Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Big Bowl of ground beef

I formed this into meatballs and ate them plain last night:

This deceptively meaty looking mixture is actually not ground beef- it's boiled lentils (boiled in a 50% vegetable broth mixture, which made them a little more flavorful and a little less... beany), tomato paste, bread crumbs, an egg, garlic powder and italian seasoning. I got inspired by reading recipes for lentil patties (lentil veggie burgers, basically) and decided that if lentils could act as ground beef, they could make meatballs. I was also inspired by the (delicious) weirdness of Morningstar Farms' Veggie Meatballs, which are tasty but... meh. Nick thought they had an odd gumminess to them, and I would have to agree. Also, the ingredients list is... sketchy:
WATER, SOY FLOUR, SOY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, WHEAT GLUTEN, CORN OIL, CORNSTARCH, ONION, WHEAT PROTEIN, CONTAINS TWO PERCENT OR LESS OF SPICES, EGG WHITES, SALT, METHYLCELLULOSE, CARAMEL COLOR, YEAST EXTRACT, NATURAL FLAVOR, HYDROLYZED CORN PROTEIN, MODIFIED CORN STARCH, GUM ACACIA, HYDROLYZED WHEAT PROTEIN, HYDROLYZED SOY PROTEIN, CORN SYRUP SOLIDS, GUM ARABIC, AUTOLYZED YEAST EXTRACT, DISODIUM INOSINATE, DISODIUM GUANYLATE, ONION POWDER, TOMATO PASTE (TOMATOES, SALT, CITRIC ACID), THIAMIN HYDROCHLORIDE, CARRAGEENAN, GARLIC POWDER, DEXTROSE.
I rolled most of this mix into balls and baked them at 350 for ~30 minutes (I did not time it, I just poked them occasionally). I finished the rest by rolling in breadcrumbs and pan frying in olive oil. Those turned out nicely, crispy outer shell and hot inside. We had them with pasta and marinara and it was delicous. So yummy that I'm having leftovers for lunch today and for dinner tomorrow.

We're still trying to get back into the swing of normalcy after 4 weeks of abnormal living. Last night was some Tabata, a huge grocery run, and the veggie meatballs. I also have a bunch more lentils that I'm going to use as "taco meat" tonight most likely. Work is in a bit of an upheaval (when isn't it...) so I'm hoping Nick will be home to taste test them as well.

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