I used to question vegan versions of non-vegan dishes in the past. I do not understand why these dishes should be made non-vegan style. I believe there are certain dishes that are the best in their original version, like shepherds pie or chili. However, I recently changed my opinion about burgers – I think vegan burger is a great way to introduce more proteins into my diet and also add another texture to a food. I’v tried several recipes and I have to admit I finally found few variations I likes, and, most importantly, they were good enough for my husband to like them too!
Today I am sharing my take on Niomi Smart “Squashetti and meatballs”, because from now on it is my favorite weekend dish, since it takes some time to put everything together, but it definitely worth it.
The recipe has three parts: Squashetti (which I am substituting with whole grain spaghetti), tomato sauce and “meatballs”.
I’ve already shared a recipe for m favorite tomato sauce here, so I simply made the same sauce for this recipe.
So the part I am sharing today is “meatballs”. From this recipe I made 12 “meatballs”, so it is enough for 4 servings.
You will need:
100g green lentils
100g raw walnuts
200g black beans (I used butter beans instead, because I prefer them over red or black)
1 garlic clove (I used two, because I obsessed with garlic)
handful of dried apricots
2 tbsp buckwheat flour
dried oregano, salt and pepper to season everything
1 tsp of oil to saute the onion
First, prepare the lentils – boil in salted water until they are done (it took me 15 mins). In a frying pan, add the oil and saute the onion and crushed garlic, season with herbs, salt and pepper. Add lentils, sauteed onion and garlic, and all the remaining ingredients except apricots to a large bowl and blend it together. If you have food processor, it is even better. I don’t, but simple blender did the jog just as great. Add more salt and pepper and finely chopped dried apricots.
Prepare your baking sheet by lining parchment paper and preheat your oven to 180C. Make 12 “meatballs” and bake them in the oven until they are done. In the recipe it says to bake them for 30 mins, turning over half way, but for me it only took 20 mins.
I hope you enjoy the recipe, because I really did, specially the idea of adding apricots – it made the recipe even more special 🙂