Written by Meghan Pearson.
Phew. June has marked the official end of my three month in-depth journey of food for health with Meghan Telpner, finding my way through her kitchen, out of the processed food box, and into my own culinary cuisine philosophy.
In the last few weeks, I have handed in my final essay assignment, completed my apprenticeship hours, and mailed off all of the necessary paperwork. Complete. This comprehensive, in-depth Culinary Nutrition Expert Course designed by Meghan, is unique, inspiring, and a real commitment, but man-oh-man is it also super life-changing and SO worth it. I feel so blessed to have been able to enroll and be one of the 12 fabulous ladies to take away all the brilliant information acquired and now embark on an entirely new journey of my own. I can do this armed with an expansive arsenal of skills and experience, and feel super-charged to get the ball rolling!
Since early March, myself and a group of like-minded women from all different walks of life congregated in Ms. Telpner's cooking studio to learn the tricks of her trade. This flock of fabulousness came from a wide range of age groups; from twenty-something’s to retirees, and included a Naturopathic Doctor, Fitness Company CEO, health food suppliers and distributers, PR folk, myself, and many moms. A group that may not have otherwise crossed paths, but was brought together with one common goal; to learn all that we could about healing our bodies with clean, real, whole food.
And learn we did. Meghan is a ball of bravado, with personal experience to back up all of her nutritional beliefs. Having healed herself of Crohn's disease through diet just five years ago, she has the goods that make her an expert in her field. Not only does Meghan teach the biological and nutritional reasons why certain foods are great for you, but she also focuses on how to make that same food taste sublime. Flavour is never forgotten, in fact it is always at the forefront of every recipe she creates. In class, we had the opportunity to not only taste these creations, but got to try our own hands at whipping them up from scratch as part of the cooking class portion of the program. And we ate like Queens!
To that end, if I were to say that the research and theory portion of the course was merely adequate, I would be making a massive understatement. It was in fact, quite expansive, and I learned a truckload. At the same time though, I was pleasantly surprised by how much nutrition information I already knew! I guess my years exploring various cuisines, reading countless cookbooks and foodie websites, and flipping through magazine after magazine about health and wellness have really paid off. I went into Meghan's classes with a strong foundation, but left with the real deal – the ability to build solid recipes and meal plans for health, with integrity.
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Keywords: bake dinner lunch gluten-free vegan dairy-free lentils
Ingredients (serves 6-8)
For the Lentil Loaf
- 1 cup dry green lentils
- 3 cups MSG free vegetable broth
- 3/4 cup walnuts or pecans, roughly chopped
- 3 Tbsp ground flax seed, plus 1 Tbsp ground flax seed separated
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup onion, diced
- 1 cup cremini mushrooms, chopped
- 1 small zucchini, grated, squeezed of excess water
- 1 medium carrot, grated
- 1/3 of an apple, grated (makes 1/3 cup grated apple)
- 1/4 cup chopped dates or raisins
- 2 tsp herbs de Provence
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp tamari
- 1/2 cup regular oats, ground into flour in food processor OR ½ Cup Oat Bran
- 3/4 cup breadcrumbs (I used 2 slices of gluten free bread, dried in the oven and then processed in food processor)
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Meg's Sweet Glaze
- 1 Tbsp sweet chili sauce OR red pepper jelly
- 1 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tbsp molasses
- 1/2 Tbsp coconut nectar OR agave
Preheat oven to 350F and line a loaf pan with parchment so that parchment paper hangs over the edges by 2 inches.
In a medium sized pot, add 3 cups of stock, or 3 cups water and a vegetable bouillon cube and bring to boil. Rinse lentils and pick over to remove any small pebbles/stones that may be in the mix. Add lentils to pot, bring to boil, and reduce heat to low and simmer until liquid is absorbed and lentils are tender (about 40 minutes). Once the lentils are cooked, remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Toast 3/4 cup of walnuts at 350F for about 6 minutes and then set aside to cool.
Mix 3 tbsp of ground flax with 1/2 cup warm water and stir well. Set aside for at least 5-10 minutes so it can “gel” up and thicken.
In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté onion and minced garlic for about 5 minutes on low-medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook for 1 minute. Add carrot & zucchini and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Stir in grated apple, raisins, and chopped walnuts and sauté another minute or two. Add herbs, cinnamon, tamari, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and set aside.
Take 75% of the cooled lentils and place into food processor. Process until mostly smooth (some small lentils will remain!). Place in large mixing bowl. Add in the remaining 25% of non-processed lentils to bowl.
Add the breadcrumbs, flax egg, veggie mixture, oat flour, and ground flax seed to the lentil mixture. Stir well! Dump the mixture into your loaf pan and spread out with a spoon, pressing the mixture firmly and evenly into the pan.
In small bowl combine all glaze ingredients. Spread evenly over loaf and bake, uncovered 45 minutes at 350F.
Cool for about 10-15 minutes and serve. Serves about 8 thick slices.
Question of the day: How do you make comfort foods healthified?