These aren’t exactly meatballs since they are lacking any kind of beef or poultry, but they are a delicious vegetarian alternative to traditional meatballs if you are looking for something to accompany your pasta. Being pescetarian for the month has led me to have some interesting cravings brought on my temptation and the simple lust for what I can’t have. The forbidden is always so desirable.
Earlier this month, I was tempted by my Aunt Karen’s famous meatballs. When I say famous, I really mean it. If she didn’t make them for a holiday or family gathering, people might riot. Real talk.
Anyways, here is my vegetarian spin on meaty, meaty meatballs. Enjoy!
Red Lentil and Kale Meatballs
1/2 cup kale
1/2 small yellow onion
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
1 Tbsp parmesan cheese
1 tsp olive oil
preferred seasonings (I used red pepper flakes, curry, chili powder. You could go all Italian with basil, oregano, garlic powder, etc.)
1/2 cup panko
1 cup cooked lentils (1/2 cup uncooked)
palm full of flour* (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and begin by cooking 1/2 cup dry lentils according to package instructions.
2. Chop kale, onion, garlic, cheese and olive oil in a food processor, and then add the mixture to mixing bowl.
3. Add egg, panko, seasonings and cooked lentils (once slightly cooled) to the same mixing bowl and combine. Test time: If you can’t form compact balls, add a palm full of flour to the mixture.
4. Form lentil balls from the mixture (makes about 9 golf ball-sized lentil balls). Arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, turning half way through.
Serve with pasta, rice, tomato sauce… get creative! Yum yum yum! Once January is over, I might consider adding some ground pork/turkey to these lentil balls.