Veggie-Loaded Lentil & Quinoa "Meatballs"

I really like small spherical food.

Veggie-Loaded Lentil & Quinoa "Meatballs"

Maybe that is a weird things to say (okay, fine, it is definitely a weird thing to say), but I do. It's just so convenient. Perfectly portioned out. Easy to store. And, dare I say, bite-sized. I just love all foods that are little and round. Especially meatballs.

Wait. How many other small spherical foods are there? Am I just oddly and deeply in love with meatballs? Apparently so. But here you are, still reading. So many of you are as off-beat as me. We will just keep going.

I always have meatballs on hand. I make them during my meal prep and/or have some hanging out in my freezer to warm up in a pinch. Meatballs are my favorite emergency protein to have on hand, since you can quickly throw together a really great, easy and balanced meal if you have a few meatballs by your side.

Veggie-Loaded Lentil & Quinoa "Meatballs"

However.... sometimes I'm not looking to eat meat. Sometimes I want a convenient little ball of protein goodness that skips the meat all together. 

 And these simple and delicious Veggie-Loaded Lentil & Quinoa "Meatballs" do just that!

Made with just 11 oh-so-good-for-you ingredients (including veggies!), savory, delicious and perfectly bite-sized, these "meatballs" are going to become your new favorite meat-free dinner superhero! 

Makes 18 balls

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup green lentils, soaked 8 hours or overnight
  • 1/4 cup quinoa, soaked 8 hours or overnight
  • 1 1/2 cups broth
  • 1 egg
  • Handful fresh basil
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup kale, ribs removed and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning 

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400° F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. 
  2. In a medium sauce pan, combine soaked quinoa, soaked lentils and broth. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat, cover and cook for 20 minutes.
  3. Once lentils and quinoa are done cooking, drain off extra liquid and set aside to cool a bit.
  4. Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients in your food processor and pulse until veggies are finely chopped. Add slightly cooled quinoa and lentils. Pulse a few more times to incorporate quinoa & lentils and achieve desired texture for "meatballs" (I pulsed mine about 5-6 times).
  5. Using a small cookie scoop, portion the mixture out into balls on your lined baking sheet. 
  6. Bake 20-25 minutes or until they are firm to the touch and the meatballs start to have a slightly golden brown color.
  7. Enjoy immediately over zoodles with pasta sauce ....or however your fancy.....or let cool and store in fridge for up to 5 days.

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Veggie-Loaded Lentil & Quinoa "Meatballs"