BBQ Lentil Loaf

Judy Cote gave me some of her barbecue lentil loaf to try for dinner this week. She said she normally combines it with sweet potato and colorful veggies. Not having a sweet potato on hand this week, I decided to combine the lentil loaf with rice, corn and a kale salad. Here's the results of that:

The recipe for the lentil loaf follows:

Cook time: 45-55 “-Makes 2 loaves-8 servings-375 degree oven

1 ½ C red lentils                 
1 large onion                                                                      
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 ½ C water                         
1- 8 ounce package mushrooms, chopped            
4 cups packed fresh spinach, chopped                                                                                                         1-15 ounce can diced tomatoes, with juices
1 tsp. dried sage
1 tsp. garlic powder
1tsp Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb seasoning blend, or similar spice blend
¼ tsp. dried marjoram
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley, or as desired
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1-1   ½ cups bone sucking  BBQ sauce or ketchup, your favorite (BBQ I get at Whole Foods in Savannah)

In a saucepan, bring the lentils to a boil in the water.  Decrease the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the lentils are tender and most of the water is absorbed, 8-10”.  In the same saucepan, mash the lentils with the back of a spoon or potato masher; don’t worry, the lentils cook quickly and mash easily.
In a non-stick pan, large!) cook the onions over medium heat, stirring constantly to avoid burning, until soft and translucent (I add a little water if sticking).  Add the mushrooms and garlic and continue cooking over medium heat until soft.  Add water or vegetable broth, if necessary, to keep the vegetables from sticking.  Add the spinach, cover and continue cooking over medium heat until spinach wilts, 4-5”.
Add the lentils to this mixture of onions etc. and stir to combine.  Add the dice tomatoes, sage, garlic powder, Mrs. Dash seasoning, marjoram and cilantro and stir.  Add the oats and stir it again!
In the bottom of two 9 x 5” loaf pans, spread ½ the BBQ sauce or ketchup.  Add the lentil-oat  mixture to the loaf pans, and then spread the remaining BBQ sauce or ketchup in a generous layer on the top.               Bake 45-55” until the top of the BBQ glaze turns crispy on the edges.  Let set for 10-15” before cutting and serving-ideally until the next day.

Tip:  The loaf is much easier to cut the next day!