I will give you a warning: making the bean balls is a messy process! You can’t be afraid to get your hands dirty because, like making actual meatballs, the best method to mix the ingredients together is by hand. On the bright side, you won’t be elbow deep in raw beef. Yet another reason to eat more vegetables 🙂 This is a really delicious meal that is fun and different. Use it to change up your usual pasta routine. Don’t forget the red wine!
Spaghetti Squash and Cinnamon Lentil Bean Balls
vegan, gluten free, dairy free
For the Spaghetti Squash:
1 spaghetti squash*
Preheat oven to 375 F. Cut a spaghetti squash in half long-wise, and scoop out all the seeds. Place skin side up in a baking pan filled with about 3/4 inch of water. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until tender when poked with a fork.
*One spaghetti squash will yield two servings (one half = one serving)
For the Cinnamon Lentil Bean Balls:
1 cup green lentils
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 14oz package baby bella mushrooms, cleaned and diced
1 medium onion, diced
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 carrot, chopped fine
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats (use certified gluten free if necessary)
1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
2 Tbsp ground flaxseed + 6 Tbsp water
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 heaping tsp dried oregano
1 heaping tsp dried parsley
1 heaping tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
3/4 sea salt
1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Prepare flax eggs by whisking the ground flaxseed with the water and put aside.
2. Add lentils and vegetable broth to a pot on high heat. Once it starts boiling, put a lid on it and turn the heat down to a simmer. Cook 15-20 minutes or until all the broth is absorbed. Let cool.
3. Add onions and carrots to a pan with olive oil. Saute on medium low heat for about 10 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, or until garlic is fragrant. Next add the spices and mushrooms. Cook for 2 minutes then remove from heat.
4. Place cooled lentils in the base of a food processor. Process until a paste forms, about 1 minute stopping every so often to scrape down the sides. It does not have to be completely smooth.
5. In a large bowl add processed lentils, sautéed vegetables, toasted walnut pieces, and flax eggs. Mix with hands until everything is well incorporated.
6. Using a 1/4 cup muffin scoop (or eyeball measurement with a big spoon), scoop out veggie mixture and roll into round balls before placing on the prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour, flipping the bean balls over after 40 minutes.
To Assemble Spaghetti Squash and Cinnamon Lentil Bean Balls:
Take roasted spaghetti squish and using a fork, flake the squash “noodles” away from the skin.
Add desired amount of meatballs on top of the prepared squash. You can either leave it in the skin, or remove the skin and serve it piled on a plate.
Top with desired amount of marinara sauce, and enjoy!