Sun-Dried Tomato Lentil Wheatballs

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

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

Salt

Black pepper

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.

Sun-Dried Tomato Lentil Wheatballs

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.

Sun-Dried Tomato Lentil Wheatballs.jpg

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.

Sun-Dried Tomato Lentil Wheatballs