Lentil “meat”balls

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When I decided to stop eating meat 2+ years ago, I thought I was making the best environmental choice.  I still think that beef is pretty much environmentally disastrous, but I was completely disheartened to read this article about one of my favorite foods (quinoa).  Long story short: a lot of vegetarian staple foods are actually pretty horrible for increasing poverty and destroying rain forest in South America.   I definitely need to evaluate some of my dietary choices a little more carefully from now on.

In less depressing news, I’ve been mixing up my workouts a lot lately, and Ellie’s all about it.  Today she was helping me with situps. (I did this workout and it was great!) I still am not swimming as much as I should, but next week, I’m determined to go to the pool twice.  I’ll let you know if that actually happens.

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I’ve also been broadening my podcast horizons.  I’m still obsessed with the Joy the Baker Podcast and I download This American Life religiously, but I now love the Rich Roll Podcast too.  I read his book Finding Ultra and it was incredibly inspiring.  Basically he went from an out of shape alcoholic to a vegan super-endurance (multiple Ironman) athlete.

Cooking has been a little lackluster around here lately, or at least not blog-worthy.  So much kale, in so many forms.

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This was celery root and potatoes, cooked in milk until just tender, then tossed with kale which I’d sauteed in butter.  I mixed them together and topped with a little bit of grated Irish cheddar cheese.  Not completely healthy, but it’s been super cold (OK, Bay Area cold, which means barely below freezing every night) so I wanted comfort food.

Also, kale salads as usual.

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Horrible photo, delicious salad: curly kale, lemon juice, tahini, Braggs aminos, and hemp seeds.  Hippie food at its best.

I’ve made meatless meatballs before but these are a little different.  They are from the Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook and I put them on a bed of sauteed chard and cauliflower.  They’re a little bit dry, so next time I’ll put them in sauce, but I highly recommend them!  The fennel seeds are the best part – they totally remind me of the sausages my mom used to get at our local grocery store, but these don’t have all that grease.

Lentil “meat”balls

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown lentils
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp olive oi
  • 3/4 cup ricotta
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • pinch dried thyme
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2/3 cup bread crumbs

Instructions

  1. Bring the water to a boil and add the lentils. Turn down to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.
  2. Drain and set aside.
  3. Put the lentils in a large bowl and mash slightly with a fork.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients, mix well and let stand at room temperature for about 15 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400 F and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.
  6. Roll the lentil mixtures into balls 1 to 1 1/2" in diameter and place them on the baking sheet.
  7. Brush with a little olive oil and bake for about 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.
http://catesworldkitchen.com/2013/01/lentil-meatballs/

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6 comments to Lentil “meat”balls

  • I’m so disheartened about the quinoa thing. I’m going to go meat-free when I get back from the UK – the environmental factor plus the world hunger factor has been eating away at me and I’m taking the plunge and going meat-free in a few weeks. But quinoa is a pretty crucial protein source…I’m kind of scuppered without it.
    Talking of turning vegetarian – do you recommend any cook-books?
    Thanks

  • RoadBunner

    This is one I’m definitely going to try! I eat TONS of quinoa so find this really sad. I almost feel that you have to grow everything yourself to be guilt free nowadays.

  • Cate

    I absolutely LOVE “How to Cook Everything Vegetarian” by Mark Bittman! Also Super Natural Cooking and Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson.

  • My guy helps me with my workouts too – mostly chest presses and bicep curls.

  • I will eat a kale salad any time, any place. I hope kale is not one of the things destroying the rain forest…

  • Cindy

    Tell me more about the quinoa situation. Thanks

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