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  • 24

    balls

  • Prep Time

    Prep Time 10'

  • Total Time

    Total Time 30'

  • No refined sugar

    No refined sugar

  • Vegan

    Vegan

Oriental no-meat balls recipe

  • 24

    balls

  • Prep Time

    Prep Time 10'

    PT10M
  • Total Time

    Total Time 30'

    PT30M
  • No refined sugar

    No refined sugar

  • Vegan

    Vegan

Vegan

When trying to replicate old favourites in new ways, texture is often even more important than flavour. Further, it’s even tougher to get right when making vegetarian versions of meat dishes. But then we often find that the companies and people who get the texture right get the flavour wrong… In other words, you’re damned if you do, and damned if you don’t!

Lovely jubbly

Consequently, we are especially proud of this no-meat balls recipe. If we do say so ourselves, it’s the addition of Erbology Tigernut Granola with Nopal and Chia that enables both the texture and the flavour. These are their own special creature rather than a copy of meatballs. However, you do get a sense of the particular bulk of meatballs, which can’t be achieved with grains. You don’t want to be able to bite clean through – you want to be forced, or encouraged, if you prefer, to spend some real time on each mouthful.

The array of vegetables, herbs and spices in these balls is even more reason to savour them properly. Green pepper, onions, garlic, and parsley are standard for these types of mixes. They’re oldies but goodies – you can’t really go wrong with them and they bring an appreciated familiarity. We aren’t pretending these are your basic meatballs though, and the addition of carrot, beans, and curry powder nods to that. It’s a good balance.

We’d even venture to enjoy them with some gluten-free pasta, in which case we’d probably do away with the curry powder. Shaped into patties and curry intact, the basic mix would also make for some nice vegan burgers. How about topping a spinach or kale salad with no-meat balls, small Roma tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, some seeds, green onions, the fresh herbs of your choice, vegan cheese, and a nice light dressing?

You can also freeze these balls, after shaping and before cooking. As versatile as they are, they’re the perfect thing to have on hand for a last-minute meal that is still nourishing and satisfying.

Crumbs to you, too

The quality of the breadcrumbs you bring into this dish is quite important to the success of your no-meat balls. There are now good gluten-free, vegan readymade breadcrumbs you can buy at your local health food / organic store. If you are not gluten-free, you could also try Panko crumbs. These are still vegan and would add a wonderful, light crunch that would work very well with the addictively ‘snack-y’ nature of these balls. Be aware that Panko breadcrumbs do contain wheat.

As with most things, the best would be homemade breadcrumbs. It’s a great, cost-efficient thing to do with any stale bread you have lying around. And you’ll get crumbs that taste like the bread of your choice, rather than the standardised selection of crumbs, which doesn’t quite match up to all the delicious varieties of bread most people now have available in their local bakeries or markets – or home bread makers.

Just pulse the bread in your food processor. Add sea salt and any dry seasonings you fancy – chives might be nice with this recipe – then spread on a baking sheet. Toast til a lovely golden brown.

Mains

Ingredients
Print

  • 1 medium carrot, peeled
  • ¾ can red beans
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 small onion, peeled
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup Erbology Tigernut Granola with Nopal and Chia
  • ¾ cup breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp curry powder
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Typical nutrition / serving

  • Serving size: 27g (1 ball)
  • Energy: 49 kcal
  • Protein: 1.3 g
  • Fat: 2.6g
  • Carbohydrate: 5.3g

Here's how you make it

  1. Firstly, preheat oven to 350°F (176°C).
  2. Secondly, quarter the carrot, green pepper and onion.
  3. Thirdly, in a food processor, pulse into a loose meal the carrot, black beans, tigernut granola, green pepper, onion, and garlic. Don’t overmix.
  4. After that, add parsley, salt, black pepper, curry powder, extra virgin olive oil and breadcrumbs. Pulse to combine until a textured dough is formed.
  5. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
  6. Using a tablespoon, scoop out heaping 1 1/2 tbsp amounts and gently roll into small balls using your hands. Meanwhile, add to lined baking pan and cook in the oven for about 20 minutes or until your no-meat balls are golden brown on the edges and dry to the touch. While your no-meat balls are baking, chop some fresh herbs. In conclusion, enjoy with the fresh herbs and hummus.

If you tried this recipe...

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