Vegan Nut Balls Recipe with Herby Roast Vegetables and Onion Gravy
If you're looking for a tasty vegan/vegetarian alternative to meat balls for your favorite pasta dish, to add to a salad or to replace meat on a Sunday roast, these savory vegan nut balls may appeal.
Raw food enthusiasts may also be quite taken with this recipe as they are just as delicious uncooked as they are when roasted. I use the term cooked loosely, because once the ingredients have been molded into shape they are simply heated through. Of course, those on a raw food diet would need to opt for raw nuts as opposed to the roasted, mixed nut that I've used here.
Depending on how I plan to eat the nut balls, I'll use two different types of tomato paste. I use sun dried tomato paste when eating the dish raw, and ordinary tomato paste when I'm planning to serve them with the onion gravy, as illustrated.
From the image above it's apparent that I haven't ground the nuts in my food processor, I prefer a crunchy, rough texture over smooth. Nevertheless, if you decide to blitz the nuts you'll also find that they bind better!
I've used a combination of mixed, unsalted but roasted nuts for this recipe, namely walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, cashews and peanuts but feel free to use any combination you wish.
As the dish is nut based, it's fairly high in calories and fat but you can, obviously, reduce your calorie and fat intake by using fewer nuts and adding more scallions. Alternatively, throw in some additional vegetables such as chopped mushrooms and red bell pepper.
Vegan Nut Balls
|Serving size: 5 nut balls|
|Calories from Fat||342|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 38 g||58%|
|Carbohydrates 37 g||12%|
|Sugar 5 g|
|Sodium 50 mg||2%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
Ingredients for Vegan Nut Balls
- 1/2 cup mixed nuts, unsalted, chopped or blitzed
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, wholewheat
- 2 tsp tomato paste, sun dried, plain and unsalted
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 scallion (spring onion), chopped finely
- 1 tsp Thyme
- 1 tsp cayenne
- Pinch sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Chop the nuts or blitz in a food processor
- Add the breadcrumbs, olive oil and cayenne to the nuts and combine throughly
- Add the Thyme, seasoning, tomato puree and scallions to the mixture.
- Flour your hands and take enough of the mixture, about the size of a golf ball and mold into a ball shape. If they do not appear to be binding very well, just add a little more tomato paste. Continue to do the same with the rest of the nut mixture until you have used it all.
- After making the balls, refrigerate for approximately 30 minutes or until they 'set'
- After 30 minutes, you can devour the nut balls, set aside to add to the roasting pan containing the vegetables, or lightly fry and add to your favorite pasta sauce.
Herby roast vegetables and rich onion gravy
I have used fresh parsley to infuse the oil which the vegetables are roasted in, but dried herbs work just as well. Use herbs of choice, such as thyme, marjoram or rosemary. As the oil is infused it adds some extra flavor to the vegetables, in addition to a lovely aroma.
I have used carrots and potatoes here, but again you can use your favorite combination of vegetables provided that they lend themselves to roasting.
Sweet potato, parsnip, swede or even eggplant work well with this dish.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: Approximately 30 minutes
Ready in: 35 to 40 minutes
Yields: Serves two people
For the herby vegetables
1 large potato cut into squares
2 large carrot, chopped
1/4 cup of chopped, mixed herbs.
2 tsp of olive oil
For the rich, onion gravy
I medium onion, finely chopped
I good glug of vegan red wine
1 cup of vegan stock/broth
2 tsp of chopped, fresh/dried herbs
1 tbsp of olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 5
2. Add the oil and herbs to a roasting pan and place on the top shelf of the oven.
3. After about five minutes and after the oil as heated through, add the vegetables to the pan and toss in the oil and herbs
The onion gravy
1. Heat the oil in a small frying pan and when heated, add the onion
2. When the onion begins to caramalise and change color, add the vegetable stock and simmer for 1-2 minutes
3. Add the red wine and bring to the boil
4. Turn down the heat and simmer gently so the gravy can begin to reduce
5. After the vegetables have been in the oven for 15 minutes or so, it's time to add the nut balls to the roasting pan if you do not plan on eating them raw.
6. Leave the vegetables and nut balls to roast for a further 8-10 minutes
7. Stir the thyme into the gravy and turn the heat right down.
8. When the vegetables are cooked and the nut balls heated through, remove from the oven and plate up. Pour the oven gravy into a gravy boat and you're good to go!