If there are any Italian Nonnas out there reading my post, I'm sorry. I know what you're thinking Basta! Ma, che sei grullo?! (and now you're probably laughing at my horrendous Italian)
Yeah yeah, I know.. but that's why I said Italian Style, Nonna!
And if you're not Italian, I'm hoping (because my Italian is really rusty) that I just said;
Basta! = Enough!
Ma, che sei grullo?! = Are you crazy/silly/stupid/joking?!
Whilst these lentil bites are definitely not a traditional Italian recipe or made with traditional Italian ingredients, I can promise it's highly likely they'll become a weekly tradition for you too.
These baked lentil bites are jam-packed with nutritional goodness but taste like cheesy, garlic-y, herby balls of goodness... but they have a secret. In fact, there's no cheese in these babies - or dairy, for that matter.
They are vegan meatless meatballs that are perfect for enjoying on their own, on top of salads, served on top of pasta or however you fancy - and they're addictingly delicious.
Inspired by my favourite falafel recipe, they're super simple to make and are a huge hit with even the fussiest of eaters.
They're crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside and don't be surprised if they disappear before your eyes!
Best of all? They are SO easy to make and can even be made into veggie burgers if you don't feel like rolling or scooping!
So let me share the recipe with you! >>
Vegan Italian Style Baked Lentil Bites
makes 12-16 small bites, easily multiplied
a low fat, gluten free, grain free, vegan, healthy
egg free, dairy free & clean eating recipe
1 small onion (~75g of onion), peeled
1-2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 can of lentils, drained (about 220g or 1 cup of lentils)
2-3 tbsp of fresh basil and parsley, chopped (I also add oregano)
1/4 cup (15g) nutritional yeast
2 tbsp (~15g) almond meal/almond flour
Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat your oven to 180C/355F
- Line a large baking sheet with baking paper and set aside.
- Add your onion to your food processor, pulsing until chopped.
- Add in your garlic and lentils, pulsing until your lentils are broken up.
- Add in all of your remaining ingredients, mixing until combined.
- If you mix is too wet, add a little extra almond meal (or 2 tbsp ground flax or 1 tbsp coconut flour - we've tried all the options and they all work) so it's just firm enough to pick up with your fingertips. The mix will be very moist, however, this is how you want it!
- Pinch of bits of your mix and roll into balls (or scoop with a tablespoon), placing each of the balls onto your prepared tray.
- Leave just a little bit of room between each bite so they don't stick together, however, they won't spread so you don't need too much extra room.
- Bake for ~25-35 minutes or until the outsides are golden and crunchy. They may feel a little soft, but don't worry! They'll firm up when they cool.
- Allow to cool slightly before serving and enjoying - or allow the bites to cool completely before storing in an airtight container in the fridge to enjoy later.
- Enjoy them on their own, on top of pasta or smothered with sauce or however you fancy! The bites will keep in the fridge for up to a week and can be eaten cold or reheated and re-crisped in the oven when you're ready to eat them.
But tell me, did you learn a language at school?
And are you a fan of cuisine fusion like me?
AKA: pretending things are a certain style when they're really just your Frankenstein concoction?! ;)
and as for languages, I learnt Italian, German and French but my knowledge of each of the three is seriously rusty!