Plant-Based Nut Loaves made with Seeds, Lentils, and Whole Grains


Are you looking for a healthy, but comforting meal that can be made ahead? Or perhaps you need a vegan alternative to your holiday roast or turkey? Either way, these plant-based nut loaves are perfect. They’re full of savory flavor and earthy goodness from a blend of lentils, quinoa, flaxseed, barley, walnuts, and cashews! To top it off, this recipe is naturally oil-free and made with everyday, nutrient-dense ingredients.

Plant-Based Nut Loaves Recipe made with Seeds, Lentils, Quinoa, and Barley - oil-free dish that's great for weeknights, special dinners, or holidays

Plant-Based Nut Loaves made with Seeds, Lentils, and Whole Grains

This recipe is a sample from The Kick Diabetes Cookbook, by Brenda Davis, RD and Vesanto Melina, MS, RD. Brenda has recently released a second, complementary book, called Kick Diabetes Essentials: The Diet and Lifestyle Guide.

Brenda’s dietary recommendations focus on whole foods, no sweeteners, and no oils or other refined ingredients.  Many of her recipes are also gluten-free and/or soy-free, but she doesn’t shun these ingredients completely. In fact, these plant-based nut loaves use both. But we’ve provided some substitution options here, should you need them.

Plant-Based Nut Loaves Substitution Options

  • Barley – If you need gluten-free plant-based loaves, you can substitute whole grain sorghum for the barley. Follow the cooking directions on the package.
  • Tamari – This is a type of soy sauce found in the Asian section. If you can’t find it, you can substitute regular soy sauce or shoyu. For gluten-free, use wheat-free tamari or gluten-free soy sauce. And for soy-free, you can substitute coconut aminos.

The Kick Diabetes Cookbook & Essential Guide by Brenda Davis

Special Diet Notes: Plant-Based Nut Loaves

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, peanut-free, vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian. See our suggestions above for other ingredient and dietary options.

Plant-Based Nut Loaves
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A nut loaf is satisfying comfort food. Its high protein and fiber content contributes to satiety and helps stabilize blood sugar.
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Serves: 2 loaves 8 servings per loaf
  • ½ cup (125 ml) quinoa
  • 5⅔ cups (1.36 L) water
  • ⅔ cup (165 ml) pot barley (see Tip)
  • ⅔ cup (165 ml) dried lentils (see Tip)
  • 1½ large onions, finely chopped
  • 1 cup (250 ml) walnuts, finely chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • ⅓ cup (85 ml) ground flaxseeds
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) chopped fresh parsley, lightly packed
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegan poultry seasoning
  • ⅔ cup (165 ml) water
  • 1 cup (250 ml) raw cashews
  • ⅓ cup (85 ml) tamari
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Put the quinoa in a small saucepan.
  2. Add 1 cup (250 ml) of the water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  3. Decrease the heat to low, cover, and cook until all the water is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
  4. While the quinoa cooks, put the barley and lentils in a medium saucepan.
  5. Add 4 cups (1 L) of the water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  6. Decrease the heat to low, cover, and cook until the lentils are soft, about 45 minutes.
  7. Drain.
  8. Put the quinoa, barley mixture, onions, walnuts, celery, flaxseeds, parsley, and poultry seasoning in a large bowl and stir until well combined.
  9. Put the remaining ⅔ cup (165 ml) of water and the cashews, tamari, and garlic in a blender and process until smooth.
  10. Pour into the quinoa mixture and stir until well combined. Season with pepper to taste.
  11. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (175 C) and lightly grease two loaf pans.
  12. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared loaf pans.
  13. Bake for 60 to 90 minutes, or until the loaves are slightly firm to the touch.
Tip: Pot barley is less processed than other kinds, so it’s what we recommend, although any type of barley can be used in this recipe. Smaller lentils, such as French or beluga lentils, would be great, but regular brown or green lentils will work well too.

This recipe is reprinted with permissions from The Kick Diabetes Cookbook and Kick Diabetes Essentials collection.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 191 Fat: 21g Carbohydrates: 10g Sodium: 317 mg Fiber: 7g Protein: 8g

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About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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