Sunday, December 29, 2013

Acceptable alternatives: Swedish-style Vegan Balls

I've been craving meat all month long. So when it was time to roll out the Swedish meatballs for Christmas Eve dinner (made with bison this year) I was one step away from strapping on a feed bag. But one of our guests doesn't eat a lot of animal, so I prepared a non-meat ball as well. I never imagined that I could prefer vegan balls over bison, but these little guys are delicious.

The original recipe for Lentil-Mushroom Burgers came from a coworker who warned me that the prep was a lot of work. I cut that work down to nothing by using a package of pre-cooked lentils and a food processor to make the mixture smooth. I'll experiment with this recipe again, using other legumes and playing with the spices.

Swedish-Style Vegan Balls
4 generous servings

8 ounce package Simply Balanced Black Beluga Lentils or 1 cup cooked lentils
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts, roasted in 350 degree oven about 10 minutes and cooled
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
1⁄4 cup ground flax seed (flax seed meal)
1 1/2 cups finely chopped mushrooms
1 1⁄2 cups de-stemmed, finely chopped kale, spinach, or winter greens
2 tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil1
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar or orange juice
1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
Zest from 1 orange
1 teaspoon each sea salt, ground ginger
1⁄2 teaspoon each black pepper, ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

In a small pot, heat the lentils, 1 tablespoon water, parsley, 1 garlic clove, and 1⁄4 cup of the onion. Cook on high about 3 minutes and remove from heat. Set aside.

Combine the walnuts, bread crumbs, flax seed, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, and orange zest, ginger allspice, and nutmeg in a large bowl and mix well. Stir in lentils.

Sauté the remaining onion, remaining garlic, the mushrooms, and greens in the oil for 8 to 10 minutes, then add the vinegar and mustard.

Place all ingredients in food processor and pulse until crumby paste forms. Cool in the refrigerator for 15 to 30 minutes or more.

Using your hands, form balls to desired size and lightly fry in a seasoned skillet 3 to 4 minutes on each side (alternatively you can broil or grill until lightly browned and crisp).

Serve with lingonberries and quick-pickled cucumbers.

Adapted from


stephanieann said...

they were so good!

patrice said...

So glad you liked them Stephanieann! I am excited to throw these on the grill all summer (in burger form).