Year of the Pulse

2016 is the International Year of the Pulse.

At home, I’m trying to add more dried beans and peas to our weekly menu.Last weekend I decided to make a lentil loaf.

The first time that I had a lentil loaf was last April when I went on a three-day silent retreat.The retreat was at Satchidananda Ashram/Yogaville in Buckingham, Virginia. (

They only serve vegetarian meals and lentil loaf was one of the offerings.Even though we raise our own meat, I know how important it is to also eat a meatless meal sometimes.Pulses are a very sustainable crop and really can help feed the world with an inexpensive protein source.

This year on the farm, I’m going to be planting some Kebarika beans (a Kenyan heirloom dried bean).I’ve grown these before and they are a beautiful black and purple bean.The beans love the growing conditions in West Virginia and were quite bountiful at harvest.I’m hoping to have a large enough harvest that I can share these beans with my CSA customers.

Here is the recipe for the Barbeque Lentil Loaf that I made for my family last week. I used Chipotle BBQ Sauce (I cheated and used bottled chipotle sauce to save time.)

Barbeque Lentil Loaf


1 cup dry lentils

¾ tsp (divided) salt

2 cups water

1/3 cup onion, minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 carrots, diced small (1/8”)

1 TBSP coconut oil

1 cup commercially prepared barbeque sauce

1 egg, beaten well

2 TBSP ground flax seed

½ cup cornmeal


Add the lentils, ½ tsp of salt and the 2 cups of water to a sauce pan.Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 30-40 minutes, until lentils are tender.Allow to stand for at least 10 minutes (all water should be absorbed.) LENTILS MAY BE PREPARED A DAY AHEAD TO SAVE TIME IN THE FINAL DISH.

Sauté the onion, garlic and carrots in the coconut oil over low-medium heat until onions are translucent.Allow to cool slightly.In the bowl of a food processor, puree half of the lentils until smooth.In a large bowl, combine the lentils, pureed lentils and sautéed vegetables.Stir in the remaining ¼ tsp of salt, flax seed, cornmeal, beaten egg and 1/3 of the barbeque sauce.Grease a small loaf pan on the ends with cooking spray.Cover sides and bottom of pan with a small piece of parchment paper.(The parchment paper will help when you need to remove the loaf from the pan.)Spread the lentil mixture into the pan.Heat oven to 350˚ F.While oven is preheating, cornmeal will absorb excess moisture.When oven gets to the correct temperature, spread the remaining barbeques sauce over loaf.Cook in the oven at 350˚F for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.Allow loaf to rest for at least 20 minutes. Remove from the pan, slice and serve.

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