After finally getting my basic Vegan Veggie & Bean Burger down, I knew I needed a go-to basic “bean ball” for our weekly pasta. Using my veggie burger recipe as a base, I got to work. I made quite a few trials of these before I found one that was not only the right consistency, but also gave us that Italian feel…I wanted something hearty and filling that could complement our pasta.
Bean balls are a great addition to your meal, they pack loads of protein and iron, plus you can hide those extra veggies in them for those picky little eaters. My boys love them, especially the little one who seems to be the pickier of the two. If he shoves them into his mouth to the point where he is not complaining, then I know it’s a win!
This recipe uses hearty lentils combined with kale and mushrooms for added moisture. Oats and almond meal help soak that moisture up to create a perfect bean ball that holds together nicely. Sunflower seeds give them a touch of crunch, and when covered in my Crockpot Red Sauce or Classic Red Red Sauce, they melt in your mouth. These bean balls are delicious and a perfect pasta topping!
[recipe title= “Kale & Lentil Balls” servings= “Makes 20 bean balls, about 2 inch in size”] Protein, iron, and veggies come together to make this soft yet hearty meat ball alternative. Perfect on top of any pasta dish!
- 2 cups uncooked chopped mushrooms
- 1 ½ cups uncooked chopped kale
- Your favorite oil for sautéing veggies (or veggie broth if not using oil)
- 1 ½ cups precooked lentils
- 1 cup gluten free oats (may need more if mixture is too wet)
- ½ cup almond meal
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flaxseed plus 3 tablespoons water)
- Himalayan pink salt, garlic powder, basil, oregano, and smoked paprika to taste
note: If there is a nut allergy, you can sub more oats for the almond meal. You can also use spinach or swiss chard in place of the kale. These are also quite filling so I freeze half of the balls before cooking, for use at a later time. They freeze great! I ended up using a little over 1 cup oats.
Mix 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons warm water in a small bowl and set aside for 10 minutes to make flax egg.
Preheat oven to 350. Saute chopped mushrooms and kale in oil or veggie broth until soft. Set aside. If lentils are not precooked, cook them according to directions.
Next add the flax egg, gluten free oats, almond meal and sunflower seeds and mix well. Add seasonings and taste, start with a few shakes of each. Add more seasonings if needed, you should taste the seasonings but they shouldn’t overpower the mixture.
Once you get the taste you like, allow mixture to set a while so oats soak in some liquid (you can also do this after you shape into balls). If the mixture is too wet, then add some more oats 1/4 cup at a time until mixture is a thick dough, not too pasty.