Recipe: Mixed Mushroom & Lentil Picnic Balls

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGood picnics should be made up of foods you can easily eat with your fingers. Keep it simple and not too messy! Definitely my approach these days when kids are involved too… 

We planned a little Bank Holiday picnic – Gus had gushily piped up with ‘A picnic together, to share forever’ a few days earlier (no idea where he got that from!) and started talking a lot about ice-cream so I thought it’d be fun to try something new and actually make something! Whereas our usual approach is swing by the supermarket and pick up ham, cheese, fruits and crisps, this time I had a trawl through my most recent recipe book purchase Good & Simple, and figured I could manage making mushroom balls. It was only once I’d committed to that idea that I thought something bready would be nice to go along with them and flung myself gung-ho into making flaxseed buns too!

As with most recipes I adapted things a little. I used three types of mushroom (bought from a huge selection, including portobello, brown button and chestnut mushrooms, at the brilliant and so well stocked Clapton Palm 2 shop). I added the parsley too early – while frying up the mushrooms instead of afterwards – but that was fine it seemed! And I used agave syrup instead of maple syrup for the buns as that’s all I had!


I started with the flaxseed buns (also Hemsley Hemsley) – having managed to make a whole loaf at River Cottage the week before! – which were surprisingly easy. And also they turned out surprisingly well. Definitely going to make these again.


150g ground flaxseeds (I bought a packet from local health shop)

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1/2 teaspoon of salt

pinch of black pepper

3 eggs, beaten

1/2 tablespoon algarve syrup

2 tablespoons lemon juice

3 tablespoons melted coconut oil (or butter)

3 tablespoons water

sesame seeds to sprinkle on top (I just used the ground flaxseed as didn’t have sesame seeds!)

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius/Gas mark 6 & line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients together. Beat in the remaining ingredients and leave the batter to rest for five minutes.
  3. Take 4-5 tablespoons and shape into bun. I shaped and patted into shape once on the tray. The bun should be 5mm-1cm thick.
  4. Sprinkle with the flaxseed and bake in over for 20 minutes.
  5. Remove & place on wire rack to cool. Buns should be springy to touch.



250g green lentils (soak overnight if dried or just get a tin which is what I did!)

400ml water (to cook lentils if you’re soaking…)

1 tablespoon coconut oil

250g mushrooms, roughly sliced

4 garlic cloves, diced

1 tablespoon mixed dried herbs

2 tablespoons tomato puree

2 large handfuls of fresh parsley

1 egg

80g almonds

sea salt & black pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius for fan over/Gas mark 6. If you’ve soaked lentils overnight, rinse and dry them then place in pan with the water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes OR just open your can of tinned lentils. Pour two-thirds into a food processor and leave the rest aside. I used my Nutribullet and did half the amount at a time.
  2. Fry the onion in the coconut oil for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, garlic, any herbs and tomato puree for 7-8 minutes until the liquid released by the mushrooms has evaporated. I also added the parsley at this stage, but you should wait until the next step!
  3. Add this mix to the lentils in the food processor with some salt and pepper. Blend until pulverised but still has texture, then mix in the reserved lentils and parsley.
  4. In a bowl, beat the egg and add the lentil mix and the ground almonds. Season to taste. Scoop up small handfuls and shape into 20 golf-sized balls and place on baking tray lined with baking paper evenly spaced.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.








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All shot by myself on the Olympus Pen F with 17mm lens

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    1. Ah it was a little curtailed due to weather conditions haha! But the balls went down a treat :))) and still got some left over in the fridge which I’ve been having for lunch!

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