We’re highlighting Meatless Mondays to kick off the New Year, courtesy of dietitian Brittyn Coleman. Check out the previous installments of the Sesame Buddha Bowl, Lentil Soup + Quinoa & Veggies, and Veggie Tempeh Bowl, then check out this week’s recipe for plant-based meal inspo: Pasta with lentilballs.
PASTA & SAUCE
LENTIL “MEAT” BALLS
- 1 cup Brandless green lentils (dry) or 2 cups green lentils (cooked)
- 2 boxes Brandless vegetable broth
- 1 cup water
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon Brandless ground flax + 2 tablespoons water)
- 1 tablespoon Brandless Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ⅓ cup vegan parmesan cheese (see recipe below)
- Salt & pepper to taste
- If using cooked lentils, skip this step. If cooking from dry, uncooked lentils, read on. Rinse dry lentils thoroughly with cool water and add to a medium saucepan with vegetable broth, water, and a bay leaf. Bring to boiling and reduce heat to simmer for 15-20 minutes, and cover, until lentils are cooked (water may be left over – do not overcook or they will be too soggy to form into meatballs!). Drain and set aside to cool. (Tip: add salt after cooking - adding salt to the water before cooking lentils can make them tough!)
- While lentils are cooking, begin to prep parmesan. Add all ingredients to a food processor and process until very fine – the consistency of parmesan cheese. Set aside and clean out the food processor.
- Prep flax egg and add to food processor. Add 2 cups cooked lentils, tomato paste, vegan parmesan cheese, and Italian seasonings and process until thick paste forms. Be careful to not over-process. If it is too runny/sticky, add more parmesan. Use a tablespoon or a medium cookie scoop to portion out the meatballs and place on a covered cooking sheet. Preheat oven to 400 F, but do not place meatballs in the oven just yet.
- Preheat a large skillet on medium-high heat and place as many meatballs as you can on it. Using a spatula or turner, roll each meatball to brown on all sides. After the meatballs have browned, place back on the cooking sheet and put in the oven for 10-12 minutes to finish cooking.
- Heat water for the pasta. Once boiling, add pasta to water and cook according to instructions. Heat sauce in a small saucepan and simmer for 2 minutes.
- Once pasta and sauce are cooked, toss together and add 4 lentil balls to your bowl. Top with 2 tbsp vegan parmesan and enjoy!