Recipe | Healthy Vegan Meatballs

IMG_0796I’ve never liked store-bought, vegetarian (meat) alternatives: tasteless, unhealthy, weirdly structured and full of unpronounceable ingredients. However, the last couple of years, being vegetarian/vegan has become incredibly hot. No longer are vegetarians or vegans forced to buy sloppy soy burgers. I can buy vegan chicken that tastes exactly like normal chicken, mushroom burgers that are better than the most expensive steaks in the world and I even devoured some vegan calamari recently. It’s just…wow. I love that this is happening.

Although I can get lots of awesome “fake meat” at my local supermarket, I still try to eat as less processed food as I can. So today, I tried to make my own version of vegan meatballs. I wasn’t trying at all to copy the taste of normal meatballs; I just wanted to create something healthy and salty to give that little extra to a simple pasta. Plus, my mushrooms were due. So I just threw everything together, rolled some balls and put them in the oven. IMG_0784Unexpectedly, these meatless meatballs ended up resembling normal meatballs quite a lot. The texture isn’t exactly the same, but the taste and look come close. Instead of eating a big bowl of pasta straight away like I planned (in my pyjama, watching Netflix), I decided to make some quick snaps and share this one with you. Lay off the meat tonight and try these babies. It won’t disappoint. IMG_0802 Healthy Vegan Meatballs
Makes 12 meatballs
Immersion blender, oven tray 

400 grams mushrooms
2 cups almond flour
1 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
2/3 cup whole-wheat spelt flour
2/3 cup walnuts
3 garlic gloves (or 4) (or 10) (you can never have too much garlic)
1 TBSP truffle oil
1 TSP apple vinegar
1 1/2 TSP salt Fresh thyme and rosemary
Pinch of pepper and fennel seed
Oil for baking

1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C.
2. Mix until smooth with your immersion blender: 1/3 cup of the walnuts, all the mushrooms, the garlic and a small handful of thyme and rosemary.
3. Place the mushroom paste in a frying pan and fry for couple of minutes until liquid comes free. Drain the liquid from the pan and place the paste in a bowl.
4. Add in the almond flour, nutritional yeast, whole-wheat spelt flour and 1/3 cup of finely chopped walnuts. Season with truffle oil, apple vinegar, salt, pepper and fennel seed.
5. When you’re paste is still a bit sticky, refrigerate for ten or so minutes. If not, you can start rolling balls straight away. Place the balls in a greased oven tray and let the balls firm up for about thirty minutes in the refrigerator.
6. Bake the meatballs for about 20 minutes in the oven. Flip halfway through. Serve with whole-wheat spelt pasta, homemade tomato sauce and vegan parmesan. Enjoy! IMG_0808