vegetarian Lentil Loaf with Pumpkin and Quinoa

Vegetarian Lentil Loaf with Pumpkin and Quinoa

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”.

Lentil Quinoa Loaf

Lentil Quinoa Loaf

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.

Vegetable Quinoa and Lentil Loaf

Vegetable Quinoa and Lentil Loaf

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.

Close Up Pumpkin Lentil Loaf w Quinoa

Close Up Pumpkin Lentil Loaf w Quinoa

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.

Balinese Peanut Sauce

Balinese Peanut Sauce

The Pumpkin Lentil Loaf can be made really easily on the stovetop and then baked, or in the Thermomix and then baked.

Close Up Quinoa Loaf

Close Up Quinoa Loaf

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.

Lentil Quinoa Loaf w Sate Sauce

Lentil Quinoa Loaf w Sate Sauce

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.

Pumpkin Lentil Loaf

Vegetarian Pumpkin & Lentil Loaf

Servings: 2 loaves with 7 slices in each loaf. 14 serves.
Calories: 194 kcal
Author: Julie
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 x 400gm can brown lentils drained
  • 1 cup black quinoa
  • 1 cup short grain rice
  • 1.75 litres water
  • 450 gm pumpkin diced
  • 180 gm onion chopped
  • 25 Tbs gm or 1 1/2 oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • salt
  • 2 Tbs tomato paste
  • 3 celery sticks finely diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsely
  • 4 eggs
  • 80 gm pine nut
  • 3 Tbs sesame seeds

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius or 350 fahrenheit.
  2. Line two loaf tins with baking paper and spray with olive oil.

Regular Cooking Method

  1. Wash the quinoa in cold running water.
  2. Soak the quinoa for 20 minutes in more cold water.
  3. Dice the pumpkin into 1.5cm squares
  4. Rinse the quinoa again, then boil it in 2 cups water for 15 minutes or until cooked.
  5. Boil the rice in 2 cups water.
  6. Boil the pumpkin until just soft.
  7. Saute the onion and garlic in oil until soft and caramalised.
  8. Add the celery and lightly fry.
  9. Add the spices and fry for a few more seconds.
  10. Drain the quinoa, pumpkin and rice into a large bowl
  11. Add the onion mixture, tomato paste, eggs and lentils to the pumpkin and rice mixture.
  12. Use a stick blender to roughy combine and blend about 1/2 of the mixture. (You want half the mixture a rough puree and half the mixture unchanged.
  13. With a wooden spoon mix through the pinenuts and chopped parsley.
  14. Press the Pumpkin & Lentil Loaf into the prepared tins and bake.
  15. Smooth the top of the loaf and sprinkle 1/2 the sesame seeds onto each loaf.
  16. Bake for 45 minutes at 180 degrees.
  17. Leave in the loaf tin to come to room temperature before removing from the tin.
  18. Refrigerate the second lentil loaf in the tin until required.
  19. Can be covered and frozen.

Thermomix Instructions

  1. Wash the quinoa in cold running water.
  2. Soak the quinoa for 20 minutes in more cold water.
  3. Dice the pumpkin into 1.5cm squares.
  4. Rinse the Quinoa again.
  5. Fill the TM bowl with 1.75 litres of water.
  6. Place the quinoa and rice into the steaming basket. Add the Steam to the top of the TM with the diced pumpkin.
  7. Cook 15min, 100 degrees, speed 4.
  8. Carefully remove the basket and leave the rice and quinoa in one basket and the pumpkin in the other. Reserve for later use.
  9. Rinse out the left over water from the TM bowl.
  10. Add oil, onion, garlic, parsley, and celery to the TM, Cook 2min, Varoma, speed 2.
  11. Add the spices, salt and tomato paste to the TM, cook 1min, Varoma, speed 2.
  12. Return 1/2 the rice mixture, 1/2 the pumpkin and eggs to the TM bowl Mix 20 sec, Speed 6.
  13. Pour the TM mixture into the bowl with reserved quinoa and rice. Add the reserved pumpkin and pinenuts stir to combine.
  14. Distribute the lentil loaf evenly between the two tins.
  15. Smooth the top of the loaf and sprinkle 1/2 the sesame seeds on each loaf.
  16. Bake for 45 minutes at 180 degrees.
  17. Leave in the loaf tin to come to room temperature before removing from the tin.
  18. Refrigerate the second lentil loaf in the tin until required.
  19. Can be covered and frozen.
Nutrition Facts
Vegetarian Pumpkin & Lentil Loaf
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 194 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 13g 20%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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.

Lentil Quinoa Loaf

Lentil Quinoa Loaf

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.

Lentil Quinoa Vegetarian Loaf

Lentil Quinoa Vegetarian Loaf

Are there any foods that you have inexplicably avoided cooking?

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