1 ½ cups (packed) thinly sliced kale leaves (if you are purchasing the entire head of kale, remove the tough ribs from the leaves before slicing)
1 medium or large carrot, grated (about 1 cup)
1 cup finely diced yellow onion (about ½ of a medium onion)
1 rib of celery, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 Tbsp)
¼ cup red or white wine or water
1 ½ cups cremini mushrooms, chopped (you can use a food processor)
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika
¼ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp dried thyme
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup overcooked or canned green, brown or red lentils, drained of excess liquid
1 cup cooked brown rice
½ cup ground walnuts (you can use a food processor)
⅓ cup oat flour (you can use a food processor)
3 Tbsp ground flax seed
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
10 basil leaves, chopped
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line the bottom and the longer sides of a standard loaf pan with parchment paper and spray it with cooking spray. A standard loaf pan is 8-½ x 4-½ x 2-½ inches.
If using a food processor, you can process the oat flour from oats, chop the walnuts and finely chop the mushrooms. We usually chop everything else with a knife.
In a large frying pan heat olive oil over medium-high. Once the oil is hot, sauté the onion for one minute. Add the carrot, celery and kale and sauté 5 more minutes, or until the vegetables are soft. You can speed up the process by splashing the vegetables with water or wine as this addition of steam will soften the vegetables as well as keep them from burning.
Add the mushrooms, garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, and smoked paprika. Sauté until the mushrooms are just tender (about 3-4 minutes).
In a large bowl, combine the vegetables, Worcestershire sauce, cooked lentils and brown rice, walnuts, oat flour, flax seed, nutritional yeast and ¾ of the basil. Mix thoroughly and roughly, mashing some of the ingredients in the process in order to bind the vegetables to the rest of the ingredients. This is important to help the loaf bind together. We often run a third of the mixture in a food processor so that it binds better.
Transfer the mixture to the lined loaf pan and pat down. Place the loaf into the preheated oven and bake for 35-40 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the loaf to cool for 10-15 minutes to fully set. Remove the loaf from the pan and sprinkle with remaining basil. Serve with pesto.