When we put good food into our bodies, it aides in health and healing. To help cancer survivors and their families learn new and tasty ways to prepare nutritious meals, Oregon Cancer Foundation continues to partner with Positive Community Kitchen (PCK) and Whole Foods Market to offer free monthly classes on healthy eating.

Shanna Hutton, PCK’s board president and a former chef for the organization, leads the classes, offering nutrition information and demonstrating tasty ways to prepare meals that are gluten-free and feature seasonal ingredients.

Check out the class video above as Shanna prepares Vegetarian Lentil Meat”less” Balls with Marinara Sauce, and enjoy the recipes below.

The NOURISH: Food for Life classes are held on the first Thursday of the month and run from 6:30-7:30 pm in the upstairs meeting room at Whole Foods Market, located at 353 E. Broadway in Eugene. The classes are free to attend, but registration is required.

Vegetarian Lentil Meat”less” Balls

Makes about 40 small “vegetaballs”

1 c dried brown lentils
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
½ onion, finely chopped
1 zucchini, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
1 carrot, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
½ lb mushrooms, chopped (about 2 cups)
½ c gluten-free bread crumbs
½ c Parmesan, grated
½ c ricotta cheese
2 eggs
¼ c chopped basil leaves
¼ c chopped parsley leaves
salt and pepper, to taste


  1. To prepare lentils: Rinse lentils and put into a large saucepan with 1¼ cup water or broth and 1 tsp salt. Bring to boil, then reduce to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 20-25 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed into the lentils. Turn off heat and let the lentils sit for 10-15 more minutes, covered. The lentils will be tender when done, but should still hold their shape.
  2. Meanwhile, use a knife or food processor to finely chop garlic, onion, zucchini and carrot. Place processed vegetables in a large bowl and set aside.
  3. With a knife or food processor, coarsely chop the mushrooms. Add them to the raw vegetables. (The mushrooms add a meaty texture to the meatballs, so don’t chop them as finely as the rest of the vegetables).
  4. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment and set aside.
  5. Place lentils in food processor and process for about 1 minute. (They should have the crumbly appearance of cooked ground beef).
  6. Add 1 tbsp olive oil to sauté pan on med-high heat. Add vegetables and sauté for about 3-5 minutes, releasing some of the moisture from the vegetables. Once cooked, place vegetable mixture and lentils into large bowl.
  7. Add bread crumbs, parmesan, ricotta, basil and parsley; mix to combine.
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  9. In a small bowl, whisk eggs and add to the lentil mixture until completely incorporated.
  10. With a 2-tbsp scoop, shape mixture into small balls and place on baking sheet.
  11. Bake in oven at 400F about 15 minutes, until lightly golden.
  12. Serve on a bed of noodles or zoodles, with Marinara Sauce.

Marinara Sauce

1 tbsp olive oil
1 c chopped yellow onion (1 onion)
1½ teaspoons minced garlic
½ c vegetable, chicken or bone broth
1 (28-oz) can crushed tomatoes, or plum tomatoes in puree, chopped
1 tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet.
  2. Add onion and sauté over medium heat until translucent, 5-10 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.
  4. Add broth and cook on high heat, scraping up all the brown bits in the bottom of the pan, until almost all the liquid evaporates, about 3 minutes.
  5. Stir in tomatoes, parsley, basil, salt and pepper.
  6. Cover and simmer on the lowest heat for 15 minutes.