I was sitting in my good friends’ kitchen the other day… our babes were sleeping, we were chatting, drinking tea (as you do in London) when I suddenly spotted a beautiful cookbook (The Sprouted Kitchen) on her shelf. As I flicked through the pages filled with beautiful food photography and mouthwatering recipes, one particular recipe caught my eye. Lentil meatballs. I like lentils… but I also have a love/hate relationship with them as I have made some serious disaster dishes with lentils over the years. In my experience, the texture can get weird and the taste get too earthy so I didn’t have very high expectations to these. But they really did surprise me and turned out much better than expected! I did tweak the original recipe a fair bit and added the delicious mint dressing, which I think pairs really well with them. They are perfect serving with a salad, in a sandwich or on their own as a quick snack. And they’re great for kids!
Whats good about them
Black beluga lentils are my favourite type of lentil. They are less earthy in taste compared to other legumes and hold their shape really well, making them ideal for salads and stews. From a health perspective they are amazing as they are high in anthocyanins – the same powerful antioxidants found in red wine and dark berries such as blueberries & blackberries. Anthocyanins help protect against free-radical cell damage while also offering protection from diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Like other legumes, black lentils pack an impressive amount of vitamins, minerals and plant protein (1/2 cup contains 24 gm protein!). They are also great for digestive function and very high in fibre with all of 18 grams per 1/2 cup (120 mL), which explains why they are so filling!
They take only about 20 minutes to cook in a pot of simmering water until they are slightly tender, which is what you want for this recipe.
|Antioxidant "Meatballs" With Mint Yogurt Dressing|| || |
- 2 cups cooked black beluga lentils
- 2 organic free range eggs
- 200 gm (3/4 cup) cottage cheese
- 1 tbsp tahini
- 3 tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp hemp seeds
- salt & pepper
- ½ tsp thyme (fresh or dried)
- 2 tbsp almond flour (or 1 tbsp oats)
- ½ cup organic Greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp finely chopped mint leaves (fresh or dried)
- pinch of honey (stevia for a sugar free alternative)
- Place cooked lentils in a food processor and process into a thick mush
- Transfer lentils to a big bowl and add eggs, tahini and cottage cheese and combine well.
- Add all the remaining ingredients and mix well.
- Leave the "meatball" mixture to set for about 10 mins.
- In a separate bowl, combine all the ingredients for the mint yogurt dressing whisk together well.
- Add salt/pepper, lemon juice and sweetener to taste. Place in fridge to rest while the meatballs cook.
- After resting the "meatball" mixture should be thick-ish in consistency. (if not add a bit more almond flour/oats and leave for an additional 5 minutes)
- Using a spoon, form small round "meatballs" and cook them on a frying pan over medium heat until golden brown. About 5-7 minutes on each side (They will firm up upon cooling so don't worry if they feel like they're not firm enough when removing from the pan).
- Serve warm on a bed of greens topped with mint yogurt dressing.
I love these “meatballs” warm, they also make a great afternoon snack when cooled and keep well in the fridge for 2-3 days. You can also mix them in with a marinara sauce and serve over pasta as you would normal meatballs.