Veggie mains

Beetballs

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I’ve been meaning to make some veggie meatballs for a while and had saved a recipe from another blog oh my veggies for lentil and mushroom balls. I used the recipe and experimented a bit combining elements from my veggie sausage roll filling and my beetburger recipes. This recipe will make about 18 – 20 beetballs.

In my food processor I finely chopped a medium-sized onion, 250g mushrooms and 4 cloves of garlic. I fried these in some  olive oil with about 1/2 tsp salt,  1/2 tsp of chilli powder (optional use some black pepper if you prefer) and a a tsp of dried (Italian) mixed herbs. Stir occasionally so that they don’t stick. Meanwhile I peeled and grated a raw beetroot and added this to the pan and 1/2 tsp of marmite (yeast extract). The veggies will release liquid and as you don’t want too much liquid fry for a few minutes so that most of the liquid evaporates. Then turn off the heat and a low to cool a little.  Meanwhile I pre-head the oven to 175 degrees C / 350F and rinsed and drained a tin of borlotti beans (you can use kidney beans or lentils if you prefer) and mashed them up a bit, not completely and then added them to the veggies. I added a beaten egg and about 3/4 – 1 cup of quick cook porridge oats and mixed everything together. The oats will absorb the liquid and help bind everything together, the amount you need will vary slightly depending on how moist your veggie mixture is. When the mixture was cool enough to handle I made the beetballs. I scooped up about a tbsp. and rolled it in my hands to make a ball a bit smaller than a gold ball I put the balls on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment and then baked them for about 40 – 45 minutes until they were crisp and dry on the outside. Baking them allows them to set and they will hold there shape, if you like you can fry them after they are cooked this will make them ‘juicer’.

While they were cooking I made a simple tomato sauce by frying onion and garlic in olive oil then added some cherry tomatoes and seasoning and cooked some fettuccini to serve with the beetballs. Any leftover beetballs can be fried and eaten in a sandwich, delicious!

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