Friday 7 April 2017

Cauliflower lentil loaf

I am here today to confirm that if a loaf collapses into a heap of gravelly cauliflower and lentils, is it still every bit as tasty.  I can also confirm a truth among loaf makers.  Loaves always slice better on the second day.  You will probably be nodding sagely at these truths.  More controversial is my lack of regard for a recipe.  Perhaps if I had followed it more closely I might have found my loaf stuck together better.

But who am I to be miserly with cauliflower when I have just bought a large one on sale.  There was a lot of it to use.  You see, I was tired of it falling on the floor like a decapitated head every time I opened the fridge door.  (Yes I have been watching too much Horrible Histories.)

Once all the ingredients were added, the snowy white cauliflower was transformed into a minced meat like mixture.  I am reminded a little of this vegan minced meat and would have added finely chopped walnuts if I had any.  Instead I put in some ground cashews to try and make it stick together better.

I was able to take my time with this loaf because Sylvia was having a sleepover at a friend's place.  When it was cooked, I cut slices which collapsed on the plate.  It was so late that it was dark.  This was just before daylight savings ended so I need to get used to serving dinner without natural light.  Not good for blogging!  Even last night when I rode home, the sun was an ruby ball  of sunset by the time I got home.

Collapsing dinner in the dark does not make for attractive photos.  Not to mention, making a mockery of baking it in a loaf shape when I could have just fried it up to look like a pile of fancy cauliflower rice.  So I have spared you the sight.  The second night, Sylvia was home and refusing to eat the loaf.  However when I tried to find a quiet moment before dinner (and sunset) to photograph our meal, she was very interested.  She helped me find some food props for the photo.

Finally on the second night the slices of loaf held together.  Mind you they were still fragile.  If I hadn't got distracted, I would have tried to squeeze the liquid out of the riced cauliflower.  However, more important than whether the loaf held together or not is the taste.  It was meaty but didn't leave you with a heavy filling.  I serve it with tomato sauce, coleslaw and baby spinach.  It was so delicious that I didn't want to wait for dinner and took a few sneaky mouthfuls.  I would love this in a wrap or with roast vegies.  Tasty, healthy and packed with vegies and protein, what's not to love about this loaf.

I am sending this loaf to Healthy Vegan Fridays and Meat Free Mondays,

More cauliflower recipes on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Buffalo cauliflower sourdough pizza with tofu blue cheese (v)
Cauliflower cheese sauce (gf, v)
Cauliflower, pea and parmesan polenta fingers (gf)
Cheesy cauliflower and rice soup (gf, v)
Potato, cauliflower and kale pesto mash (gf, v)
Roasted cauliflower with tahini sauce (gf)
Vegan lasagne with cauliflower, hummus and tofu "ricotta" (v)
Vegan sausage rolls - with cauliflower, tofu and aquafaba (v) 

Cauliflower Lentil Loaf
Adapted from Strength and Sunshine
Serves 4 people

1-2 tsp olive oil
1 brown onion, chopped
5 button mushrooms, finely chopped
1 red capsicum, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
400g tin brown lentils, rinsed and drained
1/2 cauliflower, riced*
1 cup cashews, ground
2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp seeded mustard
1/4 tsp black pepper

Smoky Tomato Glaze:
1/3 cup tomato sauce
1 tsp liquid smoke

Preheat oven to 200 C.  Grease and line a loaf tin.  Fry onion, mushrooms, capsicum and garlic over medium heat for 5-10 minutes until softened.*  Meanwhile place the riced cauliflower into a clean tea towel, gather the ends together and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.*  Add remaining ingredients and stir until well combined.  Tip into prepared loaf tin.  Press down with back of a spoon.  Stir together the sauce and liquid smoke to make glaze.  Brush glaze onto the loaf.  Bake for 45 minutes.  It is easiest to slice the day after baking.

*NOTES: I always add my vegies to the frypan as I chop them so I have listed them in the order that I chopped them.  Riced cauliflower is finely chopped to the size of rice grains.  I riced my cauliflower in my high power blender.   I forgot to squeeze liquid out of the riced cauliflower but I would do when making again as I think it would help it stick together better.  I fried my vegies in a large frypan and just added the remaining ingredients to the pan to mix.

On the Stereo:
Berlin Caberet Songs: Ute Lemper


  1. Pinning! I`m veggie and always looking at ways of getting more cauli in my diet. Looks fab.

  2. This Recipe is so tasty and delicious.Your way of teaching and ingredients are also an easy there is good for me
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  3. I have yet to make a lentil loaf - I was planning on playing around with a recipe last holiday season but I got sidetracked with everything else going on at the time. I'm glad I read that they're easier to slice the second day - good to know!
    I wish I had seen your post last night. I had a whole head of cauliflower that I didn't know what do to with. I ended up making come cauliflower "alfredo" sauce which came out pretty good but next time, I'm trying your loaf - it looks so delicious! :)

  4. You have amused me this evening, I read this post and I smiled, I read further and I chuckled to myself and a little bit more, I laughed aloud. Yes lighting is an issue but worth it when you get it right, the photographs are marvellous and thanks to your assistant too with the props. I do like cauliflower rice but have not dared putting it into a loaf, you are a brave cook, very brave and funny x

  5. Your flavor combination looks delicious, but I don't really see what ingredients would serve to hold the loaf together. Is it the lentils? I don't have much experience with this type of dish. Thanks...

    best... mae at

  6. The flavours in this loaf sound quite good. The red from the capsicum makes it pretty.

  7. That plate of food looks so nice and colourful, and I would like to eat it right away. I constantly have something collapsing in my kitchen, but don't let it bother me too much as long as everything is tasty. Thanks for sharing this lovely recipe with the story of its making. :)

  8. Oh yum, these still make drool worthy photos, Johanna. I don't make loaves very often but I should because they are basically a one-tray meal. This looks fabulous and I hope to make it shortly. :)

  9. I think you did well with your photos! It looks like a good texture in the images here but the main thing is that it tasted good even if collapsed. I like the sound of this - and imagine Mini Bite could grasp slices too if I got them to hold together.

  10. Your photos are always so pretty and colourful! A good vegan loaf is a joy forever (well, for dinnertime) whether it holds together or not. It makes such a happy summery plate, I can wait for more good weather to give it a go!

  11. Sounds like a lovely loaf. I tend to avoid making my own burgers and "meat" balls for the very reason that they never stick together at all and fall apart and look horrible. I'm not sure what your first round of pictures looked like, but you seemed to have captured them beautifully the second time around. I triple love the photo props by the way - kudos to Syliva for helping you out. Your lentil loaf sounds great, I like that you added the cashews to bind the cauliflower a bit better.
    Thanks for sharing at Healthy Vegan Fridays. I'm pinning & sharing. Hope you're having a great weekend =)

  12. Isn't it funny how everything is better second day? Loving this. It's about time I made another loaf recipe too. Thanks for submitting it to Meat Free Monday. The roundup is now live and I featured your recipe. Sharing it now :)

  13. Who cares what it looks like? It sounds delicious!
    I always fine these types of loaf are easier to cut the next day.... perhaps there is just more time for the ingredients to absorb the liquid or for the whole thing to dry out a little more.... xx


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