I've never been a big steak eater, and I'm so-so on hamburgers, but since becoming vegetarian I really miss my meatloaf! I guess it really is a comfort food - in college I probably ate Boston Market's meatloaf and mac & cheese 3 or 4 times a week! So I decided to make a meatless version that is high in both fiber and protein, and low in fat.
I also wanted to try cooking this in the HERC (Home Emergency Radiant Cooking) XXL Oven by Titan Ready USA. The HERC is perfect for this - two loaf pans will fit nicely inside, and since I'm not using ground beef (which means no fat), I don't have to worry about any juices dripping into the oven.
Let's get started. You'll need:
- 2 cup lentils
- 4 cups water
- 1 1/2 cup grated cheese - could be cheddar, Swiss or American
- 2 cup quick-cooking oats
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 cups spaghetti sauce (maybe a little more)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 t garlic powder
- 2 t dried basil
- 2 T dried parsley
- 1 t salt
- 1/2 t pepper
The quickest way to soften the lentils would be over low heat - add them to the water and simmer for about 30 minutes, until they are soft and most of the water is gone. However, if all you have is the HERC oven and don't want to use your candles for this, you can just soak them overnight. Once they are soft, drain them and partially mash them. You don't want them all the way mashed - they should be closer to the consistency of ground beef than mashed potatoes.
Once your lentils are ready, go ahead and pre-heat the HERC, after you've properly trimmed the candle wicks. See our HERC Oven Review for more information on trimming the wicks and pre-heating.
Next, stir in the cheese, oats and onion until thoroughly combined. Then add the spaghetti sauce, eggs, garlic and spices. You want the mixture to be relatively sticky - if it's too dry add a little more spaghetti sauce.
We used two cast iron loaf pans, since they hold the heat better, but you can use whatever you have. Wipe the two loaf pans with a thin coating of olive oil (or use Pam if you have to), and spoon the mixture into them. Smooth the top surface flat.
You'll need to decide if you want to glaze your meatloaf while cooking it. Personally, I don't like it that way, but I know many people do. You could just use regular gravy or ketchup, or you could combine 1/2 cup ketchup, 2 T brown sugar, and 1/2 t garlic powder as a glaze. Double those amounts for both loaf pans.
Put the loaf pans into the pre-heated HERC oven and bake for 2 hours. If you are cooking this in a regular oven instead of the HERC, bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove the loaf pans from the HERC and let them cool for about 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the pan, and turn out the meatloaf onto a plate or platter. Serve with mashed potatoes, top with gravy (or ketchup if you must, yuck!) and enjoy!