Those clever people at my favourite Swedish flat-packed furniture chain are so good at knowing just what you will fancy after a few stressful hours measuring up wardrobes and working out how much you can actually fit in (or balance on) your car. Last year they got huge kudos for launching vegan ‘meatballs’ onto their menu, and jolly nice they are too.
Since first trying them I’ve been trying to make my own at home, and this chickpea-based version is definitely my favourite: moist, packed with vegetables and slathered in a mustardy sauce. Perfect served with some oven chips or rice.
These freeze really well before cooking, so you could make up a double, (or triple!), batch, and then spray with oil and oven-bake from frozen for half an hour until cooked through.
- For the 'meat'balls:
- 100g frozen peas
- 1 onion
- 2 tbsp rapeseed or sunflower oil (plus extra for frying)
- 1 tsp ready-chopped garlic / garlic purée
- 2 carrots
- 1 red pepper
- large handful curly kale
- 400g tin chickpeas
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes (optional)
- 1 tsp vegetable stock powder
- 2 tbsp gram flour
- a little plain flour for dusting
- For the sauce:
- 1 tbsp dairy-free margarine
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 200ml dairy-free milk (soya, nut or oat)
- 125ml boiling water
- 1 tsp vegetable stock powder
- 125ml dairy-free cream (soya or oat)
- 2 tsp wholegrain mustard
- soy sauce
- Cook the peas in the microwave or small saucepan for 2 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.
- Peel the onion and cut into quarters, then use a mini-chopper or food processor to chop it finely, (or chop as finely as you can by hand).
- Heat the oil in a large lidded frying pan or casserole, and add the onion and garlic. Cook over a medium heat.
- Peel the carrots and cut roughly into 4-5 chunks, then chop finely in the mini-chopper/food processor and add to the pan with the onions. Next, de-seed and chop the peppers in the same way, followed by the cooked peas and curly kale. Let all the vegetables cook over a medium heat.
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas, then blitz to a smooth purée along with the olive oil in the mini chopper or food processor. Add to the pan, then sprinkle over the nutritional yeast flakes, stock powder, gram flour and a generous seasoning of salt and pepper. Mix all the ingredients together, then remove from the heat, and set aside until cool enough to handle.
- Sprinkle a chopping board and your hands with a little flour, then scoop up a heaped teaspoon of mixture, roll it firmly into a ball in your hands and place on the chopping board. Repeat until all the mixture has been used up - you should have around 20 'meat'balls.
- Cover the bottom of a large frying pan with rapeseed or sunflower oil, and fry the meatballs, turning regularly until they are golden brown all over. Remove from the frying pan to a plate covered in kitchen paper, to drain excess oil.
- To make the sauce, heat the margarine in a small saucepan, stir through the flour and cook over a gentle heat for 2 minutes. Add the dairy-free milk , water, stock powder and dairy-free cream, and cook stirring continually until a thick, glossy sauce consistency has been reached. Add the mustard and stir, then add a few drops of soy sauce at a time, tasting as you go, until a good level of seasoning has been reached.
- Serve the meatballs with the sauce poured over the top, with mashed potato or oven chips.
For more vegan ‘meat’ball recipes from blogging friends, take a look at:
- Kate’s Courgetti & Beet Balls from Veggie Desserts
- Sus’ Kabocha Squash & Nut Balls from Rough Measures
- Jac’s Spaghetti & Beanballs from Tinned Tomatoes
- Laura’s Vegan Supergreen Meatballs from How to Cook Good Food
Once again, I”m linking this post to Meat Free Mondays over at Tinned Tomatoes – hop over for your weekly meat-free meal inspiration!