Hearty Meat(less) Balls

IMG_2088In our journey of eating less and less meat, I’m in search of meatless alternatives to satisfy my kids’ cravings.

One of their favourites is spaghetti and meatballs. I tried substituting vegetable balls purchased from the IKEA marketplace (not even my husband would eat those) as well as some homemade ones with no luck and resigned myself to this being one of our occasional meaty indulgences.

Then I stumbled on a recipe from Martha Stewart for vegan meatballs using rice, lentils and mushrooms – sounded pretty ‘meaty’ to me so I whipped something similar up on a whim using what I happened to have on hand. They were great!

These Hearty Meat(less) Balls are good enough to satisfy which makes them worth the effort (they’re defintitely time consuming).

UPDATE: Good news – it turns out these Hearty Meat(less) Balls freeze great! Next time I’m going to make a double batch and save for easy weekday meals!

INGREDIENTS (makes 2 dozen):

3 CUPS MUSHROOMS

1/2 CUP BROWN LENTILS (ORIGINAL RECIPE CALLS FOR GREEN, EITHER IS FINE) – cooked until just softened (cover with water, bring to a boil and then simmer)

1/2 CUP BROWN RICE – cooked using your usual method

1 SMALL ONION – peeled

OIL – I use Canola, but any neutral oil or olive oil works here

1 1/2 CUPS BREADCRUMBS

SALT AND PEPPER – to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Grease a baking sheet and pre-heat oven to 375.

Pulse mushrooms and onion in a food processor until finely minced but not yet pasty.

Add mushrooms and onion to a large bowl along with the cooked rice and lentils. Mash with a fork crushing some of the rice and lentils and until well mixed.

Oil hands to prevent sticking and form 24 balls. Bake on baking sheet until nicely browned.

Add you your favourite sauce and serve.

Prep Time: 30 min

Cooking Time: 20-25 min

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