Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

I'll spare you the details of my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad (moving to Australia kind of) day and just mention that today I really needed some comfort food.  And what is more comforting than spaghetti and meat (lentil) balls?  And for good measure, even some chocolate cake!

Anyone that knows me, knows that I LOVE lentils.  I firmly believe that you can make anything with them.  So while searching for some kind of non-meat meat balls a few months ago, I was most excited to find this recipe.  Super simple, super delicious, and super consistency when mixed with the sauce.  Its one of my favourite vegan recipes!  I also made a side salad and a very chunky vegetable tomato sauce.

Chunky Pasta Sauce
Olive oil
1 chopped onion
3 cloves of finely chopped garlic
3 sliced carrots
3 sliced celery stalks
1 chopped red pepper
as many tomatoes as you can find! (chopped and seeded)
1 tsp each cumin, parsley, basil, oregano
salt and pepper
1 cup of vegetable broth
Tomato Paste
1 tbsp brown sugar

*Saute onion and garlic in oil until translucent
*Add rest of the vegetables (minus tomatoes) and continue sauteing until soft
*add spices, broth, paste and sugar and bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer until reduced
*add tomatoes and simmer on low for as long as you can (at least 45 minutes in this house)
*Use immersion blender (or food processor or blender) and blend until desired consistency!

Lentil Balls 
I usually have to double this recipe to feed our family
1 cup cooked lentils
2 tbsp olive oil, plus more for spraying/brushing on lentil-balls
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs 
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried parsley
(and I always add cumin 1/2 tsp)
*preheat oven to 375
*In a blender or food processor or using an immersion blender, puree the lentils with the olive oil, soy sauce, and vegetable broth
*mix together the dry ingredients and the spices
*Add the lentil puree to the dry ingredients and stir until a ball is formed. Knead the ball for a few minutes until the gluten is stringy. The ball will also "pull together" a little at this point. If it seems really wet and isn't coming together, add extra gluten 1 tbsp at a time until you reach the desired consistency
*Roll out about 2 tbsp of dough into balls and put them on a cookie sheet lined with a silicone sheet, or sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Spray or brush the balls lightly with olive oil, then flip them over and get the bottom oiled too
*Bake for 20 minutes, then turn them over, and bake for another 15 minutes. They will firm up more once they're out of the oven 

 I know I said we don't usually eat dessert.  But, today was an exception! Mini heart shaped chocolate cakes with delicious butter cream icing.  Just what I needed!


  1. We had comfort food and chocolate cake today, too. :) Looks yummy! I'll have to try your sauce and, the lentil balls of course.