Jun 25, 2012
dreaming and meatless meals
Do you ever think about what you want to be when you grow up? Even though you've graduated from college and found a grown up job? Well, the problem is I'm so not grown up yet. If I am expected to live to 100 and I'm not even 25... then how am I considered grown up? Of course I have wisdom and some life experience by now, but I dream more about my potential now than I did when I was younger. Maybe the difference is the things I dream about now could be made possible like opening a restaurant or moving to NYC. The dreams you have when you are younger like flying or becoming a princess are just not reality. I still ask young adults my age what they want to be when they grow up and I get flashed a really silly look. I'm telling you it's not silly, it's the truth. I know some adults that are still lost at the age of 40 and that is okay. We are constantly changing beings who learn to adapt to new situations. Those situations can sometimes inspire new goals or dreams.
The point is we never stop dreaming about the person we could become or the places we will go. I just hope that in the 75 years when I am grey and wrinkly that I'm proud of what I accomplished in life. Even the things I regret should be part of my story. Like the time I decided that this would be a good idea to post on my blog. Or the time I accidentally put double the amount of water in my pizza dough because I was too distracted to read the recipe correctly. Which also caused me to have to run to the grocery store because I didn't have enough flour. Sometimes the regret can be small but I'm the type of person that holds onto regrets with a tight grip and a heavy heart. I'm working on it, but no one is perfect.
One thing I will never regret is creating these delicious little guys. A meatless meatball for everyone to share and love.
I always get excited when I find a full proof vegetarian dish for the days that meat just doesn't appeal to me. When searching for a meatless meal I still want to make sure that I'm getting a ton of nutrients and find something that will keep me full for a while.
These may look like real meatballs, but they are totally lentils! And they are totally filling and delicious and the lemon pesto really is the icing on the cake (or the sauce on the meatball).
I found this recipe after I stumbled upon the blog Sprouted Kitchen. My gosh is this lady fantastic. All of her recipes are fresh and whole foods that are good for your body and filling.
The original recipe called for Parmesan cheese in the meatballs, but I accidentally used all of mine in the pesto and Goat's Milk Gouda was all I had in the fridge. It was still a hard cheese so I think it worked pretty darn well.
Lentil Meatballs in Lemon Pesto
Adapted by: Sprouted Kitchen
2 cups cooked lentils
2 lightly beaten eggs
3/4 cup whole milk ricotta
1/4 cup grated Goats Milk Gouda
1 large minced clove of garlic
1/2 t crushed fennel seed
2 T finely chopped fresh parsley
2 t fresh thyme1 t Each Sea Salt and Pepper2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 cloves of rough chopped garlic
1/2 cup of toasted pine nuts
1 lemon zested and juiced
2 cups of packed basil
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 t salt
pinch of black pepper
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1. Start by cooking the lentils. I normally do 1 cup lentils to 2 scant cups of water. (1 cup of dried lentils will make 2 cups of cooked lentils). Pour 1 cup of lentils onto a baking sheet and sort through them. Make sure you throw away any rocks or shriveled ones. Wash in a strainer and then put in a pot with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes - 1 hour depending on how old your lentils are. I simmered mine for about 30 minutes.
2. While the lentils are cooking let's make the pesto. In a food processor put the garlic, pine nuts, lemon zest and juice. Pulse until smooth. Add in basil, cheese, salt and pepper. Pulse until the basil starts to break up. Keep the food processor running and slowly drizzle oil in until everything is fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides a few times and pulse until you have the correct consistency.
3. When the lentils are done let them cool off for a few minutes before placing them into the food processor. (I washed my food processor from the pesto while they cooled a bit) Once cooled off pulse the lentils in the food processor until the turn into mush and set in a large mixing bowl.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
4. You might need to let the lentils cool for a bit more before adding in the egg (we don't want scrambled eggs in our meatballs!) So incorporate the remaining ingredients for the meatballs aside from the bread crumbs into the lentil mush. After all ingredients are fully incorporated add in the panko and let stand for 20-30 minutes. If the mixture seems too mushy add a tablespoon or two of breadcrumbs at a time (letting rest in between) until you can roll the lentil mixture into a 1" ball and it doesn't fall apart.
5. Bake for 20 minutes flipping the balls halfway through.
6. Top with pesto and enjoy :) I put a bed of arugula under mine and it seemed like the perfect peppery addition to these little guys.