Cauliflower is such a versatile vegetable. It has its own distinct taste, but it can easily be paired with spicy, savory, and even sweeter flavours. Being a cruciferous vegetable, cauliflower is very hearty, and can stand up to sauces and dressings without becoming too soft or mushy, which makes it perfect to use in place of rice.
I am always looking for ways to create new and inspiring recipes that have the flavours of favourite comfort foods but are healthier versions packed with nutrition. This one meets the bill. It delivers the richness of homemade meatballs in tomato sauce in a lighter way. I used lamb in this recipe and the meat is nice and lean, the addition of lentils provides fibre and additional iron and protein, and the parsley provides a good source of vitamin C, which helps the body absorb iron.
This is a perfect recipe to try if you are looking at increasing your child's iron and fibre intake. These meatballs can be served with traditional pasta or with spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles to get even more vegetables into your family's diet. These would also make a great appetizer served with some garlic toasts or crusty bread.
LAMB AND LENTIL MEATBALLS
Author: Andrea Carpenter, RD
Recipe Type: Entrees, Apps
Serving: 20-24 meatballs
- 1 bunch parsley, chopped
- 1 small can lentils, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 pound ground lamb
- 2 eggs
- 1 Tbsp grated parmesan
- 2 Tbsp breadcrumbs (GF alternative would be ground flax, almond meal, or ground walnuts)
- 1/2 Tbsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp ground pepper
- Pinch of salt
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
- 1 jar stewed tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp honey
- 1/2 tsp chili flakes
- 2 tsp of dried oregano, basil, and parley or 1-2 tsp each fresh oregano, basil, parley, chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Prepare the sauce first by chopping the tomatoes and adding to a saucepan with the olive oil on medium heat.
- Next, add the stewed tomatoes, garlic, honey, chili flakes and herbs. Heat through and bring to a simmer. Taste the sauce, and adjust the season by adding salt and pepper, to taste.
- Let cook for 10 minutes more, adjusting the seasoning as needed.
- In a large bowl, add all the meatball ingredients and combine well, using your hands.
- Once thoroughly mixed, form into balls, using your hands. Try not to pack them too hard. Doing this will create more tough meatballs (and we want light and fluffy!).
- Place the meatballs in a casserole dish, 1/2 inch apart.
- Top with the prepared tomato sauce or use your favourite marinara sauce.
- Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.
LOVE THE RECIPE?
I would love to hear what you think of the Lamb and Lentil Meatballs. Take a picture if you make it at home, and share it on Instagram with #NKkitchen so I can see!