Spaghettios & Lentil Meatballs

I'm a huge sucker for Chef Boy R Dee canned spaghettios.  So when I went vegan, I was excited to find a good homemade spaghettios recipe! This recipe made a very large batch, it's healthy and the boys loved it!  The meatballs are made out of lentils, which is my new obsession.  and I have more lentil recipes coming!  (chili, sloppy joes, soup, tacos...seriously, I can't get enough.)  
Lentils in soup? check.  Lentils in potstickers? check.  Lentils in meatballs?  check! 

Spaghettios & Lentil Meatballs
From theppk.com

for the sauce:
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 24oz cans crushed tomatoes with basil
1/4 cup cashews, soaked in water (for at least 1 hour, up to overnight)
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast

for the meatballs:
1 clove garlic
1 small onion, quartered
1 1/2 cup cooked lentils (brown or green)
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp vital wheat gluten flour
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp olive oil
2 tbsp water
1/2 cup store-bought breadcrumbs

1 lb small pasta of your choice
olive oil

For the sauce:  In a large pot, saute onions in olive oil with a pinch of salt over medium heat until translucent and soft.  Add the garlic and saute for another minute.  Add in the pepper, oregano, salt and brown sugar.  Cook for 2 minutes, until the sugar has melted.  Add the tomatoes, cashews and nutritional yeast.  Cover and cook for 20 minutes.  

In a food processor, immersion blender or regular blender, puree the sauce until smooth.  Keep the sauce warm on the stove until ready to use.

For the meatballs:  In a food processor, chop the garlic until minced.  Add in the onion and chopped until finely diced.  You don't want any big chunks.  Transfer the onion/garlic mixture to a large bowl and set aside.  

Again in the food processor, process together the lentils, nutritional yeast, wheat gluten, soy sauce, tomato paste, olive oil and water until smooth.  Add this mixture into the bowl with the garlic and onions, and add in the breadcrumbs.  Mix together with your hands until it all sticks together.  

Preheat oven to 350.  Roll the meatballs into cherry sized balls.  Preheat a large skillet over medium heat with olive oil.  Brown the meatballs in the skillet, working in batches so not to overcrowd them.  Once all the meatballs are browned, transfer them to a baking sheet.  Bake 18-20 minutes.

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Add the cooked pasta to the sauce.  Add baked meatballs in and toss, being careful to not break the meatballs.


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