Now that a certain sporting event is finally over, it’s time to get back to eating proper meals that require a fork and a plate! I can’t believe that I’m saying this, but I’m actually experiencing cauliflower wing burnout. In honor of returning to satisfying, light, and healthy meals, I’m sharing this recipe for spaghetti and lentil balls with you today. Instead of traditional pasta I served up the lentil balls with House Foods Tofu Shirataki Spaghetti.
This post is sponsored by House Foods. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this site.
I haven’t used shirataki noodles on my website before, although I cook with them often at home. As a quick intro, shirataki noodles are made from a type of Asian yam called konjac which is naturally low in carbohydrates and calories. House Foods Tofu Shirataki is made of konjac and tofu, making it slightly chewier than traditional shirataki but still very light. The flavor is neutral, making the noodles an ideal vehicle for sauces and broths of all sorts.
I first started making this recipe back when I was in college, and became more interested in healthy eating. One day at Whole Foods I spotted House Foods shirataki in the refrigerator section and bought them on a whim. I used the noodles in a healthy spaghetti meal, and they did not disappoint! The texture is not precisely like wheat-based spaghetti. It’s a little more slippery and chewy – but delicious all the same.
Because shirataki noodles are very light, there’s more room on my plate for the nutrition powerhouse of the meal: these lentil balls. I can eat a huge plate of noodles, an ample serving of lentil balls too, and not slip into a food coma.
Note: Most lentil ball recipes will call for oats or breadcrumbs to hold them together. I wanted to keep these completely grain-free so I opted to use walnuts to add some texture. Nevertheless, they’re a little on the delicate side, so heed my cooking instructions carefully, or feel free to add a grain-based binding agent according to your preference. If you make this shirataki spaghetti with lentil balls recipe, please let me know how you like it! Tag me with @yupitsvegan and #yupitsvegan on Intagram, or leave a comment below.
Spaghetti and Lentil Balls
For the baked lentil balls:
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion , diced
- 1 large carrot , diced
- 4 cloves garlic , minced
- 1 and 1/2 cups cooked green lentils (equal to one standard can, drained well)
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp dried oregano
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 cup walnuts
For the spaghetti:
- 8 oz House Foods Tofu Shirataki Spaghetti
- 1 cup tomato-based pasta sauce of choice (I went with an Arrabbiata style sauce)
- hemp parmesan optional, for serving
For the baked lentil balls
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly spray the parchment paper with oil.
In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and carrot, and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until both are softened. Add the garlic and cook for another 60 seconds, until fragrant.
Use a spatula to transfer the vegetable mixture, including any residual oil, into a food processor. Add the cooked lentils, pepper, oregano, nutritional yeast, and tomato paste, and pulse to combine. Finally, add the walnuts and continue to pulse until the walnuts are crumbled. Add other seasoning to the mixture to taste. (If you did not use canned lentils, you will probably need to add salt).
The mixture will be fairly soft, but form it into small lentil balls as best you can, placing them on the baking sheet with plenty of space between them.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. If the lentil balls are firm enough, carefully flip them over after 25 to 30 minutes before continuing baking. Let the lentil balls cool for 5 to 10 minutes before gently removing them from the sheet with the help of a spatula.
For the spaghetti:
Meanwhile, drain the package of tofu shirataki, and rinse the noodles. Either microwave the noodles for 1 minutes, or boil them for 3 minutes. Use kitchen shears or a sharp knife to cut the noodles to a shorter length for eating (half is fine).
In a small sauce pan with no oil or liquid, cook the noodles over medium heat for about 7-8 minutes, stirring them frequently. You will see the noodles releasing steam, and want them to end up dry but still supple.
Add your tomato sauce, stir, and bring it to a steady simmer to heat the sauce. Reduce the heat to low to keep the spaghetti warm while you wait for the lentil balls to be done.
Serve a generous portion of spaghetti with around 1/3 of the lentil balls, topped with hemp parmesan if desired. Leftover lentil balls keep in the fridge for a couple of days - store after cooling to room temperature.
This post is sponsored, but as always, all writing and opinions are my own. For more information about my sponsored content, please see my advertisement policy.