Holiday (Nut Quinoa Millet) Loaf
The healthiest protein and grains, gluten-free and plant-based (vegan) too…The most delicious, holiday meal ever. When I think of creating memories around a dinner table and I need a beautiful, healthy ‘family meal’ – this is my ‘go-to’ recipe. This fabulous main entrée does it all. It has two optimally nutritious seeds/grains in it (Quinoa and Millet), I like it for it’s comfort food quality in cooler weather and it is great as a ‘leftover’ lunch or dinner the next day (I love this loaf used for sandwiches the next day).
Nuts, Quinoa, Millet and Lentils make this loaf super spectacular and super-charged full of nutrition. You’re getting your healthy complete protein, essential complex carbohydrates and TONS of fibre and high quality fats all in one package – Your tummy will thank me. This turned out so incredibly delicious, I can’t wait for an occasion to make it again.
My focus was to make this ‘Holiday Entree’ with no flours, no rice, only healthy and whole organic grain… that also happens to be gluten-free, plant-based (of course) and nutritionally dense.
I will admit upfront, this is a recipe that takes a little more time to complete but if you measure and assemble all of your ingredients ahead of time, it makes it go so much more smoothly.
Millet has so many health benefits and it is one of the five grains that I still keep in my diet. These five grains I keep in my diet are: quinoa, buckwheat, millet, amaranth and spelt (spelt does contain gluten). Millet is known for it’s source of manganese, phosphorus and magnesium (think bone-building health, protecting your heart and lowering your risk of Type 2 Diabetes). Full of antioxidants too! Do not be afraid of it. It is extraordinarily easy to incorporate in your diet.
Quinoa is now known as a perfect protein source. It is native to South America and was once coined, “the Gold of the Incas”. The warriors that lived on quinoa back then seemed to have incredible stamina (sounds good to me!). When we eat quinoa at least 5 times per week, it is known to help with high cholesterol and high blood pressure or other signs of cardiovascular disease.
I think you’ll enjoy the texture of this nut loaf and biting into the slight crunchiness of a dinner entrée loaf like this.
Nut Quinoa & Millet Loaf
Serves 6 to 9 people
8×8 cake pan
1 small butternut squash, peeled, remove seeds and cut into 1″ chunks (about 6 cups of cubed uncooked squash)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
5 cups water
1 cup green dried lentils, rinsed well
1/2 cup millet
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 large onion, chopped into small dices (1½ cups)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 celery stalks, chopped into small dices (about ⅔ cup)
2 medium carrot, chopped small dices (about ⅔ cup)
1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp dry basil
1/2 tsp dried chilis
1 cup GF oats (Bob’s Red Mill are wheat-free)
2 tsp dried parsley
4 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/4 cup whole raw almonds, finely pulsed in mini-processor
2 tbsp mellow yellow miso, thinned out with 2 tbsp water
Salt and Pepper to taste
- Roast the butternut squash. Preheat oven to 375F. Line a large heavy baking sheet or 13 x 9 pan with parchment paper. Toss the squash in a bowl with the olive oil and then place on baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes. The ‘browner the better’, as it will give the loaf a very earthy, deep roasted flavour. Set aside and cool and then put in food processor and blend until smooth.
- Bring the 5 cups of water and sea salt to a boil. Add the rinsed green lentils into the boiling water for 5 minutes and reduce heat to a medium low heat and cover and simmer. Then add the millet for 20 minutes more (be sure to set the timer). Then add the quinoa and stir and then simmer with a cover for 10 minutes more. Set aside and cool this mixture.
- Saute the chopped onions for 2 minutes on medium high heat, then add the minced garlic for another minute until very fragrant. Reduce heat now and add the finely diced celery and carrots. Saute for 10 minutes on medium heat. Add fresh rosemary (1 tbsp) and thyme (1 tbsp), dried basil and dried chilis. Set aside.
- Now you get to start combining everything you’ve prepped so far. In a large mixing bowl add the Millet, Quinoa and Lentil mixture. Now add carrots, celery and onion mixture and fold. Then add the measured GF Oats, dried parsley, nutritional yeast, coarsely crumbled raw almonds (pulsed in the food processor) and miso with added water.
- Now lastly add the Butternut Squash puree to the mixture and fold until blended…..There are a few steps to this recipe but totally worth it.
- Add salt and pepper to taste. My preference is to not cook with these and allow your taste buds to start enjoying other spices. You can always salt and pepper when the loaf is on your dinner plate.
- Put mixture in an 8 X 8 cake pan that is lined with parchment paper. Bake for 50 minutes UNCOVERED at 375F. You need it to be uncovered…. and allow it to brown on the edges. Remove from oven and let it cool for 5 minutes before cutting into pieces
- Serve with some sautéed kale or brussels sprouts and chipotle & rosemary mashed sweet potatoes, and vegan gravy.
Note: I have used the delicious leftovers for sandwiches (served with sliced avocado and sliced tomato and dollop of chipotle mayo) the next day and also as another option, crumbled on top of a salad. Scrumptious!