My Favorite Food: Rotini and Lentil Balls

A delicious, healthy take on an old favorite with the power of lentils. I included the nutrition data for the entire meal, to show how healthy and complete a vegan meal can be.

The gluten in the lentil balls gives the best texture for me on the stovetop. If you are sensitive to gluten, you can substitute oatmeal–pulse it in the blender first–or oat flour; cooked rice–again, pulse it in the blender–or rice flour, or cooked quinoa or amaranth–those last two are both very “sticky.”  You can also broil the lentil balls for about 12-15 minutes or bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Broiling or baking will likely give you a firmer texture without the gluten. (It is just too hot here in Arizona for me to use the oven!) Refrigerating the mixture for a few hours or overnight before cooking also helps.

Lentil Balls

1/2 cup almonds
1 cup vital wheat gluten
2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
4 teaspoons flaxseed meal
4 teaspoons dried parsley
1 Tablespoon onion powder
1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons celery seed
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large carrot, grated
8 ounces mushrooms
2 cups cooked lentils
2 Tablespoons ketchup
2 teaspoons olive oil

1. Grind the almonds in a food processor or blender; add to a large bowl.

2. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix.

3. Grate the carrots and the mushrooms (or pulse in the food processor or blender) and add to the bowl.

4. Add the lentils and the ketchup.

5. Mix and mash together well.

6. Form into 48 balls.

7. Spray a little olive oil on a non-stick griddle and place 12 balls on it at a time.

8. Cook, turning frequently, until browned on all sides.

9. Continue cooking remaining mixture, or refrigerate until later.

Servings: 8

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 50 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Serving size: 1/8 of a recipe (5.4 ounces).

Whole Wheat Pasta

10 oz pasta, whole wheat

1. Choose pasta shape you prefer: penne, bow ties, elbows, spaghetti, angel hair or linguini, etc.

2. Bring water to a boil over high heat, using at least twice as much water as the amount of pasta. Do not add any salt to water.

3. Add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but not soft, about 8 to 10 minutes.

4. Drain pasta, and add to recipe or serve (do not rinse).

Servings: 10

Pasta Topping

1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 cup sesame seeds, toasted
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 tsp salt

1. Blend ingredients until completely ground and use as you would parmesan cheese.

Servings: 20

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Serving size: 1/20 of a recipe (0.3 ounces).
Garden Salad

12 cups mixed salad greens
24 cherry tomatoes
12 tablespoons fat-free vinaigrette

Servings: 6

Serving size: 1/6 of a recipe (7.6 ounces).

Nutrition for one serving of entire meal
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from menu items.

Amount Per Serving
Calories 511.77
Calories From Fat (26%) 132.19
% Daily Value
Total Fat 15.61g (24%)
Saturated Fat 1.73g (9%)
Cholesterol 0mg (0%)
Sodium 1415.63mg (59%)
Potassium 1486.27mg (42%)
Total Carbohydrates 66.85g (22%)
Fiber 13.06g (52%)
Sugar 16.62g
Net Carbohydrates 53.79g
Protein 33.03g (66%)
Vitamin A 2622.88IU (52%)
Vitamin C 57.78mg (96%)
Calcium 203.89mg (20%)
Iron 7.71mg (43%)
Vitamin E 4.9mg (49%)
Thiamin 3.54mg (236%)
Riboflavin 0.39mg (23%)
Niacin 27.17mg (136%)
Vitamin B6 3.72mg (186%)
Folate 316.03mcg (79%)
Vitamin B12 2.7mcg (45%)
Phosphorus 480.79mg (48%)
Magnesium 171.93mg (43%)
Zinc 4.59mg (31%)
Copper 1.05mg (53%)
Manganese 2.1mg (105%)
Selenium 41.51mcg (59%)

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