With spring teasing us and winter seeming endless in Montreal, I’ve been craving comfort foods and pasta seems to be on the top of that list. One of my son’s favourite meals is spaghetti, so I thought it would be an interesting challenge to add meatballs to our spaghetti, minus the meat and in a super healthy way.
I’m also entering these lentil mushroom meatballs in the Best of Main Dishes in Canadian Lentils Recipe Revelation Challenge! If you like this recipe, it would be so appreciated if you would go to their Facebook page and ‘like’ my recipe. The prizes are incredible, the biggest one being $2000!
I thought back to the traditional recipes I recreated to be meat-free, such as my Good Shepperd’s Pie and realized lentils are a delicious, healthy substitute that work really well. These ‘meatballs’ are savoury and satisfying and can be incorporated into your spaghetti dishes or even in a pita sandwich or sub. They also make delicious leftovers, tasting even better after a little while!
I took my time making these on a Sunday afternoon, since they yield about 15 meatballs, I figured they are perfect for weeknight meals and work lunches. I still haven’t really mastered cooking up a storm on the weekends to make my weekdays a little easier, but with my son starting school this fall, I know I’ll have no choice but to start!
- 2 flax eggs (2 tablespoons flax meal + 6 tablespoons water)
- 1 cup dried green lentils, rinsed and picked over
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, washed and sliced
- ½ cup old-fashioned oats
- ½ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried terragon
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium white onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons red wine
- 1 tablespoon tamari soy sauce
- kosher sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Begin by preparing your flax egg. Grind flax seeds in a coffee grinder, you need about 1 1/2 tablespoons of flax seeds to end up with 2 tablespoons flax meal. Pour 2 tablespoons flax meal into a small bowl, top with 6 tablespoons of water and whisk with a fork for a few minutes. Place in the fridge for use later.
- In a small saucepan, combine lentils, bay leaf, and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. You want your lentils to be al dente.
- Remove from heat, drain, and discard the bay leaf.
- In a food processor, combine the lentils with the mushrooms, oats, parsley and spices. Pulse, making sure not to overdo it and end up with a mushy mixture. See photo for texture you want.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the chopped onion and sauté for 5 minutes, or until translucent. Add the garlic and continue to sauté for another minute or two. Add the lentil-mushroom mixture to the skillet and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring often.
- Add red wine and soy sauce to skillet. Continue to cook, stirring often, until liquid has been absorbed. Add salt and pepper to taste, stir.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool until it is comfortable to handle.
- Remove flax eggs from the fridge and pour into a medium sized bowl. Add the lentil-mushroom mixture and mix well to combine.
- Use your hands to form a golf ball-sized ball. Place each 'meatball' onto the baking sheet, leaving an inch of space between each one. You should have about 15 'meatballs'.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
I hope you all had a nice, relaxing weekend, and a Happy St. Patty’s Day to you all today!
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