Proteins: Lentil meatballs

Mmmmeatballs. Only, not meat. Lentilballs just doesn't have the same ring to it, so we're calling these lentil meatballs, OK?

I'm sure that the idea of a plant-based meatball breeds skepticism in even the most open of minds. So I'm going to throw a big statement down the gauntlet here - these are even BETTER than meatballs. I'm not setting the bar at meatball substitute, I'm setting it at meatball killer. And these, friends, are so good that they will spell the death of meatballs.

After that super aggressive pitch, you kind of have to try them.

But what is so good about these bad boys? They are jammed full of enough protein to grow muscles like Arnold (if that's what you're into) without any of the inflammatory effects of animal protein in your blood. These proteins come from both legumes and grains, so you'll find a complete amino acid profile in each one. We've also snuck in 10 herbs and spices which are known to have some serious antioxidant power. All in all, your body will thank you.

Recipe

  • 1 cup brown rice

  • 1 green capsicum, finely diced

  • 1 red capsicum, finely diced

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 2 tbsp crushed garlic

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats, blitzed in food processor to be a rough flour

  • 1/2 cup wholemeal flour

  • 1/2 cup cooked brown lentils

  • 1/2 cup chickpea flour

  • 3 tbsp tamari

  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

  • 1 tsp chilli flakes

  • 1 tsp dried oregano

  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast

  • 2 tsp smoked paprika

  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin

  • 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped

  • 1/4 cup basil, finely chopped

  • 1 tbsp thyme, finely chopped

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • Box of sandwich bags

  • 1 large freezer bag

  1. Cook the rice in plenty of boiling water until almost overcooked, about 30 mins. Drain and set aside in a large bowl.

  2. Heat 1 tsp of the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the capsicum, onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 mins until very soft.

  3. Add the cooked vegetables to the rice along with the remaining ingredients. Mix very well. Set aside in the fridge to firm up for at least 1 hour.

  4. Shape the mixture into small balls. If the mixture is a little wet, add 1 tbsp extra wholemeal flour at a time until the balls maintain their shape. Refrigerate until firm.

  5. Brush the balls with the remaining olive oil and cook in a 170 degrees celsius oven on a baking tray lined with baking paper for 20-30 mins, until golden brown.

  6. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

  7. Once cool, place two balls in each sandwich bag until all of the balls are packaged. Seal the bags with as little air inside as possible, and place them inside the large freezer bag. Label the big bag as "Lentil Meatballs" and add the date. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months and use as needed.

 

PROTEINSCourtney Allely