Comfort food gets a guilt-free makeover with this dinner that resembles meat and refined starch but is packed with vegetables.
Fresh Living Magazine ran a recipe in their September 2016 issue for beetroot and lentil balls. The texture and flavour were great, but I’ve improved on their method to streamline the cooking process. The preparation (listed below) can be done hours or even a day or two in advance, taking pressure off you just before you want to cook the balls and serve them piping, crispy hot.
Fresh Living served the balls with rice and a minty yoghurt dip (yum), but I can’t resist the etymologically cheeky take of courgetti and beetballs. Use my recipe for courgetti here and simply slice it thinner if you prefer, but I rather like it chunky. Toss with a Napolitano sauce (home made or bottled – no one’s judging) and top with the beetballs.
2 cups cooked brown lentils
1 cup breadcrumbs
3 medium beetroots
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Tbs curry powder
1 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Boil lentils in water; drain.
- While food processor is still clean and dry, blitz breadcrumbs (leftover challah or baguette is perfect for this; otherwise use 2 slices of regular bread – white or whole wheat)
- Install a fine grater blade and grate the beetroot. Place the grated beetroot in a colander with a bowl below (to catch the liquid) and another bowl above (to weigh down with cook books or a heavy utensils canister). Drain as much juice as you can (drink this).
- Return the blending blade to the food processor and pulse all the ingredients together (lentils, breadcrumbs, beetroot, garlic, curry powder, salt and pepper).
- Roll the mixture into balls, squeezing out any excess liquid if necessary.
- Bake on a greased baking tray for 20 minutes at 190°C.
Note: For a completely gluten-free version, try replacing the breadcrumbs with almond- or chickpea flour.