Nicole MacPherson: Meatless Mummy Con Carne


Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Snack Loaf Recipe


A few weeks ago I was at the BlissDom Canada conference, and one of the lunches was sponsored by Canadian Lentils. I feel that lentils do not get the attention that they deserve. They don’t have the sexiest reputation; you say lentils and people conjure up images of macramé owls and orange wallpaper and some kind of vile concoction bubbling on the goldenrod coloured stove in the corner. IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THAT WAY.

Lentils can be prepared in so many different delicious ways, they are extraordinarily healthy, and they are incredibly inexpensive. One of the speakers at the conference was one of my favourite people, Julie van Rosendaal, who wrote an entire book on beans and lentils called Spilling the Beans. I highly recommend it.

I’ve adapted one of the recipes from that book; pumpkin chocolate chip loaf. I’ve made it vegan, and it is truly delicious, moist, and flavourful. I love making pumpkin recipes in the fall, and this one is a winner. My children love to take thick slices of this to school, it’s a perfect snack! This recipe makes two loaves; it freezes well, or you could share the love and take a loaf to a friend or neighbour. Make friends and influence people via lentil-enriched snack loaf.


1/4 cup dry red lentils
3 tablespoons ground flax
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar
1/2 cup almond milk
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
14 ounce (398 mL) can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup chocolate chips


  Put the lentils and 2 cups of water into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes; lentils should be very soft. Drain and set aside.

  Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together 3 tablespoons of ground flax and 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon of water. Set aside in the refrigerator.

  Add the 1 1/2 teaspoons of vinegar to the 1/2 cup of almond milk. Set aside.

  In a large bowl stir together flour, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

  Combine the cooked lentils, pumpkin, canola oil, almond milk/ vinegar mixture, ground flax mixture, and vanilla in a food processor and process until very smooth.

  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stir until just combined. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.

  Bake in 2 greased 8x4 inch loaf pans at 350 degrees for one hour. Cool completely before slicing into it and enjoying!

Yield: 2 loaves

Adapted from Spilling the Beans