Vegan Lentil Meatballs in Spiced Pumpkin Tomato Sauce

Vegan Lentil Meatballs in Spiced Pumpkin Tomato Sauce


My favorite childhood dish was the marinated meatballs in flavored tomato sauce that my grandmother was waiting for me with, when I was returning home from school. I remember having them hot, bathed in that amazing sauce and always responding with “marinated meatballs” when asked about the dish I wanted for the next day.

Vegan Lentil Meatballs in Spiced Pumpkin Tomato Sauce

Prep time  15 mins  Cook time  30 mins  Total time  45 mins
Crispy vegan lentil meatballs, bathed in spiced coconut tomato sauce and served with brown rice to provide your body complete protein, fiber and minerals.
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Vegan
Serves: 3

  • For the meatballs
  • 2 cups cooked lentils
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 large bunch fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp whole wheat breadcrumbs (replace with ground flax for a gluten-free variation)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • For the sauce
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and cubed (or 3-4 tbsp pumpkin puree)
  • ½ cup vegetable broth or purified water
  • ½ cup full fat coconut milk
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • ½ tsp red chilli flakes
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • To serve: cooked brown rice or quinoa, lime wedges
  • To garnish: coconut milk or yogurt, fresh parsley

  • Preheat the oven to 175 C/346 F.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In the food processor add the walnuts and pulse to obtain a crumble.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse four or five times to obtain a mixture with some crumbles for texture (don't over-process to avoid a mushy mixture).
  • Shape the mixture into little balls using your hands or a scoop and line them onto the baking sheet. You will get 10 - 12 balls.
  • Drizzle with coconut oil and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Prepare the tomato sauce meanwhile.
  • Add the onion and butternut cubes into a large cast iron skillet together with a tablespoon water and cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the tomato sauce, broth/water, coconut milk, spices and sugar, mix and bring to boil over medium heat.
  • Simmer for 10 minutes, then season with salt and pepper and use a hand blender to turn the sauce into a creamy liquid.
  • Remove the lentil balls from the oven and add them one by one into the sauce pan.
  • Garnish with coconut milk and fresh parsley, and serve with brown rice and lime wedges.

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