Rainy Day Lentil Meatballs 

This was my first time cooking with lentils. I was very confused on how to cook them. First of all, all the recipes I read told me to clean off the lentils of dirt and sediment in a strainer. But I don’t have a strainer. So this was quite a messy task. I then poured two cups of water and the lentils into a pot with salt. Once the water comes to a boil, stir and cover. Once cooked, the lentils will be soft and will mush between your fingers with pressure. Aren’t I so scientific? I use this tiny little space (below) on my counter for all cooking materials and end up mixing and taking photos of the process while leaning against the wall and watching the squirrels in the tree out the window. The cooking process of making meatballs is quite beautiful; so many colors and intoxicating smells. Have I mentioned these are actually meatLESS meatballs? Something a little less heavy, but still just as filling and flavorful as a MEATball, I thought; and perfectly comforting when smothered in sauce and cheese as the rain battles hard from outside. And this rain, the terribly unfortunate circumstance which disables me from doing anything productive after work except washing all the dishes and my daily routine of anal kitchen cleaning, and then curling up in a fleece blanket with my cuddly cat. The rain which shelters me from going on a run and instead begs me to slave away in the kitchen for a warm meal, as it quenches the dry soil and wilting rhododendrons, kissing petals with wet droplets and draping the towns with a fresh, clean post-rain smell. Next time, I’d love to use paprika, curry and cumin in place of the Italian inspired ingredients; curry and lentils go so well together if you like Indian food.

You’ll Need:

  • 2 1/2 cups of lentils
  • 1/2 a large sweet onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs
  • 1 6 oz. can of tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp. of all-purpose flour
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. of crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp. of oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. of italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. of dried basil
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • Tomato sauce
  • Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook lentils according to package directions, drain in a strainer and rinse under cold water. Combine lentils, next 11 ingredients, and salt & pepper, in a large bowl. Fold together to evenly distribute spices. Roll lentil mix into meatball sized balls and arrange on coated baking sheet. Bake for 20 min. Cover in sauce and cheese. Paired with yellow squash and salad, teasing the promise of summer. Recipe inspired by Emerging Adult Eats.

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