Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Mini Lentil Meatballs

 My family loves pasta... especially spaghetti and meatballs.  It is a classic, simple, go-to staple in almost every American household.  Even though I sometimes give in and buy a store-bought bag of organic meatballs, it is always nice to have a meatless alternative.  These came together fairly quickly and baked up in the oven for 30 minutes.  It actually took more time to form the mini lentil-balls than it did to put it together.  So if you are short on time, feel free to make larger sized meatballs and increase the cooking time by about 10-15 minutes. 

Ingredients
1 (15 ounce) can lentils, drained not rinsed
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup raw walnuts
1 cup oats
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup Italian style breadcrumbs
1 flax egg (1 Tb ground flaxseed mixed with 3 Tb warm water and allowed to set 10 min)
1/4 cup chopped italian parsley
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp onion powder

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350
Either spray a large baking sheet or cover with parchment paper and set aside.
In a medium pan, cook the onions and garlic with 1/4 cup vegetable stock until soft.  As the pan starts to get dry, add a Tb more of stock at a time until done.
While the onions and garlic are cooking, add the walnuts and oats to the food processor and pulse until very finely ground.  Add the lentils and onion mixture.  Blend until combined.  Transfer to a mixing bowl.  Add remaining ingredients and combine well. 
Using a teaspoon, scoop a generous tsp, form into a ball and place on your prepared baking sheet.  You should be able to make at least 50-60 mini meatballs.  If your hand starts to get sticky, wash off with water, dry and continue.  
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.  Allow to rest for 5 minutes. 

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