Esselstyn Lentil Oat Loaf

1 1/2 cups dry uncooked red lentils, rinsed
2 1/2 cups water
1 large onion, chopped
1 (8-oz.) pkg. mushrooms, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
4 cups packed fresh spinach, chopped
1 (15-oz.) can diced tomatoes, with juices
1 tsp. dried sage
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. Mrs. Dash's garlic and herb seasoning blend, or similar
          spice blend
1/4 tsp. dried marjoram
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley, or as desired
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 to 1 1/2 cup(s) Basic BBQ Sauce (click here)
          or Ketchup (click here)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a saucepan, bring the lentils to a boil in the water.
Decrease the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the lentils
are tender and most of the water is absorbed, 8 to 10 minutes.
In the same saucepan, mash the lentils with the back of a spoon
or a potato masher; don't worry, red lentils cook quickly and
mash easily.

In a large soup pot, cook the onions over medium heat, stirring
constantly to avoid burning, until soft and translucent. Add the
mushrooms and garlic and continue to cook over medium heat until
soft. Add water or vegetable broth, if necessary, to keep the
vegetables from sticking. Add the spinach, cover, and continue
to cook over medium heat until the spinach wilts, 4 or 5
minutes.

Add the lentils to the onion-mushroom-spinach mixture and stir
to combine. Add the diced tomatoes, sage, garlic powder, Mrs.
Dash seasoning, marjoram, and cilantro and stir. Add the oats and
stir it all again.

In the bottom of two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans, spread half of the
barbecue sauce or ketchup. Add the lentil-oat mixture to the
loaf pans, and then spread the remaining barbecue sauce or
ketchup in a generous layer on the tops.

Bake for 45 to 55 minutes until the barbecue glaze turns crispy
on the edges. Let set for 10 to 15 minutes before cutting and
serving ideally until the next day!

Serve with mashed potatoes, mushroom gravy, and salad.

Makes 2 loaves (8 servings). For a holiday loaf, use these
spices instead: 1 1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning, 1 tsp. paprika,
tsp. 1/2 dried thyme, pinch of Mrs. Dash Table Blend and pepper.