Lentil & Walnut Meatballs

Lentil & Walnut Meatballs

Lentil & Walnut Meatballs

This vegan main dish is filled with mild, earthy and nutty flavors that contain a good dose of plant-based protein and healthy fats. Adding herbs, spices and vegetables make it a powerful blend of healing elements which have been found to support cardiovascular and digestive health, tissue regeneration, strong immune function, and even protect against breast cancer*

It’s a very versatile main dish that can be served as an appetizer, side dish or snack when topped with your favorite marinara sauce. You can also prepare the lentil balls prior to baking and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

*https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/lentils/

Vegan
Preparation time: 20 minutes + 20 minutes in oven
Yield:  20 meatballs
Contains nuts and soy (liquid aminos)

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cups dry green lentils or (2) 15 ounce cans, drained
  • 5-6 cups of water
  • Small 2” x 2” piece of seaweed (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon olive or avocado oil
  • 1 cup of onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup carrots, shredded
  • 1/2 cup parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme, minced
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice or brine from capers
  • 1 -1/2 tablespoons liquid aminos or coconut aminos
  • 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 tablespoon paprika, plain or smoked

Optional Add-ins:

  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil or oregano, coarsely chopped

Preparation

Preparation (night before cooking):

Rinse dry lentils under cool water.  Place in a medium bowl and cover with room temperature water for at least eight hours, or overnight.. 

Preparation (next day):

Drain the lentils and put in pot of water, with seaweed (if desired) Boil at medium heat until lentils are al dente.  Drain well, set 2 cups of lentils aside, reserve the seaweed.

Heat oil in medium size frying pan.  Add onions, garlic and shredded carrots and sauté on medium for approximately 4 minutes.  Preheat oven to 375’ and lightly oil a large cookie sheet.

Using a food processor combine all of the ingredients except the 2 cups of set-aside lentils.  Include the seaweed.  Blend until ingredients form a paste like consistency.  Transfer to a medium size bowl.   Add the remaining whole lentils.  Mix to combine well.

At this point, you may take a small amount of lentil mixture and fry in a lightly oiled frying pan to “taste test”.  Additional seasoning may be added to the lentil mixture.  Form lentil mixture into small balls, or use a cookie scoop if available.  Place on baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.  

Serve with your favorite marinara or meatball sauce of your choice.

Garnish with basil or parsley.