Makes 12 balls:
For the meatballs:
2-3 Tbsp water or no-salt vegetable broth
1/2 cup onion, diced
3 cloves roasted garlic (25 minutes at 180 degrees until soft), mashed
1/4 cup celery, diced (or if you’re out of celery use watercress or kale)
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced (1 Tbsp dried parsley if you’re out of stock)
1/4 tsp dried sage
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1.5 cups of cooked lentils or 1 can lentils (ensure no added salt or sugar)
1/4 cup of cooked brown rice
2-3 Tbsp of tomato paste (or use the puree from the marinara sauce tomato)
2 Tbsp of coconut flour (or a buckwheat or wholegrain flour if you don’t have it)
2 Tbsp of no-salt seasoning (I use a soy seasoning)
2 Tbsp of nutritional yeast (if you can find it – I didn’t bother)
ground black peppercorns to taste
If the lentils are uncooked, rinse them and put 1 cup of raw lentils in a sauce pan with 1.5 cups of water and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 20 minutes until all the water is gone.
While doing this, saute 3 Tbsp of water in a frying pan. Add the mashed garlic, onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add the celery, parsley, sage, basil and oregano and saute for another 5 minutes, adding water as required to stop from sticking. Allow to cool slightly and place all pan ingredients with the lentils in a food processor and process (or just mash well with a fork).
Remove the ingredients from the processor into a large bowl and add all remaining ingredients (coconut flour, seasoning, pepper, rice, nutritional yeast and tomato paste). Mix well.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (350 F) and wet your hands form the mix into meat balls about the size of a golf ball. Place the balls on baking paper or a lightly greased tray and bake for 30 minutes.
Serve with a marinara sauce (below) on a bed of brown rice or wholegrain pasta or enjoy as a side dish on their own.
For the marinara sauce:
2 x 400g cans of whole tomatoes and their juice, blended
¼ cup of coconut oil (olive oil will do if you don’t have any)
1/4 red onion, diced finely
4 cloves of garlic, diced finely
5 large leaves of freshly chopped basil
2 tsp of dried oregano
ground peppercorns to season
1/2 cup red wine (optional but very nice)
Chop the garlic into small pieces.
Heat the oil over a medium heat in a medium sized frying pan.
Add the garlic and onion and fry gently until light brown.
Then add the oregano, chopped basil, ground peppercorns and stir the ingredients to mix thoroughly.
Blend the tomatoes or mash them under a chunky sauce and add to the pan.
Bring the mixture to the boil and add the red wine, stirring occasionally.
Once the sauce begins to boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 10 20 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. (Remember that the longer you simmer the more it will thicken and the quality of your tomatoes plays a big role in this process. Many good sauces simmer for 6-8 hours to thicken.)
The sauce is now ready to serve or can be stored in an airtight container until needed.