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I'd been trying to find something my vegetarian girlfriend can eat when she's at mine. She can't eat nuts either (stop sniggering in the back) so I was looking for something substantial and tasty. Having been a vegetarian myself years ago, I asked my mom for a recipe and she gave me this. Although it doesn't sound very exciting, it's great. Even if you're not a "vegy", please give it a go - it sure is nicer than meat loaf.


  • 3oz (75g) yellow or green dried split peas
  • 2oz (50g) Puy lentils
  • 2oz (50g) green-brown lentils
  • 3oz (75g) finely chopped fennel
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small stick celery, finely chopped
  • 1 small leek, rinsed and finely chopped
  • 1/2 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 15 fl oz (425ml) vegetable stock
  • 1.5oz (40g) butter
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mace
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and freshly milled black pepper

    You'll also need a 1lb (450g) loaf tin, the base lined with baking parchment and well greased.


    Start by bringing the stock to boiling pont, stir in the split peas and Puy lentils and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. Then add the other lentils and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the peas and lentils are soft.

    Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5, 375°F (190°C). Heat the butter in a frying pan, add all the vegetables and the garlic and fry for 10 minutes or until softened and golden. Now stir the peas and lentils into the vegetables, together with the cayenne, mace, beaten egg, and parsley, mix well, then season. Spoon the mixture into the tin, pressing it down firmly. Then cover the foil and bake for 40 minutes. Leave to rest for 15 minutes, then slip a knife around the inside of the tin and turn on to a warmed serving dish. Serve cut into slices.

    Thanks to my mommy for the recipe :)
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