Kia ora, koutou – apologies for the sporadic posts; it’s been a busy time in our whare with whanaunga visiting, trips around and off the motu, and general life business. Hoping to post recipes more regularly this year but time will tell I guess! I am a bit more active on the Kaimangatanga instagram account – so be sure to take a look at that for some more recipe ideas and whakaaro about plant-based, low-waste living.
I came across these lentil balls last year and I adapted them so they’re a bit easier (using stuff we already have in the pantry). They’ve been an awesome addition to our weekly meals. They freeze really well and are versatile too – so I’ve cooked them with a tomato-based sauce and served with pasta, as well as adding them to a curry sauce and serving with rice. I’ve also seen a few recipes which pair these with roast vegetables and cashew gravy, or alter the spice mix to have them in pita breads or wraps.
Kīnaki (serves 2-3)
- 1 cup dried brown lentils
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 3 cloves diced garlic
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme (or basil, oregano)
- 3 cups water or vegetable stock
- 1 cup nuts finely chopped (I stick ours in the blender) – I use a mix of whatever I have in the cupboard – peanuts, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 4 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes (not essential but these add a nice savoury flavour and are also a good source of B12)
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce or liquid aminos
- 1 /2 teaspoon salt
Heat some olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat and then add onion, garlic and herbs and paprika. Stir in the lentils and add the water or vegetable stock if using. Bring the mix to the boil over a medium heat and then reduce to simmer the lentils etc. Cook until the lentils are well cooked (they’ll start breaking up a bit). Check them regularly to make sure the water doesn’t evaporate entirely (add more if needed). Stir in garlic, thyme, parsley, paprika, and lentils to coat.
Preheat oven to 160 degrees celsius. Prep a baking tray with some baking paper.
Drain the cooked lentils/onions and put into a large bowl. Add the chopped nuts, flour, flaxseed, yeast, aminos/soy, and salt.
Form scoops of the mixture into balls and place on the baking paper (I usually get about 20-25 out of this mix so there is enough to use and some to freeze).
Bake for about 30 minutes, turning over half way through (they turn brown and go a little crispy).