Meatless Meatballs

Meatless Monday Special:  Meatballs.

Lentils are the base for this modern meatball.  Made with just a few ingredients from your SimplyCooking® Pantry, this simple everyday recipe lends itself to many imaginative meals.  Upcoming posts on Mondays will feature healthful twists on meatballs.  Meanwhile substitute these little meatless meatballs in your favorite meatball dish.

meatless meatballs

1/3 cup breadcrumbs
3 Tbsp. milk (or almond milk)
1/2 cup lentils
1 cup water
1 egg
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. minced parsley
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. salt (Celtic Sea Salt preferred)
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
a little lemon zest
3 Tbsp. oil (grapeseed* or olive oil), divided

Preheat oven to 400 °F.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Soak the breadcrumbs in milk as the lentils cook.  Rinse the lentils very well.  Place them in a small saucepan with 1 cup water.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and cook, uncovered, 15 minutes or until tender, but not mushy.   Remove from heat and cool 5 minutes.  Drain if necessary.

Place the lentils and breadcrumbs in a food processor bowl and process until a paste forms.  Remove this mixture to a medium sized bowl and add the remaining ingredients.  Stir and mash with a large spoon until all the ricotta cheese is fully incorporated.

Roll into small balls no larger than 1" in diameter and place on the lined baking sheet.  Brush with 2 Tbsp. oil.  Bake 12 minutes.  Remove the sheet and turn the meatballs, gently and very quickly reforming to a  ball shape with your fingertips as you turn them to the browned side up.  Brush with the remaining 1 Tbsp. of oil and return to the oven.  Bake 8 minutes more.  Serve.

Makes 24 - 28 meatballs.

*Note:  All SimplyCooking® recipes will soon use grapeseed oil instead of vegetable oil.