You can’t have budget month without include lentils, the star budget protein. These lentil meatballs are delicate, being soft in the middle and crispy on the outside. You can serve them in a wrap, with pasta and a marinara sauce or my favorite, in a Buddha bowl.
These Buddha bowls are made of a lot of components, making it seem more complicated than it is. Once you’ve made the lentil meatballs, the rest is simply roasting, saucing or chopping vegetables, which you can do while the lentils bake.
To tie a Buddha bowl together you need a sauce, and a simple Avocado herb sauce does the trick. It’s thick, creamy and bright and tastes great mixed in with everything.
It makes 5 small servings (or 4 big ones) and it can either be served as one or divided into jars or containers for a weeks’ worth of meals. It tastes good cold, so you don’t have to reheat!
Lentil Meatball Buddha Bowls
- 1 C lentils uncooked (makes 3 cups cooked)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion
- 1/2 C fresh parsley
- 1/2 C oat flour (gluten free if you follow a GF diet)
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 700g sweet potato peeled and sliced (aprox 4-5 sweet potatoes)
- 4 carrots peeled and julienned
- 5 baby marrows peeled and julienned
- 1 baby/small red cabbage
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Avocado Parsley Sauce
- 3 avocado peeled and pits removed
- 1/2 lemon juice juiced
- 1/2 fresh parsley
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
- salt and pepper to taste
To Make the Lentil Meatballs
- Cook the lentils according to the package instructions. I pre-soaked them for an hour and boiled them in a small pot for 30 minutes, until they were soft. Once cooked, drain and rinse. You can do this ahead of time.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees c.
- Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, and add in the chopped onion. Sauté for 5-8 minutes, until the onions are golden brown and soft. When cooked, transfer the onions to a food processer. You can keep the frying pan to cook the carrots and marrows.
- Add the cooked lentils, oat flour, and rest of the ingredients to the food processor. Pulse a few times until it’s properly combined and a turns to a nice sticky texture. Do not overmix, make sure they can still be shaped into sturdy balls. Refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes, to let the mixture firm up.
- Brush a baking tray with oil, or line it with baking paper.
- Scoop 1 ½ tablespoons of the lentil mixture into a ball and place on the baking tray. Repeat until the mixture is finished. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until they’re golden brown and nicely firm.
To make the Buddha bowl
- You can prepare the rest of the ingredients while the lentil meatballs are cooking.
- Add the sliced sweet potato to a bowl and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix to combine. Spread the slices on a baking tray. Make sure not to overlap the slices for even cooking. Bake for 20-30 minutes until soft and slightly browning at the edges.
- Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan (or the pan you used to cook the onions). Add in the julienned carrots and baby marrow and sauté for 5-8 minutes, until they are tender but firm. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the shredded cabbage to a small mixing bowl. Add lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and toss
To make the Avocado Parsley Sauce
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
To assemble the bowls
- Divide the roasted sweet potato, carrot and baby marrow noodles, cabbage and lentil meatballs between 5 bowls. Top with a heaped serving of avocado sauce.