Recipes: Cari's Vegan Gluten-Free Lentil Mushroom Balls with Cranberry Sauce

Whenever Cari Heberger delivers her exceptionally tasty food the HFFC, we feel thankful. It doesn't matter what season it is. Cari's ability to prepare healthy, flavorful dishes for many different dietary needs is truly admirable. That's why we went to her for a Vegan and Gluten-Free recipe that will be welcomed by all at your holiday gathering. Here's one she found online and adapted a bit to her needs. "I love playing with recipes. Learning from a technique and expanding upon it." Cari's inquisitive nature is our yummy meal. 

Ingredients- Lentil Balls  
1/2 c uncooked green lentils
1 c walnuts finely chopped
2 tsp olive oil
2 c finely chopped mushrooms
4 cloves garlic minced
1/2 c dried cranberries finely chopped
1 c fine chopped kale
1/2 tbsp sage
1/2 tbsp rosemary
1/2 tbsp thyme
1/2 tbsp oregano
1 1/2 sherry vinegar
2 tbsp ground flax combined with 3 tbsp water
1/2 gluten-free oats processed into a flour
1 tsp salt
Black pepper to taste

Ingredients- Cranberry Sauce
2 c cranberries
1/3 c maple syrup
Juice and zest of 1 orange
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 325 f
-Cook lentils in 2 1/2 c water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 20 min. When fully tender, remove from heat and mash into a coarse paste.
- toast walnuts in oven for about 10 minutes. Remove and cool, increase oven temp to 350 f.
- in a large skillet, add the oil then mushrooms, garlic and salt. Saute over medium heat for about 8 minutes
- add kale, walnuts, herbs and sherry vinegar
- transfer lentils and mushroom mixture to a large bowl.
-  in a small bowl, combine flax and water, stir well and add to ingredients in bowl.
-stir in 1/2 oat flour, mixture should be moist and a bit sticky. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Adjust with a small amount of oat flour or water if mixture seems too dry or wet.
- line baking sheet with parchment paper, shape mixture I to balls and pack tightly. Place on baking sheet 1 inch apart.
- bake for 15 minutes, flip and bake for 12 more minutes.

Cranberry sauce
Add cranberries, maple syrup, orange juice and zest, pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.