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 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.
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.
- 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
- Put the quinoa in a small saucepan.
- Add 1 cup (250 ml) of the water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- 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.
- While the quinoa cooks, put the barley and lentils in a medium saucepan.
- Add 4 cups (1 L) of the water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Decrease the heat to low, cover, and cook until the lentils are soft, about 45 minutes.
- Put the quinoa, barley mixture, onions, walnuts, celery, flaxseeds, parsley, and poultry seasoning in a large bowl and stir until well combined.
- Put the remaining ⅔ cup (165 ml) of water and the cashews, tamari, and garlic in a blender and process until smooth.
- Pour into the quinoa mixture and stir until well combined. Season with pepper to taste.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF (175 C) and lightly grease two loaf pans.
- Press the mixture evenly into the prepared loaf pans.
- Bake for 60 to 90 minutes, or until the loaves are slightly firm to the touch.
This recipe is reprinted with permissions from The Kick Diabetes Cookbook and Kick Diabetes Essentials collection.