Veggie Lentil Loaf with Checca Sauce & RCI:

I was watching Food Network the other day and saw a recipe for Veggie 'Meatloaf', that is the veggie version of a regular meat loaf. I’ve always wanted to eat a vegetarian version of the regular meatloaf and was glad I saw this one on TV. I know it sounds funny when I say its a veggie "Meatloaf"...this one is of course all vegetarian, I assure you.

I stuck to the original recipe for the most part but made a few changes though. I substituted the brown rice with white long grained rice, used mint leaves instead of the basil and also substituted cherry tomatoes with good old Roma tomatoes. I also left the egg out because hubby dear doesn’t like the smell. All in all it turned out great!

Checca sauce (pronounced Kekka) was a good combination with the Loaf.

Checca Sauce

You will need:

1 pint cherry tomatoes (about 2 cups, or 12 ounces), halved
3 scallions (white and pale green parts only), coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
8 fresh basil leaves
3 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper

Lentil Loaf

3/4 cup lentils (about 5 ounces)
3 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup uncooked short-grain brown rice, rinsed well
1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1 celery rib, sliced
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
2 tablespoons butter, divided
10 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves (about 4 cups)
1 1/2 cups cubed whole milk mozzarella cheese, divided (about 8 ounces total)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus 2 tablespoons
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tomato, sliced

For 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 puree. Set aside. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.

For 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 degrees F.

Spread 1 tablespoon of the butter over a 10 by 4 1/2 by 3-inch loaf pan. I used a 8 by 8-inch regular 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, 1/4 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 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. 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.

This lasted me two whole days and I must say it tasted even better on the second day...! :)

RCI: Tamil Festival foods

Kadabus or Kozukattais are a family favourite and my brother and I as kids used to wait for Ganapathi festival to have some. Well that was then, now if I feel like eating some I just go ahead and make them!

I've already posted this before in my Ganesha habba platter, but reposting it for Viji's benefit :)

Kozukattai is my entry to RCI -- Tamil festivals hosted by Viji of VCuisine

The entire recipe and method of making is here.

Tamilians make this using a coconut and jaggery filling, but we like it with sugar hence the change. I also wanted to make Pongal, I like it but hubby dear won't eat no pongal!


  1. "Meatloaf" looks yummy! It's like stiffer version of Bisibele Bhath!
    I have the REAL meatloaf in my blog, which probably scare you!:D
    Kadubus looks great. I am not good at making Indian sweets. Never comes perfect for me!

  2. Thanks Asha dear:) It does look like the stiffer version of BBB but it definitely doesn't taste like it..hehe! I will check out your real version, no harm in looking at it :P you are good at everything else hon, why worry about sweets?! :)

  3. Namratha....The loaf looks & sounds delicious......
    Also,The Kadabus look so nice :-)

  4. Never thought veggie meatloaf will look so beautiful. That piece of loaf looks ecstatic! Nice version for Vegans

  5. The 'meat'loaf looks wonderful.

  6. Both dishes look so yummy!

  7. aah!! the great Giada's recipe eh...she claims in this episode her mom is a vegetarian...and in another episode makes chicken for her!! what a freakin liaw ( i know..i really dislike her ;)he he)...the vegeloaf looks it stood to the shape without the eggs too!! nice...

  8. Casseroles are such a time savers. I love checca sauce with pasta. Freshness at its best.

  9. hey, the loaf looks very good, good to know it can be done w/o eggs as well :)
    good going girl!!!

  10. Hey, i have seen this meatloaf on food network too, but never got around to making it. Looks beautiful and must be tasting really good!

  11. Thanks Sirisha dear:)

    Thanks Padma, it tastes great too!

    Thanks for stopping by thecooker:)

    Thanks Meeso:)

  12. Hey she did that??? I haven't seen that one I guess...well I don't like her either, I like Italian so try her recipes that's it! :) Ya it came out well even without the eggs, which was a pleasant surprise

    Very true Suganya, one pot dish :)

  13. Thanks Richa, try it, it was great without the eggs as well:)

    Try it Tee, it was good.

  14. Isn't this Giada's recipe? I would love to try it out but it seems a bit too elaborate for me. I have tried out so many of her recipes and each and every one of them has turned out well. You can tell I'm a fan, can't u;-)

  15. Namratha,

    Soo yummy looking tomatoes look like pepporoni :). I am a strict veggie this recipe is great.
    Kadubu are so perfect , must say veggie meat loaf and kadubu what a perfect fusion food

  16. sure are a big fan TBC, do try this one, recipe looks long and elaborate but it really isn't! :)

    Thank goodness it isn't pepporoni Sreelu ;o) Hey I really never thought of it that way...great thought dear:)

  17. Its loaded with lot of veggies and great idea for one pot lazy dinner. Should Try this once.
    Kadubus feeeling like eating some, great entry for RCI.

  18. The loaf looks like full meal. Thanks for the entry dear. Kozukattais are perfect in shape. Viji

  19. Thanx for another different recipe Namratha..!!You really tempt me to make this veggie loaf but One thing...Whas that reduced sodium vegetable broth?I am hearing this for the first time and where can I Buy it from...
    Hope u have mentioned eggs only in the Ingredients and not while making,,,...:))

  20. Wow the meatloaf looks so inviting. By looking at it i am getting hungry

  21. Veggieloaf got me interested girl!! it's not only nice, I think it's a heavy and filling meal too...and looks like veg lasagna:)

    love it!

  22. Veggie lentil loaf? Woww that sounds so filling! I am going to try it right away. Thanks a lot for sharing the recipe.


  23. the kozukattais look awesome. one of my favorite.veg loaf is very creative.

  24. Thanks Madhu, you should try it, tastes great!

    Thanks Viji dear,for accepting this style of kozhukattais:)

    Thanks Raks, my pleasure...and low sodium broth is available in most stores dear, if you don't find it where you love, go ahead and use the regular veg broth. And yes, its only in the recipe but I sure didn't use it because of hubby dear:)

  25. Hehe Happy, come over will share it:)

    Thanks Mansi, it was fulfilling but not heavy. Wholesome I should say:)

    Thanks for stopping by Mythili:)

    Thanks Sharmi dear, they are my fav too!

  26. What a g8 recipe....:entils, brown rice and a loaf...yumm!!!

  27. surely finger licking.gr8 recipes and pics.

  28. Checca is an Italian word. It means faggot or queer. Look it up.


Hi, thanks for stopping by my blog! I appreciate your comments and suggestions.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin