Serve these over spaghetti with your favorite tomato sauce or use them in meatless ball sandwiches. Double the recipe and freeze half (before baking) for future use.
Mini Lentil Balls
(adapted for the Sun Oven from The Meatball Shop)
1 cup dry lentils, picked over and rinsed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon salt
4 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 t0 1/2 cup dried bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts
Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Spray two mini-muffin pans with cooking spray, set aside.
Put the lentils in a pot with enough water to cover them by an inch (use very hot water for faster cooking) cover and cook in the Sun Oven until soft but not mushy, 35 to 45 minutes. Drain and let cool. Leave the Sun Oven out.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, thyme, and salt. Cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and continue cooking for about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until softened and the all the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl and let cool. When the vegetables are cool add the lentils followed by the egg, cheese, 1/4 cup of the bread crumbs, parsley, and walnuts. If the mixture is too moist add more bread crumbs as needed. Use your hands to mix until all the ingredients are well combined. Refrigerate the mixture for 25 minutes.
Roll the mixture into balls and place them in the prepared mini-muffin pans. Use a rack to separate the two pans and stack them in the Sun Oven. Bake until firm, about 45 minutes. Let rest in pans before serving.