French Green Lentil and Vegetable Roast with Rich Gravy

Posted by – November 18, 2015
Categories: Excerpt Food & Nutrition

Finding a hearty main dish for Thanksgiving has been my life’s challenge ever since I married a vegetarian. Nelson’s not picky—he’d be happy to eat whatever alternative fake turkey roast I find at the store for Thanksgiving. But I refuse to believe that a plastic wrapped loaf of vegetable protein is the best option vegans and vegetarians have. Besides, I’ll take any excuse to play around in the kitchen for a couple of hours.

I found this lentil loaf recipe in Marlene Watson-Tara’s Macrobiotics for All Seasons. It’s not pretending to be turkey, and it doesn’t have to. A loaf is a perfectly acceptable main dish on its own! I paired this with some gravy and the Autumn Roasted Vegetables for dinner on Sunday, and it was a delicious and filling meal, full of fun and interesting ingredients!


French Green Lentil and Vegetable Roast

  • 3 shiitake mushroomsLentilLoaf-collage
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 sprigs thyme, taken off the stalks
  • ½ cup dry French green lentils
  • 2 tbsp shoyu
  • Small piece of kombu
  • 2 tsp brown rice miso
  • ½ cup brown breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup ground almonds, toasted
  • 3 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted



Soak the shiitake in warm water for about 10 minutes until soft. Remove and discard the stalks and then finely chop the mushrooms. Reserve the soaking liquid. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion, carrot and celery for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme, and fry for a further 2 minutes. Add the lentils, shoyu, followed by the kombu and shiitake soaking liquid. Let the lentils boil rapidly for 10 minutes and then simmer for a further 40 minutes or until the lentils are soft. Stir the pot every now and then.

Preheat the oven to 190ºC/ 365ºF. Take the kombu out of the lentil pot and put in a blender with half the lentil mix and the miso, blend until smooth and then put back into the lentil pot. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and a good twist of black pepper until they are evenly mixed. Pour the mixture into an oiled loaf pan and bake for 1 hour. When it is ready, remove from the oven and allow to rest for a couple of minutes. Use a palette knife to loosen the edges and turn out onto a serving dish.


Rich Gravy

  • 3 shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 5 tsp kuzu
  • 1 tbsp mirin

Rinse the mushrooms and soak in three cups of water for half an hour. Drain, reserving the soaking liquid. Cut the mushrooms into slices, discarding the hard tips of the stems. Sauté the onions and mushrooms in the toasted sesame oil for 15 minutes. Add the reserved soaking water, cover and bring to a boil. Mix together the tahini and soy sauce and gently stir into the onions and mushrooms. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Completely dissolve the kuzu in half a cup of cool water. Turn the heat to high and add the kuzu, stirring constantly until the kuzu begins to brown. Lower the heat, stir in the mirin, and simmer for 5 minutes.


Tags: Recipe Vegetarian & Vegan Marlene Watson-Tara
About the Author

After graduating from UC Berkeley in 2007, Julia was delighted to find out that “professional book recommender” was a job. She has been working in marketing and publicity with independent Bay Area publishers ever since. She joined North Atlantic Books in 2014. She lives with her husband and two very nice cats in Oakland.