The other day I was perusing Pinterest and I found a pin for Rachel Ray’s Meatloaf Muffins. If you have been reading my blog awhile, you know I love individually portioned food. So of course I needed to make some Meatlessloaf Muffins. Then I thought…why make muffins when you can make cupcakes?

Earlier this week I made Mashed Butternut Squash with Sage inspired by this recipe. I loved them! The butternut squash was much more wholesome than mashed potatoes while adding more complexity to the flavors as well; a must remember for Thanksgiving.

I figured it would be hard to say “No” to lentil/walnut meatless “cupcakes” with a sage butternut squash puree “frosting”.  And when the kids ask, “What’s for dinner?”

You can reply, “Cupcakes.”

And it might, just might, be the perfect way to get them excited about lentils and squash.

Meatless Loaf Cupcakes with Butternut Squash Puree
Gluten & Soy Free
makes 9 “cupcakes”

“Meatloaf”

1 cup brown lentils, dry
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp liquid smoke
2 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup red onions, diced
1/3 cup green pepper, diced
1 (6) ounce can tomato paste
1 cup walnuts
2 tbsp chick pea flour
salt and pepper to taste

Butternut Squash Puree 

1 small butternut squash
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sage
1 garlic clove, minced
2-3 tbsp non-dairy milk
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Slice the squash lengthwise. Remove seeds, brush with olive oil and place face-down on a baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes, until tender.

Meanwhile rinse the lentils. In a medium pot combine lentils with vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer, cooking until lentils are soft (about 45 minutes). Add Worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke. Remove from heat and set aside.

Reduce oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly spray or oil a muffin tin and set aside.

In a small pan heat up vegetable oil. Saute onions and peppers over medium high heat for 5 minutes, until cooked. Stir together onion mixture, lentils, and tomato paste. In a food processor blend together walnuts and chick pea flour until combined. Add the lentil mixture and mix until well combined. Salt and pepper to taste.

Scoop lentil/walnut mixture into muffin tins, filling to the top. Bake for 20-23 minutes until edges brown and begin pulling away from the edge. It’s okay if it’s still a little underdone on the inside, it will harden as it sets.

Let cool in muffin tins at least 20 minutes. When ready to serve, release by running a knife around the edge.

To make the butternut squash puree, remove cooked squash from peel and place in a food processor. Add sage, garlic, salt and pepper and mix. With motor running add non-dairy milk one tablespoon at a time just until squash is smooth and creamy.  With a piping bag, “frost” the slightly cooled “cupcakes”.

*If you don’t have a piping bag, you can use an ice cream scoop to scoop the puree atop the cupcakes.

Serve immediately.

Eden is too young to be a picky eater yet, but watching children grow up around me I know it may be a battle I will have to fight. Making food fun and interactive is one of my goals for Eden, something I write about here.

In what ways to do get your kids to eat healthy foods they may not want to eat?