Sorry. Crap Photo. Need a real camera!

You just can’t win’em all. I saw this recipe online and thought, those look amazing. I’m totally making those for our little Halloween get together with the kids.

I thought these were amazing! The texture and flavour were wonderful.

The puree on top needed a little something. I would say maybe some earth balance would work nicely and a smidge of cayenne would work too. I also think that next time I will do half with whipped potato frosting just for some variety. And who doesn’t love mashed or whipped potatoes.

The adults thought they were pretty interesting. The hubs wasn’t a huge fan but he ALWAYS complains that veggie burgers made at home are too “wet” inside. Okay fine. Next time I will cook them slightly lower and for slightly longer and maybe add in some more chickpea flour. Because I loved them!! And I’m totally making them again!

Vegan? Check! Gluten Free? Check! Delicious? Check! Super fun and creative? Check!

I should also note that every single child who agreed to try one, took one bite and realized it was not actually a cupcake and was immediately out.

So I’m going to say this is not the best format for 3-6 year olds. Younger and they won’t know the difference. Older and they might like the novelty of it! For the ridiculously picky preschooler in your life, I would suggest maybe making it mini loaf style and serving the puree underneath. I hope you like these as much as I did!

Vegan Meatless Meatloaf Cupcakes with Butternut Squash Puree Frosting
makes 6-8 “cupcakes”

“Meatloaf”

1 cup brown lentils, dry
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce (or just leave this out if you can’t find it, which is what I did)
1 tbsp liquid smoke
2 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup red onions, diced
1/3 cup bell pepper, diced (I used red, but I think any colour would be great)
1 (6) ounce can tomato paste
1 cup walnuts
2 tbsp chick pea flour
salt and pepper to taste

Butternut Squash Puree Frosting

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

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Slice the squash lengthwise. Place face-down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 45 minutes, or 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.

Lightly spray or oil a muffin tin or use paper liners 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. The recipe says it’s okay if it’s still a little underdone on the inside, it will harden as it sets but we didn’t find this to really be the case, so I would up the cooking time and as a result, maybe lower the oven to about 325.

Let cool in muffin tins at least 20 minutes. When ready to serve, release by running a knife around the edge or just pop out if using liners as I did.

To make the butternut squash puree, remove cooked squash from peel and place in a food processor. Add sage, garlic, earth balance 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”.

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