Lentil Veggie Nuggets - Protein-Rich and Healthy Carbohydrates
In a bid to get my vegetarian daughter’s protein intake up I found this recipe containing red lentils. A lot of veggie nugget recipes use potato but red lentils are a better option because they are an excellent source of dietary fibre and are also a really good source of iron, protein and some B Vitamins.
It’s becoming widely recognised that the consumption of dried beans, peas and lentils can have a positive impact on diet quality and health, including decreasing the chances of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Below you can see how lentils stack up nutritionally-speaking when compared to other nutritious whole grains:
This recipe makes around 16 large nuggets and it's good idea to make a double batch and freeze some before baking. Serve with dipping sauce such as hummus, guacamole, sweet chilli or plain yoghurt. Great for lunch time plate with some fresh veggie fingers or dinner with handmade chips and salad. You can also put them in a wrap or burger bun with favourite toppings. All my family enjoyed these, even my eldest chicken loving daughter.
Lentil Veggie Nuggets Recipe
150g (1 cup) dried red lentils 2 slices wholemeal bread (or substitute with dried bread crumbs) 1 medium carrot, grated 1 small courgette, grated 75g (1 cup) grated cheddar cheese (optional but adds flavour) 50g (1/2 cup) frozen peas and sweetcorn
Soak the lentils in cold water for 3-4 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 200c / 400f and line two baking trays with parchment paper.
Blitz the bread in a food processor or bullet until it reaches a breadcrumb consistency.
Put the breadcrumbs into a bowl and put to one side.
Drain the lentils well and add them to the food processor with the grated carrot and courgette. Blitz until all the lentils have broken down and the ingredients are well combined.
Add in the breadcrumbs, grated cheese, frozen peas and corn and dried herbs and mix by hand.
Form the mixture into approximately 16 golf ball sized balls. Place on the baking tray and flatten with a spoon.
Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, turning after 15 minutes.
IMPORTANT: Allow the nuggets to cool for 10 minutes on the tray before serving (this helps them to firm up).
Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 48 hours. The nuggets can also be frozen before cooking. Freeze in a single layer on a plate or tray and then transfer to a freezer bag. Bake from frozen adding an extra 5 minutes to the cooking time.