When I had my token vegan friend over for dinner, I wanted to make something that wasn’t pizza – because I’ve done that over and over again. I had quinoa and I had lentils – but was there something I could do with both of them? I googled quinoa lentils and see what came up – typically meatballs and meatloaf although neither actually contained meat. I looked at a few recipes found here (SkinnyMS.com) here (Toni On! New York) that used egg or breadcrumbs (neither of which I had good subs for that were vegan. So, like most recipes I do, I just flew with my eyes closed until something magical happened in the kitchen.
I cooked the heirloom (red) quinoa and red split lentils together in the rice cooker (because I am terrible at cooking). I combined these two with the instructed amounts of water and used 2-3 packets of Massel vegetable seasoning. These cubes are lifesavers! I cooked the two until both were done. It’s a little soupy, but don’t be worried, they will harden up in the oven.
In addition to this mix, I add salt and pepper to taste, some dried basil, oregano, and other italian seasonings (you can buy the Spicely blend at Whole Foods) and a few cloves of garlic either chopped or pressed, and 3-5 white spring onions chopped fine. After the quinoa and lentils are cooked, I add them into a bowl with the seasonings and veggies. Adding in the eggs and/or breadcrumbs will help keep the meatball “muffins” intact, but there is a way to keep them together and still maintain the vegan-ness of them.
I throw them into the oven in cupcake pans until they harden, but I also tend to roast veggies (ex. cauliflower, potatoes, etc. – see picture below) at the same time (at 425 degrees), so that’s typically how I firm these “muffins” up. SInce it’s already cooked, you just need to give the veggies a chance to cook a little and the muffins to firm up. About 20-25 minutes should be good. They should be fully formed without being too soft in the middle. I tend to like them a little overcooked so the quinoa is crunchy on the ends like mom’s meatloaf!
While I think the veggies, garlic, and vegetable seasoning from Massel season these enough, non-GFBF thought these would be good with BBQ sauce, ketchup, or sriracha ketchup!
Enjoy the vegan love on your next Meatless Monday or vegan hangout!