Lentils, toasted walnuts, sun-dried tomatoes, lemon peel, spelt, a little bit of oregano, a little bit of parsley, and some torn spinach. Delicious, rustic, homemade “wheat”-balls! Perfect for pasta night topped with your favorite marinara. Tasty on a hoagie bun topped with sauce and melty cheese. Or if you’re feeling especially ambitious, make them according to the directions, and then, crumble into a lasagna for a layer of savory goodness. The possibilities are endless!
I picked red lentils, because they become mushy very easily and would help bind everything together. Plus, they add protein, minerals, and fiber! I also used sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, because I wanted the oil to help seal-in the moisture. If you would rather use sun-dried tomatoes from a bag, they are an option, but it may not be quite as moist. I highly recommend pulsing the walnuts in a food processor until they are very finely chopped. This way, they add to the flavor without bringing an overly crunchy texture to the finished product.
Sun-Dried Tomato Lentil Wheatballs
1 cup prepared spelt berries (already boiled, drained and ready to go!)
1 cup prepared red lentils (also boiled, drained and ready to go!)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
⅓ cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, sliced
½ cup walnuts, very finely chopped (pulse in food processor until they are practically dust)
1 Tbsp fresh oregano or ¼ tsp dried oregano
¼ cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
½ cup fresh spinach, torn in pieces
1 tsp fresh lemon peel, very finely chopped
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp flax seed meal
½ cup nutritional yeast
1. Mash 1 cup cooked red lentils in a large mixing bowl. Stir in 1 cup cooked spelt. Set aside.
2. In a large, heavy skillet, add olive oil, onion, and a dash of salt. Saute over medium-low heat for ~7 or until the onions are golden. Add garlic, celery, sun-dried tomatoes, salt and black pepper. Sauté for 5 more minutes. Add walnuts and sauté for 2 more minutes.
3. Add everything else listed in the recipe to the large mixing bowl, including the sun-dried tomato mixture from the skillet. Mix throughly and taste. Adjust seasonings, if needed.
4. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a cookie sheet with non-stick aluminum foil. Form the mixture into ~15 balls, and space evenly on the cookie sheet. Lightly spray with canola oil cooking spray. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, and serve with your favorite marinara, as a “wheatball” sandwich or crumbled into your favorite recipes.