PREP TIME | 10 mins | COOK TIME | 20 mins | TOTAL TIME | 30 mins
1 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon olive oil divided
1 shallot, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 flax egg (1 tablespoon flaxseed meal + 2 1/2 tablespoons water)
1 1/2 cups cooked & cooled green lentils (cooked in vegetable stock)
1 1/2 tablespoons dried Italian seasonings (dried basil & oregano)
1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley
1 tablespoon tomato paste
5 – 5 tablespoon vegan parmesan cheese plus more for coating
sea salt and black pepper to taste (1/4 teaspoon each)
optional: 1 tablespoon coconut flour, gluten free flour or panko bread crumbs
For Serving Optional
carrot noodles or gluten free pasta
1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, preheat oven to 375 degrees D (190 C),and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Once skillet is hot, add 1 tablespoon olive oil, shallot and garlic. Saute for 2-3 minutes, or until slightly golden brown (being careful not to burn), then remove from heat and turn off stove top.
3. To a food processor, add flaxseed and water and let set for 2-3 minutes.
4. Add cooked, cooled lentils, 1 teaspoon olive oil, sauteed garlic and shallot, Italian seasonings, parsley, tomato paste, vegan parmesan cheese, and a pinch each salt & pepper. Pulse, mixing until combined, but not pureed, leaving a little texture.
5. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt and pepper or herb for flavour, vegan parmesan for cheesiness and to dry out, or more olive oil to moisten. The texture should be dough-like. If the mixture is still too wet, add coconut or oat flour, or panko bread crumbs if not gluten free.
6. Use a tablespoon or cookie dough scoop, to scoop out rounded tablespoon amounts of hough and carefully form into balls. The mixture is moldable, but fragile, so the best way to do this is to rest the dough in the pal of one hand, while using two fingers from the other hand to gently mold/form into a meatball. If it cracks, moisten your fingers with a little water to help reform/bind them. Repeat until all meatballs are formed – about 12-13.
7. Roll/coat in vegan parmesan cheese (optional) and arrange on baking sheet.
8. Heat the skillet from earlier over medium heat. Once hot, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and half of the meatballs. Brown for 4-5 minutes, or until golden brown, shaking the pan or using a wooden spoon to toll the balls around to cook evenly on all sides.
9. As they are done cooking, transfer to your prepared baking sheet and set in he preheated oven. Repeat process, adding remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet and sauteing remaining meatballs, then transfer to oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, while you prepare your carrot noodles, pasta and/or marinara sauce.
10. remove meatballs from oven and let cool slightly – they will firm up the longer they are cooled. Serve over carrot noodles or pasta with marinara sauce.
11. Best when fresh, though leftovers keep in the freezer for up to 1 month. Reheat in a 350 degree F (176 c) oven until warmed through.
If not gluten free, add 1 tablespoon panko bread crumbs to the filling instead of coconut flour, and mix it with vegan parmesan cheese to coat the outside before cooking. This will add a little more texture and flavour.
Recipe courtesy of http://minimalistbaker.com