Remember the "meat" loaf from two days ago? Here's the other meal! It's cheeseburgers! When pressed & formed into a pattie shape, these babies bake into itty bitty burgers that are better than any of the other gluten-free veggie burgers I've tried. They're a tiny bit dry, but that just gives us an excuse to use extra ketchup! The boy opted for turkey burgers today & pressed his own patties so Mama didn't have to play with the meat, while the girl & I happily created little cheese shapes with poppy seed eyes for our veggie versions.
Today's lunch is two veggie cheeseburgers, (the "extra cheese" from the cookie-cutter is stacked between the two burgers) tater-tots with plenty of ketchup, mixed vegetables, and apple-walnut salad. This is the end of week one, and my kids are positively giddy for next week. They've loved our meals so far, have LOVED helping to choose & create them, and have actually been carefully scrubbing out their own bentos (these are NOT dishwasher-safe!) each afternoon so they'd be ready for the next day! *thud*
I've actually shared my "meatloaf" recipe with several people now, so here it is just in case anyone else is looking for a meat-free alternative. This does have cheese in it, but I've also made a perfectly wonderful vegan loaf by substituting extra tomato sauce! I like to make this recipe a day or two after making spaghetti, and use my own sauce for a pre-seasoned richer loaf. This is also a nice "end of the paycheck" meal since I always have ALL these ingredients on hand!
3 cups cooked lentils
1 small onion, diced
1 cup Gluten-Free Oats (we use Bob's Red Mill & have found them for $2 cheaper per bag at Super Target, than at the local health food store!)
1 cup your favorite grated cheese
1 cup tomato sauce (if you're skipping the cheese, use 1 1/2 cups!)
1 tsp garlic
1 tsp basil
1 tsp parsley
Mash up the lentils, and mix everything together. Form into loaves, "hamburger" patties or whatever shape you like, and bake at 350F. If you're using a regular loaf-pan, it will take roughly 45 minutes and patty-pans or burgers bake in 15 so keep an eye on them. The top will form just a bit of a crust when you tap it.