Vegan Veggie Balls
How much time do you spend in the kitchen ? well if your spending 5 hours a week training hard, smashing those burpees, pushups, squats, sprints and don’t forget the dreaded rowing machine! you should be putting equal effort into the food that feeds all this exercise. Here is a very good recipe for when you have a little extra time on your hands to make a special healthy weekend meal.
- 400g cherry tomatoes on the vine
- 3 garlic cloves (no need to peel)
- olive oil
- sea salt
- 4 tbsp coconut oil
- 4 large courgettes
- Bunch basil, leaves only
- 1 tbsp fennel seeds
- 1 x 400g tin butter beans, drained
- 300g sweet potatoes
- 300g carrots
- 300g parsnips
- 75g gram (chickpea) flour, plus extra for rolling
- 1 tsp smoked sweet paprika
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- To make the sauce, put the tomatoes on a baking tray with the garlic cloves; drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and toss to mix and roast for 20 minutes.
- To make the veggie balls, dry-toast the fennel seeds in a frying pan for 1-2 minutes or until they smell fragrant, then grind them using a pestle and mortar or in a spice grinder, then tip into a bowl. Add the butter beans and mash them with a fork. Peel and grate the sweet potato, carrot and parsnip and add those along with the flour, sweet paprika and some seasoning; mix thoroughly.
- With floury hands divide the mixture into12 equal-sized balls. Heat the coconut oil in a frying pan and brown the balls, transferring them to a baking tray as they are ready. By this time your tomatoes should be ready so remove them from oven and then roast the veggie balls in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Discard the vines and put the tomatoes in a liquidiser along with any caramelised bits from the baking tray. Squeeze the garlic cloves from their skins and add those along with half of the basil; blend to a sauce.
- Meanwhile use a spiralizer to turn the courgettes into noodles or a flat-bladed peeler to make ribbons; blanch in salted boiling water for 1 minute, then drain.
- To serve divide the ‘courgetti’ between four shallow bowls, place 3 veggie balls on each and pour over some of the sauce. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and scatter with rest of the basil, shredded.
The veggie balls and the sauce can be made ahead of time and stored in fridge and then becomes a speedy, very healthy, vegan meal.