Spicy Vegan Meatloaf and Burgers (Gluten-Free option)


This past week, I decided to try my hand and making a vegan meat substitute that would be comparable in texture to beef and still give me quite a bit of protein. There are a number of recipes out there for vegan burgers and meatloaf, and the ingredients used to mimic “meatiness” often include a mixture of quinoa, sweet potatoes, portabello mushrooms, oats, or beans, For this recipe, I decided to use a mixture of lentils and oats for protein, and throw in a bunch of leftover vegetables from another recipe I did to reduce food waste.


A note on protein: the average person requires .8g/kg of weight of protein per day, or 10-35% of their caloric intake,  For someone like me, this amounts to a little less than 40 grams per day. A 3 oz serving of beef contains 22 grams of protein, while a cup of lentils contains only 18 grams. Even though the beef may be higher in protein, you can see that I could easily still reach about half my daily requirement for protein by having lentils. If I had cereal and soymilk for breakfast (12 g of protein), and a peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread for lunch (13-16 grams of protein), that would give me (18+12+13) 43 grams of protein, not including snacks. Takeaway message from all this: While converting to a plant-based diet may result in you eating less protein than you did before, it is still very easy to meet your daily protein needs. Most meat-eaters probably consume way more protein than they need.


Recipe: Vegan Lentil Loaf

Adapted from The Simple Veganista


  • 1 cup dry lentils
  • 2 1/2 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 3 tablespoons flax seed meal
  • 1/3 cup water (6 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil for sauteing
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 2 carrots, finely diced or grated
  • 2 zucchini, finely diced or grated
  • 1 cup oats (use GF oats if gluten-free)
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour (or sub in GF flour of choice)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder or garlic herb seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)


  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon molasses


  1. Rinse lentils. Add to large pot with water or vegetable broth. Bring to boil and allow to simmer until lentils are soft, about 40 minutes.
  2. While lentils are cooking, saute garlic, onion, vegetables in a large pan with oil until soft, about 10 minutes.
  3. Mix flaxseed and 1/3 cup of water in small bowl. Allow to gel. This will be the “egg” binder in the meatloaf.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Using a fork, potato masher, or food processor, mash about 3/4 of the lentils.
  5. In a large bowl, mix together mashed lentils, remaining lentils, vegetable mixture, flaxseed egg, flour, oats, and seasonings. Taste (it’s eggless, so perfectly safe!) and add additional seasoning as desired.
  6. Spread mixture into oiled loaf pan. Mix glaze ingredients together and spread on top.
  7. Bake in oven for 45 minutes. Cool slightly before slicing.

My loaf pan is quite small, so after making the meat loaf recipe, I still had some of the mixture leftover. All I did was shape it into a patty, cook it in a pan with some oil, and put it on a whole-wheat sandwich thin to make a nice burger.



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