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Plant-based 'meat' balls that are big on flavour and nutrition. This recipe makes use of some high-umami foods to help provide that 'meaty', savoury taste. No meat, no problem! 

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  • 1 cup dry brown lentils, pre-soaked

  • 500g cremini or button mushrooms, sunbathed and chopped

  • 1 white onion, chopped

  • 6 garlic cloves, minced

  • ¼ cup besan flour (can use wholewheat flour if not needing to make the recipe gluten-free)

  • 3 tbsp tamari sauce 

  • 130g tomato paste

  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast

  • 1 tsp dried oregano, crushed

  • 1 tsp onion powder

  • 2 tsp paprika

  • ½ tsp ground turmeric

  • ½ tsp ground ginger

  • Sea salt

  • 2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped

  • Wholewheat pasta of choice

  • Marinara Sauce (refer to separate recipe)

Chili Bowl


  1. In a large saucepan, combine lentils and 2 cups water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

  2. Add mushrooms, onion, and garlic. Cover and cook about 15 minutes more or until lentils are tender. Uncover and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated.

  3. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Cook uncovered, over low about 10 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed and the pan is very dry, stirring occasionally. (Ensure lentils do not scorch.) Spread mixture into a shallow baking pan; cool completely.

  4. Preheat oven to 120°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop out 2 tbsp lentil mixture, shape into a ball, and place in prepared pan. Repeat to make about 20 lentil balls. Bake for 45 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp.

  5. Cook pasta according to package directions. In a saucepan, cook/heat marinara sauce. Drain pasta, return to pot and toss with 3 cups of the warm marinara sauce.

  6. To serve, top pasta with lentil balls and top with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle with basil.

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