I’ve got a meatless Monday recipe for you today! And it’s a good one.
Having easy go-to dinners is what makes eating healthy actually do-able. Pasta is one of those meals, it’s easy & quick, but also delicious and satisfying. I have quite a few pasta recipes on this site and for good reason (garlic mushroom pasta, butternut squash mac n cheese, and lentil mushroom pasta are some of my favorites). It’s a meal that Jake and I both love, and I can easily put it together before we both get hangry after work.
The brand that really changed the game for me was Banza. I know I’ve talked about them before, but they are an amazing company from right here in Detroit, MI. They make chickpea pasta. YES CHICKPEAS. The pasta is packed with protein & nutrients, yet tastes even better than other gluten-free pastas. It doesn’t all apart or leave a funny taste in my mouth. I love it.
So today, we’re amping up our pasta with vegetarian lentil meatballs. Lentils might not be everyone’s favorite pulse, and honestly, if they’re not prepared correctly, I’m not a fan either. But in these meatballs? They are perfect. They lend an earthy, firm but soft texture that works perfectly to replace meat. And the flavor of the meatballs if full of Italian spices making any trace of lentil undetectable. All you have to do is combine all of the ingredients in a food processor, roll them up, and bake them. Meanwhile, boil your pasta and pasta sauce of choice, and dinner is served. Kid-friendly and omnivore approved.
To obtain an Italian flavor, I used quite a bit of vegan parmesan. To make it yourself, combine 1/2 cup raw cashews + 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast + 1 tsp garlic powder + 1/4 tsp sea salt in a food processor or blender. Voila. Keeps in fridge for about a month. If you’re not avoiding dairy, feel free to use regular parmesan!
This meal came out absolutely delicious, and is the perfect way to start your weekend. If you try this, tag me on instagram!
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 flax eggs (combine 2 Tbsp flaxmeal + 5 Tbsp water for 5 minutes)
- 1½ cups cooked + cooled green lentils (3/4 cup uncooked)
- ¼ cup walnuts
- 1½ Tbsp dried Italian seasonings (dried basil + oregano)
- ¼ cup fresh Italian parsley
- 1 Tbsp tomato sauce
- 4.5 Tbsp vegan parmesan cheese, or parmesan of choice
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste (~1/4 tsp each)
- Pre-heat oven to 425F
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor until just combined (If you mix too long they will become mushy, so do about 5-6 pulses and more if needed)
- Roll into balls and bake for 25 minutes.
- Serve warm with pasta and sauce of choice.
Here served over broccoli rice (from Trader Joe’s) sauteed for a few minutes in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Delicious!