Lentil & hemp seed bites with a ‘Mediterranean vibe’

These tasty little bites are somewhere between a meatball substitute and a falafel. I think they are a brilliant showcase for how versatile pulses are for cooking with.

This recipe is also wonderfully nutritious, with the hemp seeds, lentils and quinoa all being plant-based protein sources. The hemp seeds are also packed with minerals and super healthy omega 3 & 6 essential fatty acids.

The lovely Lonely Lentil herb and spice combo I’ve used here is what gives these bites that tasty ‘Mediterranean vibe’!

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Ingredients:

• ½ cup red split lentils (equating to around 1 cup when cooked)

• ¼ cup quinoa (equating to around ½ cup when cooked)

• 3 tablespoons drained sun-dried tomatoes (from a jar)

• 1 tablespoon ground linseed (flax)

• 2-3 heaped tablespoons hemp seeds

• 1 tablespoon chickpea flour (or another flour of your choice)

• 1 heaped tablespoon nutritional yeast

• 1 heaped teaspoon dried oregano

• 1 heaped teaspoon dried mint

• 1 heaped teaspoon dried chives

  • 1 heaped teaspoon smoked paprika

• ½ teaspoon onion powder

• ½ teaspoon garlic powder

• ¼ teaspoon Maldon salt, or to taste

• 1/8 tsp black pepper, or to taste

• 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

Method:

  1. First, pre-cook the quinoa and lentils.

For the lentils: rinse thoroughly in a sieve and add to a pan of cold water. Bring to the boil before cooking for 6-8 minutes, or until soft. You may need to spoon out the white froth that settles on the surface of the water whilst cooking.

For the quinoa: rinse thoroughly in a sieve and add to a pan of water, with the water coming approx. an inch above the grain. Bring to the boil and cook for 10 minutes, before removing from the heat and placing a lid on the pan. Leave to sit in the covered pan for a further 8-10minutes, until all or most of the water has been absorbed.

  1. Once the lentils and quinoa have cooled, add all the ingredients apart from the breadcrumbs to a food processor. Pulse the mixture until it is well combined but still maintain some texture.
  2. Using your hands, form balls of the mixture and roll in the panko breadcrumbs (you can make approx. 12 balls).
  3. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and place the balls onto it. Bake for about 15 minutes in a preheated oven at 200 degrees C.

These bites go wonderfully well with sides such as guacamole and tomato chutney/salsa. They could also be used as a vegan alternative for meatballs with sauce. Get creative