Lentil and hemp seed loaf
I like to experiment with everything and the day has come to experiment with hemp seed. I’ve used hemp protein powder for quite a while now and I’ve been fascinated with hemp in general for a long time. It’s an incredible versatile plant and the hulled seeds are delicious and nutritious. They even have all the essential amino acids just like meat and that makes them markedly different from other plant proteins.
Up until recently I’d only tried them in specialty shops and they were very expensive and roasted and flavored. Recently as I look for other forms of protein to try to limit my use of animals I bought a large 3 lb bag of raw hulled hemp seeds. They arrived in the mail and they are very very tiny and taste a wee bit like sunflower seeds. I like them plain just fine, but they are so tiny it’s not like eating other seeds or nuts. They would be yummy in a salad just nice and raw like that and I’ll be thinking about what else I might do with them now too.
Today, though I made a lentil/hemp loaf. I’ve made vegetarian nut loafs for my husband a number of times. Apparently they are popular in Britain and he grew up there. I’d never had or made one until I married him, and so the idea comes from the nut loaves I’ve made. They are essentially a vegetarian variant on meat loaf.
2 cups cooked lentils
1 cup hemp seeds
3/4 cup pecorino cheese
3/4 cup oats soaked in plain kefir for a couple of hours (enough kefir to just cover the oats — you can use milk too)
1 large onion diced
5 cloves garlic
1/2 cup pesto
1 tbls red chili flakes
Salt to taste
Saute onions and garlic and then combine all the above ingredients and mix well. Put into a loaf pan or small casserole dish. I don’t currently have a loaf pan so I’ve been using a small casserole dish for my loafs, meat or veggie. I have to get a loaf pan!
So I wrote the above while the loaf was cooking. I, again, failed to notice how long it took but it simply ended nice and golden brown like the picture and the texture was nice too. Not heavy or wet or anything. I was not initially thrilled with the taste. My husband’s comment was, “It tastes like nut loaf.” I topped mine with some hot sauce and by the time I was finished eating my piece I was thoroughly enjoying it! I suppose if I make it again and I imagine I will, I will put more thought into spicing it up somehow, but really it wasn’t bad at all and I will enjoy the leftovers.
Well, this has grown on me. I thought leftovers would be tomorrow, but I had a second helping tonight. It’s good.