To be honest, I didn’t really start eating lentils until late last year, even though I’ve been vegan for 5 years and know the long list of nutritional benefits they offer. But for some reason last year I decided to give them another try and have been obsessed ever since! If you want to learn more about lentils, check out my Food Focus blog post, where I explore the origins, nutritional profile, and other information about lentils.
Lentils are great because they don’t have a very strong taste and they have an almost creamy texture. This week I have a vegan Italian lentil meatball recipe that is gluten-free and super easy to make!
Here’s the recipe:
- 1 cup dry lentils
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax seed mixed with 3 tbsp water and set aside for 5 minutes)
- 1 tsp of the vegetable flavour Better than Bouillon mix
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- ¼ cup oat flour*
- Cook the lentils according to the instructions on the packaging, then drain and rinse with cold water.
- In a frying pan, sauté the onions and garlic in the olive oil for 3-5 minutes, then remove from heat and stir in the vegetable bouillon and tomato paste.
- In a mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients until well mixed then transfer to a blender or food processor **
- Pulse the lentil mixture until it is smooth, scraping the sides of the blender as necessary.
- Scoop 1 tbsp portions of the lentil mixture into your hand then roll them into a ball and transfer to air fryer basket or baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Repeat step 5 and space the meatballs ~1 inch from each other. Once your air fryer basket is full, continue to roll the meatballs and place them on a plate.
- Cook the meatballs in the air fryer for 10 minutes at 400oF, flipping them over after 5 minutes ***
- Repeat with the remaining meatballs, then serve with your favourite pasta, roasted veggies, or as an appetizer!
* To make oat flour, blitz in a blender until a fine texture is achieved.
** I used a high-speed blender so I mixed the ingredients beforehand to ensure an even distribution
*** If using an oven, bake at 375oF for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway through. You’ll know they are done when the exterior is dry to the touch and golden brown.
I meal-prepped these lentil meatballs this week with roasted asparagus, green beans and broccoli, with some homemade marinara sauce. Super easy but tasty and filling!