People, it is hot here and my husband is manic on the subject of no cooking heat in the house. I use my slow cooker pretty often in the summer and I usually set it outside. That pleases him, as does cooking outside on the new grill.
Sunday, we had a meatless meatloaf which is a lentil loaf which really needs a better name. It sounds like we are being all 70s alternative or like we miss meat so much we are trying our best to imitate it, but that's just not the case. At my house, this is just a delicious way to eat lentils and it just begs for traditional meatloaf sides.
cucumber salad with basil
espresso granita with whipped cream (I used strong decaf coffee and decreased the sugar by 1 Tbsp.)
I put the oiled potatoes in the bottom of my 6-quart oval slow cooker. I turned them on high around 7am. Before we left for church at 9am, I turned the cooker to low and added the lentil loaf (mixed up the day before) in a 9x5 metal loaf pan, sitting directly on top of the single layer of potatoes. Clapped the lid on.
It worked so well! When we got home from church, I put together a cucumber salad. Delicious, easy Sunday dinner and no cooking heat in the house - plenty of other heat, though. . .
Lentil Loaf (originally from a cookbook called The Daily Bean)
Combine and mix well:
1-2 cups tasty cheese such as cheddar with a bit of smoked cheddar if you like
2 cups cooked lentils
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
pepper to taste
1/4 tsp. dried thyme (or triple the amount of fresh thyme)
1 cup soft breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp. soft butter (optional)
Place in greased loaf pan and smooth top. Bake at 350 F for 45 minutes or covered in a slow cooker on low for 2-3 hours. You can put the loaf pan in the dry slow cooker and if there are no potatoes beneath, keep it off the bottom with a metal jar lid or small trivet.
If you have to cook your lentils just for this recipe, use a scant cup with a scant 2 cups water. Cook covered for about an hour, until water is absorbed and lentils are soft. Or you can cook a big pot and freeze the cooked lentils in 2 cup amounts.
Serve this loaf as you would traditional meatloaf; the wheat in the breadcrumbs in combination with the legumes (lentils) is a complete protein and there is protein from the cheese and egg. Cold slices of leftover loaf are excellent in sandwiches with ketchup and sprouts.