Lentil Ricotta "Meat"balls

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I love these not-meat meatballs and they make a perfect meal for young feeders (baby led weaning- style or toddler snacks). The original recipe can be found on the blog In Jennies Kitchen but I modified it slightly. I do indeed make the ricotta instead of buying it, mainly because it's not nearly as hard as it seems, it's delicious, and it also makes me feel very fancy!

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Lentil-Ricotta “Meat”balls

Serves 2 adults and 1 baby with leftovers

Ingredients:

1 cup cooked lentils, pureed

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1/3 cup plain breadcrumbs

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/4 cup fresh ricotta (or store bought is fine too)

4 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon chopped parsley

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. (I suggest making the lentils and the ricotta yourself as it’s pretty easy to do. A quick google search will pull up several options for ricotta recipes, but I like the one from Smitten Kitchen. I use the lentil recipe from In Jennies Kitchen. Otherwise, Trader Joes has pre-cooked lentils and you can find ricotta anywhere.) Mix all ingredients in a bowl, cover and put in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to an hour. Take out of fridge, form into 1.5” balls, brush with olive oil and put on a lined baking sheet. Cook in the oven for 15 minutes, flip them and continue cooking for an additional 15 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool, and serve to baby as is. For adults: simmer “meat”balls in a sauce of your choice (any marinara is fine) for 5 minutes and serve over pasta

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You can also add bits of veggies, like broccoli, zucchini, peas, corn, etc. to the mix, prior to baking, to give them more nutrients.

These are great as a quick snack, easy to throw into a quick lunch (especially easy for day care lunches!) or perfect with pasta. My husband and I love them in a salad (sort of like a falafel) or soaked in marinara sauce served over spaghetti.

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For a very quick, easy lunch on days I work and my daughter goes to day care: in morning, I pop some frozen broccoli and a few "meat"balls into a container . These will get heated together briefy to serve warm. My daughter loves feeding them to herself.

#easybabyledweaningmeals #easytoddlerlunches #lentilricottameatballs #selffeeding

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