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Veggie Meatloaf with Checca Sauce

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A meat-less loaf with a quick and fresh tomato sauce. Freezes well, an easy make-ahead favorite packed with chunks of corn, lentils and rice. One of the best vegetarian loafs I've ever tried.













Trans-fat Free, High Fiber


Checca sauce:
346.8 ml/g cherry tomatoes
1 pint, halved
4 each scallions, spring or green onions
4 cloves garlic
minced, or more or less as needed
8 each basil
leaves, freshly chopped
38 ml olive oil, extra-virgin
1 x salt and black pepper
to taste
Lentil meatless loaf:
144.5 ml/g lentils
710 ml vegetarian chicken broth, non-fat, low-sodium
or vegetable broth
237 ml brown rice
uncooked, rinsed well
118 ml carrots
118 ml white onion
finely chopped
1 each celery stalks
118 ml corn
fresh or frozen
30 ml canola oil
or any other vegetable oil, or you can use butter, divided
289 ml/g spinach
231.2 ml/g mozzarella cheese
cubed and divided, about 1 1/2 cups
2 each eggs
lightly beaten
59 ml Parmesan cheese
plus 2 tablespoons
118 ml basil
freshly chopped
2.5 ml salt and black pepper
or to taste
1 large tomatoes


To make the Checca Sauce:

Combine the cherry tomatoes, scallions, garlic, basil, and oil in a processor.

Pulse the tomatoes until they are coarsely chopped, being careful not to purée (or you can chop by hand). Set aside.

Season the sauce with salt and pepper.

To make the Lentil Loaf:

Place the lentils in a large saucepan of cold water.

Bring the water just to a boil over high heat.

Carefully drain the boiling water and rinse the lentils.

Meanwhile, in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat, bring the broth to a boil.

Add the rice and return the liquid to a boil.

Decrease the heat to low, cover the rice, and gently simmer without stirring for 10 minutes. Stir in the lentils, onion, carrot, and celery.

Cover and continue cooking without stirring until the rice and lentils are tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes longer.

Turn off the heat. Sprinkle the corn over the rice and lentils and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.

Uncover and fluff the rice with a fork. Cover and let stand for 5 more minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350℉ (180℃).

Spread 1 tablespoon of the oil or butter over a 10 by 4½ by 3-inch loaf pan.

In a heavy, large skillet, cook the spinach over medium heat until the spinach wilts, about 3 minutes.

Drain and squeeze the excess liquid from the spinach. Transfer the spinach to a work surface and coarsely chop.

In a large bowl, gently mix the lentil mixture, spinach, 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese, eggs, ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese, basil, salt, pepper, and half of the checca sauce.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan. Arrange the sliced tomatoes in a row over the lentil mixture.

Sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup of mozzarella cheese and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Drizzle remaining 1 tablespoon of oil on top or dot the top with the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter.

Bake uncovered until the loaf is heated through and the topping is melted and starting to brown, about 30 minutes.

Let cool for 15 minutes. Slice the loaf into 2-inch slices, arrange on plates, and serve with the remaining checca sauce.

Leftover can be frozen.


* not incl. in nutrient facts

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Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 239g (8.4 oz)
Amount per Serving
Calories 34150% of calories from fat
 % Daily Value *
Total Fat 19g 29%
Saturated Fat 6g 31%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 90mg 30%
Sodium 344mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 8%
Dietary Fiber 8g 34%
Sugars g
Protein 40g
Vitamin A 66% Vitamin C 31%
Calcium 40% Iron 15%
* based on a 2,000 calorie diet How is this calculated?


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