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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Iannelli-Rubin

Michy's Lentil Meatballs

Lentils are such an easy legume to cook! I was raised eating classic lentil soup made from brown lentils. Today, I've been experimenting and learning tons of information from various articles about their nutritional benefits. I was more than fascinated to learn that there are in fact a variety of lentils out there.

Did you know that lentils are most often categorized by their color? Did you know that they can range from yellow and red to green, brown, or black? And did you know that the most "common" lentil types you'll find in the market are:

  • Brown: These are the most widely eaten type. They have an earthy flavor, hold their shape well during cooking and are great in stews.

  • Puy: These come from the French region Le Puy. They’re similar in color but about one-third of the size of green lentils and have a peppery taste.

  • Green: These can vary in size and are usually a cheaper alternative to Puy lentils in recipes.

  • Yellow and red: These lentils are split and cook quickly. They’re great for making dal and have a somewhat sweet and nutty flavor.

  • Beluga: These are tiny black lentils that look almost like caviar. They make a great base for warm salads.

Packed with nutrients, low in calories and high in fiber, lentils are an inexpensive way to be sure you are meeting your nutritional needs. Packed with B vitamins, magnesium, zinc and potassium, lentils also make up of over 25% protein, which makes them an excellent meat alternative! And, did you know that they are also a great source of iron? I am thrilled to share this information with you, and I hope to inspire you to get creative with trying some different dishes with your bag of lentils.



I joined a collaboration with fellow foodies friends, and the theme was LENTILS. Everyone in the collaboration must create and share a lentil themed dish on a specific day/time, simultaneously. For this collaboration, I chose to experiment with meatballs! Meatless meatballs - lentil meatballs. I created this recipe and am excited that it is so versatile. You make these lentil meatballs in your traditional spaghetti & meatballs dish or serve them as an appetizer with creative sauces. I also have had them with some fresh tzasiki sauce. They roll out really easily and have a distinctive flavor.

 

Michy's Lentil Meatballs


Ingredients

for 12 servings

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1 tsp, divided

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 shallot, minced

  • 1 ½ cups brown/green lentils, cooked

  • 1 egg

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • ¼ cup fresh italian parsley, chopped

  • ⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese

  • 3 tablespoons Italian breadcrumbs

  • salt, to taste

  • pepper, to taste

Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 375˚F (190˚C).

  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat then add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, shallot and garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until slightly golden brown then remove from heat.

  • To a food processor, add the garlic and shallot, lentils, egg, 1 teaspoon of olive oil, tomato paste, parsley, Parmesan, bread crumbs, Italian seasonings, salt, and pepper and pulse, mixing until just combined.

  • Transfer the mixture to a medium-sized bowl.

  • Use a cookie dough scoop to scoop out balls of mixture then carefully form into balls.

  • Arrange on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

  • Bake for 10-15 minutes.

  • Remove meatballs from oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.

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