I've had the idea of creating some sort of lentil loaf in my head for a while. I've seen a few recipes floating around, but decided to just make it how I make my regular meatloaf, subbing lentils for the beef/turkey. Since I was making this for the family dinner, I thought putting them in little muffin cups might make serving them easier, and they're much cuter that way!
These came out exactly as I had envisioned them, maybe a tiny bit crumbly, so next time I make them I'll be sure to add an extra egg white and maybe smush a little more of the lentils rather than leave them mostly whole.
BBQ Lentil-Loaf Muffins
2 cups dry lentils
1 bay leaf
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp. EVOO
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 yellow onion, minced
1 medium carrot, peeled and minced
Salt and pepper
2 egg whites
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 cup ground oats (I put rolled oats in a food processor and pulse 20 times)
1/4 cup minced flat leaf parsley
Salt and pepper
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. light brown sugar
Rinse lentils, place in a pot with 4 cups of water, bay leaf and salt.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes, or until tender.
Drain in a colander and set aside.
Heat a saute' pan over medium heat.
Add EVOO, garlic, onion and carrots, season with salt and pepper.
Cook for 5 minutes, until slightly caramelized and softened, turn heat off and set aside.
Add lentils to a large mixing bowl, mash with a potato masher until about half the lentils are mashed and half are whole.
In a small dish, beat egg whites until they are foamy.
Add egg whites, cooked vegetables, tomato paste, oats, parsley and paprika to the lentils.
Toss gently to combine everything, taste and season with salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place muffin cups in a tin (12), spoon mixture evenly into the cups, mounding them at the top.
In a small dish, whisk ketchup, balsamic vinegar and light brown sugar.
Spoon mixture over lentil loaf muffins.
Place in the oven, bake for 25 minutes, or until topping is caramelized and lentils are crisp on the edges.