Years ago during my ashram days I used to make a nut loaf from the Higher Taste cookbook. The original recipe has cheese in it so I made some adjustments to make this recipe vegan. I omitted the cheese and added chickpea flour as a binder. I also used lentils to put more fiber and protein into the dish and adjusted some of the seasonings. It’s quite tasty and can be made into burgers or veggie meatballs (coming soon).
(Yield: 2 loaves)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 ½ cups short-grain brown rice
½ cup French lentils
5 cups water
2–3 vegetable bouillon cubes
4 tablespoons tomato paste
3 teaspoons sage
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
½ cup chickpea/garbanzo flour
½ cup almonds, ground
½ cup cashews, ground
½ cup sunflower seeds, ground*
* You can use other nuts and seeds, if desired
Heat olive oil in a medium-size pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic. Cook until tender and caramelized. Add chopped celery and a little salt; cook briefly. Rinse rice and lentils, then add to the caramelized onions and celery. Add water, bouillon, tomato paste, sage, paprika, basil, thyme, and black pepper. Cover and bring to a boil. Cook on low-medium heat for 50–60 minutes, until rice and lentils are well cooked. Add a little more water, if needed. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. When cooled, add ground nuts and chickpea flour. Mix well until flour and nuts are incorporated into the mixture. Grease 2 loaf pans. Add ½ of the mixture to each pan; smooth out and bake in preheated oven for 3o minutes. Allow loaf to cool briefly before serving. Top with your favorite tomato sauce. Serve warm.
Health Benefits of Brown Rice
Brown rice is the “unrefined” version of white rice. Before white rice went through the refining process, it at one time looked exactly like brown rice. The side hulls and brans provide “natural wholeness” to the grain and are rich in proteins, thiamine, calcium, magnesium, fiber, and potassium. For those trying to lose weight or those suffering from diabetes, brown rice can prove a healthful staple given its low glycemic rating which helps reduce insulin spikes.
- Rich in Selenium: Brown rice is rich in selenium which reduces the risk for developing common illnesses such as cancer, heart disease and arthritis.
- High in Manganese: One cup of brown rice provides 80% of our daily manganese requirements. Manganese helps the body synthesize fats. Manganese also benefits our nervous and reproductive systems.
- Rich in Naturally-Occurring Oils: Naturally occurring oils are beneficial for the body as these healthful fats help normalize cholesterol levels.
- Promotes Weight Loss: The fiber content of brown rice keeps bowel function at it’s peak since it makes digestion that much easier. Brown rice is the perfect addition to the daily diet for those seeking bowel regularity. In addition, brown rice also makes the tummy feel full which translates to smaller meal portions.
- Considered Whole Grain: Brown rice is considered a whole grain since it hasn’t lost its “wholeness” through the refinement process. Wholes grains are proven to reduce the buildup of arterial plaque and reduce the risk of heart disease and high cholesterol.
- Rich in Anti-Oxidants:This is one of the best kept secrets regarding brown rice. We usually associate anti-oxidant rich foods with blueberries, strawberries and other fruits and vegetables. The antioxidant capacity of brown rice is right up there with these super stars.
- High in Fiber:Brown rice is high in fiber and on top of the list for foods that can help prevent colon cancer. This can be attributed to the high levels of fiber naturally contained in brown rice. These fibers attach to substances that cause cancer as well as to toxins in the body, thus eliminating them and keeping them from attaching to the colon wall.
- A Slow-Release Sugar:Brown rice helps stabilize blood sugar levels; therefore, it’s an excellent food choice for those suffering from diabetes. Studies show that those who consume one half cup of brown rice daily reduce their risks of developing diabetes by 60%. On the other hand, those who consume white rice regularly increase their chances of developing diabetes 100 fold.
- Perfect Baby Food:Brown rice cereal or brown rice itself is the perfect baby’s first food due to the dense natural nutrition and fiber it contains. This is a much better choice than refined white rice cereal products as rapidly growing babies and toddlers require nutrient rich diets to help maintain rapid growth cycles.