These meatballs are loaded with flavor and have a texture you can really sink your teeth into!
Lentil Meatballs (recipe modified from Cooking for Peanuts)
(Makes 18 meatballs, slightly smaller than golf balls)
1/2 cup dried red lentils
2 large garlic cloves
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup grated carrot
1/2 Tablespoon tomato paste
2 Tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1. Soak the lentils in 2 cups water for two hours. Drain and rinse lentils.
2. Add lentils and remaining ingredients to a food processor or blender and pulse until well blended.
3. Set air fryer to 390 degrees F. Line basket with parchment paper.
4. Lightly grease or spray hands with olive oil. Using a small spoon, scoop out a spoonful of mixture and roll into a loose ball (mixture will be very soft and mushy). Place in air fryer basket with 1/2 inch space between each meatball as the mixture will spread. Cook for 10 minutes.
5. Open air fryer basket and very carefully and quickly pick up each ball (they will be hot!) and re-roll each one to maintain round shape (they will have flattened some during cooking) then flip to the other side and return to basket.
6. Cook for another 10 minutes.
7. Set aside.
Quick Tomato Sauce
1 - 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1/3 cup water
2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons dried minced onion
1-1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1. Add all ingredients to small saucepan and heat thoroughly on medium-high heat, about 5-7 minutes.
2. Using a potato masher or immersion blender, mash or blend ingredients lightly, but don't break down tomatoes completely so that sauce is slightly chunky. Taste and adjust spices and salt if desired.
Add 6-8 meatballs to the sauce and mix well, making sure each meatball is coated well. Pour meatballs and sauce over 2 ounces cooked pasta of choice (I used Banza Penne Pasta). This amount will serve two. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast, cracked black pepper, crushed red pepper, shredded cheese of choice (I used Daiya Foods Mexican 4 Cheeze Blend, 'cause that's what I had on hand!) and fresh Italian parsley if desired.
(Refrigerate uneaten meatballs to use in another dish.)