By Aylin Erman, Istanbul-based creator and author of plant-based recipe blog GlowKitchen.
Lentils are extraordinary versatile and are great to use when you are trying to mock the density of meats with a vegan alternative. Their flavor is subtle enough to complement with spices and other ingredients. For this recipe, I use lentils as the foundation for a vegan meatball. It’s on the softer side, but can always be firmed up with extra flour – I like mine soft though, so I keep the recipe as is. Enjoy!
Lentils: are an excellent source of soluble and insoluble fiber, effectively helping to prevent digestive and cardiovascular disorders. They also contribute to lowering cholesterol and maintaining blood sugar levels. Low on the glycemic index, lentils release their sugars slowly, keeping you fuller and more balanced for longer.
Ingredients (About 20-30 balls)
- 1 cup red or yellow lentils
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small red onion
- 1 medium zucchini
- 1 medium carrot
- 1 garlic clove
- Handful of fresh parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon chickpea flour
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons olive oil for frying
Bring 1 cup of lentils to a boil in 2 cups of water. Cook for about 8 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. While the lentils are cooking, grate the carrot and finely chop the zucchini, red onion, garlic, ad parsley. Bring a medium saucepan up to medium-high heat, add olive oil, carrot, zucchini, red onion, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the onion is translucent – about 8 minutes. Set aside.
When the lentil are finished cooking, place them in a large bowl and they should be relatively soft and fall apart easily when mashed. This is why we use red or yellow lentils – they are far more delicate. To the bowl, add the cooked vegetable mixture, parsley, soy sauce, chickpea flour, and bread crumbs. Mix until evenly combined and add more chickpea flour or breadcrumbs as needed so that the consistency is such that you can roll the mixture into balls.
Form meatballs and begin to fry in pan with a thin layer of olive oil over high heat. Fry the meatballs on each side for 2-3 minutes or until browned.
Serve and enjoy!