Saturday, December 15, 2012

Lentil Meatballs

I have been watching videos on Everyday Dish TV since its inception many years ago. I even bought their DVD, which I can no longer find for sale on the site or elsewhere except used. When some of the recipes went behind a paywall, I spent the money and bought a yearly subscription, because there are very few sites out there with videos of how to make tasty, many times low-fat, vegan foods. I even renewed my subscription, and I don't renew that many things nowadays, even letting most of my print magazines lapse!

The latest goodie from the website I've made is Sarah Matheny's Lentil Meatballs:
Lucky for you people it's not behind the paywall and can be nabbed by everyone.

In the video, Sarah says she uses the already-cooked packaged lentils, IIRC from Trader Joe's, or maybe Whole Foods. Of course, this is weight, not volume. It took a whole lotta web searching and finally me digging out my rusty old kitchen/postage scale that only goes up to a pound to find out that my freshly cooked and well drained lentils come to a cup and a half for 8 ounces in weight. When I made them I used 1 cup of plain old Goya lentils to 2 cups of water and they made a tad under 3 cups total. I used half and put the rest in the freezer for the next time I make these.

I always have plenty of old-fashioned oats on hand.

She calls for reconstituted dry sun-dried tomatoes, not the oily ones in the jar. I also keep a supply of these on hand and started soaking them about a half hour before I started making the meatballs.

Instead of Kalamata olives (too expensive and only come in a big can around here) I used a plain old 2.5 ounce can of sliced black olives, store brand. Instead of chopping I tossed them into the food processor and gave a quick pulse after everything else was mixed and pulsed up.

And lastly, I rarely have fresh herbs around here and today was no different, so no fresh basil. Instead I used a heaping teaspoon of dried basil leaves. To be honest, the next time I make this I'll be sure to have fresh basil at the ready, because it could have used the bit of bulk the fresh would have given.

Like Sarah, I used a cookie dough scoop to make these meatballs, and got 17 out of the recipe. After baking for 15 minutes I took the tray out to flip them over and was a little disappointed to find them still pretty mushy and had to use a butter knife to scrape the soft stuff off the parchment paper and squish it back into the now flipped meatball. Instead of putting them back in for a total of 20 minutes that the recipe called for I left them for 25. Here's the result:

You can see the bits of tomato and olives in the finished product, as well as the oatmeal bits. They did firm up quite a bit in that last 10 minutes of baking, and maybe when they're cooled they'll firm up even more. Of course, they're not as firm as a store-bought or gluten based meatball, but a heck of a lot better than most other vegan meatball recipes I've tried over the years, and if you leave out the olives, they're even McDougall MWLP safe.

They're now in the fridge, awaiting our usual Saturday night pasta dinner. I won't tell my husband these are home made and see if he can tell.

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