Lentil “meat”balls


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.


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.


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.


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


  • 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


  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.

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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?

  • 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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