Hawaiian Lentil ‘Neat Balls’ with Sweet and Spicy Dipping Sauce: Lentil Revelations Contest!
Remember that unrelenting winter we’ve been having? After taking a bite of these fun bite-sized ‘neat balls’, you just might forget it even happened.
The power of food is amazing, isn’t it? The pineapple flavour in these ‘neat balls’ will transport you to a tropical Hawaiian beach, and the spicy dipping sauce is sure to melt away the snow. Okay, so maybe that’s a bit of an over exaggeration but a girl can dream, right?
I am thrilled to be entering this recipe into the Lentil Recipe Revelations Challenge hosted by Canadian Lentils. The contest requires you to dream up and post a recipe for an awesome dish containing any variety of lentils to share with the lentil-loving (or lentil-curious) world! In the spirit of lentils, I did a bit of reading on the nutritional punch these little guys have to offer:
- a 1/2 cup of cooked lentils contains 30% of your daily fibreÂ intake, as much Â potassium as a large banana, and 45% of your daily requirement forÂ folate
- a 1/2 cup of lentils contains an impressive 9 gram of protein, or about 20% of your daily requirement!
- lentils are a snap to cook: simply simmer dried lentils in twice the amount of water for about 15 minutes, or until tender (no pre-soaking required)!
Now that you’re convinced of how great these pulses are, I’ll share with you the aforementioned recipe. This recipe is an all-around crowd pleaser; both the ‘neat balls’ and the dipping sauce are vegan, vegetarian, whole-foods friendly, and nut-free, and can easily be made gluten-free, wheat-free, and soy-free. Even though they’re free of many allergens and cater to dietary restrictions, what they do not lack is flavour!
Hawaiian Lentil ‘Neat Balls’ with Sweet and Spicy Dipping Sauce
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Keywords: bake fry appetizer sauce snack gluten-free nut-free soy-free sugar-free vegan vegetarian wheat-free lentils pineapple
Ingredients (Approx 16 ‘neat balls)
For the ‘neat balls’
- 1 tsp. coconut oil
- 1/2 c. sweet onion, diced
- 1 c. brown lentils, cooked
- 1/2 c. canned or fresh pineapple, diced
- 1/2 c. breadcrumbs (Panko, or gluten-free if required)
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
- 2 tbsp. ground flax seed
- 2 green onions, chopped
For the dipping sauce
- 1/2 c. dates, pitted (approx. 4 large Medjool)
- 1/4 c. canned or fresh pineapple, diced
- 1/2 c. pineapple juice (reserved from canned pineapple, or boxed)
- 1 tbsp. tomato paste
- 1/2 tsp. soy sauce or gluten-free tamari
- 1/2 tsp. blackstrap molasses
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp. dried basil
- 1/4 tsp. dried chili peppers (optional)
Cook lentils according to directions if using dried.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Heat a frying pan to medium heat and melt coconut oil. SautÃ© onion for 5 minutes.
If using canned pineapple, reserve juice and set aside.
Add onion, lentils, pineapple, breadcrumbs, and paprika to food processor. Pulse a few times, leaving a bit of texture.
Transfer mixture to a bowl and stir in flaxseed and chopped green onion.
With slightly wet hands, roll about a tablespoon of mixture into a ball. Place ‘neat balls’ spread apart on baking sheet, and bake for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine all dipping sauce ingredients in a small pot. Bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer.
Use a fork to mash the dates, and stir sauce occasionally. Simmer for about 10 minutes, or until desired consistency is reached.
I really hope you enjoy this recipe! If you would please take a minute to share this post on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc (sharing buttons are below!), and also leave a comment, I would be the happiest girl in the world! Also, be sure to check out the Lentils Canada Facebook page and ‘like’ my entry!