What is Vegetarian Lentil Bread?

Paprika can be used to season a vegetarian lentil bread.

A vegetarian lentil bread is a meatless dish that features this legume scrambled or purified with other grains, moist ingredients, and vegetables in a compact, then baked form. Bread is very similar to American meatloaf, serving as a high-protein dish, good for feeding large numbers of people or consuming pantry items. Lentils provide fiber to the dish and absorb flavors from ingredients like vegetables and herbs. Grains can be added for texture, flavor and nutrition, and preparation often involves cooking the lentils and mixing the ingredients in a loaf pan for baking.

Lentils, a key ingredient in vegetarian lentil breads, provide a good source of protein.

Like other types of bread, the vegetarian version of lentils allows the cook to use small amounts of ingredients like grains and legumes instead of throwing them away. For traditional meatloaf, it allows a certain amount of protein to be distributed to more people because of the filling ingredients. Although lentils are cheaper than meat, the dish still provides a method to feed more people at once, and the main ingredient is also high in protein.

Oatmeal is a good binder to use when making vegetarian lentil bread.

The main ingredient in a vegetarian lentil bread is a legume rich in protein and fiber. The small, flat disc can be pureed or kept in shape, depending on the variety and cooking time. It is often used as a meat substitute for veggie burgers and also for buns. Lentils are quick to cook and effectively absorb the flavors of other bread ingredients such as tomatoes, onions or broth.

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Vegetarian lentil bread can be served with traditional meatloaf sides such as mashed potatoes and green beans.

Like the traditional meat dish, a vegetarian lentil bread uses oatmeal to bind it together and give it the dense, healthy texture that characterizes it. Vegetables like carrots, celery and garlic can be added for flavor, color and texture. Water or vegetable broth soaks the ingredients, while herbs like paprika, coriander or thyme season the dish. Additional grains like bulgur can be added or used to replace oats. Nuts or sweet ingredients like apples and raisins can be added for a sweeter vegetarian lentil bread.

Lentils can be soaked in advance, but they are always pre-cooked for this type of bread. A cook may choose to puree the lentils for a smoother texture. Vegetables can be sautéed ahead of time to release the flavor and soften them slightly. Lentils, vegetables and any other grains are mixed with wet ingredients. This mixture is spread in a casserole or bread pan. Ketchup, barbecue sauce or other condiment can be added between layers of bread or as a topping topping, a finishing touch on a vegetarian lentil bread.

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