These Lentil Balls in Sweet and Sour Sauce from the new cookbook The Make Ahead Vegan are the perfect party fare! They also make a delicious main meal served over rice!
I am so excited to share this cookbook, The Make Ahead Vegan by Ginny McMeans, with you today. I have gotten to know Ginny pretty well over the last year and both she and her recipes are wonderful! Her recipes are perfect for busy families, as they are ALL freezer friendly. Make up a double or triple batch, freeze your leftovers and enjoy the fact that homemade food is always at your fingertips. Keep reading for my full review of Ginny’s cookbook, the recipe for her Lentil Balls in Sweet and Sour Sauce, and even a giveaway you can enter to win your very own copy of the cookbook (plus some extras!).
Freezer Meals Make Dinner Easy
When your freezer is stocked with homemade food, there is no excuse for not eating well. Ginny expertly explains for each recipe how to store it in the fridge, freeze it for later, and how to thaw, reheat and/or bake after being frozen. There are recipes for not only breakfast, lunch and dinner, but also, party foods, side dishes, condiments and sauces, snacks and desserts! Whatever it is you are craving, this book has got you covered!
Take a Look Inside
Let’s take a peak inside at the chapters and some of the delicious recipes you’ll find in each one:
Party Pleasers: Cauliflower Chickpea Pizza Bites, Spinach Artichoke Dip, Soft Cinnamon-Sugar Pretzel Bites
Wake Up & Eat: Chocolate Layered Cinnamon Rolls, Energy Date Muffins, Loaded Breakfast Burritos
To Warm You From The Inside Out: Poblano Chiles Pinto Bean Soup, Creamy Mushroom Tomato Soup, Slow Cooker Vegetable Stew
Side Dishes To Complement: Green Bean Casserole, Baked Stuffed Sweet Potatoes, Italian Roasted Cauliflower
Hearty Meals: Cowboy Lasagne, American Tetrazzini, Chipotle Lentil Patties
Extra Embellishments: Roasted Tomatillo Salsa, Slow Cooker Vegetable Spaghetti Sauce, Blueberry Ginger Preserves
Sweetness: Big Fat Cherry Pecan Cookies, Apricot Oatmeal Crumb Bars, Chocolate Peppermint Cookie Dough Balls
Always Frozen: Chocolate Espresso Ice Cream, Strawberry Bonbons, Watermelon Citrus Pops
Do I have your attention yet? I thought so.
In addition to these mouthwatering chapters, you’ll also helpful tips and tricks for prepping, blanching, freezing, storage times, and even which containers work best – all in the introduction section to make sure you get off on the right foot!
Make Ahead Healthy Homemade Meals
If you believe homemade food is the healthiest way to feed yourself and your family (I think we can all agree on that, right?), but are short on time – The Make Ahead Vegan Cookbook is a must!
Thank you so much to Ginny for allowing me to share one of my family’s favorite recipes from her book – Lentil Balls in Sweet and Sour Sauce. This recipe is in the Party Pleasers chapter and, YES, they are fabulous all on their own! I liked them so much, however, I decided to make a meal out of them. I served them over a mix of brown and white rice with a big green salad on the side. Let me tell you, there wasn’t much leftover. Everyone happily gobbled these down and asked for second helpings. I even got a “Thanks for making dinner, mom!” on this night and that doesn’t happen all that often. 🙂
The pic above is Ginny’s picture from the cookbook and shows how awesome they are as party fare!
The flavors in these lentil balls are so yummy and they hold up perfectly! Even without the sweet and sour sauce, I was popping them in my mouth one after the other!
Lentil Balls in Sweet and Sour Sauce
I hope you love these Lentil Balls as much as we do. If you try them, please come back and leave me a comment below with your feedback. You can also find me on social media. Be sure to tag @veggie_inspired and #veggieinspired so I’m sure to see it. Enjoy!
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil (plus more for baking sheet)
- 1 cup dried lentils
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup white onion (finely diced)
- 1/4 cup red bell pepper (finely diced)
- 1 carrot (grated) (about 1/2 cup)
- 8 ounces button mushrooms (wiped clean with a clean, damp cloth)
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 cup dry white wine (such as chardonnay)
- 1/2 cup vegan vegetable stock
- 3/4 cup vegan bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup of your favorite sweet and sour sauce
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Lightly grease a baking sheet with coconut oil and set aside.
- Pick through the lentils to make sure there are no pebbles. Rinse.
- Bring the 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium-size saucepan. Add the lentils. Bring back to a boil and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes.
- Drain the lentils when done.
- Place the coconut oil in a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat.
- Add the onion and bell pepper and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the grated carrot and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Place the mushrooms in a food processor and pulse a couple of times until coarsely chopped.
- Add the cooked lentils and pulse again until chopped a little bit more but still coarse.
- Add this mixture to the vegetables in the skillet. Add the garlic powder and cook for 4 minutes.
- Add the wine and cook for 1 more minute. Add the vegetable stock, bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
- Stir and let cool so that you can handle the mixture with your hands.
- Roll the mixture into 48 balls and place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes.
- Remove from the oven.
- You can refrigerate or freeze the balls at this point.
- If serving immediately, toss lightly with sweet-and-sour sauce.
- Serve with toothpicks.
Storing in the refrigerator:
Will keep in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days.
Freeze in a hard-sided freezer container for up to 4 months.
This will better protect the balls. To defrost, put in your refrigerator overnight.
To serve, heat on a baking sheet in a 350°F oven for 15 minutes. Lightly toss with heated sweet and sour sauce and serve with toothpicks.
*Recipe reprinted with permission from The Make Ahead Vegan Cookbook by Ginny McMeans.
Nutrition facts calculated based on 4 Lentil Balls per person.
Now for the good stuff! I KNOW you want this book. How about you try to WIN it! Enter Ginny’s giveaway here:
If you just can’t wait to see if you’re a winner, you can guarantee yourself a copy by purchasing it HERE.
More Vegan Lentil Recipes to Love:
Lentil Vegetarian Cottage Pie (can me made ahead!)