As much as don’t think I could ever be a vegetarian, I sometimes get sick and tired of eating chicken every which way, and wanted to try something a little more interesting then my weekly chicken meatballs. I had some lentils in the house so I started looking for a recipe.  I came across a lentil one from the Meatball Shop.
     
     Just one cup of lentils provides 18 grams of protein, 16 grams of fiber, only 1 gram of fat and 230 calories.  They are loaded with folate, phosphorus and potassium as well.  I always tweak a few things in a recipe depending on what I have in the house, and also try to sneak in some more veggies and whole grains if I can,  and this recipe is no exception.  I had them for dinner, for lunch and for snacks and served them over a mashed cauliflower.  Hope you enjoy as much as we did…

 

Lentil Veggie Meatballs
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups cooked and cooled lentils
  2. 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoons olive oil
  3. 1 large onion, chopped
  4. 2 carrots, chopped
  5. 2 celery stalks, chopped
  6. 1 garlic clove, minced
  7. 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  8. 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  9. 1 large red pepper and one zucchini chopped small
  10. 3 large eggs
  11. 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
  12. 1/4 cup flaxseed, 1/4 cup seasoned panko breadcrumbs
  13. 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  14. 1/4 cup finely chopped almonds
Instructions
  1. 1.: Add 1/4 cup of the olive oil to a large frying pan and sauté the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and thyme over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and just beginning to brown.
  2. Add the tomato paste and continue to cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes.
  3. Add the veggies and cook, stirring frequently, for 15 more minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and allow cooling to room temperature.
  5. When cool, add the lentils to the vegetable mixture.
  6. 2.: Add the eggs, Romano, flaxseed, breadcrumbs, parsley and almonds to the cooled vegetables and lentils and mix by hand until thoroughly incorporated.
  7. Place in the refrigerator for 25 minutes.
  8. Form meatballs.
  9. 3.: Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  10. Drizzle 1-tablespoon of oil on a pan and roast veggie balls until golden brown and toasted. Serve with pesto or marinara, over whole-wheat pasta, spaghetti squash or pureed cauliflower!
Notes
  1. Recipe provided by Madeline Basler, RDN, CDN
  2. Real You Nutrition
  3. www.realyounutrition.com
Adapted from The Meatball Shop
Adapted from The Meatball Shop
Real You Nutrition http://www.realyounutrition.com/

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