1tablespoonolive oil (substitute a few tablespoons of vegetable broth)
1small white or yellow onion, diced
2stalks celery, diced
2carrots, peeled and diced
4cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4teaspoonfreshly ground black pepper
2 3/4cupslow sodium vegetable broth
1cup (dry) green or brown lentils
1 1/2cupsgrated sweet potato (1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled or unpeeled, grated)
1/3cupketchup, for glazing
Heat the oil or broth in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, and carrot. Cook, stirring often, for 5-6 minutes, or until the onion is soft and clear. Add the garlic to the pot and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 more minutes.
Add the thyme, rosemary, coriander, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, broth, lentils, and sweet potato to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and simmer until lentils are very tender, about 30 minutes. Remove the pot from heat.
While the lentils cook, preheat your oven to 350F and lightly oil (or spray) a nonstick, 8. 5 x 4. 5 x 2. 75 inch loaf pan.
Stir the oats and tomato paste into the pot. The oats will absorb most of the remaining moisture in the lentil/sweet potatoes, and the mixture will thicken. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed.
Press the mixture into a loaf pan. Brush the top of the loaf with the ketchup, if desired. Cover the loaf pan with tented foil and bake at 350F for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and then bake for another 20 minutes, or until the loaf is firm and the ketchup is darkened in color. Allow the loaf to cool for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
Leftover lentil and sweet potato loaf can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.