**Lentil and Black Bean “Meat”balls*

The other night I invited my mother over for dinner. My parents live on Cape Cod and she comes once a week to visit my grandmother. I like to occasionally invite her over so I can test some of my new recipes on her 😉

just kidding I enjoy her company as well!

But she makes a great guinea pig because she can be rather picky! All week I have been craving spaghetti and meatballs – a meal I physically cannot ingest!  SO I came up with an idea to make meatballs using lentils and black beans, both important staples in my vegetarian/gluten-free kitchen. When I create recipes I literally wing them. I have an idea of what I want to put in them in terms of ingredients and flavors but it is most of the time a crapshoot. For me, that is the fun of it 🙂

After we have the “meat”balls for dinner, I sent some home for my father to try. He isn’t as picky but holds nothing back when it comes to his opinions! SO here is the recipe – pickymom approved and opinionateddad approved 🙂

 

Lentil & Black Bean “Meat”balls

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked green lentils
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1/2 cup onions, chopped
  • 3 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
  • 1 cup gluten-free bread crumbs or ground rice chex
  • 2 eggs
  • pinch of cayenne
  • 1/8 tsp white pepper
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with tin foil.
  2. Cook lentils using package instructions (Usually for green lentils, 1 cup uncooked lentils to 2 cups water, add lentils to boiling water, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes)
  3. While lentils are cooking, grind your rice chex in a food processor until fine and until you have one cup. Strain and rinse black beans.
  4. When lentils are finished cooking, stir in black beans while still on stove top to warm them up and make them easier to mash – about 3 minutes.
  5. Turn off heat and transfer to large mixing bowl. Using potato masher, mash lentils and black beans until most are smooth but leaving some pieces of whole lentils.Add onions and scallions. Add oregano, cayenne, white pepper, minced garlic, and onion powder. Stir well
  6. Add your gluten-free bread crumbs or ground rice chex. Mix well.
  7. At this point I would taste your mixture to make sure you like how it tastes and so you can add any additional spices you desire.
  8. Combine the eggs with the mixture one at a time until mixed in completely. Note: the mixture will be sticky!
  9. Using a tablespoon, scoop out mixture one by one and mold into a ball with your hands. Place on cookie sheet in rows. Note: the meatballs can be as close to each other as needed since they do not expand when they are cooked!
  10. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes, or until they are as crispy/browned as you like!

Makes roughly 20 meatballs.

I made mine HUGE 🙂

This recipe calls for black beans, however you can use any beans that can be mashed such as cannellini beans, kidney beans, etc. For those of you who are gluten-free, these are served well over white or brown rice and canned or homemade tomato sauce! I made my own tomato sauce with petite diced tomatoes and italian spices!

If you make these, please let me know how you like them 🙂

 

Have a lovely Saturday !!