Sometimes the best dinners are the ones that starts up with absolutely no plan what so ever. Like these vegan “meatballs” with sage, ovenbaked eggplant and salsa brava. So rich in taste!
It’s funny with the sage in the recipe, it gives somehow a “meaty” taste to it. The herb itself has a rather intense, dominant taste and is often used with fat kinds of meat like pork, lamb or sausages. But of course it works just as good with veggies, preferably veggies with a bit more bold taste. The sage in combination with eggplant and za’atar and the slightly sweet salsa brava makes it even better.
The trick to get a crunchy outside on the meatballs is to very short let them cook in boiling water, drain them and then bake them in lots of deodorized coconut oil. This makes them more steady in their structure and easier to bake without falling apart.
For this recipe there are many different preparations to make. But if you, as me, have a freezer it is still easy to get dinner on table within 30 minutes with this one.
I had already prepared the salsa brava on a rainy day and had it ready in the freezer. The beans that I have used is lupine beans, a great alternative to soya beans. The only disadvantage with them is that it takes a lot of time to cook so when making it, I prepared 1 kg in one time. If kept in the freezer, you will have enough for the coming months. If you can’t manage to find lupine beans, I’m sure you can replace it with chickpeas or whatever beans you have available.
Making the balls are the biggest work. But with using a mixer, your done in just a few minutes. And they stay great in the freezer as we if it happens to be any left after dinner. The eggplant is taking care of itself in the oven. To get your pasta to with your meatballs, you need a courgette, a spiralizer and 2 minutes. And tadaaa, the dinner is done!
Let’s get to work!
Ovenbaked eggplant with za’atar
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of za’atar
How do I do it?
1. Set the oven on 180° C. Wash and dry the eggplant. Cut it in slices of 1 cm.
2. Prepare a baking tray with baking parchment and add the eggplant slices to it.
3. Sprinkle the za’atar evenly over the slices and then sprinkle the olive oil on top. Make sure that all slices are covered with both oil and zataar on both sides.
4. Place the baking tray in the oven. Set the timer on 15 minutes. When ready turn al slices once and set the timer once more on 15 minutes.
5. When ready, serve the eggplant together with your “meatballs”, courgette pasta en sauce.
Vegan “meatballs” with sage
40 small meatballs
2 soaked shitake mushrooms + ~ 1 tablespoon of the soaking water
100 gram raw cashew nuts (soaked in water for at least 2 hours)
50 gram walnuts (soaked in water for at least 2 hours)
100 gram sundried tomatoes
150 gram boiled lupine beans
A handfull fresh sage
45 gram / 1/2 dl sunflower oil
Salt and pepper
Deodorized coconut oil to fry the balls in
How do I do it?
1. Soak the cashews and walnuts in water for a 2-8 hours. Drain the nuts when ready and throw the water away.
2. Soak the shiitake mushrooms in boiling water for about 30 minutes. Drain the shiitake when ready but save the soaking water.
3. Add all ingredients to a mixer and mix until everything is even.
4. Roll small “meatballs” with wet hands. Meanwhile let some water in a pot come to a boil.
5. When all balls are made, add approximately 10 at a time to the boiling water. When they come up to the surface again (takes only a few minutes), use a skimmer and lay them in a colander to drain.
6. When ready with al balls, add a good layer (0,5 cm) of coconut oil to a baking pan. When warm, add the balls. Don’t add too many at the same time as you will get problems to turn them otherwise. Bake them until golden and crunchy. Turn them carefully around and see that you bake them on al sides. Place on a plate and keep them warm while you go on baking the rest of the meatballs.
Spiralize the courgette for the preferred size for your pasta. I prefer to eat it raw but you could also boil it in boiling water for 1/2 minute if you like.
The recipe for the salsa brava will be posted tomorrow!
These recipes are free from lactose, gluten and sugar.