I generally feel like Americans eat way too much meat. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good slab of bacon, but I think being a flexatarian is a much healthier food lifestyle. Flexatarians are occasional meat eaters that tend to gravitate toward a plant-based diet. Because we only eat meat a couple of times a week, that means we love to try out new vegetarian meals. And sometimes even vegan!
These vegan “meat” balls were sent to me by a friend from work and I am so, totally impressed with them! They are a blend of cooked lentils, brown rice, oats and lots of great spices and flavors. They taste great, look like traditional meatballs and have an incredible meat-like texture. We ate them on top of spaghetti, but I can’t wait to try them in a meatball sub. I love a good meatball sub.
This would be an excellent recipe to introduce vegetarianism to meat-lovers. These are packed with flavor, hearty and comforting. Anyone will love these! Don’t be afraid of the long ingredient list, it takes a lot of spices to make these yummy, yummy balls. I promise these come together in no time flat!
Vegan “Meat” Balls
(Adapted from My Vegan Cookbook)
- 1/2 cup cooked lentil
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 1/4 cup oats
- 1/3 cup wheat germ
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup (could sub molasses)
- 1 teaspoons dry mustard
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until mixture resembles texture and appearance of ground meat and most lentils are no longer whole. Do not over mix.
- Wet hands and form mixture into balls about 1-1/2″ in diameter. You should get around 16. Place on a baking sheet.
- Bake in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, turning once halfway through baking time. Let rest for 10 minutes after baking to firm up.
These are pretty much endlessly customizable. If you aren’t vegan, try throwing in a handful of parmesan cheese (yum!). Want more summer flavor? Add some fresh chopped basil and oregano. Looking for more of a cocktail meatball taste? Up the maple syrup and toss the meatballs in your favorite barbecue sauce. Let me know your variations!
Do you consider yourself a vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian, flexatarian or some other class of eater? Or do you just eat what you like and not label it?