Lentils Meatballs [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Yields: 20 Meatballs
Serves: 5 (*One serving =4 ‘Meatballs’)
Prep & Cooking Time: ≤60 mins (*Dependent upon skill and/or kitchen helpers!)
Type: Main meal or Snack
Tools: Sieve, non-stick pot, non-stick frying pan, food processor, silicone spatula, small bowl, chopping board, sharp knife, baking tray, silicone mat, mixing bowl.

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C & E, protein, carbohydrates, fibre, calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and per serving is low in added salt, sugar and saturated fats!

 

Hi everyone! Here are some easy and delicious lentil meatballs that we made last November! 

So, the question is whether to use legumes or pulses?! Both make great plant-based meatballs, burgers, sandwich fillingsfalafels, koftes, meatloaf (more meatloaf!) and sausages (just to name a few!); all of which are tasty, hearty and healthful in their own right. However, we are still undecided as to what we prefer!

Which do you prefer lentils or beans? 

Overall, these little lovelies are great! The lentils, nuts and seasoning’s all provide a great meaty and savoury delight. Enjoy ‘a couple’ as a lovely savoury snack (perhaps with houmous or another tasty dip of choice?!) or as part of a healthful meal; with pasta, as a meze or in a wrap! We enjoyed ours with a homemade spicy tomato sauce and an impromptu (almost!) patatas bravas- we highly recommend it! 

 

A few good things to note include:

  • Process or finely chop the ingredients as small as possible. Any whole lentils, or large pieces of veggies will prevent the ‘meatballs’ from forming- you’ll have to them pull out and discard the culprit ingredient(s)! We had to discard a few lentils, pieces of herbs and onion!
  • The lentils make for a great ‘blank canvas’! Just adjust or adapt the seasonings to taste.
  • You can opt out of cooking dry lentils and just use a tin variety instead however, as you have a few other pieces of prep to do before the actual assembly, you might as well just cook some lentils in the background. The choice is yours!
  • Do not be tempted to ‘over bake’ them. Plant-based ‘meatballs’ will be never as firm as standard ones and a dry ‘meatball’ if just not worth thinking about!

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

Ingredients

+++++++++++160g     Dried Brown Lentils (approx. 1 tin cooked lentils)
+++++++++++50g       Walnut pieces
+++++++++++2-3g     Cumin seeds
+++++++++++40g       Slice of Bread (1 slice) or breadcrumbs
+++++++++++140g      Red Onion
+++++++++++100g     Red bell Pepper
+++++++++++180g      Carrot
+++++++++++5g          Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley
+++++++++++5g          Fresh Lemon Thyme
+++++++++++2            Flax Eggs
+++++++++++1 tbsp    Extra Virgin Olive Oil
+++++++++++¾ tsp     Salt
+++++++++++              Ground Black pepper
+++++++++++ 2-3g     Garlic Salt
+++++++++++½ tsp     Asafoetida
+++++++++++2g          Mild paprika
+++++++++++20g        Plain GF Flour
+++++++++++12g         Sesame Seeds

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

 

Directions

Wash the lentils in a sieve, remove any seeds and stones and then cook them according to the packet instructions.

 

In the meantime, heat a small, non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. When hot, add the walnuts and cumin seeds. Dry-fry until lightly toasted/browned. Remove from the heat and transfer into a small bowl. Allow to cool slightly. Transfer into a food processor. Process until a fine mixture is achieved. Transfer back into the bowl.

 

 

If applicable, place the bread into a toaster or until a grill and toast. Remove and break it up into the food processor. Process the bread until breadcrumbs are achieved. Tip: if you do not have a food processor, toast the bread as hard as possible (without burning it) and then place it into a resealable kitchen baggie. Using a rolling pin, gently crush the bread to create your breadcrumbs! Transfer the breadcrumbs into the same bowl as the walnut mixture.

 

 

Wash, remove the stem and core and then roughly chop the bell pepper. Peel and quarter the onion. Place the bell pepper and onion into the food processor. Process until minced. Tip: You could also finely chop your veggies on a standard chopping board or grate your veggies using a cheese grater!  Transfer the mixture into a mixing bowl.

Larger pieces will have to be chopped or discarded!

 

 

Peel, trim the ends and finely grate the carrot. Wash the parsley and thyme, remove the leaves from the stems and finely chop them. Place the carrot, parsley and thyme into the mixing bowl.

 

 

Drain the lentils. Allow them to cool slightly. Meanwhile, create the ‘flax eggs’. Place 16g of ground flax seed and 6 tbsp of cold water into a small dish. Mix until combined. Leave for 5 mins to set.

 

 

Transfer the lentils into the food processor. Add 1 tbsp of oil. Season with a little salt and black pepper to taste. Pulse until the lentils are mostly broken down and a coarse mixture is achieved. Tip: Alternatively place the lentils into a separate mixing bowl with the oil and mash using a potato masher or large fork!

 

 

Transfer the lentils into the mixing bowl. Add the breadcrumbs and walnut mixture, ¾ tsp salt, a few grinds of black pepper, 2-3g garlic salt, ½ tsp asafoetida and 2g paprika. Mix with a spatula until thoroughly combined (forming one giant ‘meatball’!).

 

 

Heat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF. Line a baking tray with a silicone mat or some parchment paper. Lightly spray it with a little low-fat cooking oil. Set aside a small dish with 20g GF flour and another one with 12g sesame seeds.

 

 

Gather some of the mixture between your hands. Tip: use a little flour to coat your hands if the mixture is a little tacky. Roll the mixture into a ‘golf ball sized’ ball. Dip and coat the ‘meatball’ into the sesame seeds. Place it onto the baking tray. Repeat until all the mixture has been used. NB: we created twenty! Place the tray onto the middle oven shelf and bake for 11 mins. Remove and carefully turn the ‘meatballs’ over. Place back into the oven and bake for a further 8 mins or until lightly browned and slightly firm.

 

 

 

Try serving them with some roasted veggies!

Baby new potatoes, celeriac and fresh thyme!

 

Remove from the oven. Allow them to rest on the tray for 5 mins before serving. Serve as desired. As mentioned, we went for a spicy tomato sauce and an (almost!) patatas bravas! Delicious! 😀

 

Leftover ‘bowls’ are great too!

 

Enjoy!

 

Refrigerate any leftovers in an air-tight and resealable container; reheat and consume within 3-4 days. As a guesstimate store, freeze, defrost and heat within one month; we didn’t freeze any of ours, these lovelies were ‘meal prepped’ and consumed within 3 days! If anyone freezes them, you’ll have to let us know how you get on. 🙂

Recipe updated: 19/02/16
Advertisements

Beetroot & Orange Salad

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 2
Prep & Cooking Time: 35-45 minutes

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C & E, protein, fibre, calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc and is low in salt, (added) sugars and fats!

This salad is an oldie but a goodie…but now with the addition of quinoa! Our recipe is not only great for the lovers of quinoa, beetroot and orange, but perfect for when it’s too hot to turn on your oven, you don’t have time to spend hours in the kitchen and/or you simply fancy something light, fresh and delicious!

Annoyingly our local shops did not have any fresh mint or fresh beetroot last week when we prepared this salad… but considering ‘beetroot season’ is normally July-October (at least in the UK), we shouldn’t have been surprised! Apologises for the lack of colour; fresh mint would have not have gone a miss! If you are fortunate enough to source fresh beetroot, cook it for approx. 30-35 minutes in a saucepan (or until fork ready)! Although precooked (but not pickled!) beetroot is still delicious, like most ‘fresh’ varieties of food…its taste is unparalleled. 🙂 

Enjoy this nutritious salad with a drizzle of agave and/or olive oil, or perhaps a homemade mustard vinaigrette dressing! Although in all honestly, we won’t be using any ‘dressing’ the next time that we make it! The beetroot and orange provides you with volumes of natural flavour and meal satisfaction! 🙂 

 

Quick facts:

  • Beetroot, is a great source of iron, folate, nitrates, betaine, magnesium among other antioxidants and has been a trending vegetable over at least the last six years or so (but that’s no surprises here)! The BDA have highlighted reviews that have suggested that drinking beetroot juice is linked to a modest improvement in exercise performance, as well as producing a modest reduction in ‘lowering blood pressure’ (seen in this study and this study!); all from its nitrate content (discussed again here). Additionally, a 2010 study suggested it could help combat the onset of dementia…but like all studies, further research is needed…but there’s definitely no harm with adding more of it into your diet! 
  • Oranges contain soluble fibre, calcium, folate, potassium and are naturally rich in the antioxidant ‘Vitamin C’! …Which is great in helping to support a healthy immune system and working with other antioxidants to possibly counteract the cellular damage within our bodies!

 

 

Ingredients:

+++++++++++++++++++++++200g             Dried Quinoa
+++++++++++++++++++++++300-400g   Cooked beetroot (not pickled!)
+++++++++++++++++++++++420g             Oranges
+++++++++++++++++++++++2g                  Dried or fresh mint
+++++++++++++++++++++++30g                Walnuts
+++++++++++++++++++++++10ml              Agave syrup (optional)
+++++++++++++++++++++++10ml              Extra virgin olive oil (optional)

 

Directions:

If you are using fresh beetroot, cook this first; drain and allow it to cool before using! Otherwise, cook the quinoa according to the packet instructions. Allow to cool.

 

 

Meanwhile, open and drain the beetroot (if applicable); chop or slice as desired!

 

 

In the meantime, slices the oranges; remove any thick pieces of pith and the rind.

 

 

Wash, dry and chop the mint (if applicable). Roughly chop and/or gently crush the nuts.

 

 

Assemble the salad. Spoon the quinoa into a serving bowl (or use a plate!). Scatter, layer or toss the orange and beetroot onto the quinoa! Sprinkle over the mint. Scatter over the nuts. Season it to taste (as necessary). Drizzle over the syrup and oil (if applicable).

 

 

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Sources:
NHS Choices
NSDA

Avocado & ‘Pesto’ Pasta (Vegan & Gluten Free)

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 2
Prep & Cooking Time: 25-30 mins
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Large pot, colander, chopping board, sharp knife, food processor, silicone spatula, small frying pan, mixing bowl, salad tongs

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-vitamins, Vitamins C, E & K, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, omega 3, is low in added salt and sugars and (per serving) is low in saturated fats. 

Looking for a fresh, creamy and very satisfying pasta dish? Well we’re happy to say that this avocado pesto pasta ticks all the boxes! It’s tasty, nutritious and you can see from our list of ingredients, it’s also really easy to prepare!  For the super keen, make the pesto the night before and have dinner on the table in less than twenty-five minutes! 

Happy cooking everyone!

 

 

Ingredients

+++++++++++++++++++++150g       Dried GF Spaghetti
+++++++++++++++++++++8g           Garlic Clove
+++++++++++++++++++++               Lemon Zest and Juice (1/2 a lemon)
+++++++++++++++++++++120g       Ripe Avocado Pear (small variety)
+++++++++++++++++++++40g        Fresh Basil
+++++++++++++++++++++60g        Cherry Tomatoes
+++++++++++++++++++++10ml       Extra Virgin Olive Oil
+++++++++++++++++++++125ml     Water
+++++++++++++++++++++1g            Garlic Powder
+++++++++++++++++++++2g           Dried Onion Powder
+++++++++++++++++++++                Salt and Ground Black Pepper
+++++++++++++++++++++20g         Walnuts

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. Drain.

In the meantime, prepare the other ingredients. Peel and thinly slice the garlic. Wash the lemon, grate some zest and then juice it. Slice the avocado into two halves, remove and discard the stone and then peel it. Wash, dry and then chop the large stems off the basil. Wash, remove the stems and then chop the tomatoes into halves (or smaller if you prefer).

 

Assemble The Pesto!

1. Place the garlic, lemon juice, 2 tsp oil and ¼ cup water into a food processor. Blend until the garlic is ‘blitzed’.

2. Add the avocado, basil (save a few leaves for garnishing if you like), and the garlic and onion powder. Season it with some salt and ground black pepper to taste. Blend until smooth and creamy. Use a spatula to scrape the mixture from the sides and the lid.

Add half the quantity of the zest. Blend until combined. Taste and season it as necessary. Use a silicone spatula to scrape down the container and lid again.

 

 

1. Heat a small non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the nuts. Dry-fry until lightly toasted.

2. Remove the pan from the heat. Transfer the nuts onto a chopping board. Allow to cool slightly. Roughly chop into small pieces.Tip: You can skip this step, but toasting the walnuts will really help to bring out their flavour!

 

 

Pasta Assembly


1. Place the pasta into a large mixing bowl.
2. Add the avocado ‘pesto’ sauce.
3. Use salad tongs to gently mix and coat the pasta in the sauce.

 

 

Serve warm. Transfer the pasta into a lipped plate (use a spatula to scrape any sauce left in the bowl). Sprinkle over the remaining zest (as much as desired!). Garnish by scattering over the nuts, any reserved basil (if using) and the tomatoes.

Enjoy!

 

If preferred…

  • Substitute the spaghetti for another variety of pasta; try fettuccine or linguine.
  • Try making/using ‘courgetti pasta’ for another GF variety (if you have the time, resources and want to be creative of course)!
  • Try putting this sauce on wholemeal pasta or gnocchi perhaps (if you’re not concerned about gluten).
  • Experiment with your herbs; parsley or coriander would work well.
  • For an even more authentic ‘pesto’ taste, add some fortified nutritional yeast to the sauce for that ‘cheesy’ element and added nutritional value!
  • Try garnishing the dish with another type of tomato or maybe some grilled sweet red peppers or baby mushrooms instead!

 

Recipe adapted from: Crunchandchew