I found this recipe for vegan meatballs on My Vegan Cookbook. I have no idea if they taste like meatballs, but they are DELICIOUS!  I doubled the recipe and used high heat canola oil instead of olive oil because most olive oils are not meant to be heated (see my post on oils).

  • 1 cup cooked lentils (measured as 1/2 cup uncooked)
  • 2 cup cooked brown rice (measured as 2/3 cup uncooked)
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 3/4 cup wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons dry onion flakes
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons high heat canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon  lemon juice

Put all ingredients in a bowl and use your hands to mix very well. Spray a cookie sheet with high heat canola oil. Take about 2 tablespoons of the mixture and roll it into a ball with your hands. Place on the cookie sheet. (I rinsed my hands a few times between ball rolling because the mixture starts to stick to your hands. Slightly wet hands make rolling easy.) When you are getting close to finishing,  preheat the oven to 300 degrees.   Place into the oven and cook 15 minutes on one side. Turn the balls and cook 15 more minutes. After cooking, let the balls sit for 2-3 minutes and then remove them from the cookie sheet. Cool on a rack. Once cooled, you can refrigerate them for a few days. Microwave for a short time or drop into spaghetti sauce to heat. The balls stay together really well. Makes 24 balls.

I found these “meatballs” to be extremely filling. I can only eat 3 of them, but my rock-climbing/mountain-biking/calorie-buring husband ate 11! One ball has 64 calories, 2.3 g fat, 0 saturated fat, and 2.5 grams of protein. They are very easy to make, but a bit time consuming because you have to boil brown rice and lentils. They are definitely worth the effort.

The “cheesy” topping is our cashew cheese (recipe here).

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Vegans are often asked this question.

Protein is an important component of every cell in the body; it is the building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. Your body uses protein to maintain and repair tissue and to make enzymes and hormones. Protein is crucial for your immune system, heart, and respiratory functions. (info from WebMD)

I need about 50 grams of protein per day, and I easily meet or exceed this amount.

To calculate your protein (and other nutrient) needs, go to NutritionData’s Daily Needs Calculator.

Some sources of protein for us include:
18 grams = 1 cup of lentils
15 grams = 1 cup black beans
11 grams = ¼ of a package of SoyBoy tofu
8 grams = sprouted grain English muffin
7 grams = ¼ cup almonds
5 grams = 1 cup brown rice
4 grams = 1 cup steamed broccoli

All plants contain protein; plants are so rich in protein that they can supply the protein needs of the earth’s largest animals: elephants, hippopotamuses, giraffes, and cows. So of course, the protein needs of humans can be met by eating only plants. Plants are the original source of protein; they can synthesize all of the amino acids that are used to build proteins, but animals cannot. (info from McDougall Newsletter)

For more information see Protein in a Vegan Diet.