One cannot call themselves a vegan — even if temporarily — and not have visited Thug Kitchen.
These potty mouthed chefs are like the N.W.A. of vegan cooking. I love a good “f*cking A” in the kitchen as much as the next hungry sailor. And I needed some ideas for dinner. I knew I could find both on their site.
My first foray into Thug Kitchendom was these meat-ish balls they made in collaboration with The Meatball Shop, another restaurant I miss dearly in my 30 days without meat (I shall be back in February, don’t you worry!). These meat-ish balls looked easy enough to make, and I figured if they were topped with some homemade marinara sauce and wrapped in flatbread, we should have us a decent sandwich.
Now, the real fun of Thug Kitchen is reading the brash, expletive-filled recipes they print on their site, so I’m going to encourage you to go back to their site and read how they tell you to make their meatballs. Below, I wrote in PG-rated language what I did to make the meat-ish balls wrap. I used less curse words because children and my family and in-laws read this site and I don’t want to embarrass them, because you know friends and co-workers and hairdressers and bank tellers are always quick to say “oh, I read 300 Sandwiches, but my god the language!” So, I’ll spare my loved ones the criticism from peers and write the recipe straight.
Makes about 2 dozen 1 1/2-inch meatballs
2 cups dry lentils (Thug Kitchen used brown lentils, I used red because that’s what I had)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 large yellow onions, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
3 carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
5 tablespoons tomato paste
10 ounces button mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
greens of your choice
Cook lentils according to package. Drain and set aside in a large bowl. In a medium skillet, heat 1/4 cup olive oil. Sauté onions for about 3 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic, then carrots and celery, thyme and salt, and sauté another 10 minutes until vegetables are soft. Add tomato paste, stir and cook another three minutes. Then, add mushrooms, and cook another 15 minutes or until all of the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat.
Combine vegetables with lentils, and add breadcrumbs, parsley and walnuts. Add more seasoning if desired. Mix with hands until well combined. Place mixture in refrigerator for 25 minutes to let flavors combine.
Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Take mixture out of refrigerator. Grease a baking sheet with 2 teaspoons olive oil. Shape mixture into 1 1/2- to 2-inch diameter balls and place on baking sheet, leaving a 1/4-inch of space between each. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until brown and cooked through. Remove from oven. Makes about 24 meatballs.
To make wrap: toast a flatbread or wrap. Lay flat. Layer butter lettuce or greens of choice. Cut two meatballs in half and layer evenly on greens. Smother on marinara sauce of choice. Wrap ends in towards middle, then wrap sides in toward middle, flip over, slice in half and serve.by